Comfort Control Solutions

Spokane Service: (509) 534-2199

North Idaho Service: (208) 277-4253

Hours: Monday–Friday 7am–5pm

Troubleshooting and Other Things You Should Know

My furnace isn't heating!  What do I do?
My furnace/air conditioner isn't cooling! What do I do?
What can I do to make energy cheaper for my home?
What should I keep in mind when buying heating/cooling systems?
I need help understanding technical terms! Do you have a glossary?

Helpful hints and advice from the experts at Comfort Control Solution’s

Furnace not heating?

Step 1. Go to your thermostat and make sure the thermostat is set at least 3 degrees higher than the current room temperature.

Step 2. Go to you’re  main electrical panel and make sure the furnace breaker is all the way in the on position.

Step 3. Go to where your furnace is located and make sure the electrical switch on or near the furnace is in the “ON” position.

Step 4. Do you hear the fan running but do not feel any heat?

Step 5. Go to your furnace and check to make sure your gas valve ( the knob on the black iron pipe next to your furnace) is turned parallel  and running with the length of pipe.

Step 6. Is the filter clean?.

Step 7. Do you smell any unusual odors , gases, or burnt mechanical parts?

Step 8. Call Comfort Control Solutions at (509) 534-2199 (208)  277-4253

NOT COOLING?

This is probably the most common Summer-Time Complaint!

Step 1. Go to your thermostat and make sure the thermostat is set at least 3 degrees lower than the current room temperature.

Step 2. Go to you’re  main electrical panel and make sure the furnace and air conditioner breakers are all the way in the on position.

Step 3. Go to where your furnace is located and make sure the electrical switch on or near the furnace is in the “ON” position.

Step 4. Do you hear the fan running ?

Step 5. Go outside and check to see if the outdoor unit is running

Step 6. If the outdoor unit is not running, check the fuse panel near the unit. Is it in the on position?

Step 7. If your outdoor and indoor units ARE RUNNING but not cooling, you will need to make a service-call.

Step 8. If your home is still not being cooled its time to call the experts at Comfort Control Solutions (509) 534-2199 (208)  277-4253

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Typical House memo, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2009 and Typical house_2009_Reference.xls spreadsheet.

Average price of electricity is 11.3 cents per kilo-watt hour. Average price of natural gas is $13.29 per million Btu.

* “Other” represents an array of household products, including stoves, ovens, microwaves, and small appliances like coffee makers and dehumidifiers.

 

Advice from the experts

If you are wondering whether you should turn off the air conditioner so you can open a window to enjoy a break in the warm weather, here is some advice: do not continually turn on and off your air conditioner to adjust to the changing warm weather patterns outside. If you want to open a window to get some fresh air, it is better to leave your air conditioner on rather than turning it off. If the inside of the house gets hot and you have to turn the air conditioner back on then your air conditioner has to work harder to cool down your house and everything in it.

Furnaces

Gas furnaces with higher ratings cost more than those with lower ratings but may save you more money down the road. A minimum rating of 78% is established by the government in 1992. Many furnaces have an efficiency rating of about 60% prior to 1992.

The mid-efficiency furnaces are also called ‘induced draft furnaces’ or ‘non-condensing furnaces’. The mid-efficiency furnace offers the bare minimum of 78% efficiency up to about 80%.

The high-efficiency furnaces are also known as ‘condensing furnaces’ or ‘sealed combustion furnaces’. The high-efficiency furnaces has an AFUE rating as high as 96%. Some furnaces use a two-stage valve and an efficient variable-speed motor to raise comfort and effectiveness.

Air conditioning

Before each cooling season, it is recommended that central air conditioners get a professional tune-up. This is the biggest step to preventing major malfunctions in an AC unit.

Every month, especially during the summer months, remove any leaves or debris from outdoor condenser units.

If possible, shade the outdoor compressor unit. Air in shaded space is typically 5 to 6 degrees cooler than the surrounding air. Proper shading can be up to 10 percent more efficient over a cooling season.

Thermostats.

When you want to achieve rapid temperature change for comfort, do not set the thermostat higher or lower than the desired temperature. That will not change the temperature any faster— it just makes the system work longer.

Air filters

It's best to have professionals conduct inspections and adjustments on your furnace. There are some things that homeowners can do themselves, however -- such as changing air filters on a regular basis

Changing your air filters on a regular basis can greatly reduce your operating and maintenance costs for both heating and air conditioning. Once a month is recommended. One useful tip to help you remember is to schedule around the time you pay your energy or fuel bill.

A dirty filter will restrict airflow from your gas furnace.

Here’s how to change a replaceable filter:

1) Turn off the power to the unit.

2) Look for the door or panel that conceals the blower; sometimes this is marked “Filter.” Lift this door or panel off its holding hooks, or unscrew its retaining screws to remove it.

3) Standard filters are mounted next to or under the blower motor. Slide the filter out along its tracks. Check to see whether it is a disposable filter or intended to be cleaned and replaced—this information should be marked on the filter’s edge, along with directions for cleaning, if applicable. If it’s a disposable filter, its size will likely be printed on the frame’s edge. Make a note of it.

4) Buy a replacement, and slide it into place, noting that arrows stamped on the side indicate the proper direction of airflow; be sure you face these in the proper direction.

What over 500 surveyed contractors say...

A top leading consumer magazine recently surveyed over 500 contractors and reported the following tips on purchasing a central air-cooling system.

Choose the right-sized air conditioning system. If it is too small, then it won't cool properly; if it is too large, then it won't dehumidify properly.

Beware of replacing only one of the two main components if shopping for a replacement system. Replacing only the indoor or the outdoor unit of a system may result in a mismatch that compromises efficiency. Contractors also said these systems are more repair-prone than systems where the two units have been bought and installed together.

 One-fifth of the contractors surveyed said the primary reason for their service calls was improper application or incorrect installation.

Maintain your system properly. At least 40 percent of surveyed contractors said that service calls were primarily the result of improper maintenance. An experienced contractor like Comfort Control Solutions is specially dedicated to ensure you never have to face these common problem’s.

HVAC Glossary of terms.

AFUE
ARI
BTU
BTUH
CFM
CAPACITY(HVAC)
COMPRESSOR
CONDENSATE
CONDENSER COIL
CONDENSER FAN
DECIBEL
DUCT / DUCTWORK
EER
EFFICIENCY
EVAPORATOR COIL
FHR
HEAT EXCHANGER
HSPF
HUMIDIFIER
HUMIDISTAT
HVAC
IGNITION
INDOOR COIL
KILOWATT
KWH
OUTDOOR COIL
REFRIGERANT
R-22
R-410A
REFRIGERANT LINES
SEER
SPLIT SYSTEM
SRN
THERMOSTAT
TON
WATT/WATTS
ZONE

AFUE - "Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency". Rating of how much energy a furnace converts to heat. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient a furnace / heating system is.

ARI - "Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute", industry organization of HVAC equipment manufacturers which sets standards for testing cooling and heating equipment.

BTU - "British Thermal Unit", measurement of heating or cooling. One BTU is equal to the amount of heating or cooling needed to raise or lower the temperature of one pound of water by one degree (Fahrenheit).

BTUH - measurement of HVAC equipment's ability to heat or cool in BTU's per hour.

CFM - "Cubic Feet (per) Minute", measurement of movement of air through a heating, ventiliation or cooling system, (e.g.- an 300 CFM fan will move three hundred cubic feet of air in one minute).

CAPACITY - HVAC capacity is the output produced by the heating or cooling unit and is measured in BTUs per hour.

COMPRESSOR - a pump that increases the pressure of gas.

CONDENSATE - vapor that is turned into a liquid as its temperature is lowered.

CONDENSER COIL - a device that removes heat from the refrigerant, allowing the refrigerant to be converted from vapor to liquid.

CONDENSER FAN - a fan that passes air over the condenser coil to facilitate the removal of heat from the refrigerant.

DECIBEL (dB) - a unit of measure of sound.

DUCT/DUCTWORK - a network of metal, fiberboard or flexible material flowing throughout a space which delivers air from an HVAC unit to the respective zones of a home or office.

EER - "Energy Efficiency Ratio"

EFFICIENCY - rating of HVAC equipment comparing how much energy is used and how much heat is produced. A unit rated ar 50% produces only $.50 of heat for each dollar spent.

EVAPORATOR COIL - a device that is designed to absorb heat in the air in order to change the liquid refrigerant that flows through it into a vapor

FHR - "First Hour Rating", amount of water (in gallons) a conventional storage tank type hot water heater can deliver in the first hour of use when tank is full.

HEAT EXCHANGER - a device through which heat is transferred to a cold area or surface.

HSPF - "Heating Seasonal Performance Factor". This factor rates the efficiency of the heating portion of the heat pump.

HUMIDIFIER - a device that adds humidity, or moisture, to the air.

HUMIDISTAT - The device that measures humidity and turns the humidifier on and off.

HVAC - "Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning"

IGNITION - Elevating the temperature of a substance to the point of causing a combustion reaction.

INDOOR COIL - see: EVAPORATOR COIL

KILOWATT - 1,000 Watts, or "kW."

KWH - "Kilowatt Hour", measurement of watts used per hour.

OUTDOOR COIL - see: CONDENSER COIL

REFRIGERANT - a gas or liquid used in air conditioning systems which condenses under pressure and in the process decreases in temperature. Commonly known refrigerants are "R-22", "R-410A".

R-22 common name for HCFC, (hydro-chlorofluorocarbon), a refrigerant gas used in HVAC equipment for nearly 50 years. Recent studies show that HCFC type refrigerants contain chlorine, an ozone-depleting agent and will be phased out of production by January 1, 2010.

R-410A - common name for "HFC", (hydro-fluorocarbon) a newer refrigerant gas used in HVAC equipment as it is more environmentally friendly than R-22.

REFRIGERANT LINES - tubing through which a refrigerant gas passes.

SEER - "Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating". The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the unit.

SPLIT SYSTEM - an HVAC system which uses indoor and outdoor components to perform heating and cooling.

SRN - "Sound Rating Number", the lower the SRN the quieter a unit is rated.

THERMOSTAT - temperature measuring and control device.

TON - 12,000 BTUs, (see BTU definition).

WATT/WATTS - unit of measure of electrical energy.

ZONE - a defined area within a building where heat and cooling are controlled by a thermostat. In building with only one zone, a single thermostat controls temperature throughout the building. HVAC systems with multiple zones can send heat or cooling to a particular room or area.