Question: How important is adding humidity to my home?
Answer: As we heat our homes, the air has a tendency to dry out. This can damage the woodwork and furniture you have as well as zap the moisture from your skin. Dry air even makes you feel cooler because your body senses heat as a combination of temperature and humidity. Adding humidity to offset this drying process will improve your comfort as well as preserve the woodwork in your home. As an added benefit, you may actually be able to lower your thermostat a couple of degrees. You will not only feel warmer but you may lower your heating bill!
Question: How important is an air filter in my heating and cooling system?
Answer: It’s a fact: the trapped air we breathe in our homes can be loaded with dust, pollen, plant spores, and other pollutant particles. In many cases, it’s worse than air outside.
Question: After my air conditioner runs for a while, ice forms on the big pipe outside and it stops cooling. What could be the problem?
Answer: More than likely, it’s low on refrigerant or low on airflow. Replace your filter and allow the unit to thaw out. If the problem reoccurs, call Bell Heating And Cooling to schedule service on your system. We recommend having annual maintenance performed to keep your systems in peak operating conditions. Ask your Bell Heating And Cooling representative about our energy saving maintenance agreement program.
Question: How big of a furnace or air conditioner do I need for my home?
Answer: The only way to size a furnace or air conditioner for your home is to do a heat load calculation. The capacity needed is based on how quickly your home gains or loses heat, not by square footage alone.
Question: What does SEER and AFUE mean?
Answer: SEER stands for “Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio”. Basically it tells you how efficiently it converts electricity to cooling comfort. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system. By federal law all units must be a 10 SEER or higher. Bell Heating And Cooling recommends having a Comfort Consultant to come to your home and perform a heat load calculation to insure the proper size unit is installed.
AFUE stands for “Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency”. This rating tells you how much of your heating dollars are converted to heat energy put into your home and how much is lost up the flue pipe. Most older furnaces are 50% to 60% efficient. That means that for every dollar you spend for gas from your utility company, $.40 to $.50 are being sent up the flue pipe to the outdoors. Federal law mandates that all furnaces being produced today be at least 80% efficient. Bell Heating And Cooling offers several different sizes of furnaces up to 96% efficient. That means that for every dollar you spend on gas from the utility company $.96 is converted to heat your home and only $.04 is sent out the flue pipe.
A Bell Heating And Cooling Comfort Consultant can visit your home, perform a heat load calculation and recommend the proper system to keep you comfortable and save you money. In many cases, homeowners have saved enough on their utility bills to more than cover the investment of a new comfort system.
Question: Why is the upstairs of my house always hotter in summer and cooler in the winter when I only have one unit? What should I do?
Answer: Heat rises, thus the reason it’s hotter in the summer. Assuming the system was sized and installed correctly, you should consider installing a zone system if possible. Sometimes the addition of return air ductwork will help improve air movement and help make upper levels more comfortable.
Question: Should I get my ducts cleaned?
Answer: Cleaning your ducts may be beneficial in improving your indoor air quality. A premium whole-house duct cleaning will help decrease the spread of contaminates in your ductwork and home. New construction homes can benefit from having the ductwork cleaned to remove drywall dust, sawdust and other debris from the construction process.
Question: What’s that black stuff on my ceilings and vents?
Answer: Burning candles can be the culprit for the black on your walls and ceilings as well as polluting the air your family breathes. Keep wicks trimmed to no longer than 1/4th of an inch to help reduce soot from the candles.
Question: During the winter the fan occasionally shuts off on my heat pump outside unit, then restarts with a big puff of smoke. What is wrong with it?
Answer: Nothing is wrong with your unit. What appears to be smoke is steam from the outdoor coil after it completes a defrost cycle. After extended run times the outdoor unit will start to build frost or ice on the coil. The system is designed to go in a defrost mode when needed to clear the ice away and keep the efficiency level up.
Question: I have friends and relatives that have installed UV lights on their furnace. What are they for and why do I need one?
Answer: UV is the abbreviation for ultraviolet. Located in the return air ductwork and by the indoor cooling coil, the ultraviolet air treatment system continuously emits high – intensity ultraviolet (UV) energy. The energy eliminates (kills) a very high percentage of airborne bacteria and germs passing over the UV light field inside the ductwork. The UV light mounted next to the indoor cooling coil will help eliminate the growth of mold, mildew and other contaminates from the drain pan and coil surface. At Bell Heating And Cooling, we recommend installing non-ozone-producing UV products.
Question: My furnace and air conditioner are both new. Do I really need to have it cleaned?
Answer: Yes!! Even though your system is new, it still needs to have annual maintenance performed. This will help keep the warranty in effect. Most all equipment manufactures state in the terms of their warranty that annual maintenance must be performed by a qualified technician. Keeping your system maintained will give you assurance that it is operating at peak efficiency and safety.
Question: In the world of plumbing, what is a vent and what does it do?
Answer: Vents are the pipes (about 12″ high) that stick out of your roof. Vents are necessary to vent sewer gasses outside of the home. You can think of a vent pipe like a straw. When you put your thumb over the end of a straw, you can pull liquid up from the cup. What happens when you remove your thumb? The liquid drains out and the straw fills with air. Similarly, when liquid goes down a pipe, air needs to follow it. This air is pulled from the vent pipe. Without a vent pipe, the liquid will try to pull air through the P-traps on plumbing fixtures such as your tub and sink! If this happens, you’ll know from the smell! Likewise, without a vent, draining one fixture may cause another fixture in the house to back up!
Question: Why do I have hot water in my toilet?
Answer: You may have hot water in your toilet because of a bad flapper in the toilet tank or a bad fill valve. When a toilet has a mixing valve (to prevent condensation), a little hot water is added to bring the temperature up. When this system is not functioning correctly, you can get a bowl full of hot water!