[+]Why should I replace my existing heating or air conditioning system?
You may wish to consider replacing your air conditioning or heating system if it is old, inefficient or in need of repair. Today's systems are as much as 60% more efficient than those systems manufactured as little as ten years ago. In addition, if not properly maintained, wear and tear on a system can reduce the actual or realized efficiency of the system. If you are concerned about utility bills or are faced with an expensive repair, you may want to consider replacing your system rather than enduring another costly season or paying to replace an expensive component. The utility cost savings of a new unit may provide an attractive return on your investment. If you plan on financing the purchase, the monthly savings on your utility bill should be considered when determining the actual monthly cost of replacing a system. The offsetting savings may permit you to purchase a more efficient system.
[+]How expensive are air conditioning and heat pump systems?
Many factors affect the cost of a heating or air conditioning system, including the size of your home, the type and condition of the ductwork installed and accessories you might need such as a thermostat or an electronic air cleaner. We have a complete range of systems and accessories available to meet all your needs, including your financial ones! Your local dealer will be happy to assist you in finding the right system to meet not only your comfort needs but also your household budget.
[+]How do I select the right heating/cooling system?
[+]What is involved in replacing an old system?
Aside from the placement of the new equipment, Pep-Up Inc. will inspect several items and make a determination of whether or not these items need to be supplied or replaced. Some of the items include: ductwork, insulation, refrigerant piping, electrical service, wiring, thermostat, condensate piping, flue piping, flue terminations, chimney liner, slabs, filter, driers, registers, grills, drain pans and evaporator coil.
[+]What is involved in installing a new system?
If a system is being added to the home for the first time, most of the items noted in the previous question and answer may be required to install the new system. Besides the equipment, the most significant component is ductwork. The ductwork can be either metal or fiberglass ductwork. The ductwork needs to be properly sized to deliver the right amount of air to each room. The ductwork consists of supply and return ductwork. The supply duct is attached to the outlet of the furnace or air handler and delivers air to individual zones in your home. Pep-Up Inc. will determine the size of the ductwork going into a space by the amount of air that needs to be delivered to the space.
[+]How long can I expect a new system to last?
If you have a qualified technician perform regular preventative maintenance and service suggested for your unit, industry averages suggest that an air conditioner should last 12-15 years (sea coast applications may be less) and a gas furnace should last as many as 20-25 years.
[+]What are some preventative maintenance things I should be aware of?
With the proper attention, heating and cooling systems can keep you comfortable year-round. Heat pumps and oil-fired furnaces and boilers need a yearly professional tune-up. Gas-fired equipment, on the other hand, burns cleaner and can be serviced every other year. A close inspection will uncover leaks, soot, rust, rot, corroded electrical contacts and frayed wires. In furnace (forced-air) and boiler (hot-water) systems, the inspection should also cover the chimney, ductwork or pipes, dampers or valves, blower or pump, registers or radiators, the fuel line and the gas meter or oil tank - as well as every part of the furnace or boiler itself. Next, the system should be run through a full heating cycle to ensure that it has plenty of combustion air and chimney draft. Finally, cleaning the burner and heat exchanger to remove soot and other gunk will prevent such buildup from impeding smooth operation. For the burner, efficiency hinges on adjusting the flame to the right size and color, adjusting the flow of gas or changing the fuel filter in an oil-fired system. A check of the heat pump should include an inspection of the compressor, fan, indoor and outdoor coils, and refrigerant lines. Indoor and outdoor coils should be cleaned, and the refrigerant pressure should be checked.
Tuning up the distribution side of a forced-air system starts with the blower. The axle should be lubricated, blades cleaned and blower motor checked to ensure the unit isn't being overloaded. The fan belt should be adjusted so it deflects no more than an inch when pressed. Every accessible joint in the ductwork should be sealed with mastic or UL-approved duct tapes. Any ducts that run outside the heated space should be insulated. On a hot-water system, the expansion tank should be drained, the circulating pump cleaned and lubricated and air bled out of the radiators.
While thermostats rarely fail outright, they can degrade over time as mechanical parts stick or lose their calibration. Older units will send faulty signals if they've been knocked out of level or have dirty switches. To recalibrate an older unit, use a wrench to adjust the nut on the back of the mercury switch until it turns the system on and, using a room thermometer, set it to the correct temperature. Modern electronic thermostats, sealed at the factory to keep out dust and grime, rarely need adjusting. However, whether your thermostat is old or young, the hole where the thermostat wire comes through the wall needs to be caulked, or a draft could trick it into thinking the room is warmer or colder than it really is.
A neglected in-duct humidifier can breed mildew and bacteria, not to mention add too much moisture to a house. A common mistake with humidifiers is leaving them on after the heating season ends. Don't forget to pull the plug, shut the water valve and drain the unit. A unit with a water reservoir should be drained and cleaned with white vinegar, a mix of one-part chlorine bleach to eight parts water or muriatic acid. Mist-type humidifiers also require regular cleaning to remove mineral deposits.
Most houses with forced-air furnaces have a standard furnace filter made from loosely woven spun-glass fibers designed to keep it and its ductwork clean. Unfortunately, they don't improve indoor air quality. That takes a media filter, which sits in between the main return duct and the blower cabinet. Made of a deeply pleated, paper-like material, media filters are at least seven times better than a standard filter at removing dust and other particles. An upgrade to a pleated media filter will cleanse the air of everything from insecticide dust to flu viruses. Compressed, media filters are usually no wider than six inches, but the pleated material can cover up to 75 square feet when stretched out. This increased area of filtration accounts for the filter's long life, which can exceed two years. The only drawback to a media filter is its tight weave, which can restrict a furnace's ability to blow air through the house. To insure a steady, strong airflow through the house, choose a filter that matches your blower's capacity.
A maze of heating and air conditioning ducts runs inside the walls and floors of 80 percent of American homes. As the supply ducts blow air into the rooms, return ducts inhale airborne dust and suck it back into the blower. Add moisture to this mixture and you've got a breeding ground for allergy-inducing molds, mites and bacteria. Many filters commonly used today can't keep dust and debris from streaming into the air and over time sizable accumulations can form - think dust bunnies, but bigger. To find out if your ducts need cleaning, pull off some supply and return registers and take a look. If a new furnace is being installed, you should probably invest in a duct cleaning at the same time, because chances are the new blower will be more powerful than the old one and will stir up a lot of dust. Professional duct cleaners tout such benefits as cleaner indoor air, longer equipment life and lower energy costs. Clean HVAC systems can also perform more efficiently, which may decrease energy costs, and last longer, reducing the need for costly replacement or repairs. Cleaning has little effect on air quality, primarily because most indoor dust drifts in from the outdoors. But it does get rid of the stuff that mold and bacteria grow on, and that means less of it gets airborne, a boon to allergy sufferers.
[+]Should I change my indoor coil?
When replacing your air conditioner or heat pump, the answer is most likely yes. The efficiency ratings that are advertised for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on the performance as part of a matched system. If only the outdoor portion is changed, the efficiency and savings could be less than that of a matched system.
[+]Where do I get replacement parts?
Contact Pep-Up Inc. for help obtaining replacement parts
[+]What is covered in my warranty?
Most products come with a written limited warranty on parts. This warranty states that a replacement part will be furnished for any part of the product that fails in normal use and service during the applicable warranty period specified in accordance with the warranty's terms. Pep-Up Inc. can review with you the warranty periods for the products you select.
[+]DO YOU HAVE NO HEAT?
If your heat is not working, run through this check list to troubleshoot your problem. 1. Is the thermostat set at least 5 degrees higher than the current room temperature? If not, set it up higher and see if the heat comes on. Give it a minute after you turn it up. You may not notice it right away. 2. If it is set up, then check to see if the system's power switch and/or emergency on/off switch is turned on. If it is off, then turn it on and see if the heat comes on. 3. If it is turned on, then next check the circuit breaker. It is common for the circuit breaker switch to trip off. If it was off, turn it on and see if the heat comes on. It is located in a grey metal box with other switches. It should be labeled Furnace or Boiler. 4. If it was on, do you know if you have plenty of fuel (oil or propane)? Has it been a long time since you had a delivery? If you are able to check your tank, it should be more than 1/8th full for oil and for propane above 0%. If you know or suspect you are out of oil or propane, then call our local office for a delivery. If it is after hours you will have the opportunity to leave a message for service for the next business day or an emergency call back. Please be clear and leave a phone number with area code. Someone will be paged to return your call, typically in 30 minutes or less. 5. If you have plenty of oil, then try pushing the reset button. It is a little red button located on the control of the furnace. If your system does not start up and run after you push it once, DO NOT PUSH IT AGAIN. Pushing it again may cause too much oil to flood into the combustion chamber and could result in injury and/or damage. If your system still has not started up and run after all these steps, then call our local office for service. If it was off on reset, it may still have a problem that needs to be addressed. (it may save a night weekend call but may not solve the problem permanently)