Heating & Air Conditioning Frequently Asked QuestionsHow does forced air gas heating technology work?
The thermostat senses that the room temperature is cooler than the set temperature and signals the furnace to come on. Inside the furnace a small exhaust vent blower comes on to force the unused vent gas out the flue. This in turn allows gas and air into the "heat exchanger" to be ignited by a glow bar. When the gas begins to burn it heats up the metal "heat exchanger". The furnace blower then comes on and blows the air warmed by the heat exchanger into the room thru your duct system and registers. Ultimately, you and your family feel warmer.
If I am going to replace my old gas-guzzler furnace, do I need to replace it with the same BTU capacity?
In most cases the answer is NO, you won't need as large an input furnace. With today's furnaces obtaining 80% to 95% in efficiency you just don't need as large a furnace. In the old "gas guzzlers" were wasting almost half of their heat up the flue vent to the outside and not into your home. A Gibson’s Home Comfort Consultant can help you in deciding what system is right for your home.
How will I know it's time to replace my system?
When your system starts giving you more problems and the problems are not cost effective to repair, particularly when major components such as the compressor start making unusual noises or otherwise indicating need for service. Because newer equipment is more energy efficient, the money you save in reduced utility costs, might pay back your purchase price of a new system years earlier than you might think.
How important is my heating and cooling system?
One of the most important investments in your home you’ll ever make is an improvement in your heating, cooling and indoor air quality system. These systems are vital to your family’s comfort and health. Although it is not glamorous, good home comfort equipment that is correctly installed can increase the value of your home, prevent costly repair bills, and even help improve some health problems. If your furnace or air conditioner is very old and you replace it with a new high efficient model you could see a savings of up to 40% on your utility bills.
Is there anything I need to do to get my heating system ready for winter?
Most heating systems are quite reliable and will provide you with quick, comfortable heat when you need it, providing you take good care of the system. Have your furnace cleaned and inspected by one of Gibson’s professional technicians before the cold harsh winter sets in.
What causes cracks to form in a gas furnace heat exchanger?
In the normal course of a gas furnace operation, the heat exchanger experiences repeated heating and cooling, which causes a corresponding expansion and contraction of the heat exchanger metal. As the heat exchanger ages over the years cracks will tend to form in areas of the heat exchanger that are weak, such as the areas that have been welded together. More weak spots and holes will form as a result of corrosion. Corrosion of the heat exchanger often signifies problems with the exhaust venting. It is always a good idea to have Gibson’s tune up and inspect your furnace once a year.
What are some ideas for saving on our heating bills?
Try lowering your thermostat setting a few degrees, especially while you sleep. Changing it from 72 degrees to 67 degrees could save up to 10%. You can also have Gibson’s install a programmable set back thermostat that will do this automatically. Check your home over carefully for air leaks, especially around windows, doors, electrical switches and outlet plates on outside walls. Make sure your fireplace damper is tightly closed when the fireplace isn't in use. Glass fireplace doors can reduce the loss of heated air when you are using the fireplace. Use kitchen, bath and other ventilation fans sparingly in cold weather. Exhaust fans remove a very large amount of heated air. Ensure heating registers and air returns are not blocked with furniture or other items. Have your furnace system tuned up and properly adjusted annually. A dirty gas furnace can waste a lot of energy, resulting in much higher heating bills! Consider replacing your old, inefficient heating system with a new high efficient energy-saving gas furnace.
How often should I have my system serviced?
Heating and AC (HVAC) systems should be serviced once per year. It is best to have the furnace or boiler tuned-up in the fall and AC in the spring before heavy use occurs. Call Gibson's to have your system tuned up properly.
What are the benefits of having my equipment serviced?
Servicing your Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems annually: increases dependability; locates any problems; allows the unit to perform at its maximum efficiency, therefore lowering energy costs, prolonging the lifespan of the unit, and ensuring that the unit is operating safely and healthily.
How often should I change my furnace air filter?
It is recommended you change your filter every thirty days for best performance. This can vary dependant on your furnace and filter model. Gibson’s offers high quality filter systems, which may only require changing your filter 2 times per year rather than 12. Contact Gibson’s Heating & Plumbing to find out more.
What type of furnace filter should I use?
Standard filters work just fine to keep your furnace system and its ductwork clean, but they fall short in improving indoor air quality. To do that you need what is called a media filter. The media filter sits between the main return duct and the blower cabinet. Gibson’s can help you select the best filter for your home and even suggest other ideas to improve air quality in your home
How important is to get a system that it's the right fit for my home?
Very important! If you get a system that is too big, it may heat or cool your home too fast and you won't feel comfortable. The thermostat temperature will be satisfied before you are. During the cooling process, humidity won't sufficiently be removed from the air causing you to feel sticky, and it could even lead to problems with mold in your home. Short starts and stops will also shorten the life of your system and raise utility bills.
If the unit is too small it won't be able to get the job done in your home, this is especially true during extreme weather. The systems will have to run constantly again raising utility cost and reducing the life of the system.
It is best to have a Gibson's Home Comfort Consultant visit your home and take exact measurements to better inform you which system will work best for you and your home.
Should the thermostat be set at ON or AUTO?
Variable speed equipment utilizes the fan ON mode very well. This method constantly circulates the air keeping temperatures even and takes advantage of air purifying equipment.
What maintenance can I do myself?
Keeping filters clean in furnaces and keeping foliage away from condensers (12') are the best things you can do to keep your equipment running smoothly on your own. Call Gibson's for annual tune ups and safety inspections to ensure your equipment has a longer life. We will perform maintenance and troubleshoot other problems too.
If I have a boiler can I have air conditioning, air cleaning, or central humidification?
Yes, there are options for homes with boilers such as ductless air conditioning systems. Click Here for more information.