HEATING AND COOLING - FAQ - PUYALLUP
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. How do I choose an HVAC contractor?
A. Choosing the right contractor is probably the most important decision you have to make. A professional contractor is trained to properly assess your situation, make a good recommendation and will be sure to properly size your equipment for optimal performance. Some of the biggest issues home owners have can be traced back to improperly sized equipment and improper installation. Look for a contractor that is bonded, licensed and has credentials for training.
Q. Should I Repair or Replace my current HVAC system?
A. While many of the "costs" associated with your current comfort system may be intangible (reliability problems, uneven temperatures, excessive noise, lack of comfort, etc.), some homeowners may focus more on the hard costs associated with repair vs. replacement. Here are some consideration: :
- Furnaces lose approximately 1% of their efficiency for every year of operation. So, if your 15-year-old furnace was 80% efficient when it was installed, it may only be 65% efficient now. Furnaces 15-20 years old or more were typically only 65%-75% efficient when they were installed.
- Most air conditioners and heat pumps installed before January 2006 cost up to 20% more to operate than today's LOWEST efficiency models. Purchasing a higher efficiency model can generate even greater energy savings.
- The cost of repair today may not be your only repair cost in the near future. Often, as comfort systems age, you will find yourself making multiple repairs in a short period of time to address component failures. When deciding whether to repair or replace, use the cost to FULLY RESTORE your comfort system in addition to likely future repairs as your basis for comparison, not just the cost of today's required repair.
Q. How do I know what size unit our house needs?
A. Let your contractor help you with that. He will know how to understand your unique situation. They will do a heat load analysis and a proper evaluation of your home which will include the size and structure of the house, climate, air infiltration, the number and type of windows installed, insulation, appliances, and even the number of people and pets living in the house. Over-sizing equipment is a common problem that should be avoided. A trained contractor will make sure to avoid this.
Q. How do I understand efficiencies?
A. he U.S. government requires an efficiency rating of all air conditioning and heating equipment. The rating reflects the percentage of energy used efficiently, with higher ratings indicating higher efficiency.
AFUE – Gas heating appliances are rated according to their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency; the higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient the unit. The minimum rating for Energy Star compliance is 90 AFUE. The highest efficiency furnaces will exceed 95 AFUE.
SEER - Air conditioning equipment is rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER; the higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit. The minimum rating for Energy Star compliance is 14 SEER. The highest efficiency air conditioners can meet or exceed 20 SEER.
HSPF - Heat pump equipment in the heating mode is rated by the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF; the higher the HSPF rating, the more efficient the unit. The minimum rating for Energy Star compliance is 8.2 HSPF. The highest efficiency heat pumps will meet or exceed 9 HSPF.
Q. How much will a new heating and cooling system cost?
A. Cost depends on the type of system you want, size of the system required, and condition of the work area, ductwork, and other factors affecting the installation. We can give you an exact price after a meeting with one of our consultants.
For additional questions, please contact us at: 253-864-7109.