Frequently Asked Questions About Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Installing, maintaining, and replacing any part of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is best left to the professionals. However, there is some basic HVAC information that all homeowners should know to keep their systems running smoothly.
To ensure that you have all the information needed, The Prince of Fresh Air Furnaces has answered some of the most frequently asked questions about heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems.
1. How often should I change my furnace air filter?
Well, that depends, but most experts agree on every three months. That being said, you need to factor in the number of occupants in the household as well as the number of furry pets. Animal hair and dust levels vary from house to house, so if house ‘A’ has two people living in it with no pets, every three months should suffice. If House ‘B’ has two adults, two kids, and a dog, then a filter change every month will help keep your HVAC system running as efficiently as possible.
2. Is the annual maintenance really worth it?
Annual maintenance is done to ensure equipment longevity as well maintaining the manufacturer designed efficiency rating. Although it might seem costly to tune up your furnace or AC, an emergency no-heat call in the middle of the night will typically cost the same as several tune-ups, so it's typically less expensive to have your HVAC technician perform an annual tune-up than to wait until an equipment breakdown. Moreover, just like your brand new vehicle, dealers for your new HVAC equipment are required to perform regular tune-ups to maintain the installation warranty.
3. Is a humidifier really necessary?
Any new high efficient furnace will condense the water out of the air from your home, it's part of the reason that it's so darned efficient. Unfortunately, this results in sore throats and the most popular solution is to install a whole-house flow-through humidifier. Room humidifiers seem like a great idea, but generally, cannot be regulated like a whole-house humidifier. A humidistat controls whole home humidifiers, and, much like a thermostat, tells the equipment when it's reached optimal humidity. This enables the equipment to shut down when the desired humidity levels are satisfied, as opposed to room humidifiers which run continuously and pose the risk of creating mold where it can't be seen.
4. Why does my house smell different than outside air?
Unfortunately, every house has its own scent, you might not like it, but it is what it is. I'm sure you've noticed it visiting friends and family's homes. But how do I get rid of it so that it smells fresh like outside air does? Simple! By adding outside air in with a Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV). It accomplishes this by bringing one hundred percent fresh air into your home while recycling the heat from the air that you’re expelling from it. HRV's are great for keeping your house as fresh as can be.
5. Why are some furnaces or AC's way more costly than others?
Surely adding a few points of efficiency on your furnace could not possibly justify the radical difference in cost between a builder's grade equipment and two-stage variable or modulating equipment. There are three reasons to get better-than-builder grade equipment:
1 - fuel efficiency (obviously),
2 - electricity efficiency, and,
3 - sound levels.
For example, two-stage furnaces uses up to one-fourth of the energy required to run the blower fan versus a two-stage blower fan because the single stage furnace runs on AC (Alternating Current) power versus a two-stage furnace that uses DC (Direct Current).
Running the furnace fan continuously will allow you to circulate the air properly, putting a stop to that pesky air stagnation for up to one fourth of the cost to power a single stage furnace electrically.
Lastly, the main reason to upgrade to dual stage or modulating HVAC equipment; noise levels. The top of the line equipment is much quieter, plain and simple. As far as comfort is concerned, noise levels play a big part. Variable drive and modulating furnace fans ramp up to speed rather than kicking on and off like what most of us are used to. Furthermore, the first stage on a furnace or AC is running at 60% of that (already quieter) unit's entire capacity.
Located in in Calgary, Alberta, The Prince of Fresh Air Furnaces, is an HVAC company that offers complete heating, ventilation and air conditioning solutions in Calgary, Alberta, and surrounding areas. With only the highest quality equipment to offer, we have a ten-year warranty parts and labor on most units. To learn more about how we can help you, please click here or contact us by clicking here.