hvac-electric-questions-and-answers-charlottesville

Q&A

What is the SEER rating?

SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) measures the efficiency of your cooling equipment, and it's rated by looking at the energy consumed versus the amount of cool air put out by the equipment: This means you’ll want to look for units with a higher SEER rating since they’re putting out more cool air while using less energy. You can expect a typical SEER to be from 13 to just over 25 SEER.

Why is the SEER rating on the Energy Guide different from what my dealer quoted?

Each split system cooling unit has a nominal SEER rating. This rating can be increased with the upgrade of the same series indoor unit. The SEER rating of a system is derived based on the combination of equipment installed in the home. The outdoor equipment (heat pump or air conditioner), as well as the indoor equipment (evaporator coil and furnace, or air handler), play a vital role in the total rating. Our technicians and service representatives will help you to feel comfortable with your choice of systems and we’ll guide you throughout the process.

What is the HSPF? Why is it important?

The HSPF is the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor; it is basically the heating version of the SEER. The HSPF measures the ratio of heat output over the entire season versus the amount of electricity utilized. The HSPF rating tells you how effectively your heat pump is heating your home. Actually, for our customers, the HSPF rating is even more important than the SEER because, in the Central Virginia area, we use more heat than air conditioning. The benchmark is above/below 70 degrees. So, if the temperature is above 70 degrees, it is considered to be a cooling day. Below 70, is a heating day. Believe it or not, here in Charlottesville, we have more days below 70.

How can I make my bedroom more comfortable? Should I replace my heat pump?

While replacing your heat pump will certainly increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of your system, it may not make your living space more comfortable. Often, the culprit in poorly functioning systems is old or broken ductwork. Ask our technicians and consultants. We can help with that!

Why should I have regular, preventive maintenance? How often should it be performed?

Your heating and cooling systems work hard. The constant stopping, starting, and continual operation can wear down any machine, especially if the proper care and maintenance are delayed. But, regular maintenance can maximize the life-cycles of your heating and cooling units and guard against many common equipment failures. Regular equipment inspections can uncover leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires, and corroded electrical contacts that may escape the naked eye. Regular system maintenance should be performed in order to ensure maximum efficiency and prevent other problems. Let us welcome you to the W.E. Brown family with our Service Partner Plan and we’ll manage your maintenance for you, keeping your home comfort systems running at peak performance. The best news: this spells savings and energy efficiencies for you!

What equipment requires regular preventive maintenance?

Heat pumps, air conditioners, furnaces, and boilers require a professional tuneup twice a year. Our comprehensive inspections on boiler and furnace systems include ductwork, pipes, dampers, valves, the chimney, registers, radiators, pumps, blowers, fuel lines, the gas meter, oil tank, and every part of the actual furnace and boiler. Our heat pump and air conditioning unit inspections also include inspections of the fan, compressor, indoor coils, outdoor coils, line kits, and refrigerant lines.

W.E. Brown gives you the comfort and peace of mind of planned maintenance. It’s simple: regular maintenance prevents problems. And, we offer a subscription service program —our Service Partner Plan —that allows you a headache-free maintenance schedule and two convenient payment options.

I need help troubleshooting a problem with my equipment.

W.E. Brown can help with that! At W.E. Brown, we are troubleshooting experts. And, as your local Carrier, Trane, and Mitsubishi dealer, we have access to another layer of support: A Carrier, Trane, and Mitsubishi network of specialized technicians always available to our team for in-depth service review and problem-solving. And, their factory-supported representatives have answers to the most complex issues. Take comfort in our combined expertise and long history in the field.

What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?

Since they are electronic, programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. With programmable thermostats, you can control the temperature in your home at different times of day without ever touching the thermostat unit, itself. Because everything is automatic, you will never forget to change the setting. Program it once and you’ll be comfy 24/7!

What type of filter should I use? And how often should I replace it?

Standard filters work to keep your system and its duct-work clean, but they don’t really improve indoor air quality. To do that, you need a media filter. The media filter rests between the main return duct and the blower cabinet and will improve dust and particle removal by seven times that of a standard filter. Upgrading to a pleated media filter will remove everything from insecticide dust to airborne viruses from the air. Always choose a filter that matches your blower’s capacity. For optimum efficiency and filtration, we recommend that you replace your disposable filters at least once a month. If you have washable filters, they should be cleaned once a month.

Where can I get parts for my Carrier equipment?

As a Carrier dealer, W.E. Brown is a perfect resource for your current system parts. Give us a call. We are always ready to answer your equipment questions!

Which equipment will best fit my home?

Many factors affect your system choice: square footage, insulation, window surface and configuration, geographic location of your home, and duct sizing and arrangement. W.E. Brown can perform an in-home load analysis to determine which equipment combinations will perfectly suit your home and your family’s needs. Depending upon the construction of your home, one (1) ton of air conditioning can cool anywhere from 300 to 800 square feet of the home. The only way to ensure the size of the system you purchase will be large enough to cool your home, but not any larger than you need, is to have your home’s individual heating and cooling needs professionally evaluated. That’s where we come in. Our licensed professionals at W.E. Brown will determine the system that exactly meets your home’s energy needs.

What does my warranty cover?

Under the standard factory warranty, Carrier covers parts that fail during the warranty period due to defects in the parts. The warranty does not cover labor or materials used for the repair. A warranty certificate was included with your homeowner information packet and is specific to the model numbers, serial numbers, and installation dates of your products. If you cannot find your warranty certificate, W.E. Brown can research and locate that information.

What is the life expectancy of my unit?

We back the best brands. All of our products are among the longest lasting heating and cooling products available. For your specific equipment, there are many variables that affect life expectancy, including, of course, the regularity of routine maintenance. That’s why our Service Partner Program makes so much sense. You change the oil in your car, right?