Your questions answered: HVAC FAQs. No matter what your HVAC questions are, the pros at Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. in Scottsboro have answers. Whether you have questions about choosing new HVAC equipment to best practices on care and maintenance, we can assist. Our online FAQs answers offer a fast response for your convenience, but if you want to know more on any topic, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 256-574-1300. Why does my home comfort system need regular maintenance? Like any product you want to keep in good shape, HVAC equipment requires proper care in order to give you the greatest benefits. Trained technicians can service your heating and cooling products to ensure they’re working at their greatest potential and help prevent more costly repairs in the middle of the hottest or coldest months of the year. Where can I find prices for Lennox products? Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. in Scottsboro can price out individual systems or multiple home comfort products for you. Call 256-574-1300 to hear more. What is two-stage heating? Two-stage heating allows the furnace to heat at two levels of output: high for cold winter days and low for mild ones. About 80 percent of the time, your home’s heating requirements can be met when the furnace is kept on the low setting, allowing your two-stage unit to work for longer periods of time. Two-stage units also provide more even heat distribution, fewer temperature swings, quiet operation, increased air filtration and energy efficiency. What is Precise Comfort™ technology? Precise Comfort™ technology is an operating and control system used in Lennox furnaces. The technology can automatically adjust heat by increments as little as 1 percent, boosting energy efficiency and helping you experience better comfort. Will my new furnace work differently than my old one? Modern furnaces are created with a host of innovative features older furnaces don’t have. Today’s heating systems give you more even heating and are better at governing airflow. Although the air coming out of your vents may seem cooler than your old furnace, the airflow is much better and more efficient. Another bonus of modern furnaces is their ability to work with other HVAC products as part of a high-efficiency whole home comfort system. When combined with a high-efficiency air conditioner, furnace blowers can more easily accommodate add-on cooling. Other innovations, such as Precise Comfort™ technology and variable speed motors, will help your furnace work more efficiently and quieter than ever. What is the energy efficiency standard for air conditioners? The Department of Energy recently boosted the minimum efficiency levels for air conditions, and the standards vary by region. Contact Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. at 256-574-1300 to learn the requirements for the Scottsboro area. How can I reduce my energy costs? Lennox has a variety of HVAC products with high efficiency ratings, which can help reduce the amount of energy they require to work. Aside from selecting products that have received Energy Star® certification or achieved high SEER ratings for air conditioners or AFUE ratings for furnaces, you can consider the following: Maintenance – making certain that your system obtains regular maintenance by a trained expert can keep your system working at its top performance. Zoning – zoning systems enable you to only heat or cool only specific areas of your home, so you won’t have to pay to heat or cool spaces that you don’t usually use. Programmable thermostats – using a programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home based on your schedule. They can be programed to provide the comfort you desire when you’re home, and increase or decrease the temperature while you’re away, helping you save on heating and cooling costs. Why should I buy a Lennox product? There are various reasons to choose Lennox, but the top three are: Lennox is a name you know and trust – known around the world for quality HVAC products, you can rest assured Lennox will provide you with high quality equipment. Innovative and high quality products – Lennox has been on the leading edge of innovation in the heating and cooling industry for years. High quality furnaces, air conditioners and home comfort systems include innovative features to help your home stay more comfortable and energy efficient. Reputation of excellence – high quality products are not the only arena Lennox excels in. Lennox dealers, like Southern Heating & Cooling Inc., give you high quality service at all times, from your first consultation to your scheduled maintenance appointments. How can I improve my home’s indoor air quality? Strategies to improve your indoor air quality can be as basic as vacuuming your home to something as large as adding a new ventilation system. Overall, good IAQ includes four strategies: Eliminate – get rid of the pollutants floating in your air by cleaning your home regularly, particularly vacuuming carpet, washing linens and safely storing household chemicals. Ventilate – make sure your home is well-ventilated to move airborne pollutants out of your home. In newer homes, well-done insulation will hinder ventilation, so Lennox systems such as the Healthy Climate® ventilation system can help. These systems bring fresh air from outside into your home and direct the stale air out. Clean – proper air filters, such as our Healthy Climate® air filters, will make sure the smallest particles don’t get through and are let out into your home. Germicidal lights can kill the germs that do make it through, and purification systems like the PureAir™ will help get rid of odors and chemical vapors. Monitor – keep your humidity levels in check with a programmable thermostat. High temperatures and humidity levels can elevate concentrations of mold, mildew and germs. A programmable thermostat will make sure that your home is comfortable without letting humidity run rampant. How do I know which indoor air quality product will work best for my home? Try using our Healthy Solution Finder, where you can pinpoint the indoor air quality issues that affect your home. After you pick the items that apply, the system will show the IAQ products that meet your needs. You can also call Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. and walk our techs through some of the problems you experience. They can evaluate your home and needs and provide options and explanations. How does an air conditioner work? Most homeowners believe that air conditioners make the air in your home cooler, but it actually removes the heat from inside your home, directing the hot air outside. That hot air goes across a cold indoor coil where refrigerant in the lines sends the heat to the coil in your outdoor unit, releasing it outside. This cycle continues until the indoor temperature reaches the temperature you set on your thermostat. What is the minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners in my state? Due to the increasing amount of energy used by heating and cooling systems, the Department of Energy (DOE) raised the minimum efficiency levels for air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged units manufactured after January 1, 2015. These levels are determined based on region and carry varying requirements based on your location. Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. can answer any questions you may have regarding these minimum requirements and let you know what choices are available when you’re looking for a replacement system. How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my cooling unit? These numbers are located on a nameplate or sticker that is near your system’s service panel. The sticker will be white with black letters and have both of these numbers located near the top of the sticker. M/N stands for model number while S/N is your serial number. What size equipment do I need for my home? There are a few ways to determine what size system will best suit your home, but the most reliable way to determine the right size system is by having your local Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. technician come out and perform a load calculation. This calculation considers your home’s: square footage, insulation value, amount of insulation, and a number of other factors. Can frost, ice, dirt or other debris keep the outdoor unit of my cooling system from operating effectively? The short answer is “Yes,” because dirt and other debris can hinder your system’s ability to work efficiently. For heat pumps, it is common to have frost or ice on them during the winter, but they also are built with defrost controls to ensure they work efficiently in those kinds of weather. What is two-stage cooling? Two-stage cooling means that your cooling unit has two levels of operation. When summer is in its hottest weeks, the high setting is used, and when it’s cooler or more mild, it operates on the low setting. Most of the time, the lower setting can take care of your cooling needs, but even when the high setting is in use, you may not realize it because it can maintain such even temperatures for your comfort. This can also mean a quieter cooling system, greater efficiency and better humidity control. Why is my cooling unit freezing up? Your system could be freezing up for a couple of reasons, but the most typical are dirty filters, low refrigerant, a dirty evaporator coil and/or a faulty blower motor. Changing a filter is something any homeowner take care of; however, you should call the professionals at Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. at 256-574-1300 for other problems or if you have other questions or concerns. What is the best thermostat to use for my cooling system? Identifying the best thermostat for your cooling system comes with a lot of considerations. That’s why it’s nice to have such a big variety of choices from Southern Heating & Cooling Inc.. Whether you’re in the market for for a programmable or non-programmable thermostat or want to join the smart home trend, there are various thermostats that you have to select from. Some thermostats will depend on what type of heating and cooling system you have, but the pros at Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. will be able to help determine what options fit your needs and your budget. What is a heat pump? Heat pumps can be a tad confusing due to their name, but they actually take care of both your heating and cooling needs all year. When it’s hot outside it operates like an air conditioner in that it removes heat from your home, but when it cools off, the process gets reversed and it collects heat from outside and brings it inside. Heat pumps are also very efficient, and might produce up to two or three times more heat than the energy it uses. When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced? Of course we suggest you also replace your indoor system, but this is why: All outdoor cooling systems have a matching indoor unit that they are intended to work with to ensure efficient performance. When they aren’t paired with the other part as a whole system, efficiency may be affected. As with many products, advancements have brought about newer, more efficient ways of doing things. Heating and cooling systems are no different. These developments most importantly include greater heating and cooling efficiency, but also include improved air handling, filtering and noise pollution reduction to name a few. Heating and cooling systems that are more than 10-15 years old usually need to be replaced. Not only do they have outdated technology, but they are also less efficient than newer models. Adding a new indoor unit at the same time means you’ll have a matched system to provide you with even more comfort and efficiency for years to come. How can I tell if my solar HVAC system is performing to its potential? The communication module on your SunSource® Home Energy System sends the system’s performance data for each module to a website. You may visit this website to view the system’s status, energy production and environmental benefits. The site also shows carbon offsets as it happens. Do I need an Internet connection to use the SunSource® communication module? Yes, an Internet connection is needed for you to take advantage of the online monitoring system, which includes seeing energy production and environmental benefit information. The system’s performance-monitoring website is provided by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc., and the monitoring service is provided free for five years. Do I need to clean my solar modules? In most regions, rain will be enough to keep the solar modules clean. If you reside in a dusty or industrial area, periodically spraying the modules with water may help improve performance. However, detergents and high-pressure hoses should never be used to wash solar modules. What is the best thermostat for my heating and cooling system? The right thermostat for you depends on your heating and cooling equipment. Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. has programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats that can help improve the efficiency of your HVAC systems. View our available products or contact us at 256-574-1300 to learn more. How can I control my energy bills? Heating and cooling can make up a significant amount of your utility bill. The innovative and high efficiency heating and air conditioning products available from Lennox® can help decrease these costs. If you’re looking for a new heating and/or cooling system, look for products with high SEER ratings for air conditioners and AFUE ratings for furnaces. SEER and AFUE are a measure of system efficiency, and the higher the number, the more efficient the product. Other than purchasing a new home comfort system, consider these additional factors: 1. Is your equipment regularly maintained? Whether it’s a furnace or air conditioner, HVAC systems will run more efficiently after regular maintenance checks. 2. Do you need a zoning system? If there are areas of your home that are rarely used, a zoning system will allow you to heat or cool only the commonly used parts of your house. 3. Are you using a programmable thermostat? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, programmable thermostats can reduce your heating costs by up to 35 percent, and your cooling costs by up to 25 percent. What are the benefits of zoning systems? Zoning equipment gives you the ability to section off portions of your home and control the temperature differently in each area. Zoning tends to be good for when you have parts of your house that are infrequently used or when you and your family are constantly in disagreement of what the temperature in each area of your home should be. Zoning systems are almost noiseless and efficient, allowing you more control over the comfort of your home. Discover more about the equipment available from Southern Heating & Cooling Inc..