As the temps have dropped, we have had some calls from customers asking what the best settings are for their systems. They have asked if their system should be running non stop. And many more questions. Let me make some statements to help.
1. Anytime you know temperatures are going to drop below ten degrees you should shut off any set-back settings on your programmable thermostat. Go to your thermostat and set the setpoint and hit “HOLD“. This will keep all of your setbacks from happening. This is important because when your contractor designed your system, he should have used 5 Degrees(Here in Indy) as the coldest average temperature here. That means if your system is designed correctly, your system should run continuously at 5 Degrees outside to maintain a temperature of 67 Degrees in your home. That is often a surprise when we explain that to customers.
2. Another thing we were able to tell a very few customers, when the big ice storm came was since there was a great possibility of power outages it was a good idea to bump up and raise your temperature even a few degrees in case of a power outage, it would buy you some time before your house would get dangerously cold. We get very concerned when a house gets near the low forty’s. But if the power is out the fifties is a scary place. We had about four customers who had power go out and one who had frozen pipes burst. Remember even if your thermostat says 50, there might be a wall that is already near freezing with pipes inside.
3. Lastly, anytime we get near dangerous temperatures, Check your filters! Don’t be concerned that your system is running non-stop; that is what it should be doing.
‘Till next time
Temperatures are starting to drop, it is about time to turn on your Furnace, or your Heat Pump. Before you do, it is a good idea to have us come out and look your system over. If your gas furnace is less than 10 years old, it has many safeties on it that will keep it from running “usually” if it is unsafe. However it is still a good idea to have it checked out. And we recommend ANYONE who has a gas furnace to have a carbon monoxide detector in either their living room or their bedroom. Now concerning Heat pumps; many times people turn on their a/c’s in the spring to find that their compressor has went out during the winter. You have three things you can do to avoid that happening with your system. One, have us come out and check out your system, including the refrigerant charge to make sure you didn’t lose charge over the summer. Number two, change your filter! In the cold months, if you don’t change your filters, you cook the windings in your compressor. Lastly, “be careful” and do not get burnt doing this, but once every few weeks during the winter it isn’t a bad idea to touch quickly the copper suction line which may get VERY hot, to make sure it is warm. If it is ever cold or room temperature in the winter while the system is running, something is probably wrong, and you need to give us a call. Enjoy the leaves turning. See ya in Church.
With summer in full swing, many customers are realizing that the government’s actions in reducing the amount of R22 refrigerant that can be made by the manufactures has really raised the price of R22 refrigerant. So the question has become:is it okay to use the R22 replacement refrigerants? In short we say no. Let us give you just a few reasons. It isn’t compatible with the refrigerant you have left (say your system holds 5 pounds, and you need 2) the three you have has to be recovered. Then 5 pounds of the new stuff has to be put in. If the contractor does put it in “on top” not only is it illegal, but voids any possible warranties you could have. It cannot possibly work efficiently as two different chemicals made to do specific jobs have been mixed (think bleach and ammonia)