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. How much will a Lennox product cost? Call Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. at 630-833-1100 to receive a quote on Lennox equipment. 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. What energy efficiency standard should I look for in an air conditioner in Elmhurst? The Department of Energy recently raised the minimum efficiency levels for air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged units created after Jan. 1, 2015, since heating and cooling contributes significantly to a home’s total energy usage. The requirements vary by region, so call Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. for the efficiency standards for Elmhurst. 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 run. 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 can I find out which indoor air quality product will is right for my home? Our Healthy Solution Finder lets you choose details specific to your family and home and will help you find equipment best suited to meet your needs. You may also consult with Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. experts who can make a recommendation based on their evaluations of your home and existing indoor comfort system. 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. How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my cooling unit? You can find these numbers on a nameplate or sticker that is near your system’s service panel. The sticker will be white with black letters and have both of these numbers located near the top of the sticker. M/N denotes model number while S/N is your serial number. 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. Can frost, ice, dirt or other debris keep the outdoor unit of my cooling system from operating effectively? The short answer is “Yes,” because dirt and other debris can impede your system’s ability to work efficiently. For heat pumps, it is not unusual to have frost or ice on them during the winter, but they also feature defrost controls to ensure they work efficiently in those kinds of weather. 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. How do I know my solar HVAC system is performing to its full potential? The communication module on your SunSource® Home Energy System sends the system’s performance data for each module to a website. You may visit this website to see the system’s status, energy production and environmental benefits. The site also shows carbon offsets in real time. Do I need an Internet connection to use the SunSource® communication module? Yes, an Internet connection is needed for you to take advantage of the online monitoring system, which includes seeing energy production and environmental benefit information. The system’s performance-monitoring website is maintained by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc., and the monitoring service is provided at no cost for five years. Should I clean my solar modules? In most regions, rain will naturally clean the solar modules. If you reside in a dusty or industrial area, periodically spraying the modules with water may help improve performance. However, detergents and high-pressure hoses should never be used to rinse solar modules. What is the best thermostat for my HVAC system? The proper thermostat for you depends on your heating and cooling equipment. Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc. has programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats that can help enhance the efficiency of your HVAC systems. View our available products or contact us at 630-833-1100 to learn more. How can I control my energy expenses? Heating and cooling can contribute to a significant portion of your utility bill. The innovative and high efficiency HVAC products available from Lennox® can help reduce these costs. If you’re in the market for a new heating and/or cooling system, look for products with high SEER ratings for air conditioners and AFUE ratings for furnaces. SEER and AFUE are a measure of system efficiency, and the higher the number, the more efficient the product. Aside from purchasing a new home comfort system, consider these other factors: 1. Is your system regularly maintained? Whether it’s a furnace or air conditioner, HVAC systems will opperate more efficiently after regular maintenance checks. 2. Do you need a zoning system? If there are areas of your home that are rarely used, a zoning system will allow you to heat or cool only the commonly used spaces of your house. 3. Are you utilizing a programmable thermostat? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, programmable thermostats can reduce your heating costs by up to 35 percent, and your cooling costs by up to 25 percent. What are the benefits of zoning systems? Zoning systems give you the opportunity to divide portions of your home and control the air differently in each area. Zoning tends to be best for when you have spaces of your residence that are infrequently used or when you and your family are constantly in disagreement of the perfect temperature for the house. Zoning systems are nearly silent and efficient, allowing you more control over the comfort of your house. Find out more about the zoning equipment available from Alan Heating Air Conditioning, Inc..