Your HVAC-Related Questions—Answered
No matter what your HVAC questions are, the experts at Service Plus Heating & Cooling of Fox Valley have answers. For your convenience we’ve answered the questions we’re asked the most frequently below!
FAQs About HVAC
Why is regular maintenance important?
Your HVAC equipment needs proper care to deliver optimum performance and maximum benefits. Our trained professionals have the skills to bring the best out of your equipment and to prevent unexpected, costly repairs in the middle of the hottest or coldest months of the year.
How does an air conditioner work?
Did you know that, technically, air conditioners don’t make your home cooler? It’s true! Instead, they remove hot air from your home, forcing it outside. This hot air is pushed across a refrigerant coil on the indoor unit and then sent to the outdoor unit, where it is released. Your air conditioner transfers as much hot air outside as necessary to reach the temperature you have set on your thermostat.
What is the minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners in my state?
Minimum energy efficiency standards can vary by geographic location. The Service Plus team can help you determine the minimum requirements for Aurora, let you know if your equipment meets those requirements and, if necessary, help you find a replacement air conditioner that meets requirements.
How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my cooling unit?
Your system’s service panel should have a white label on it with your system’s model number (M/N) and serial number (S/N) at the top.
What size equipment do I need for my home?
Since equipment size needs differ for each home, the best way to find out the correct size equipment for your home is to have one of our techs come out to perform load calculation tests. These tests take measurements such as square footage, insulation value and amount into account to determine your home’s individual HVAC equipment needs.
Can frost, ice, dirt or other debris keep the outdoor unit of my cooling system from operating effectively?
Yes. Debris can affect your system’s ability to function effectively. It’s common for heat pumps to have frost or ice on them in the colder months, but many include defrost controls so they can work efficiently regardless of the weather conditions.
Why is my system freezing up?
The most common causes are dirty filters, low refrigerant, a dirty evaporator coil and/or a faulty blower motor. Changing a filter is something you, the homeowner, can take care of; however, you’ll need to call the professionals at Service Plus for other problems, along with any questions or other concerns you may have.
What is a heat pump?
A heat pump takes care of both your home’s heating and cooling needs, offering you one HVAC system that can be used all year. Throughout the warmer months, heat pumps serve as an air conditioner, capturing the hot air inside your home and transferring it outside. In the cooler months, this process is reversed. Heat pumps can be very energy-efficient and may produce two to three times more heat than the energy needed for the process.
When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?
At Service Plus, our pros recommend replacing both your indoor and outdoor units at the same time. Here are a few reasons why:
- Maximize your savings: Nowadays, outdoor systems are built to work with their matching indoor system for the highest efficiency possible. When you replace only one of your systems, you may not see the same savings on your energy bills as you do when you replace them together.
- Get the full range of benefits: Thanks to technological improvements, newer systems mean increased efficiency. This is also true for HVAC systems. While the advancements focus on higher heating and cooling efficiency, they also include benefits, such as better air handling, filtering and noise reduction.
- Get the most out of your unit: If your heating and cooling systems are over 10 years old, they should probably be replaced. Older models have outdated technology that results in poor efficiency and higher energy bills. By replacing your indoor and outdoor systems at the same time, you’ll enjoy higher energy efficiency, lower energy bills and greater comfort.
What is two-stage heating?
With two-stage heating, furnaces can operate on two different levels: high and low. Since you can heat your home on the low setting most of the time, a two-stage furnace can work longer and more efficiently. Two-stage heating also runs more quietly than traditional furnaces and can provide more even heat distribution and fewer temperature swings.
What is two-stage cooling?
When an air conditioner uses two-stage cooling, it means there are two levels of operation. This allows the system to work more efficiently since there is one level for milder weather and another for harsher weather that demands the system work harder. Two-stage cooling also enables slight temperature changes so you don’t experience extreme swings in temperature. Other benefits of two-stage cooling include quieter operation and improved humidity control.
How does Precise Comfort™ technology work?
Precise Comfort™ technology is an operating and control system used in Lennox furnaces. It’s designed to automatically adjust heat by increments as little as 1 percent to improve energy efficiency and help you experience more comfort.
How will my new furnace work differently from my old one?
Modern furnaces are developed with a variety of innovative features older furnaces don’t have. Today’s heating systems provide more even heating and are better at regulating airflow. Although the air coming out of your vents may seem cooler than your old furnace, the airflow is better and more efficient.
Another benefit of modern furnaces is their ability to operate with other HVAC products as part of a high-efficiency, whole-home comfort system. When combined with a high-efficiency air conditioner, furnace blowers can accommodate add-on cooling easier. Other innovations, such as Precise Comfort™ technology and variable speed motors, will help your furnace run more efficiently and quieter than ever.
What energy efficiency standard should I look for in an air conditioner in Aurora?
The Department of Energy recently raised the minimum efficiency levels for air conditioners and the standards vary by region. Contact us to learn the requirements for the Aurora area.
How can I reduce my energy costs?
Your furnace and air conditioner can contribute significantly to your monthly utility bills. However, these costs can be decreased with innovative and high-efficiency products from Lennox®. You’ll want to look for high SEER and AFUE ratings when you’re searching for a new air conditioner or furnace, respectively, as higher SEER and AFUE ratings denote higher efficiency products.
If you’re not looking for new heating and cooling equipment, consider factors such as:
- Schedule routine maintenance: Furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC equipment operate more efficiently when they are regularly maintained. Regularly having a pro tune up your equipment will keep it running at its best.
- Add a zoning system: When parts of your home are rarely used, you’re spending more money to heat or cool them to the same temperature as the rest of the house. A zoning system lets you section off different parts of your home and control the temperature by each area.
- Install a programmable thermostat: Programmable thermostats may help you decrease your heating costs by 35% and your cooling costs by 25%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Leave it up to your thermostat to turn down the heat when you’re gone and go back to your preferred temperature when you’re home.
Why should I purchase a zoning system?
A zoning system enables you to parcel your house and heat or cool each part differently. While these systems operate well for buildings that have parts that are seldom occupied, they may also be great in situations where you and your family argue about the temperature in certain parts of your house. There are a number of additional pluses of zoning systems, such as efficiency and comfort. Look through our selection of zoning systems or give Service Plus Mechanical a shout to see how a zoning system could benefit your home.
Which thermostat is best for my home comfort system?
We offer a number of great thermostat options for your HVAC system. The best thermostat for you will depend on a couple variables, such as whether you want one that’s programmable or not.
No matter what kind of thermostat you’d like—or if you’re looking for something that can fit with a home automation system, Service Plus Heating & Cooling of Fox Valley is the team to call. We carry a number of programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats, which can help improve the efficiency of your home’s furnace and/or air conditioner. With the variety of options we offer, there’s no doubt we can help you find a thermostat that’s best for your system, your family’s needs and your budget.
Why should I buy from Lennox?
There are many reasons to pick Lennox, but the top three are:
- A name you know and trust: Known across the world for its quality HVAC products, you can rest assured Lennox will provide you with equipment you can depend on and trust!
- Innovative and high-quality products: Lennox has been on the cutting-edge of innovation in the heating and cooling industry for years. High-quality furnaces, air conditioners and home comfort systems include innovative features to help your home stay more comfortable in an energy-efficient manner.
- Reputation for excellence: High-quality products are not the only arena Lennox excels in. Lennox dealers, like Service Plus Heating & Cooling of Fox Valley, give you high-quality service at all times.
How much will a Lennox product cost?
Our HVAC pros can price out individual products or multiple home comfort products for you. Contact us to get started.
FAQs About Indoor Air Quality
What can I do to improve my home’s indoor air quality?
Strategies to increase your indoor air quality range from doing simple, everyday tasks to investing in a new ventilation system. Here are four proven strategies for improving the quality of your home’s air:
- Eliminate: Get rid of the pollutants floating in your air by cleaning your home regularly—particularly vacuuming carpets, washing linens and safely storing household chemicals.
- Ventilate: Make sure your home is well-ventilated to move airborne pollutants out of your home. Newer homes tend to be well insulated, which can hinder ventilation. Lennox systems, such as the Healthy Climate® ventilation system, can help because they bring fresh air from outside into your home and direct the stale air out.
- Clean: The right air filters, such as our Healthy Climate® air filters, keep even the smallest particles from entering your HVAC system and, ultimately, your home. For any particles that make it past your filter, we have an IAQ solution that will take care of them. Our UV lights kill germs and bacteria and our purification systems, like the PureAir™, will help get rid of odors and chemical vapors.
- Monitor: Keep your humidity levels in check with a programmable thermostat. High temperatures and humidity levels can elevate concentrations of mold, mildew and germs. A programmable thermostat will make certain your home is comfortable without letting humidity get too high.
How can I find out which indoor air quality product is right for my home?
This is where our IAQ specialists come into play. Contact us and walk us through some of the problems you’re experiencing. Our techs will evaluate your home and recommend the solution(s) you need to address the indoor air quality concerns affecting your home.
FAQs About Solar HVAC Systems
Is there a way to tell if my solar HVAC system is performing at its maximum potential?
Yes. Your SunSource® Home Energy System has a communication module that transfers the system’s performance data to a website. The website will show your system’s status, energy production and environmental benefits, as well as carbon offsets in real time.
Does the SunSource® communication module use an Internet connection?
Yes. You will need an Internet connection if you want to utilize the system’s online monitoring system. The system allows you to view energy production and environmental information. The monitoring service is provided free for five years, and the performance-monitoring website is provided by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc.
Do I need to clean off my solar modules?
Rain will clean the modules in most cases; however, if you live in a dusty area, you could see improved performance after periodically spraying the modules with water. Please note that high-pressure hoses and detergents should never be used because they can cause harm.