Heating & Cooling FAQs
Our Pros Answer Your Most Common Questions on Home Comfort
It’s no surprise that the HVAC industry is our passion. We love helping our customers with initial troubleshooting or energy efficiency tips and sharing our knowledge whenever we can. Read through the top heating and cooling FAQs we hear to give yourself a little more insight into your home comfort.
It varies by system type—and how well it’s taken care of—but here are the averages:
- Furnaces: 15 to 20 years
- Boilers: 10 to 15 years
- Air Conditioners: 15 to 20 years
- Heat pumps: 15 years
- Ductless system: 20 years
This all depends on the type of filter you use and a few household factors, including if someone in the home has an illness or allergies, smokes indoors, or has pets. A general rule of thumb if you use a one-inch disposable filter is to replace it every one to three months. If you use a media or high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, they should be cleaned or replaced every six months to a year. If you aren’t sure what filter your system uses or how often to replace it, just give us a call—we would be happy to help!
Pay attention to these signs that your furnace, boiler, or air conditioner may need replacement soon:
- Strange noises and odors coming from your system
- Unexplained rise in energy bills
- Less heating or cooling comfort than usual
- Overly dusty, dry, or humid indoor air
- System age is nearing the top of its average lifespan
YES! Maintenance is the only way to keep your furnace and air conditioner running at peak performance throughout the year. It can also help extend your system’s lifespan, reduce energy bills, and improve your overall comfort.
If you don’t already have one, here are a few reasons why you should consider a programmable thermostat:
- Save money with automatic temperature adjustments to maximize your efficiency.
- Maintain a consistent temperature instead of wasting time adjusting your manual thermostat.
- Program your thermostat to automatically adjust based on your schedule—some will let you program multiple schedules, including daily, weekly, and monthly.
- Take control of multiple zones to regulate heating and cooling in different parts of your home.
- Adjust your temperature and other comfort settings from anywhere—using your smartphone or tablet—with a Wi-Fi capable model.
- Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE)—this efficiency ratio compares how much fuel your furnace uses to create heat. If your system’s rating is 85, it converts 85 percent of the fuel into usable heat. A higher rating indicates a more efficient system.
- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER)—this ratio measures cooling output over a typical season divided by energy used. Modern air conditioners have an average SEER of 13 or 14, but ratings can go as high as 30.
- British Thermal Unit (BTU)—this rating represents the amount of heat a boiler, air conditioner, or heat pump uses to raise or lower the temperature of one pound of water by one degree. Unlike other ratings, BTU represents capacity, not efficiency.
- Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)—this rating measures how effectively air filters capture airborne pollutants. A higher rating indicates that more airborne particles are captured and removed.
The ideal range for humidity is between 30 and 50 percent. It’s important to monitor your level because too much humidity can damage things in your home and too little can cause serious discomfort, such as dry, itchy skin and bloody noses. Ask us about a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier to ensure your levels are staying right where they should be.