News

What if I smell gas?

Propane (LP) gas:  You have this type if your gas comes from a tank located outside close to your house.  Propane is stored as a liquid under pressure in tanks and cylinders. In most residential applications, propane is used as a vapor. When liquid propane changes into a gas vapor, it expands in volume. This means that even a small leak of liquid propane can result in a much larger quantity of propane vapor, which can be especially dangerous in a confined space. A chemical odorant has been added to propane to give it a distinct smell. Learn to identify this odor. Propane gas is heavier than air, so it will sink to the floor and spread.  To check for the presence of propane, carefully smell all over a room, especially in low spots.

If you smell propane (LP) gas:

  • Exit your home immediately.
  • Propane gas can ignite easily. Do not light a match, start an engine, use a cell phone, or do anything that may create a spark.
  • From a safe area, contact your propane supplier and call 911.
  • If you are able, shut the propane gas supply off at the tank.
  • Stay away from your home until you’ve been told that it is safe to return.

Natural gas:  You have this type if you have a gas meter and pay a natural gas supplier or utility.  A chemical odorant has been added to natural gas to give it a distinct smell. Learn to identify this odor.

If you smell natural gas:

  • Exit your home immediately.
  • Do not light a match, start an engine, use a cell phone, or do anything that may create a spark.
  • From a safe area, contact your gas company or call 911.
  • If you are able, turn the gas off at the meter.
  • Stay away from your home until you’ve been told that it is safe to return.

Can carbon monoxide build up in my home?

Yes. Each year, carbon monoxide kills more than 200 Americans and sends nearly 5,000 more to emergency rooms for treatment, reports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Where does it come from? When carbon-based fuels such as gas, oil, kerosene or wood burn, they produce gases. When fuel combustion or burning isn’t complete, carbon monoxide enters the air. The CPSC advises that carbon monoxide detectors are the only way to alert yourself to the presence of toxic gas in your home. If you wake in the night with a headache — and especially if another member of the family complains of a headache or is difficult to arouse — get out of the house fast and seek medical help. We recommend carbon monoxide detectors be installed in your home!

My air conditioner is very loud when I entertain outside, what can I do?

A difference of 6 decibels (such as between 72 dB and 78 dB) is technically a four-fold increase in compressor sound when rating air conditioners or heat pump units. However, it takes a difference of 10 decibels to double the loudness. It is also noted that it takes approximately 3 decibels for the average human ear to discern any difference in loudness at all.

Great strides have been made in reducing the operating sound level of equipment. We will be happy to show you the difference in sound ratings with our product line.

Is Freon as a refrigerant being discontinued?

Yes. As of January 2010 the refrigerant R-22 (what consumers call Freon®) is no longer allowed to be used in the manufacturing of new equipment. R-22 has been used as the “standard” refrigerant for many years but has been found to be harmful to our planet by our government.  All new air conditioners and heat pumps use R-410A, the more “environmentally sound” refrigerant.

R-22 is still the most commonly used refrigerant in existing air conditioning equipment in residential homes today. However, per the Montreal Protocol, caps have been established to eliminate the production of R-22. In 2004, there was a 35% reduction; in 2010 there was a 65% reduction; in 2015 a 90% reduction; and finally in 2020 a 99.5% reduction in the production of R-22. This means that during the time of these reductions with high demand, the price of each pound of R-22 refrigerant could potentially skyrocket.

If you are considering replacing your existing air conditioning equipment, most higher efficiency products have already made the switch to R-410A, the more “environmentally sound” refrigerant.

My system doesn’t work well in a couple of rooms, what should I do?

This can occur for many reasons; uneven solar heat load through windows, an undersized system, improperly balanced or clogged system or a single system serving a two-story home with no zoning control. Each situation is different, usually requiring an onsite analysis with problem specific recommendations.  Please call to arrange for us to see your home.

At what temperature should I set my thermostat?

Normal cooling settings are 75 degrees – 80 degrees. Normal heating settings are 68 degrees – 72 degrees. You should always set your thermostat to the highest possible setting that is comfortable for you in the summer, and the lowest comfortable setting in the winter. Setting your thermostat in this way will maximize your energy savings. On average, every 1 degree of temperature change is equal to about 1% energy savings. For example, changing your thermostat setting from 75 degrees to 76 degrees in the summer could result in savings on your cooling costs.

Normal cooling settings are 75 degrees – 80 degrees. Normal heating settings are 68 degrees – 72 degrees. You should always set your thermostat to the highest possible setting that is comfortable for you in the summer, and the lowest comfortable setting in the winter. Setting your thermostat in this way will maximize your energy savings. On average, every 1 degree of temperature change is equal to about 1% energy savings. For example, changing your thermostat setting from 75 degrees to 76 degrees in the summer could result in savings on your cooling costs.

How does 2-Stage heating or cooling work?

2-stage cooling is a method of cooling that can better manage the cooling of your home while outdoor temperatures are changing. It can also better maximize indoor comfort and energy efficiency. 2-stage cooling systems are typically the most energy efficient systems out there.

2-stage cooling can be done by having one unit with two compressors, one small and one large. The small one is typically capable of putting out about 50% the capacity of the larger one. The second way to have 2-stage cooling is to have a single scroll unloading compressor. This compressor can unload its capacity down to about 66% of maximum capacity. Both these methods of getting 2-stage cooling allow the unit to run at a lower stage when the high stage is not needed. By doing this, energy is saved.

2-stage heating has the same principle as 2-stage cooling. It allows the unit to adjust itself based on the amount of heating that is necessary. 2-stage heating is a good way to save on heating costs.

A heat pump system would have two different sized compressors, a small and a large one. The compressor that is used at a given time would depend upon the need. If only a small amount of heating is necessary, the smaller compressor would be used to save energy. The large compressor would only be used when a large amount of heating was needed.

A gas furnace that is 2-stage has a modulating gas valve that regulates gas flow depending upon the need.

What are the advantages of equipment with variable speed fans?

Variable speed fans operate on a simple principle: they are able to spin at different speeds depending on the heating and cooling needs of your home. Usually, they operate at lower speeds, delivering a steady, reliable stream of warm or cool air to your home. This helps control humidity levels, utility costs and system noise. When conditions become more extreme, the fan speed increases so that the system can meet increased demand, guaranteeing that on even the hottest days or coldest nights, you’re comfort needs will be met.

What is a Geothermal system?

The Earth absorbs almost 50% of all solar energy and remains a constant temperature of 50°F to 70°F depending on geographical location. A geothermal unit utilizes this constant temperature for heating and cooling your home. You can realize up to 60% energy savings vs. traditional systems.  There is no flame, no flue, no odors and no loud outdoor equipment. Heating, air conditioning and hot water can all be attained from a single compact unit.

What is a Hybrid Heat Dual Fuel system?

With a traditional heating and cooling system, if you wanted to save more, you had to use less. But a Hybrid Heat system combines the benefits of intelligent control for both gas and electric heating to create an intuitive system that can actually react to changing conditions.

No matter what the temperature is outside, a Hybrid Heat system will automatically select the fuel source most efficient for your home, which means you’ll stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer and save money all year long.

To design a Hybrid Heat system for your home, we professionally match one of our heat pump units with a natural gas furnace. Contact us to see how much energy you can save over your existing system.