Your questions answered: HVAC FAQs.

Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. in Elmhurst can answer all your HVAC-related questions. Before you get on the phone, check to see if we already responded to your question online. If you don’t see your question listed or want more information on a particular topic, give us a call at 630-833-1100. Our staff can provide the information you’re looking for in no time.

Why is regular maintenance important?

Just like you need to take your car in to the shop for routine tune-ups, such as oil changes or inspecting probable problems, your home comfort system should get the same kind of attention. Scheduled maintenance by a skilled technician provides numerous benefits to your HVAC equipment, which can help your systems operate efficiently and prevent costly breakdowns.

What is two-stage heating?

Two-stage heating permits the furnace to heat at two levels of output: high for cold winter days and low for mild ones. Around 80 percent of the time, your home’s heating requirements can be met when the furnace is set on the low setting, allowing your two-stage unit to run for longer periods of time. Two-stage units also provide more even heat distribution, fewer temperature swings, quiet operation, better air filtration and energy efficiency.

How does Precise Comfort™ technology work?

Lennox’s Precise Comfort™ technology is an operating and control system that allows a furnace to adjust heat and airflow by incredibly small amounts, as low as a 1 percent change. The system is automatic and runs similar to cruise control, making adjustments gradually to meet your comfort demands with energy efficiency.

How will my new furnace work differently from my old one?

Depending on how old your previous furnace was, you could experience a number of differences. Furnaces today are designed to provide more even and efficient heating than ever before. Modern furnaces also better regulate temperature and air flow, moving more air over the heat exchanger than older furnaces.

Additionally, new furnaces are crafted to integrate with other high-efficiency HVAC products, such as air conditioners. The air conditioner blowers give your heating system an extra boost so it can deliver cool air around your home efficiently. Special features like variable speed motors will also help decrease noise associated with operating your equipment and easily meet your family’s airflow needs.

How can I reduce my energy costs?

Lennox offers a variety of HVAC products with high efficiency ratings, which can help reduce the amount of energy they require to operate40]. Aside from picking products that have received Energy Star® certification or achieved high SEER ratings for air conditioners or AFUE ratings for furnaces, you can consider the following:

  • Maintenance – ensuring your system obtains regular maintenance by a trained technician can keep your system running at its peak performance.
  • Zoning – zoning systems enable you to only heat or cool only specific areas of your home, so you won’t have to pay to heat or cool spaces that you don’t usually use.
  • Programmable thermostats – using a programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home according to your schedule. They can be programed to provide the comfort you desire when you’re home, and increase or decrease the temperature while you’re away, helping you save on heating and cooling costs.

Why should I buy from Lennox?

There are a number of reasons to choose Lennox, but the top three are:

  • You know and trust the name – Lennox is known around the world for its quality home comfort products.
  • Innovation and high quality – Lennox is an industry leader, providing a large line of innovative solutions for your home comfort needs.
  • Commitment to excellence – We are devoted to providing customers not only quality products, but also quality service. You can trust Lennox dealers, like those of us at Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc., to help you find the right system for your home, expertly install it, and keep it working smoothly every time.

What can I do to improve my home’s indoor air quality?

Improving your home’s indoor air quality starts with four basic strategies:

  • Eliminate – poor indoor air quality leaves your home filled with air pollutants floating around your home, so to improve IAQ, the first step is to get rid of as many pollutants as possible. You can easily do this is by cleaning and vacuuming at least once a week, frequently washing linens and storing cleaning products safely.
  • Ventilate – proper insulation is great for keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but it also makes it difficult for airborne pollutants to escape. Products like our Healthy Climate® ventilation system help swap out stale air for fresh, filtered outside air.
  • Clean – good ventilation and routine cleaning are a start, but Healthy Climate® air filters, germicidal lights and PureAire™ purification systems take your IAQ to the next level by picking up microscopic particles, killing germs and removing particles and germs while destroying chemical vapors.
  • Monitor – programmable thermostats will help you keep an eye on the humidity levels and temperature to help prevent particles and germs from piling up and keep your home comfortable.

How does an air conditioner work?

Many homeowners believe that air conditioners make it cooler in your house, but it actually removes the heat from inside your home, directing the hot air outside. That hot air moves across a cold indoor coil where refrigerant in the lines sends the heat to the coil in your outdoor unit, releasing the heat outside. This cycle continues until the indoor temperature reaches the temperature you set on your thermostat.

What is the minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners in my state?

Due to the increasing amount of energy used by heating and cooling systems, the Department of Energy (DOE) hiked up the minimum efficiency levels for air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged units manufactured after January 1, 2015. These levels are determined by region and carry varying requirements based on your location. Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. can help answer any questions you may have regarding these minimum requirements and let you know what choices are available when you’re looking for a replacement system.

What size equipment do I need for my home?

There are a couple ways to determine what size system is right for your home, but the most reliable way to determine the right size system is by having your local Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. technician come out and perform a load calculation. This calculation considers your home’s: square footage, insulation value, amount of insulation, and a variety of other factors.

What is two-stage cooling?

Two-stage cooling means that your cooling unit has two levels of operation. When summer is its hottest, the high setting kicks in, and when it’s cooler or more mild, the low setting handles the duties. Most of the time, the lower setting is able to take care of your cooling needs, but even when the high setting kicks in, you may not realize it because it can produce such even temperatures for your comfort. This also means a quieter cooling system, greater efficiency and better humidity control.

Why is my system freezing up?

When your cooling unit freezes up, there are a couple of reasons why it could be doing so. The most common reasons include: dirty filters, low refrigerant, a dirty evaporative coil and a faulty blower motor or relay. A dirty filter is something you can fix as a homeowner, but the others need to be done by a professional like those at Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc.. Contact them at 630-833-1100 with any additional questions.

What is the best thermostat to use for my cooling system?

Picking the best thermostat for your cooling system comes with a lot of considerations. That’s why it’s nice to have such a wide variety of choices from Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc.. Whether you’re in the market for for a programmable or non-programmable thermostat or want to join the smart home trend, there are a number of thermostats that you have to choose from. Some thermostats will depend on what type of heating and cooling system you have, but the experts at Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. will be able to help determine what options fit your needs and your budget.

What is a heat pump?

Heat pumps can be a tad confusing due to their name, but they actually take care of both your heating and cooling needs year-round. When it’s hot outside it operates like an air conditioner in that it removes heat from your home, but when it cools off, the process gets reversed and it collects heat from outside and brings it inside. Heat pumps are also very efficient, and could produce up to two or three times more heat than the energy it uses.

When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?

Of course we suggest you also replace your indoor system, but this is why:

  • All outdoor cooling systems have a matching indoor unit that they are designed to work with to ensure efficient performance. When they aren’t paired with the other part as a complete system, efficiency may suffer.
  • As with many products, advancements have brought about newer, more efficient ways of doing things. Heating and cooling systems are no different. These developments most importantly include greater heating and cooling efficiency, but also consist of improved air handling, filtering and noise pollution reduction to name a few.
  • Heating and cooling systems that are more than 10-15 years old normally need to be replaced. Not only do they consist of outdated technology, but they are also less efficient than more recent models. Buying a new indoor unit at the same time means you’ll have a matched system to provide you with even more comfort and efficiency for years to come.