FAQs

How can I find the system that’s right for me?
There are many heating and air conditioning systems to choose from today. By contacting Northeast Heating & Cooling, you have access to a vast degree of heating and air conditioning knowledge and experience to help you decide on the system that best fits your specific needs. The size and age of your home, number of rooms in your home, climate, location, utility costs, degree days and utility incentive rebate programs are all factors to be considered when selecting a new system. Northeast Heating & Cooling will discuss all of these factors with you when assisting you in choosing the best system for your home.

How do I determine the size, or capacity, of my HVAC system?
Factors affecting the size of your new system include the climate in your region, humidity levels, the number of windows in your dwelling, total square footage of your home, the direction your home faces, the number of heat-producing appliances in your home, the type of insulation you have and the number of people that live in your residence. Making sure that you have an HVAC system that is the correct size for your home is very important. Northeast Heating & Cooling can perform the proper calculations to determine the correct heating or cooling unit size for your home and lifestyle.

What goes into installing a new system?
Installing a new system is similar to installing an old system. Most of the items listed below in “What happens when I replace my old system?” will also be installed with a new system. Beyond equipment, the most important component installed with a new system is the ductwork.

Ductwork is composed of two parts, supply and return. Supply duct is attached to the outflow of the new system, delivering air to each zone in a home. The amount of air reaching each zone is determined by the size of supply ductwork connecting it to your system. We will help you determine the size of all the supply ductwork in your home. The second part of the ductwork, the return duct, attaches to the inlet of the new system and draws air out of the spaces to be heated or cooled. Attached to the return duct is the filter. The filter should be placed as near to the furnace or air handler as possible. Ductwork can be either fiberglass or metal and must be properly sized in order to evenly distribute the proper amount of air to each room.

What happens when I replace my old system?
To install the most efficient HVAC system in your household, your installation contractor should first perform a detailed inspection. The inspection by your contractor should include, as a minimum, the inspection of your home’s ductwork, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil.

How long will my system last?
Maintenance and service play a key role in the lifecycle of a heating or air conditioning system. If all recommended maintenance and service actions are taken, it is believed that an air conditioner should last 12-15 years and a gas furnace should last from 20 to 25 years.

Do I need to change my indoor coil?
It is generally a good idea to replace the indoor coil if you are also replacing your air conditioner or heat pump. There is a correlation between the efficiency of your heating or cooling system and the performance of the indoor coil. So when you change the outdoor side of the system, you should also change the interior side of the system as well in order to maximize the efficiency and savings potential of the total system.

Where can I locate my air handler or furnace system?
The system can actually be located in several different places. A system with up-flow application might be located in the basement, while a system with a horizontal application may be found in your attic. A self-contained, or single package unit, could be located outside on a slab or on the roof. Your garage could house an up-flow, down-flow or horizontal application system.

What is a heat pump?
A heat pump is a device used for both the heating or cooling of a space by transferring hot and cold between two reservoirs. A heat pump can act like an air conditioner, transferring heat from inside to out, or like a heater as it transfers exterior heat to the interior. A winter day with a temperature of 32º Fahrenheit still produces enough heat to warm a space when the air is transferred by heat pump.

What can I do to control the humidity levels in my home?
Humidity levels can be reduced by installing a variable - speed air handling system in your home. Variable-speed units run longer and at lower speeds, allowing air to constantly circulate against the cooling coil and remove more moisture. Variable-speed motors also use less electricity than regular motors, reducing your energy costs.

What can I do before calling someone to service my system?
Professional service calls can be costly, but there are some things you can do before hiring a professional to inspect your system:

  • Disconnect your indoor and outdoor switches.
  • Make sure your circuit breakers are in the ON position.
  • Make sure your filters are clean.
  • Open supply and return vents and make sure they are unobstructed.
  • Double check both indoor and outdoor disconnect switches.
  • Check the settings on your thermostat.
    • Make sure the system switch is on the appropriate COOL or HEAT setting.
    • Have the FAN switch on for a continuous vent.

What is AFUE?
AFUE is the abbreviation for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio. AFUE is used to rate furnace efficiencies by dividing the ratio of heat output by heat input. This measurement describes how efficiently fuel, gas or oil is consumed to produce heat by a furnace. As the AFUE rate increases, the efficiency of your furnace also increases, lowering your fuel costs. Furnaces manufactured in the United States are required to have at least an 80% AFUE.

What is HSPF?
HSPF is the abbreviation for the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This factor rates the efficient operation of the heating portion of the heat pump. As the HSPF increases, the unit functions at a more efficient level. New units in the United States have HSPF ratings from 7.0 to 9.4.

What is Freon R-22?
R-22 is the common name for hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). R-22 has been used as a refrigerant by HVAC manufacturers for over 40 years, but studies in the past decade have shown that the chlorine in HCFCs contribute to ozone depletion. For this reason, the United States Clean Air Act has set a target date for January 1, 2010, on which HVAC manufacturers must cease the manufacture of products that use R-22.

What is R-410A?
R-410A is the common name for an emerging hydro-fluorocarbon (HFC) that is being used as a refrigerant in the HVAC industry. At the beginning of 2010, HVAC manufacturers will be required to use a refrigerant other R-22 in their products. R-410A is more environmentally friendly than R-22 and is seen by the industry as the most likely replacement for R-22.

Why is my system freezing up?
There are several things that can cause your system to freeze up.
Making sure the filter is clean or replaced and making sure the airflow is not restricted are about the only things you can check or handle yourself.

  • Low refrigerant:
    In some cases, freezing up is caused by a leak in the refrigerant lines. Weak solder joints, friction from piping rubbing or vibrating against an object, leaking valves or loose fittings can cause leaks. The age of the system and the nature and location of the leak are the determining factors on whether to have the system repaired or replaced.
  • Dirty evaporator coil:
    Over time, the evaporator coil will become dirty. When this happens, the results are similar to those of having a dirty filter. Gradually you will lose airflow, slowly enough that you probably would not realize it until it freezes up or is not cooling adequately. Contact Northeast Heating & Cooling to correct the problem.
  • Defective blower motor or relay:
    A blower motor not running at the proper speed or not running at all can cause freezing. It can also be intermittent, starting at full speed and slowing down after it heats up. Or a relay could cause it to start one time and not the next. In either case, you can contact Northeast Heating & Cooling to correct the problem.Should you find that your system was freezing due to a dirty filter, after replacing or cleaning the filter, you can speed up the thawing process by turning the system off and turning on the fan. If you have a heat pump system, you can try turning the system to heating mode until the ice has melted. After the ice has melted, contact Northeast Heating & Cooling to diagnose and correct the problem.

How can I control energy cost?
With energy costs soaring, there are a variety of steps you can take to cut the expenses of cooling your home.
Cooling and heating equipment use more energy than any other appliance. This inevitably shows up every month on the energy bill, but it’s important to remember that energy costs can be controlled.

Maintenance:
One step to control energy costs is to schedule annual maintenance checks to make sure your unit is running properly and efficiently. Most home comfort systems require very little owner maintenance. However, operating dirty heating or cooling equipment can result in unnecessary loss of efficiency and can damage the unit. You play a vital role in making sure your system continues to operate at peak performance.

High Efficiency:
If you are in the market for a new home comfort system, consider purchasing a high-efficiency system. They can help reduce your energy costs as well as conserve our natural resources. When selecting a new home comfort system, pay close attention to the SEER rating of the air conditioner and the AFUE of the furnace. The higher the SEER or AFUE, the higher the savings.

Programmable Thermostats:
Programmable thermostats can make a big difference in energy consumption. These thermostats deliver maximum comfort, efficiency and energy savings. Programmable thermostats are used to achieve the temperature you want throughout your home. For example, if you’re going to be away, you can set the whole house at an energy-saving temperature to avoid heating or cooling an empty house. You can then program them to have your living areas comfortable by the time you arrive back home.

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