North Coventry HVAC
For All of Your Heating, Cooling and Plumbing Needs
(610) 427-3479

When Temperatures Happen - Call Someone You Can Trust!!!

 

Frequently Asked Questions


We try to anticipate questions you might have about our products and services and will provide the answers here. If you need additional information go to our contact us page and ask. 

1.

What regular maintenance do heating and air conditioning systems need?

The most important part of HVAC maintenance aspect is maintaining unrestricted air flows. Dust, dirt, and debris are an HVAC system’s worst enemies. Whether it’s an indoor or outdoor unit, you must keep all filters clean and heat exchangers and coils free of restrictions.

We recommend that your heating and cooling system be checked and serviced twice a year; ideally a spring and autumn tune-up. Also we recommend that you change your filter regularly, depending on the type of filter you have. This alone can eliminate many of the most common problems that need fixing and can significantly reduce the likelihood of a serious breakdown. We have reasonably priced services where the filters are included in the cost of the service. Check out our prices page. 


2.

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 more than ten years 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.


3.

How long can I expect a new unit to last?

If you have a qualified technician,such as the ones at North Coventry HVAC,  perform regular preventative maintenance and service suggested for your unit, industry averages suggest that an air conditioner should last 12-15 years and a gas furnace should last as many as 20-25 years. 


4.

Should I replace 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. 


5.

What is two stage heating?

Two-stage heating means a furnace has two levels of heat output: high for cold winter days and low for milder days. Two-stage furnaces start in the first stage, instead of reaching full capacity all at once. That means there is no sudden blast of air. The low setting meets household heating demands 80% of the time, allowing a two-stage unit to run for longer periods and provide more even distribution of heated air. Because the furnace operates mostly in its lower-capacity first stage, it burns less fuel than a furnace that always runs at full capacity and then has to shut off when the heating demand has been met.


6.

What is the purpose of a heat exchanger?

A heat exchanger is a piece of metal designed to separate the safe warm air that is circulated through your home from the poisonous carbon monoxide gas created during the combustion process when you operate your furnace.


7.

What are some possible causes for cracks in the heat exchanger?

The natural heating and cooling cycles of a furnace can lead to cracks in a heat exchanger. A furnace that is being overworked or stressed is more likely to have a premature breakdown and potential carbon monoxide leak. Dirty air filters, blocked vents, and burners that are not firing properly and disrupting the combustion process can all contribute to the detrimental stress that may lead to cracks in a heat exchanger.


8.

Should I be concerned about carbon monoxide in my home?

Very concerned. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas produced during the combustion of fuels. It’s colorless, odorless, tasteless…and can be lethal. Even trace amounts can impair your brain function and impact your health. Cracks, leaks, obstructions and other malfunctions in your heating system can cause carbon monoxide to develop and accumulate.

Short-term exposure to carbon monoxide usually results in flu-like symptoms: nausea, headaches, dizziness, fatigue. Long-term exposure can eventually lead to unconsciousness or death.

North Coventry HVAC recommends the following to minimize carbon monoxide risk:

  • Keep heating equipment in good repair by scheduling regular inspection and maintenance.
  • Keep furnaces, chimneys and vents free of obstruction. Watch out for birds, squirrels and other animals who sometimes build nests in these areas.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector, available at any home supply store.
  • Periodically open windows in winter to let in fresh oxygen-rich air inside and let out any potential carbon monoxide.
  • If you use an older gas stove or heater, look at the color of the pilot light. The flame should be at least 80 percent blue. If the flame is mostly yellow, it could be producing carbon monoxide, so have the unit checked by a professional immediately. Be sure to tune up your gas system at least once a year.

Today’s modern heating systems burn cleaner than older systems, minimizing or eliminating your risk of carbon monoxide exposure. Contact North Coventry HVAC for more information.


9.

How do I know if my system should be repairs or a new one installed?

Not an easy question to answer, but here are some factors to consider:

  1. The age of the current system. Today, any system that is more than ten years old is probably behind the times in terms of efficiency.
  2. Does the current system provide the level of comfort that you want? There is a growing difference between “builder grade” and consumer choice in what a system can offer in terms of comfort and convenience.
  3. How much will the repairs cost…and how many more repairs will you need in the future? Is keeping an older system operational worth the time, the money and the inconvenience? Sometimes you need to know when to cut bait and say goodbye to your old heater or air conditioner.

At North Coventry HVAC, we can work with you to prepare a side-by-side cost-benefit analysis so that you can compare whether it is more advantageous for you to keep your current system or replace with a newer one.