Why is there water around my outdoor unit?
A lot of the times this can be quite normal.
If you see a little bit of water around your outdoor unit in the winter, it’s possible that your heat pump is in defrost mode.
When temperatures drop below 32° F outdoors, frost or ice may form on the outside coils of your heat pump, preventing it from adequately heating your home. Your heat pump will automatically begin a defrost cycle to melt the frost/ice in order to prevent a thick layer of ice from covering the coils.
You may notice a puddle of water (the melted ice) around the outdoor unit during or after the defrost cycle.
It is also quite normal to see some water around the outdoor unit during a hot, humid day.
The water is most likely just drained condensation, which is formed when humid air comes into contact with cold copper coils inside your outdoor condenser unit.
When to call a professional
There’s no need to be concerned about the pool of water during defrost mode, as it’s a usual aspect of heat pump operation in the winter. However, if you detect less heat or the defrost cycle takes longer than 10 minutes or is repeating itself with greater frequency, you should have a professional check on your heat pump.
What is the best temperature to set my thermostat?
According to ENERGY STAR, the ideal temperature for when you’re at home is 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius).
However the answer to this question can be a bit more complicated as that might not be the optimal temperature for you specifically.
The answer depends on your unique needs – such as if you are away from home, have plants or pets, if you are asleep or awake, and most of all….if you are comfortable.
Read our blog for a better understanding on setting your thermostat.
Why does my heat pump make noise / what is a normal noise?
When the heat pump enters defrost mode, it makes a low, deep humming noise like that of a trumpet! Instead of feeling cold air coming from the top, you’ll feel warm air. Steam may be visible! Because the system is defrosting the ice off of the coils, all of this is natural.
When your system exits the defrost cycle, you’ll hear a loud hiss of air pressure being released, and the fan will begin operating again.
This is all NORMAL.
When to call a professional
If you hear loud, clunky, or squealing noises, it can mean something is wrong with your valve or your fan blades for example.
It would be best to give us a call and have a certified technician take a look to properly diagnose the issue.
What is a capacitor?
The primary purpose of your capacitor to is to help power your HVAC system. They store electricity and function as a rechargeable battery. It can supply electricity to the connected motor when required. Start and run capacitors are two of the most essential capacitors. The start capacitor provides a boost of voltage for the compressor to compress or begin the fan motor. On the other hand, the run capacitor is used to store energy for later usage. Typically, there is a capacitor assigned to each compressor, outside fan, and blower motor.
What is the difference between a boiler and furnace?
There is a significant distinction between boiler heat and furnace heating. In layman’s terms, a boiler heats your home using hot water or steam from the hot water, whereas a furnace warms your house by creating and pushing warm air through your home.
A boiler can be powered with natural gas, electricity, oil or even wood pellets. It creates heat by boiler water to a very high temperature and creating steam. A special pump transfers this heat to radiant flooring systems or baseboard heaters throughout your home.
On the other hand, furnaces can be powered through natural gas, electricity or propane. They generate hot air and push the air throughout your home using ductwork and vents.
What is the difference between a heat pump and a furnace?
Furnaces uses burn gas or fuel to generate heat. On the other hand, heat pumps do not actually generate any heat but rather transfer it.
While a heat pump does not produce heat, it can absorb heat from the outside (even if its cold out) using pressurized refrigerant lines and then release that heat into your home.
Which is more energy efficient and/or green – a heat pump or a gas furnace?
Generally speaking, heat pumps are more energy efficient than a gas furnace. This is because they do not use nearly as much energy to generate the same amount of heating or cooling. Heat pumps work by using electricity to move heat from one place to another which requires less energy than burning fossil fuels to create heat.
The main difference being that furnaces create heat while the heat pumps shift hot and cold air.
Heat pumps are also better for the environment. They use a third as much power as baseboard electric heaters and considerably less energy than gas or oil furnaces required to maintain a consistent temperature in the home.
That being said, furnaces can be more efficient in extremely cold temperatures where heat pumps are over-worked to maintain your ideal home temperature.
How often and why should I change my filters?
A dirty filter prevents air from reaching your furnace and blower, making it work harder to heat or cool your house. Most significantly, a clogged filter can cause harm to your heating system.
Thats why Dave’s recommends checking your filter every month! It keeps your system running smoothly and efficiently while also keeping it from becoming damaged.
If you have a thicker, high efficiency filter (1 inch+) with a material that more closely resembles felt, it can require less maintenance.
What is the benefit of maintenance? What is the cost to maintain comfort?
In short, properly maintaining your HVAC system can increase its lifespan while helping it operate at peak and energy efficiency capacity.
It can also prevent it from experiencing major breakdowns which can result in costlier repairs.
Ignoring HVAC maintenance might result in higher utility bills and less comfort. It forces the components to work harder, resulting in shorter life expectancies. In certain situations, it might even result in a complete shutdown or system failure.
In general, most people can manage basic air filter cleaning or replacing on their own. However, to prevent larger issues from developing, we recommend signing up for Dave’s Club.
Dave’s Club offer several different HVAC maintenance plans based on your needs and circumstances.
During a routine maintenance call, customers can expect Dave’s technician’s to evaluate your furnace’s performance in various modes of operation.
We then perform a number of cleaning and inspection tasks according to ACCA guidelines.
A few things we do for example:
- Inspect, Clean, or Replace Filter
- Inspect thermostat
- Inspect and clean the burner, crossover and igniter in the combustion changer
- Inspect and adjust the gas valve
- Inspect, clean and tune the pilot light system
- Clean the heat exchanger while inspecting for cracks, holes and leaks
- Inspect for burned wires or high temperature problems
- Inspect the fuel pipe and ductwork for cracks, holes, debris and other issues
- Inspect for leaks in fuel supply components
Should I repair or replace my HVAC unit?
Sometimes the cost of fixing your current system is so high that it might make sense to invest in a replacement system.
There is no simple solution, but if a repair would cost roughly 50% of the cost of a new furnace, it’s might be better to replace it. If the current system has not already received multiple costly repairs, is in good working order and issues can be pinpointed and easily fixed, then keeping your existing system might make sense.
Either way, Dave’s certified technicians are committed to providing you with the best information and facts to help you make the right decision.
What is a SEER Rating?
The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is how the efficiency of your cooling equipment is measured. The SEER is the amount of cooling your system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity, as compared to other systems. The higher the SEER the more efficient the system will be. The SEER rating of a new heat pump or air conditioner can range anywhere from 14 to 30.5 for ductless mini split systems and 14 to 25.5 for conventional systems.