hvac faq (21)

Do you offer same day service?

Yes, typically we can offer same day service for estimates, repairs, tune-ups, duct
cleaning and other HVAC services. Our regular hours are between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.,
however we also have technicians available for emergencies 24n . Our technicians
can come out to install your unit within a week of your scheduled estimate.

What is SEER?

SEER stands {or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It is most commonly used to
measure the efficiency of a central air conditioning. The higher the SEER rating, the
more efficient the unit.

What does HSPF stand for?

HSPF stands for Heat Seasonal Performance Factor, which measures a heat pump’s
heating efficiency. The higher the HSPF, he more efficient the heat pump. More
technically speaking, the HSPF represents the total heating output of a heat pump
during the normal heating season, as compared to the total electricity consumed
during the same period.

What does AFUE stand for?

Gas furnaces are rated according to their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE.
The AFUE rating measures how efficient a gas furnace coverts fuel to energy. The
higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient he unit. A gas furnace with an AFUE of 95
percent is one of the highest efficiency gas furnaces you buy on the market today.

What does EER stand for?

The Energy Efficiency Ratio is known as the EER. It measures how efficiently a
cooling system will operate when he outdoor temperature is al a specific level (95
degrees Fahrenheit). Like the SEER, HSPF, and AFUE, the higher the EER rating,
the more efficient the unit.

Should outdoor units be covered in winter?

No. Heat pumps and outdoor air conditioning units (aka outdoor condensing units)
operate year round and should never be covered. They are built to withstand an
outdoor environment and should not be covered.

Should a thermostat be set to auto or on?

Preferably auto. That way, the tan operates only when the temperature requires it.
This is the most used and the most efficient setting. However, there are advantages
to using the “on’ setting. Air is constantly filtered through the unit’s air tilter, and the
constantly circulating air results in an even temperature throughout the house.

Can shrubs or flowers be planted around an outdoor unit?

Yes, but you should allow for room ,or air circulation in and out of the unit, roughly
about 18 inches from the unit. Without this room for air circulation, the unit could

If an outdoor unit needs replacing, should the indoor unit be replaced too?

Yes, because of efficiency. Air conditioning and heating units are designed to operate
as a matched system. The efficiency rating is based on the entire system. Replacing
the entire system ensures the system will be reliable and efficient,

How long have HEPA filters been in use?

The first HEPA filters were developed for the Atomic Energy Commission during World War II for
use in facilities manufacturing components for the Manhattan (atomic bomb) project. These HEPA
filters were originally designed to capture microscopic radioactive particles too small for effective
removal by existing types of filters. HEPA filters used today are much more efficient and
economical than the products made in the 1940’s.

Where are HEPA filters used today?

HEPA filters are generally specified for applications where microscopic airborn particles or
biopollutants could cause human health or product quality problems. Typical users include
military, nuclear, pharmaceutical, electronics, biological and medical facilities.

What is it that makes HEpA filters so efficient?

The ultra-fine glass-fiber medium captures microscopic particles that can easily pass through
other filters by a combination of diffusion, interception and inertial impaction. To qualify as a Type
A HEPA filter, the filter must capture at least 99.97o/o (9,997 out of 10,000) of particles 0.3
microns in size-about 300 times smaller than the diameter of a human hail and 25 to 50 times
smaller than we can see. To a HEPA filter, catching a one-micron particle (1/1,000,000 of a
meter) is like stopping a cotton ball with a door screen.

Are filters this efficient really necessary for IAe applications?

Laser Particle counter measurements typically show that more than 99o/o of the particles
suspended in indoor air are one micron (1/1,OO0,OOO of a meter) or smaller in size. EPA calls
these *lun9-damaging” particles, because they can lodge deep in the lungs when inhaled. The
ability of HEPA filters to capture particles this small is what sets them apart from other types of
filters’ Regulations developed by EPA, OSHA, CDC and other federal, state and local government
agencies responsible for human health and IAQ issues specify HEPA filters for asbestos, lead and
mold abatement, TB and SARS isolation rooms and healthcare renovation projects.

Are all filters made with HEPA filter media HEPA filters?

Manufacturing a filter with HEPA filter media does not mean that the filter itself meets true HEPA
efficiency requirements. Serious filter leakage cant go undetected if filters are not individually
tested and certified at the end of the manufacturing process. Even the tiniest pinhole leaks in the
media or breach of the seal between the media pack and the filter frame can cause the filter to fail
IEST requirements. The testing requires very specific procedures using a thermally generated
mono-dispersed aerosol and a laser particle counter. Some regulations also require field-testing
by the user prior to going into service and periodically thereafter.

Why is the testing done with a 0.3-micron particle size test aerosol?

Filter efficiency studies have shown that 0.3-microns is the “Most penetrating particle Size
(MPPS)” for HEPA filter media. Efficiency is typically greater than 99.97olo against larger or smaller
particle sizes. Particles larger than 0.3 microns are typically more easily trapped, or itntercepted,
by the media. smaller particles often lack sufficient mass to penetrate the media.

Is a HEPA Type filter the same as a HEPA filter?

No. In fact, the differences are huge. According to the American Lung Association, filters classified
as “HEPA type” filters may capture as little as 55o/o of O.3-micron particles (5,500 out of 1O,OO0).
By this definition, the true HEPA filter could be more than 1,800 times as efficient as the “HEPA
type” filter.

Does HEPA filter efficiency decrease as the filter gets dirty?

No. Unlike electronic air cleaners and other air purification technologies that experience
substantial loss of efficiency as they become dirty, exactly the opposite typically happens with
HEPA filters. In fact, the dirtier a HEPA filter gets, the more efficient it can become.

Are there any health benefits that come from HVAC system cleaning?

Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems have been shown to act as a collection
source for a variety of contaminants that have the potential to affect health, such as mold, fungi,
bacteria, and very small particles of dust. The removal of such contaminants from the HVAC
system can improve indoor air quality^

Will HVAC system cleaning reduce our home energy bills?

Research by the U.S. EPA has demonstrated that HVAC system cleaning may allow systems to run
more efficiently by removing debris from sensitive mechanical components. Clean, efficient
systems are less likely to break down, have a longer life span, and generally operate more
effectively than dirty systems.

How should a residential HVAC system be cleaned?

The most effective way to clean air ducts and ventilation systems is to employ Source Removal
methods of cleaning. This requires a contractor to place the system under negative pressure,
through the use of a specialized, powerful vacuum. While the vacuum
draws air through the system, devices are inserted into the ducts to dislodge any debris that might
be stuck to interior surfaces. The debris can then travel down the ducts to the vacuum, which
removes it from the system and the home.

How often should residential HVAC systems be cleaned?

Typically, HVAC systems should be inspected for cleaning around every 5 years. Frequency of
cleaning depends on several factors. Some of the things that may lead a home owner to consider
more frequent cleaning include:
. Smokers in the household.
. Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander.
. Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system.
‘ Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air
pollutants in the home’s HVAC system.
. After home renovations or remodeling.
. Prior to occupancy of a new home.