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Heating, Cooling, Indoor Air Quality & Energy Efficiency FAQs

Providing Answers to All Your HVAC Questions

Do you often wonder about how your heating and cooling systems work? Do you need help in choosing the right size of AC or furnace? Is there something that you could do to prevent certain HVAC issues? These are just some of the most frequently asked questions by customers like you. That is why we have put together this FAQ page so you can get all the answers you need in one place.

For other questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (509) 956-4764. A member of our team would be more than happy to provide you with answers.

How Does an Air Conditioner Work?

Most people think that air conditioners work by distributing cold air throughout your home. In reality, air conditioners work by transferring heat from your indoor air to the outdoor air. Air conditioners extract heat from your home, letting it pass through the refrigerant coil where it is then released into the outside air. This process continues until the thermostat reaches your desired temperature.

What Is Two-Stage Cooling?

An air conditioner with two-stage cooling has two levels of operations: high and low. High is for those hot summer days while low is for milder temperatures. Unlike air conditioners with one-stage cooling or just on and off, two-stage cooling can help you save, especially when using only the low setting. Additionally, air conditioners with two-stage cooling usually run for longer periods and provide a more even indoor climate. The same is true with furnaces or heating systems with two-stage heating.

What Size Equipment Do I Need for My Home?

There are several factors you should take into consideration when choosing the right size of AC or furnace for your home. These factors include the square footage and layout of your house, the insulation value of your window, the amount of insulation in your walls, your duct system, and others. We recommend that you enlist the help of our skilled comfort specialists to help you get the right value on these factors. At Total Comfort Solutions, we are committed to helping you find the heating or cooling system that can give you the highest level of comfort in your home.

What Is a Heat Pump?

A heat pump is a versatile equipment that can heat and cool homes all year round. It works by pulling either hot or cold air from the outside and transferring it inside your home. A highly efficient HVAC system, heat pumps can actually produce up to three times more heat than the energy it uses.

How Can I Confirm The Model And Serial Numbers For My HVAC System?

The model and the serial number of your AC is usually located on the left side of the interior cabinet that is found when you remove the top-front service panel of your AC or furnace. These numbers are usually indicated by M/N or S/N.

Why Is My System Freezing Up?

There are a number of reasons why your system is freezing up. While there are things that you can do to prevent this from happening such as regularly changing your filter, this problem usually requires the expertise of a professional.

Below are some of the most common reasons your system is freezing up:

  • Dirty filter
  • Low refrigerant
  • Dirty evaporator coil
  • Defective blower motor or relay

If your AC or furnace is refusing to budge, make sure to call our Walla Walla-based HVAC technicians right away.

What Do All Those Air Conditioner, Furnace, And Heat Pump Ratings Mean?

Air conditioners have SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), furnaces have AFUE Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, while heat pumps have HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor). They may sound different from each other, but these ratings are all used to measure the efficiency of a heating or cooling equipment. When an AC or furnace has a higher rating, it usually means that they are more energy efficient and can help lower your utility costs. However, this doesn’t mean that selecting the right system should be based on SEER/AFUE/HSPF alone. There are several other factors to consider, and our team would be more than happy to assist you in selecting the right furnace or AC.

What is a Variable Speed Furnace?

A furnace with variable speed means that the indoor blower of the equipment can move at different speeds to control air flow in your home at a more precise pace. When you have better control of your airflow, you consume less electricity, saving you money on your energy bills. Other benefits include improved air quality and humidity control.

What Is Indoor Air Quality?

Indoor air quality is the condition of the air within and around your home, commercial space or other buildings and structures. This is determined by several factors including the amount of pollutants present in your indoor, the humidity level, and proper ventilation. As more and more people are choosing to spend the majority of their time indoors, it is important to ensure that you have good indoor air quality.

What Causes Indoor Air Pollution?

You may think that indoor air pollution is only caused by the usual dust, dirt, smoke, pollens, pet dander, and other particulates in the air. However, other household items we normally use can also contribute to the pollutants in the air such as:

  • Carpeting, upholstery, drapery, and other furniture
  • House paint and other building materials
  • Gas appliances
  • Pesticides and other cleaning and personal products

These everyday household items consistently emit gas or fumes that when ignored can result in poor indoor air quality and affect your health in the long run.

Is There Something I Can Do to Improve the Quality of My Indoor Air?

If you want to remove the pollutants in your home and improve your indoor air quality, there are a number of steps that you can take, including:

  • Storing pesticide, paints, and other chemicals in sealed containers and keeping them outside
  • Vacuuming the carpet at least once a week or more if you have pets inside the house
  • Avoiding scented deodorizers or chemical-based air fresheners
  • Regularly washing and changing the sheets and draperies
  • Making sure your home is properly ventilated or the indoor air can easily circulate
  • Having your HVAC in the Walla Walla Valley inspected regularly

You may also ask your local indoor air quality specialist to test the air in your home for the amount of dust, pollens, and other pollutants present so you can address them properly with air filtration or air purification systems.

Should I Be Concerned About New Energy-Efficiency Standards?

There is nothing to be concerned about the new energy-efficiency standards because these were implemented with homeowners like you in mind. Studies show that heating and cooling systems are the highest contributors when it comes to energy consumption. With new energy-efficient HVAC units such as the Lennox® home comfort systems, you get to reduce your energy costs by almost 33%.

Why Should I Choose an Energy Star Product For My Home?

ENERGY STAR certified products can help you lower your energy costs and save hundreds of dollars per year. ENERGY STAR is a program sponsored by the U.S. government itself to help homeowners and businesses find the most energy-efficient systems. When you see a heating or cooling system with an ENERGY STAR label, it means that it has been recognized for its excellence in energy-efficient performance. At Total Comfort Solutions, we offer a number of ENERGY STAR certified products from one of the leading and trusted brands on the market today, Lennox.

How Can I Control Energy Costs?

Running your HVAC makes up almost half of your energy bills. If you’re still using an old, inefficient furnace or AC for your home, replacing it with an energy-efficient model can significantly reduce your energy costs. You may also want to consider zoning your home so you can have more control over your indoor climate. If it’s not yet time to replace your HVAC, however, a programmable thermostat and regular system maintenance can also go a long way in helping you lower energy costs.

Why Should I Buy A Lennox Product?

Lennox has always been an industry leader when it comes to heating and cooling products. The brand is built on a legacy of firsts, having been the one to introduce the riveted steel furnace in 1895. Today, they continue the legacy with energy-efficient products and technologies that deliver the highest level of comfort in homes and businesses. Lennox® home comfort systems have been tried and tested for years and they remain the most reliable, durable, and advanced HVAC equipment on the market today.

Other reasons for choosing Lennox heating and cooling systems:

  • Four-time winner of the ENERGY STAR® Manufacturing Partner of the Year award
  • Worry-free warranty coverage
  • Unrivaled reputation
  • Dedicated support service

If you have other questions about heating and cooling in Walla Walla, reach out to Total Comfort Solutions at (509) 956-4764!

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