Frequently Asked Questions
Have a question? Ask our experts.
I am looking for a new heating & cooling system for my home
How much will a new system cost?
Please contact Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc. for pricing or to schedule a free in home estimate.
Which equipment will best fit my home?
There are many factors that affect the sizing and specifications of your system, including square footage, insulation, window surface and configuration, geographic location of your home, duct sizing and arrangement, and many others. Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc. will provide a free in home estimate to set you up with the right equipment.
What size system do I need for my home?
It is important that new or replacement equipment is not sized by "Rule of Thumb" or by duplicating the existing equipment capacity. The only accurate way to determine the correct capacity of heating and air conditioning equipment for your home is to have a load calculation performed on your home. There is a specific method available to all dealers to do this calculation. This will give your dealer the heat gain and heat loss design data for your home. These figures can then be used to select the appropriately sized air conditioning or heating system for your home, based on equipment-performance data.
Many factors determine the size (capacity) system your home requires. Some of these are:
- square feet to be cooled and heated
- number of windows
- insulation factors
- which direction your home faces
- heat producing appliances
- the number of people who will be in the home
That leaves you feeling stuffy and uncomfortable. Control of your home's climate is rarely achieved with oversized systems and electricity consumption is higher than with a properly sized system.
An oversized furnace is similar to an oversized air conditioning system. The furnace run time is short, creating uncomfortable air stratification and less air filtration. Also, the frequent cycling of the unit on and off can cause undue wear and tear on internal working components.
An undersized air conditioning system will not adequately cool your home on the hottest days and an undersized furnace will not adequately heat your house on the coldest days.
Contact your local independent Trane dealer for a load calculation on your home and a recommendation of the best system to meet your family's needs.
I need a new outdoor unit, but my indoor unit works fine. What are the advantages of replacing my whole system at the same time?
We recommend that your replace the indoor coil or air handler when replacing the outdoor unit. Both of these components are integral to the closed refrigerant loop and together determine the capacity and efficiency of your system. If you do not replace the indoor unit, there will be no test data available for the new combination to establish the expected capacity or efficiency of your system. Also, the indoor system may be partially blocked by particles that will decrease efficiency, and you may be faced in the near future with replacing the indoor unit after it fails and having to pay to have the closed refrigerant system opened again. It would be expensive and be another opportunity for contamination. You end up paying more. If your whole system is replaced, you will be less likely to need service in the near future.
Why is a matched system so important?
A matched system is important for a variety of reasons. One is comfort. When all your components are properly sized to your home, you can control exactly how much heating or cooling you need so you can relax.
Also, a properly sized matched system enables every component to perform as designed, meaning proper cycle times are maintained, humidity is controlled, and system sound is minimized.
Another reason matched systems are important is efficiency. Most systems people buy are too large for their homes, meaning they pay to heat and cool space that isn’t even there. A matched system outlined by a dealer who has completed a load calculation for your home provides just the right amount of heating and cooling you need so you get the most value for your utility dollar.
What are the advantages of units with variable speed fans?
Variable speed fans operate on a simple principle: they are able to spin at different speeds depending on the heating and cooling needs of your home. Usually, they operate at lower speeds, delivering a steady, reliable stream of warm or cool air to your home. This helps control humidity levels, utility costs and system noise. When conditions become more extreme, the fan speed increases so that the system can meet increased demand, guaranteeing that on even the hottest days or coldest nights, you’re comfort needs will be met.
I've heard a lot about new refrigerants. Do I need to think about them when buying a system?
We do not advise homeowners to choose home comfort systems based on the refrigerant they use. The Clean Air Act does not allow ANY refrigerants to be vented into the atmosphere. They must be reclaimed, recycled and reused.
Units using the current refrigerant, R-22, will always be serviced with R-22.
They will not need to be changed to a different refrigerant. The scheduled phased-out of R-22 allows for plenty of refrigerant to be available to service all cooling units and heat pumps that use R-22 for the life of the equipment. We do offer limited lines of high efficiency comfort systems using R-410A refrigerant. Our gradual introduction of these products has allowed servicers in the field the opportunity to adapt to the required installation and service techniques, to ensure homeowners continue to receive the comfort and value they have chosen.
As the HVAC industry gradually and confidently transitions to a new refrigerant, we encourage homeowners to maintain their focus on purchasing energy efficient home comfort products that best meet their comfort needs. Purchasing higher-efficiency air conditioning and heating systems and better sealing our homes will not only improve comfort and reduce energy costs, but will also improve our environment.
What noise factors do I need to consider when selecting an air conditioner or heat pump?
The industry sound rating numbers are complicated and often difficult to understand. Sound rating is just one of these areas. A difference of 6 decibels (such as between 72 dB and 78 dB) is technically a four-fold increase in compressor sound when rating air conditioners or heat pump units. However, it takes a difference of 10 decibels to double the loudness. It is also noted that it takes approximately 3 decibels for the average human ear to discern any difference in loudness at all. In many cases, the sound rating isn't as significant a determiner of sound difference to listeners as is the sound characteristics or quality. One type of sound with a lower sound power rating may be more offensive to a homeowner than another with a higher sound power rating. There are other important considerations, such as location, when considering the effects of sound. Our overall product line offers homeowners significant choices.
Why is the SEER rating on the Energy Guide different than what my dealer quoted?
Each split system cooling unit has a nominal SEER rating. This rating can be increased with the upgrade of the indoor unit. The SEER rating of a system is derived based on the combination of equipment installed in the home. The outdoor equipment (geothermal or air conditioner), as well as the indoor equipment (evaporator coil and furnace, or air handler), play a vital role in the rating.
What is the difference between a Manufacturer's Limited Warranty and an Extended parts and labor Warranty?
A limited warranty covers specific parts (i.e. compressor, coil, electronics, etc.); therefore, the warranty language limits it. Extended warranties are generally purchased in addition to the limited warranty. Extended warranties cover all parts and may also include the labor for the service call. An extended warranty protects you from unexpected and unbudgeted service calls for the duration of the warranty.
I have questions for my existing heating & cooling system
How often should I have my furnace or air conditioner cleaned and/or checked?
It is recomended to have your Air Conditioner cleaned and checked every spring and your furnace every fall to assure they will be ready for the season. Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc. often has clean and check specials around these times.
What is the life expectancy of my furnace or air conditioner?
Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc. is commited to installing only the longest lasting heating and cooling products available. For your specific equipment, there are many variables that affect life expectancy, and of course, the regularity of routine maintenance.
Where can I get parts for my heating and cooling equipment?
Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc. is the best resource for identifying and supplying the correct, current parts for your system, as well as pricing and availability. Call us today.
I need help troubleshooting a problem with my equipment. What should I do?
Harker Heating & Cooling, Inc. is your troubleshooting expert, and is glad to help you.
How close to the outdoor unit should I plant shrubs or flowers?
Manufacturers generally agree that plants should not be closer than 18 inches. Air conditioners need intake and exhaust air to operate efficiently. If air cannot circulate, the unit could build up heat and require service.
Should I cover my outdoor unit in the winter?
Covering the unit is not necessary. Air conditioners are manufactured to withstand all possible climate changes. In fact, rain helps keep your unit clean. Of course, because heat pumps run all year long, they should never be covered.
I have questions about my Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
I thought pollution was outside. Why should I be worried about my air indoors?
We spend 90% of our time every day indoors. Plus, today's efficient, airtight homes are excellent at conserving energy, but that also makes them better at trapping potentially irritating particles inside the home. With the rising number of people who suffer from allergies and asthma, indoor air quality has become more and more important to our general health and well-being.
I keep my home very clean. Could the air in my home still not be clean?
Yes. Consider that the average home generates 40 pounds of dust for every 1500 square feet of space. While regular home cleaning is an excellent measure to reduce exposure to irritants and pollutants, it's simply impossible to remove enough of the material by hand to make your home's air as comfortable as it can be.
Will anything help control the humidity in my house?
Humidity is a problem in many areas. The best way to control excessive humidity is to have a system that runs longer at lower speeds. Variable-speed air-handling equipment runs at very low speeds, which keeps the air circulating against the cooling coil and removes much more moisture than conventional systems. At these low speeds, the variable-speed motor also uses much less electricity than conventional motors.
What does Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) mean?
Clean Air Delivery Rate (CADR) is recognized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a fair and objective measure of various air cleaner technologies. CADR provides the number of cubic feet of clean air a unit delivers each minute. A higher CADR means a greater amount of clean air is being delivered to your home.
What kinds of things are in my home air that might be affecting my family's health and comfort?
A wide range of particulate matter can be in your home's air, including:
- Animal hair and dander
- Mold spores
- Dust mites
- Cooking grease
Why do my lights flicker when my air conditioner turns on?
Light flicker associated with the starting of appliances usually does not pose any safety problems and does not damage appliances. Proper wire connections and grounding are necessary to reduce flicker. Contractors and homeowners should check with their local utility regarding the appropriate wire size and transformer servicing the home. In cases where light dimming is related to the starting of a central air conditioner, and the previously discussed steps have not resolved the situation, manufacturers offer start assist kits that can be purchased which may help reduce flicker.
What is a hot surface igniter?
Unlike older-model gas furnaces that used a standing pilot light to ignite the burners on the furnace, many of today's models use an electronic ignition system. This includes a Hot Surface Igniter, sometimes referred to as a glow plug or glow stick. When there is a call for heat, the igniter receives electrical current in order to heat its surface and ignite the burners in the furnace.
What is an air handler?
The major components enclosed in an air handler's cabinetry are the blower and motor, controls, heater compartment, and an evaporator coil. This is why it is also sometimes referred to as a fan coil. A standard air handler, like the single stage furnace, delivers the same amount of airflow no matter what the temperature inside.
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