Every day brings a new challenge, but there are a number of common issues that come up repeatedly in home heating and cooling. Before calling or emailing us, please have a look at these frequently asked questions. The answer you’re looking for could be less than a click away.

1. Q: When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?

The answer is most likely yes. Here’s why.

Matched System Design: All air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units are specifically designed to work with matched indoor units for optimum efficiency and performance. The result of this matched system is a coordinated, top-performance team that ensures dependability and efficiency. Air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units may “work” with indoor units other than those for which they have been specifically designed; however, the result is a definite compromise in system performance.

New Warranty: A new unit also gives you a new product warranty. Replacing the indoor unit at the same time as the outdoor unit results in peace of mind, knowing the new warranty covers the entire system.

2. Q: I do not have ductwork in my home. What will I need to add central air?

If you currently have baseboard electric or a boiler system with radiators, a ductwork system will need to be installed to add central air. Once this is done, other accessories — such as air humidity control, an air cleaner and air purification — that were not available on the boiler or electric baseboard system may be added.

3. Q: What regular maintenance do heating and air conditioning systems need?

The most important part of HVAC maintenance 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, with spring and autumn tune-ups. 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.

4. Q: How important is it to get the right size of heating and cooling equipment?

Sizing HVAC equipment is very important from the standpoints of both comfort and energy use. Heating and cooling equipment that are over-capacity will not run as frequently or as long as necessary. In both cases, this may mean poor humidity control. It could also result in temperature variations or noticeable cycling. Over-capacity equipment will not be as energy efficient as properly matched capacity either. On the other hand, equipment that is under-sized, will obviously result in loss of comfort during temperature extremes.

5. Q: Is a system with more capacity better?

No. A larger heating system with more capacity delivers less comfort and costs more to operate. An air conditioner is at its least efficient when it is first turned on. A system with too much capacity will run in numerous short cycles, turning on and off repeatedly, therefore causing it to be less efficient. Also keep in mind that an air conditioner only removes humidity when it’s running, so a system with shorter run cycles doesn’t remove humidity from the air very well.

6. Q: 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.

7. Q: What is the expected lifetime of my heating and cooling equipment?

It depends on how well you take care of it. Annual tune-ups are integral to your heating and cooling equipment’s efficiency and durability. To ensure that your heating and cooling equipment lives a long, healthy life, schedule a tune-up today. Keep in mind that some replacement systems may cost less than the cost of repeated repairs. And in many cases, installing a new heating and cooling system can actually pay for itself in energy savings within a relatively short time.

8. Q: How often do I need to replace my filters?

Air filters should traditionally be replaced every month during system use or fan operation. There are factors such as pets, number of residents or plain personal preference that may warrant a greater frequency. Higher grade filters are not required to be replaced as often, though it’s important to check the filter once a month, as once it becomes dirty there is a greater tendency to restrict airflow.

9. Q: What are the benefits of a programmable thermostat?

A programmable thermostat allows you the ability to remotely regulate your home’s temperature to a number of different customizable settings. These thermostats can be programmed to maintain different temperature settings at different times of the day, every day of the week, making your home more comfortable while decreasing your energy bills.

10. Q: Should I leave the fan in the "ON" position?

Ultimately this is more of a personal preference. The central fan helps to circulate air, creating a more even temperature throughout the home.

11. Q: What are two-stage units?

Two stage units have two distinct levels of heating or cooling output. The low stage will meet the heating or cooling demands 75% of the time, allowing the system to run for longer intervals to provide a more even temperature. The low stage requires less electricity or fossil fuel to operate. The second-stage or highest capacity serves the colder/hotter days that demand a greater capacity.

12. Q: Why is dealing with a locally owned business good for the customer, the company and the community?

It’s good for you, the customer, because you’ll be dealing with someone you know and trust, not some faceless corporation that prioritizes profits over people. It’s good for us, the company, because it puts food on our tables and furthers our relationship with you. The more we work with you, the better we’ll understand your needs, the better we’ll be able to serve you, the longer we’ll be able to keep doing business. It’s good for the community because supporting a local business helps grow our economy. Furthermore, John Cipollone Inc. contributes directly to the community through a number of charitable events and activities.