HEATING * AIR CONDITIONING * REFRIGERATION

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

And other important information.

Heating Questions

How long should my furnace last?

That mostly depends on the owner. Without proper maintenance, the life expectancy of the unit rapidly declines. In addition, newer furnace models have a more sophisticated construction, and as a result, last longer. So, a modern, well-maintained furnace has the potential to last upwards of twenty-five years. While at the same time, a poorly or unmaintained furnace will probably only last around ten. It's all about being proactive instead of reactive.

What does AFUE mean?

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency: Listed as a percentage, this is a direct ratio of fuel pumped into the furnace and usable heat created from the fuel. For example, the SLP98V is 98% AFUE. Meaning for every 100 BTUs of fuel the furnace uses, 98 BTU's enters your home. Clearly, the higher the AFUE, the better.

What is a BTU?

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, it equates to the amount of heat and energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. In terms of HVAC, a 10,000 BTU furnace is capable of creating 10,000 BTU's of heat per hour.

What is HSPF?

Once again, the important thing to note is that a higher score on the HSPF scale yields a more efficient Heat Pump. Specifically, HSPF measures a heat pump's estimated heating output for the Spring and Fall.

What size furnace will I need?

This is a complicated question that requires a complicated answer. There are numerous factors that determine which size unit will operate best in your home. The age, size, and ductwork of your home all play a role in sizing your unit. For best results, schedule a FREE evaluation with Callen Refrigeration to receive the most accurate answer. 

CAUTION: A larger unit does not necessarily mean a more effective unit. You need a furnace or air conditioner appropriately sized for your unique home to heat and cool effectively.

What efficiency should my furnace be?

In short, your furnace should be as efficient as possible. We recommend at least 92% efficiency. While 80% AFUE units are available, the money you "save" on up-front pricing will be negated by higher operating costs within a few years, and throughout the life of a furnace, the lower AFUE models will actually end up costing you more.

Who makes the most reliable furnace?

In all honesty, every company that comes to your home is going to tell you that the HVAC supplier they carry is the absolute best. But according to Consumer Reports and Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration News; the contractor's expertise and proficiency with their brand is far more important than the unit they install. At Callen Refrigeration, we prefer Amana, Daikin and Mitsubishi furnaces because of the integrity we see in these companies. 

Cooling Questions

How long should my air conditioner last?

That mostly depends on the owner. Without proper maintenance, the life expectancy of the unit rapidly declines. In addition, newer air conditioner models have a more sophisticated construction, and as a result, last longer. So, a modern, well-maintained air conditioner has the potential to last upwards of twenty-five years. While at the same time, a poorly or unmaintained air conditioner will probably only last around ten. It's all about being proactive instead of reactive.

What does SEER mean?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. It is calculated by dividing the typical cooling output of an average season by the total energy input during the same amount of time. The important thing to understand about SEER ratings is that a higher rating equates to a more efficient system.

What does EER mean?

The EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio of a cooling system, indicates how effectively the air conditioner will operate at a specific temperature (usually at 95 degrees). Once again, the higher the rating, the more efficient the system.

What is the difference between EER and SEER?

The SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) measures how efficiently a unit will operate over the course of an entire season as opposed to under specific circumstances like temperature.

What is a BTU?

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, it equates to the amount of heat and energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. In terms of HVAC, a 10,000 BTU air conditioner is capable of removing 10,000 BTU's of heat per hour.

What is HSPF?

Once again, the important thing to note is that a higher score on the HSPF scale yields a more efficient Heat Pump. Specifically, HSPF measures a heat pump's estimated heating output for the Spring and Fall.

What size air conditioner will I need?

This is a complicated question that requires a complicated answer. There are numerous factors that determine which size unit will operate best in your home. The age, size, and ductwork of your home all play a role in sizing your unit. For best result, schedule a FREE evaluation with Callen Refrigeration to receive the most accurate answer.

IMPORTANT: A larger unit does not necessarily mean a more effective unit. You need an air conditioner appropriately sized for your unique home to cool properly.

What efficiency should my air conditioner be?

In short, your air conditioner should be as efficient as possible. We recommend at least a 16 SEER unit. The money you "save" on up-front pricing will be negated by higher operating costs within a few years, and throughout the life of an air conditioner, the lower SEER models will actually end up costing you more.

Who makes the most reliable air conditioners?

In all honesty, every company that comes to your home is going to tell you that the HVAC supplier they carry is the absolute best. But according to Consumer Reports and Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration News; the contractor's expertise and proficiency with their brand is far more important than the unit they install. At Callen Refrigeration, we prefer Amana, Daikin and Mitsubishi air conditioners because of the integrity we see in these companies.

Energy Efficiency Questions

What efficiency should my furnace be?

In short, your furnace should be as efficient as possible. We recommend at least 92% efficiency. While 80% AFUE units are available, the money you "save" on up-front pricing will be negated by higher operating costs within a few years, and throughout the life of a furnace, the lower AFUE models will actually end up costing you more.

How to Control Thermostat Settings

For a no-cost option to lowering your bills, you can simply raise/lower your thermostat. For each 2 degrees you raise (in the summer) or lower (in the winter) you cut energy costs by 10%.

How does a programmable thermostat save energy?

People are forgetful. We don't need to heat or cool the home while we are at work or on vacation, but it is very easy to forget when rushing out the door at 7AM to turn off the HVAC unit. The programmable thermostat prevents that human error from entering the equation. Program your schedule into the thermostat and it will always remember to turn off the furnace/AC when you're not around to use it.

Air Quality Questions

What is considered good IAQ?

Good indoor air quality involves a comfortable level of temperature and humidity, a sufficient amount of fresh outdoor air, and a safe level of pollutants from inside and outside of the building or home.

Do I need a humidifier?

Maybe. A humidifier will eliminate dry air problems in the home and ensure the most comfortable atmosphere for you and your family. With fresh water drains to prevent mildew formation and calcium/rust resistant designs, the humidifiers of the 21st century are leagues beyond older models.

How does poor indoor air quality affect my health?

Indoor air quality can affect your health in a variety of ways. Irritation in the eyes, nose, and/or throat is common. Headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and other symptoms akin to allergies are also common. These effects are usually short term and alleviate once you have exited the building. However in severe cases asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and humidifier fever have also been reported.

What are some common indoor air pollutants that I should be aware?

There are many things in your home that can negatively affect your air quality. Here are just a few of them.

Radon:

Have your home tested for radon levels. If the levels are too high, professionals will need to be contacted to remove the radon from your home

Tobacco Smoke:

Don't smoke and ask others to smoke outside.

Pollen/Dander/Mold:

Keep your ducts clean, and make sure you have a fresh filter in your furnace every month.

Paints, Cleaners, and Artificial Scents:

Make sure you provide adequate ventilation when using these products.

AVERAGE HOMEOWNER ENERGY EXPENDITURES

"Callen replaced our outdoor unit and fixed the improper installation of the furnace. They did a great, fast job of the installation/upgrade. Jeremy came out to go over some concerns we had with the performance of the unit. He found the problem immediately (a clogged filter we weren't aware of) and took his time to fully explain options for improving the air circulation in the house. We can see the difference in cooling on the same day and hope to improve it even more with his suggestions. 100% satisfied, you can't go wrong with these guys". –Kody K.

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