Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort system?

Would you buy a new car, boat,or even a new home and expect to never have to change the oil and check out any unusual noises, would you? Well, in the same way it is important to have regular inspections of your heating and air conditioning systems by a qualified technician. The better you take care of your home and all that it contains the longer it will last and grow in value over the years and thats money in your pocket.

If not maintained properly, even the best equipment could cause problems and thats money out of your pocket.


What does (BTU) stand for ?

British Thermal Unit. This is the amount of heat it takes to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. For your home, it represents the measure of heat given off when fuel is burned for heating or the measure of heat extracted from your home for cooling.


What does (AFUE) stand for ?

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. A measure of a gas furnace's efficiency in converting fuel to energy ­ the higher the rating, the more efficient the unit. For example: A rating of 90 means that approximately 90 percent of the fuel is used to provide warmth to your home, while the remaining 10 percent escapes as exhaust.

This doesn't mean that you should only look for a furnace with the highest AFUE rating. The efficiency rating is just one factor to consider when looking at a new furnace.

Furnaces use electricity to run fans and motors. The amount of electricity used varies greatly depending on the type of furnace. Be sure to check electricity usage prior to making a purchase decision.

There are several important factors to consider when making a purchase decision. Payback is a big factor. For instance, if you live in a colder climate, you could see payback in a few short years. But in a more moderate climate, it could take longer. In this case you may consider purchasing a mid-efficiency furnace. Remember, after the payback, you will continue to save money on your energy bills.

Other considerations are how long you plan to live in your house, special comfort needs, fuel availability and fuel cost.

All these factors, plus your lifestyle and family needs, add up to show you which furnace is best for you.


What does S.E.E.R. stand for?

S.E.E.R. is the abbreviation for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This is the method used to rate the efficiency of air conditioning and heat pump condensing units. The S.E.E.R. system of rating assigns a number to correspond with the efficiency level of the unit. The standard efficient unit is rated at 10 S.E.E.R. The next "step up" in the efficiency rating system would be a 12 S.E.E.R. unit. This system was developed by the federal government in cooperation with manufacturers to aid in energy conservation.


What does H.S.P.F. stand for?

Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. This rating is used in measuring the heating efficiency of a heat pump. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit.


What should I know about changes in refrigerants?

A chemical that produces a refrigerating effect while expanding and vaporizing. Most residential air conditioning systems contain R-22 refrigerant. R-22 is regulated by international controls under the Montreal Protocol and in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency. It is scheduled to be in production until the year 2020. It's used in approximately 95 percent of air conditioning equipment manufactured in the U.S. today.

To protect our environment, numerous changes have taken place with refrigerants used in air conditioning and heat pump systems. These changes are having and will continue to have a significant impact on the air conditioning industry.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the Clean Air Act, is regulating the production and use of refrigerants. These changes will eventually eliminate air conditioning and heat pump refrigerants containing chlorine because of the concern about depletion of the ozone layer.

In response, , Boswell Plumbing & Heating is offering consumers a choice in environmentally friendlier refrigerants. The chlorine-free refrigerant R410A will reduce damage to the ozone. R410A is used by most all manufacturers but is often marketed under different names.

Providing products that protect the environment and providing consumers with a total home comfort solution have been and will continue to be priorities of Boswell Plumbing & Heating. Our products that use the environmentally friendlier R410A refrigerant are win-win solutions for consumers wanting high-efficiency products that are less taxing on our environment.

Although the government has begun phasing out a commonly used refrigerant, consumers who have cooling systems that use this product should not worry. The HCFC family of refrigerants, which include R22, will still be available for many years. Sufficient quantities of R22 refrigerant will continue to be produced until the year 2020. After 2020, recycled refrigerants will be available for many years.


What is Puron or Prozone refrigerants?

Both Prozone and Puron refrigerant replaces R-22 with proven efficiency and comfort. R-22 will slowly cease to be produced. The advent of these gasses were brought on by the environmental concerns and the effect of R-22 on our environment. Refrigerant and HVAC equipment manufactures collaborated to produce a refrigerant that was environmentally friendly. The result was Prozone and Puron refrigerants. Very soon, you will be faced with a decision about your comfort. As the costs associated R-22 rise and supplies of the refrigerant are reduced, you will need to either continue servicing your current systems, or you can improve your home's comfort and energy efficiency with a unit using the environmentally sound refrigerant.

Puron, Prozone are the long-term solution for environmentally sound heating and cooling. And it's a refrigerant we've been using quite successfully.


How does an air conditioner work?

An air conditioner seems as if it cools your home’s air, but in reality an air conditioner makes your home less warm by removing heat from the indoor air and transferring that heat to the outdoor air.

Heat is extracted from the home by passing indoor air across a refrigerant coil in the indoor unit. Refrigerant lines then carry the heat to the outdoor unit, where it is released into the outside air. The cooling cycle continues until the indoor temperature reaches the thermostat setting.


What is a heat pump?

Heat pumps are often misunderstood or not understood at all. Because of this, you may not realize that there may be a better heating and cooling option than a furnace or air conditioner.

A heat pump is an efficient method of cooling your home in the summer and warming it in the winter. Although heat pumps are new to many people, they have been around for over three decades.

Although its name is a little misleading, a heat pump is an efficient method of heating a home during the cold winter months and also cooling it during the blistering summer months.

A heat pump looks like an air conditioner, but that’s only the outside appearance. It actually has two functions based on the same principles for both. In warm weather situations, the heat pump works as a normal air conditioner. It extracts heat from inside the home and transfers it to the outdoor air. In colder weather, however, the process reverses, collecting heat from the outdoor air and transferring it inside your home.

Even when the air outside feels extremely cold, the air still contains some heat. The heat pump pulls the heat from this cold outdoor air and sends it inside to warm your home. When there is not enough heat in the outside air to meet the demand of the thermostat setting, an electric heater supplements the outdoor air to warm the home.

While many people find the winter operation of a heat pump the most difficult to understand, it is during the heating cycle that the heat pump produces the most savings. Unlike a furnace that turns fossil fuel or electricity into heat, the heat pump collects heat that already exists in the outdoor air by means of its refrigeration cycle. Consequently, a heat pump will produce two to three times more heat than the energy it uses.

In addition, a heat pump can be an effective add-on option to use in conjunction with an existing gas furnace. With a dual-fuel system, the two systems share the heating load but never function at the same time. Each system operates when it is most cost effective. The heat pump will be the primary heating and cooling system. However, when the temperature drops below the heat pump’s ability to operate as efficiently as the gas furnace, the gas furnace will take over until the temperature rises enough for the heat pump to operate more efficiently.


Why is my system freezing up?

There are several things that can cause your HVAC system to freeze up. Most need to be corrected by a service professional.

Making sure the filter is clean or replaced and making sure the airflow is not restricted all vents and dampers in the proper position, 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. You will need to us 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 will need to contact us 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, switch the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, Then call for service 229-4890


If I need service, what will it cost?

Our labor rate is competive in the service industry. We can typically diagnose and fix many problems with-in the first hour. We provide pricing before any major repair. Just call 229-4890


What is Indoor Air Quality?

Air pollution surrounds us daily…car exhaust, smog, indoor air. Indoor air? Yes, indoor air quality is important to your health. Your exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. The American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors. So clean indoor air is very important


Should I repair or replace my old system?

Making the decision to either repair your old heating and cooling system or replace it with a new system is not easy. Understanding that each situation is different, we encourage homeowners to consider several questions before making the decision.

How old is the heating and or air conditioning? If your equipment is more then 10 years old it may be wiser to replace your unit with a newer, more efficient equipment. The benefit to this is lower energy costs to operate your equipment.
What is the overall condition of your equipment? If your system is in great condition and you don't experience frequent breakdowns, it may be wiser to repair your system. If your system breaks down often you should consider replacement.
How often is your system operating? If your system has been used extensively, it may be time to replace it.
Are you planning to move soon? If you are moving in the next year or so, replacing your old system could add value to the house.
These are just rough guidelines to aid you in your decision to repair or replace your existing system. When the time comes to replace your system we can provide the information you will need to make an informative choice.


How do I get pricing to replace my system?

We provide no cost surveys to help you replace your existing system. I will be pleased to meet with you at your convenience. Simply call 229-4890 to schedule a time,


Have a question that is not shown here?
call 229-4890 and I will be happy to help.

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