Here Are the Questions to Ask Your HVAC Technician

Anytime an HVAC technician is at your house to perform an installation, repair, or maintenance services, you have an opportunity to learn more about your heating and cooling system as well as how to best use it to lower energy consumption and save money on utility bills. Searching for answers on the internet isn’t always helpful, as HVAC system terminology can be confusing to some. Use this appointment to gain advice and clarification from professional HVAC technicians, as heating and air conditioning companies aim to be an informative resource for Louisville area customers.

Your next service visit is the perfect time to ask your HVAC technician for advice on all things heating and cooling, like how to boost indoor air quality, the best temperature to set on your thermostat when running the furnace or air conditioner, what’s included in the HVAC company maintenance plan, and ways to lower your gas and electric bills using your comfort systems. Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing explains a few questions to ask when your HVAC pro is on the job in your home, so you can gather the information you need.

Choosing the Best Temperature for Heating and Cooling

If summer or winter utility bills are high and you’re looking for ways to save money on your bill, strategic use of your thermostat can help you accomplish this! The temperature settings you prefer may keep you comfortable, but they’re not always the best choice if you want to save energy.

The questions to ask an HVAC technician who comes to call should focus on the best thermostat settings for the season and ways to set your thermostat throughout the day to generate energy savings.

  • Recommended settings for best energy efficiency are 78 degrees for cooling and 68 degrees for heating.

  • Setback periods when you are out of the house or overnight also reduce use of your furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner to lower your utility bills. Increasing or decreasing the temperature (raise it when using your cooling system and lower it when heating the home) by 7 to 10 degrees for a period of at least 8 hours can cut energy costs by as much as 10% if you do it regularly.

  • Using a programmable or smart thermostat can further assist you as you work to conserve energy. These controls make it easy to set different changes throughout the day so you stay comfortable when home and take advantage of all opportunities to save.

More Ways to Save Energy

Setting the ideal temperature for the season on your thermostat and utilizing setback periods are great ways to conserve energy and reduce the hefty utility bills that come in the thick of heating and air conditioning season. To further reduce the use of your heating and cooling systems and save money, you’ll gain the most benefit by controlling the heat loss and gain inside your home.

Preventing sources from adding or removing heat to your living areas minimizes the difference in temperatures of your preferred settings and the current temperature of indoor air – the larger that number, the more work your air conditioning unit or furnace must do, consuming more energy. To lower the use of air conditioners in the summer, you want to prevent adding heat; in the winter, you want to help your household in as much heating as possible.

Questions to ask when you talk to your HVAC technician include strategies that will work in your household. Typically, suggestions could include:

  • Reducing energy loss through the process of air sealing in duct systems, around doors and windows, and in other areas of the structure that are notorious for this problem.

  • Installing energy-efficient window coverings as well as opening them to gain solar energy in the winter and closing them to block direct sunlight and solar heating gain in the winter.

  • Avoiding activities that add heat to the home during the hottest times of the day during summer, like showering and using the oven.

Air Quality Concerns

HVAC technicians have a great deal of job training and experience to address issues that impact air quality in the home using the HVAC system. They are able to determine if problems exist and propose equipment solutions that work with your HVAC unit to effectively address them. Common issues faced by Louisville homeowners currently include high humidity, excess dust, mold growth, and increased exposure to allergens in the air.

During a visit from your HVAC technician, let this professional know you are experiencing issues. Ask about the types of equipment that could be installed alongside your heating and air conditioning system to address them. One or more of the following types of indoor air quality (IAQ) equipment will be recommended – the specific issues you face will determine the best solutions to install in your home.

  • Replacing a standard disposable air filter with a high-efficiency filter could better address particle pollution issues in your air supply. Though the air filter is primarily meant to remove dust and other particles from the air as a means of protecting the delicate parts inside your HVAC system equipment, IAQ inside the home naturally benefits as well. Your HVAC technician will typically recommend upgrading to an air filter with an efficiency between MERV 8 to 12, as an air filter with a higher efficiency than that can cause airflow problems that damage your heating unit or air conditioner.

  • Install a whole home dehumidifier to extract excess moisture from the air. This equipment pulls water vapor out of the airflow circulating through your HVAC system.

  • A heating and air conditioning company may install an air cleaner or air purifier to give your HVAC system better filtration capabilities. A UV light air purifier can also neutralize potentially harmful microorganisms like mold spores and viruses so they cannot spread throughout the house or cause infections.

Air Conditioning and Heating System Maintenance Plans

Most heating and air conditioning companies offer maintenance plans to help customers care for air conditioners as well as the home’s heating unit. Joining a maintenance plan usually offers the customer opportunities to save money on the cost of hiring a professional when additional HVAC services are warranted throughout the year, such as repair for an HVAC unit or installation services for new air conditioning systems.

Before joining a maintenance plan, post these questions to your HVAC technician:

  • How is membership cost billed? Some companies bill the entire cost once per year while others take monthly or quarterly payments for smaller portions of the cost.

  • Maintenance plans typically cover annual heating and air conditioning tune-ups, which will be one for your air conditioner and one for your furnace or boiler, or two for a heat pump system that both heats and cools the house. Most companies follow similar steps during a tune-up but feel free to ask about the specific maintenance tasks that are included in both tune-ups.

  • What other benefits are included with maintenance plan membership? Depending on the perks your company offers, you stand to save a decent amount of money when hiring HVAC services as a customer with a maintenance membership. Your maintenance membership may allow you to request an emergency repair job appointment without paying the extra cost of this service, waive the cost of diagnostic testing when you have repairs made, or get a discount on buying new HVAC systems for installation.

Uncovering Ductwork Issues

Most homes currently suffer from duct system issues without even knowing it. It’s hard for the average customer to determine if leaks and other problems are present when ducts are hidden in areas that are not easily accessible. HVAC technicians have the job training and skills needed to determine if your duct system leaks air, has a disconnection, or suffers from poor system design.

When you ask about duct problems, your heating and air conditioning company will tell you the signs you need to know and watch out for. These could include:

  • You notice more dust settling around the house, and dust accumulates faster after cleaning.
  • Airflow from one vent or all vents in a certain area is weak or nonexistent even though your heater or AC unit is running.
  • The air indoors feels extra humid and muggy.
  • You have hot and cold spots throughout the house.
  • Your utility bills are higher than usual without a clear cause.

When you contact a company, these signs can help them determine if your ductwork needs to be checked. Sealing ducts eliminates energy loss currently faced by many homeowners unknowingly. Installation of new ductwork may be needed if a section of the system is damaged. If the ductwork is old and deteriorating or the original system design hinders the efficiency of heating and air conditioning systems, it may be necessary to have all new ducts installed.

Brand Warranties for System Installation

When you contact a company to set an installation service appointment for a new, higher efficiency, or replacement HVAC system, ask the technician questions about the brand warranty that covers the new heating or cooling system. Installation service usually provides customers with two forms of warranty coverage once the job is all said and done – the brand or manufacturer’s warranty and a warranty for labor service from the company.

Sometimes, the brand warranty can be a bit confusing to set up, so ask questions such as:

  • What personal information does the customer need to provide the brand to register the warranty?
  • What is the company’s license number?
  • Where can the serial number of the unit be found?
  • How soon after installation must the warranty be registered with the brand?
  • Does the brand allow the warranty to be transferred, and what is required to do so?
  • What is covered by the warranty should the system need future repairs?
  • What terms must be fulfilled on the customer’s end to maintain the warranty?

The manufacturer’s warranty usually covers new parts if repairs are needed due to defective components for a certain period of years following system installation. This warranty typically does not cover the cost of labor to perform these repairs. If your system ends up needing repairs due to a labor problem that occurred during installation, the labor warranty from the installation company covers these services.

HVAC Service in Louisville

Jarboe’s Heating, Cooling & Plumbing provides any HVAC service you may need for your Louisville home. A friendly technician will answer any questions you may have about the service as well as other aspects of your system, such as improving energy efficiency and how to best care for it. Call us today to schedule a service appointment.

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