Frequently Asked Questions

1)    What kind of maintenance can I do to my heating system myself?
You can change air filters more often to maximize the efficiency of your heating system. You can check the water levels in a boiler to make sure that there is always water in the boiler. You can make sure objects are not blocking your registers including draperies, bureaus, sofas, etc.
2.)    Can I change my own filters?
Yes. Just ask our technician to show you where they are located and we can either leave extra filters or you can purchase them at your local home improvement store. This will help keep your home clean and free of dust and other particles.
3)    Can I add water myself?
Yes. Again just ask our technician and he can show you the proper way to do it.
4)    Can I bleed my radiators?
Yes. If you are not getting enough heat or you hear water in your radiator, just ask the technician how to do it. We can supply you with the proper radiator key to use.
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5)    What should the temperature be in my boiler or water heater?
Usually anywhere from 125 degrees to 140 degrees for hot water heaters. At 130 degrees the water can be extremely hot. If you have small children or elderly people at home we recommend a temperature of less than 125 degrees.
6)    Will a clock thermostat save me money on my heating bills?
Yes. We do recommend however that you make the difference no greater than 6 degrees as it will make it too difficult for your heating system to make up the heat loss.
7)    What if I go away? What if my heat turns off?
We recommend that in the winter you check the house every day. If the temperature is below freezing outside and your heat should shut off, your pipes can freeze in a matter of hours. We do sell temperature devices so that you can check your heat at no cost when you are away.
8)    What is variable speed technology?
Variable speed" refers to the fan motor inside the furnace or air handler blower motor that moves cooled or heated air throughout the ductwork of your home. Unlike conventional single-speed motors, a variable speed motor runs at a wide range of speeds to precisely control of heated and cooled air throughout the home. Variable speed motors can actually save you money on your energy bills, as they consume less electricity than standard motors, you will gain air conditioning efficiency, can also help clean the air in your home. When the fan is in constant operation (indicated by the “Fan” setting on your thermostat), the motor will continue to slowly circulate air, allowing filters to capture more contaminants.
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9)    What do all those air conditioner ratings mean and are they still using R22?
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) is a system for rating the efficiency of cooling equipment. The higher the SEER rating, the less your unit will cost to operate.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), through the Clean Air Act, is regulating the production and use of refrigerants.  In response, manufactures have developed cooling products that use the new, chlorine-free R410A refrigerant, instead of the standard R22 refrigerant (Freon) currently in use. Because R410A contains no chlorine, it’s ozone- and climate-responsible. Plus, R410 allows higher efficiencies than R22, so it not only makes sense environmentally—it also makes sense from an economic standpoint.
10)    How do I know what size unit our house needs?
He will consider many factors before making a recommendation. Factors like … size of the house, climate, the number and type of windows installed, insulation, and even the number of people living in the house.
11)   Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort system?
You wouldn’t buy a brand-new car and expect to never have to put air in the tires, change the oil and check out any unusual noises, would you? In the same way that an automobile requires periodic maintenance for optimal performance, a home comfort system should be regularly inspected by a qualified technician.
12)   Should outdoor units be covered in winter?
Halfway. Similarly, air conditioners that operate seasonally are built to withstand an outdoor environment, but if you do cover it, cover only half way so moisture doesn’t corrode the insides.
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13)   When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?
The answer is YES; all outdoor cooling units are specifically designed to work with matched indoor units for optimum efficiency and performance. Air conditioners may “work” with other indoor units, but the result is a definite compromise in overall system performance. At first, replacing only an air conditioner unit may appear to be a bargain. That is, until you consider the lower efficiency, decreased reliability and high cost of ownership associated with single-unit replacement. It may cost more to replace an entire system, but this gives you more efficiency, reliability and comfort.
14) When should I change the media air cleaner filter?
The media will typically last one year; but if in the presence of high concentration of particulate, or if the furnace fan is on continuously, it may be necessary to change the media more frequently. In any application, the life of the media is dependent upon the total volume of air being moved through it as well as the amount of particulate it is filtering.
15)   What are the benefits of installing a whole-house humidifier?
With central heating, people are confined indoors with unnaturally dry air for many months each year. Humidifiers help to keep comfortable levels of moisture in the air, which is essential for your respiratory health.
Whole-house humidifiers work like old-fashioned room humidifiers: They put moisture into the air, making harsh, dry air easier to breathe. And whole-house humidifiers use water mists instead of hot steam, which keeps the entire house at the desired humidity level—no more carrying a humidifier from room to room in the winter.
16)   Can lack of humidity cause respiratory ailments?
Lack of humidity in a home can be the cause of numerous respiratory ailments. Improper moisture levels can cause dryness in the membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes. Respiratory infections, repeated attacks of winter colds and airborne infections can also stem from inadequate humidity.
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17)   Why is my throat so dry?
Dry air in your home can make your throat feel dry and cause or aggravate respiratory ailments.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends that you maintain a household humidity level between 30 and 60 percent. During extremely cold weather, your home loses humidity to the outdoors and the level may drop to as low as 10 percent. A humidifier adds moisture to your indoor air and can help relieve ailments related to dry respiratory membranes.
One of the major causes of respiratory infections is inadequate humidity during cold weather. The start of the heating season each fall causes many people to begin having repeated attacks of winter colds. Winter weather is blamed for these problems, but the actual cause may be dryness, which develops in the membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes.
18)   Are the products you sell Energy Star efficient?
Our products are Energy Star efficient. They use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment.
19)   How can I be sure to get the most efficient air conditioning system for my home.
You need a professional to be sure that you get the most efficient air conditioning system for your needs. First you need to find a good contractor. Then have your contractor perform a complete load calculation. This calculation can perform this test to make sure you get a properly sized unit. One that is too small will not do the job you need to keep your home or business comfortable. One that is oversized is also not good because it will cycle on and off too often, wasting energy and preventing its ability to control humidity. Your contractor will make sure that all of the components of your new system are designed to work together. Your new system will work best if all the pieces are of the same advances in technology and design. In addition to the the outside condenser and compressor, your contractor should replace the indoor blower unit and, if necessary, even the thermostat. You should also have your contractor check all ducts because the ducts should be sealed, insulated when necessary, and balanced for supply and return systems. Alpine Heating and Cooling is a perfect choice as your heating and cooling contractor based on their outstanding reputation, experience and knowledge.
20)   What methods can I use to conserve energy usage during peak summer and winter seasons?
There are many things that you can do yourself to help. Be sure your home is properly insulated. Add insulation to your attic or ceiling areas. Use drapery for insulation as well as weather stripping around windows and doors. If you have gaps, cracks and air leaks to the attic or outdoors, seal them. Keep your air conditioner filters clean and clear. Keep shrubs, leaves and flowers away from your outside unit. Maintain your thermostat settings at one desired comfort level instead of constantly turning the setting up and down. Do not block heating and air conditioning registers. Keep furniture, drapery and clutter away from them. Another step you can take is install an attic vent fan.
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