HVAC FAQs

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 24/7. Our technicians can come out to install your unit within a week of your scheduled estimate.

What is a SEER?

 

SEER stands for 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, the 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 the 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 the outdoor temperature is at 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 fan 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 filter, 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 for air circulation in and out of the unit, roughly about 18 inches from the unit. Without this room for air circulation, the unit could overheat.

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 do I know what size unit our house needs?

At Bill Howe Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., our lead estimator will come to your home for FREE to let you know what size he recommends. Factors like size of the square footage, how well the house of business is insulated, body heat (how many people occupy the space) and any other heat producing equipment in the space (electronics, computers, appliances, lighting), also the climate of where the property is geographically located.

What is the difference between a split system and a package unit?

A split system uses indoor and outdoor components to provide a complete home comfort system. A package unit or self-contained unit requires no external coils, air handlers, or heating units.

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