Frequently Asked Questions
If You’ve Got Questions. We’ve Got Answers!
HVAC is short for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC is most often used to depict the whole heating and cooling system consisting of the duct work, air filters, humidification controls, and registers.
The most important part of HVAC maintenance aspect is maintaining unrestricted air flows. Dust, dirt, and debris are an HVAC system’s worst enemies. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor unit, you must keep all filters clean and heat exchangers and coils free of restrictions.
We recommend that your heating and cooling system be checked and serviced twice a year; ideally a spring and autumn tune-up. Also we recommend that you change your filter regularly, depending on the type of filter you have. This alone can eliminate many of the most common problems that need fixing and can significantly reduce the likelihood of a serious breakdown.
Locate the label on the outer surface of the equipment for a manufacture date. If the equipment is less than five years old it may have a warranty, but also may not based on the model. Warranty terms and conditions change by manufacturer and the installing company. Patriot Comfort System Experts can verify the warranty status of your heating and cooling system. Call us Today! 417.986.8980
Regular filter replacement helps your heating and cooling system operate at peak levels and improves indoor air quality. It is important to change filters regularly to ensure proper air flow and to keep your home free from dust, allergens and germs. Depending on the type of filter you have, you may require weekly or monthly filter replacements. Your Patriot Comfort System Experts service or installation technician will recommend the ideal filters and replacement schedules for your unit(s).
Yes. Loud heating and cooling equipment contribute to sound pollution. Although no financial savings are tied to lower sound levels, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a considerable effect on comfort and enjoyment of your home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a variety of factors, such as the age and make of the unit, and whether the compressor is insulated or not can contribute to the amount of noise it makes.
Is it making strange noises? Is it cooling or heating all areas of your home sufficiently? Has it been taking longer to cool down or heat up? Have your utility bills been rising for no apparent reason? Any of these are signs that you may have a problem that needs service. In most cases, the longer you delay, the worse any underlying problems will get. So be sure to contact R&L Enviorcare to check out your system, whenever you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Here in Southwest Missouri, it is recommended you have your HVAC system serviced twice per year, preferably in the spring and fall. This will help ensure that your comfort system is running as efficiently as possible during the heating and cooling seasons. At R&L Enviorcare, we offer several Maintenance Plans which will take care of all of your system’s maintenance needs. See below!
- Priority heating and cooling services
- Scheduled maintenance checks
- One trip for heating maintenance & one trip for cooling maintenance
- 24/7 emergency service
Not necessarily. Just because a certain size of furnace or comfort system was previously installed in your home does not mean that system was correctly sized for your home. When it comes to home comfort systems, it is extremely important to size the system correctly. An improperly sized system can cause problems with comfort and efficiency. Plus it could also lower the useful life of your equipment.
Unfortunately, not all HVAC companies are made equal, and not all of them do an adequate job of correctly sizing a system. Beware of any HVAC company that offers to replace your furnace, air conditioning unit, or comfort system without doing a proper heat loss calculation. Simply counting registers is not enough to ensure proper sizing! In many instances, especially with today’s variable speed and modulating technology, previous systems have been oversized compared to what is needed for the home. Not only does a smaller system cost less to purchase and install, but a correctly sized system will run at optimal efficiency and will provide the greatest comfort.
There are several possible explanations for this.
- The behavior of the members of your household may have changed. Examples may be turning the heat up higher for a longer duration, leaving windows open, taking longer showers, etc.
- Outdoor temperatures and weather may be different this year than last year.
- You added air conditioning when you previously did not have it in your home.
- Energy prices may have risen.
- You may have a problem with your duct work or insulation.
- Your system may not have been properly installed.
- Your system may not have been properly sized for your home before installation.
Today’s thermostats offer a wide range of energy saving and comfort options. Most thermostats today give you the ability to program them for optimal comfort and efficiency. Higher end models can provide “energy monitoring” features, showing you which appliances in your home are using up more energy, and at which times of the day. Give us a call or ask your comfort advisor about thermostat options if you would like more information.
Bigger isn’t always better; its performance and efficiency that count. Before purchasing a replacement system you should always make sure your system is sized properly to match your needs and budget. Your Patriot Comfort System Expert will thoroughly assess your home and comfort requirements to determine the proper size and make the appropriate recommendation.
A few quick tips:
- Clean and replace your filters frequently.
- Your system will heat and cool more evenly when the blower is in the “on” position. The blower provides constant air movement throughout the home, and allows for better filtration.
- Install shades, drapes, shutters, or screens on windows that are exposed to extreme sunlight to keep room temperatures at moderate levels.
You may have tried to cover up indoor odors by spraying air fresheners or lighting candles. Unfortunately, these tactics only mask the odors, they don’t get rid of them. These remedies may in fact negatively affect indoor air quality from chemicals that cause allergic reactions or eye irritation for homeowners.
Bacteria, dust mites, animal dander, cat saliva and mold may also be roots of your home’s odor problem. One method to purify the air is integrating germicidal (UV) lights in your home, which helps kill odors and inhibit the growth of biological contaminants, sterilizing surfaces in the HVAC system. They also purify the air, preventing the growth of contaminants. The UV lights are installed to work with your home comfort system.
Sometimes poor ventilation contributes to unpleasant odors. Moisture condensation on walls windows and stagnate air are signs of poor ventilation. A qualified Service Experts technician can inspect your home comfort system to determine if this is an issue that should be addressed. The technician can also inform you how to solve the ventilation system’s ability to correctly circulate and ventilate indoor air.
Every person and every home entails a different comfort need. The threshold of irritant and triggers that affect people’s health and comfort combine to determine the proper solutions. High threshold levels may require simple solutions like a better air filter. Low threshold levels may require an air purification system for the reduction of triggers and irritants. With a Home Health Report Card, Service Experts can help you decide which indoor air improvement products are right for you.
According to studies created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to air pollutants indoors can be 100 times higher than outdoors. Frequent dusting and vacuuming can help reduce the amount of dust and dust mites present in your home. However, not all airborne particles can be eliminated. Filtration devices can help eliminate particles that are too small to be caught by a vacuum. Some filtration devices include UV light units, air filters, energy recovery ventilators (ERVs), heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and electronic air cleaners. A Home Health Report Card from our Service Experts will provide the information about which indoor air improvement devices are right for you. To receive a Home Health Report Card and personal air quality consultation, call the Patriot Comfort System Experts at 417.986.8980.
Temperature settings depend on the time of year and your personal preferences. In the summer, the average temperature setting is 75°-80°. In the winter 68°-72° is the norm. Remember, when leaving your house; try to avoid drastic temperature changes. Do not set your temperature back more than 5°; this will cause your unit to work harder to achieve the desired temperature setting.
The frequency of duct cleaning varies depending on the home and the preference of the home owner. Typically, every 5 years is sufficient. There are a few things to consider when thinking about how often to have your ducts cleaned:
- Do you have pets that shed a high amount of hair and dander?
- Do you have smokers in your household?
- If anyone in your household has allergies, you may want to have your ducts cleaned more often.
- If you just moved in to a home, it may be a good idea to have the ducts thoroughly cleaned.
- After a home remodeling, a heavy amount of dust and debris can be generated during a renovation.
A thorough duct cleaning will usually cost $400 to $800 on average, depending on the size of the home. Beware of companies offering cut rate duct cleaning services. This is a well-known bait and switch tactic, and you could end up paying much more than you expected, or the company may not perform a proper duct cleaning. The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about such services.
Here are a few questions you should ask yourself:
- How long do I plan on living in my home? The answer to this question will affect the return on investment of any high efficiency system.
- How concerned am I about my family’s carbon footprint?
- Is having a comfortable home a high priority for me and/or my family?
- Are financing options important to me? R&L Enviorcare has several financing options available with approved credit, helping you make cost effective improvements to your comfort system.
- Does anyone in my family suffer from allergies? If so, you may consider exploring some Indoor Air Quality products such as improved filters, air cleaners, or UV air purifiers.
Of course, like any machine, proper maintenance is important in maximizing the life of your comfort system. We recommend getting a Patriot tune up twice per year. These services are included with our Annual Maintenance Plans.
It is also important to ensure that your comfort system is properly sized for your home when it is installed. Improper sizing can lower the useful life of a comfort system, cause it to run at a lower efficiency level, and reduce the comfort level of your home. Make sure your HVAC contractor does a proper heat loss calculation before they install your system!