Frequently Asked Questions
QImportance of a Properly installed Furnace and Air Conditioning System.
AThe MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR FURNACE AND AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM’S LIFE IS THE DAY IT IS INSTALLED!
At Mackay Heating & Cooling, we have a team of highly-trained, licensed technicians who will ensure that your furnace and air conditioner is installed properly according to the manufacturer’s specifications. They will spend the required time to set the system up, so that is runs at its optimum efficiency for your home. Every system we install will operate differently in every home. This is due to the differences in the ducting systems, the tightness of each home, the distance your equipment is away from the important areas of your home makes a difference in how we set the system up.
QWhy is it important to have regular maintenance on my Furnace and Air Conditioner?
AOwning a new Furnace or Air Conditioner is similar to owning a car. There are many moving parts on both pieces of equipment that should be checked regularly for wear and tear. The furnace is like the engine in your car. It must be maintained to insure it is running properly and at it peak efficiency. This will prolong the life of the equipment and keeping things clean and finely tuned will keep all of your energy bills down. So regardless of the manufacturer of the equipment you have, maintenance is very important. If not maintained properly, even the best equipment could cause problems.
QWhen replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?
AThe systems today are matched to each other. So when replacing the outdoor condenser for the air conditioner you should replace the indoor coil as well. Also matching an air conditioner to the furnace is a good idea to improve overall efficiency. Most manufacturers will not warranty their condensers if it is installed with old or other manufacturers’ indoor coil.
QWhat is a variable-speed furnace?
AA variable speed furnace is a furnace that has an ECM (electronically commuted motor) blower motor. This type of motor allows for infinite motor speeds. The motor will adjusts its own speed in order to maintain a predetermined set speed (which is done by the technician during the installation set up procedures). The benefits of this type of motor over a fixed speed a/c motor are, operating cost (approx. 1/5th that of an a/c motor) and continuous and constant air volume. Continuous air volume allows the home to be more comfortable at all times.
QWhat is the difference between a single stage or two stage furnace?
AA two stage furnace is a furnace that has 2 (two) BTUH ratings. Standard furnaces have one value of heating output, like 60,000 BTUH. A 2 (two) stage furnace rated at 60,000 BTUH will have a first stage heating value of 40,000 BTUH and a second stage heating value of 60,000 BTUH. The reason this is preferable over a single stage furnace is your home will be heated adequately on the first stage heating most of the time, therefore providing you with fuel savings, which means more money in your pocket.
QIs there any advantage to setting my thermostat fan to “ON” so the fan runs constantly?
ATwo main advantages are;. One is that you get constant filtering of the air in your home. The other is that because the air is moving, you have a more even temperature throughout.
QWhat is a heat pump?
AA Heat pump is a piece of heating and cooling equipment that extracts heat from one place and transfers it to another. You cannot tell the difference between a heat pump and an air conditioner just by looking at them, they look the same but the heat pump not only cools your home, it also reverses its cycle and moves heat from outside and distributes it inside to heat your home. The heat pump is not a new technology; it has been used in Canada and around the world for decades.
QShould I cover my outdoor unit in the winter?
ACovering the unit is not necessary. Air conditioners are manufactured to withstand all possible climate changes. In fact, rain helps keep your unit clean. Of course, because heat pumps run all year long, they should never be covered.
QWhat do all those rating numbers mean to me?
AThe federal government requires all air conditioning and heating equipment to be rated as to efficiency. The higher the rating, the more efficient the model. For cooling, the rating is SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating); heat pump heating is HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) and gas furnaces are rated with AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency). All of these ratings can be compared by asking your dealer, utility or referencing the ARI Directory.
QHow much will my new furnace or air conditioning system cost?
AThe answer is “that depends.” There are many factors which must be considered: the efficiency of the equipment, the size of your home, is the duct work installed and in good condition, do you need a thermostat or electronic air cleaner. In most cases, replacing your whole system, indoor and outdoor components, will result in a more efficient, longer lasting system but will also cost a little more.
QWill anything help control the humidity in my house?
AHumidity is a problem in many areas, depending on the season. The best way to control excessive humidity in the summer months is to have a system that runs longer at lower speeds. Variable speed air handling equipment runs at very low speeds, which keeps the air circulating against the cooling coil and removes much more moisture than conventional systems. Controlling humidity in the winter months is usually done by using a HRV (het recovery ventilator) This unit removes stale moist air from your home and replenishes your home with cool dry fresh air, all while saving energy in the process.
QHow close to the outdoor unit should I plant shrubs or flowers?
AManufacturers generally agree that plants should not be closer than 18 inches. Air conditioners need to take in and exhaust air to operate efficiently. If air cannot circulate, the unit could build up heat and require service.
QWhat size heating and cooling system do I need for my home?
AThere are many things which will determine the size (capacity) system your home requires. Some of these are: square feet to be heated & cooled, climate, humidity, number of windows, insulation factors, which direction your home faces, heat producing appliances, and even the number of people who will be in the home. We always complete a heat loss / heat gain calculation on your home in order to properly design the correct system for you.
QWhat energy efficiency rating do I look for in a furnace?
AFurnaces prior to 1990 were 55% to 65% efficient. The standard furnaces today are 80% efficient. High efficiency furnaces can be up to 97% efficient. A high efficiency furnace will generally cost more, but will save up to 50% of the heating bill as compared to your old system.
QWe can show you a comparison of the differences in purchase cost and operating cost before making a purchase decision. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, a
Anew furnace will probably be more efficient and save money.
QWhat energy efficiency do I look for with an air conditioner?
AAir conditioners have a SEER rating. This is the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. In the 1970’s most air conditioners had a 6 SEER rating. Today the standard minimum SEER rating for all air conditioners is 13 SEER. An energy efficient air conditioner will have a 13 SEER up to 24 + SEER rating. We can show you a comparison of the extra initial price for the energy efficient air conditioner vs. the energy savings for that air conditioner. Then you can make an educated decision on which air conditioner to purchase.
QHow do I select a dealer for my furnace or air conditioner?
AHere are some questions to ask when selecting a dealer:
• How long have they been in business?
• How long have they been installing this product?
• Are they licensed and trained?
• Are they a member of HRAC (Heating Refrigeration Air Conditioning Contractors Association) or other Trade organizations?
• Are they registered with the Better Business Bureau?
• Do they provide a heat loss/heat gain calculation?
• Do they provide 24-hour emergency service?
• Do they provide the manufacturer’s warranties?
• Do they have financing options?
• Do they stand behind their workmanship?
QWill installing a tankless water heater save money?
AYou will save up to 30% of the natural gas usage that was previously used by your old hot water tank. It’s important to note that of your total natural gas costs your water heater represents 25% to 30%.
QWill I get instant hot water if I install a tankless water heater?
ATankless water heaters will heat up water as soon as it senses water flow, however, the cold water in your pipes, between the tank and your taps still has to travel through the pipes in the house to get to the fixture. You will notice a few seconds of cold water coming out of the fixture before the hot water arrives at the tap. The tankless water heater brand we recommend has a solution for this delay. Navien Tankless water heater has a timed hot water recirculation option which can make your wait for hot water disappear and you will receive INTANT hot water. Ask our sales staff about this option.