4 Questions to Ask During Furnace Maintenance

Questions to Ask During Furnace Maintenance

Wouldn’t it be nice to ask questions of professionals, knowing you would get an honest response without it costing anything? That is why websites have Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages. Here are some furnace maintenance questions that you might want to ask HVAC professionals, with honest replies.

What is the appropriate temperature for a home?

Family members often have sharp disagreements about comfortable temperatures in both winter and summer months. Online sources disagree just as sharply since comfort is personal and unique to each person.

  • The U.S. Department of Energy recommends a range between 68 degrees and 78 degrees. However, they recommend 68 degrees for the wintertime and 78 degrees for summertime temperatures. Neither of these temperatures is likely agreeable to most of your family members.
  • Temperatures higher than 80 degrees are hot enough to damage drywall finishes during heating or cooling season.
  • Temperatures below 55 degrees are likely to result in frozen water lines during the winter.
  • Comfort seems to lie between 72- and 76 degrees year-round; a narrower temperature lies in personal preferences.
  • Programmable thermostats can help. Temperatures can be scheduled to enhance comfort.

We just endured a pandemic; what can be done to improve indoor air quality, especially concerning bacteria and viruses?

This is a good question, and the answer is—there are several good options for indoor air quality.

  • Change your air filter regularly, at least every three months.
  • HVAC air filters capture most airborne particles; the percentage of particles captured is determined by particle size and filter openings. Filters rated MERV 8 capture about 90% of particles. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the openings in the filter and the higher the percentage captured.
  • Check with HVAC specifications to determine proper ratings since filters with extremely small openings may restrict airflow and interfere with heating and cooling functions.
  • In addition, system modifications can neutralize and eliminate biological particles from the air. Ultraviolet lights can be installed inside the ductwork. UV lights disrupt cell walls, destroying pollen, mold, bacteria, and virus cells.
  • Your HVAC professional may have further recommendations for your unique setting.

Be honest: is annual furnace maintenance really necessary?

This is a just question, and the correct answer might seem a little self-serving, but the answer is—yes, indeed, it is necessary.

  • Everyone involved in this industry agrees that annual maintenance is needed. Individual components and the function of the whole are thoroughly tested and cleaned.
  • While you might question the wisdom of HVAC maintenance, you probably insist on regular maintenance on vehicles: regular oil and filter changes and the replacement of brakes or tires. Maintenance functions in the same way for an HVAC system.

Why are HVAC ratings so complicated?

Let’s look at what the ratings mean.

  • Furnaces are rated by the Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. An AFUE rating measures how much energy is converted to heat by a furnace. Natural gas furnaces capture energy in a range of 90 and 98.5% of the available energy. Electric furnaces capture 100% of the energy in electricity. Hopefully, this is understandable.
  • Air conditioners are rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating or SEER. It is a complicated rating since it measures efficiency during normal temperatures and extreme hot snaps, daytime heat, and the cool of summer evenings. Efficiency is measured and averaged. The higher the number, the greater the efficiency. All new systems will have a SEER rating higher than 15 in Texas.
  • Heat pumps used for heating are rated by the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF), which, like the SEER rating, captures efficiency over an entire season. All heat pump systems will have an HSPF between 8 and 9.

Call the Furnace Maintenance Experts at All Cool AC!

Schedule your Furnace Maintenance consultation by calling All Cool AC & Heating at 281-238-9292 or contact us via email and let our NATE-certified HVAC Repair technicians put their experience to work for you.