General

Do I need to cover my heat pump in the winter?

No. Heat pumps units are built to operate year-round, and they should never be covered. Heat pumps, unlike air conditioners that operate seasonally, are built to withstand all outdoor environments and should not be covered. We do recommend an annual tune-up for AC and HP units.

How can I find the unit size that matches with our house?

There are so many factors for calculating the right unit size, like size of the house, climate, insulation, the number of doors and windows, and even the number of residents in house.

Is it safe to plant shrubs or flowers around an outdoor unit?

Yes. However, it is not recommended to plant closer than 18 inches to the unit. This space allows for plenty of air circulation around the unit. Without this space for air circulation, the unit could overheat.

Should a thermostat be set to the "auto" or "on" position?

They should preferably be set to an auto position. In heating and cooling equipment, when the fan is set in auto position, the fan will operate automatically when the unit is run. This is the most used and the most common setting in any equipment. However, there is another option, the "on" setting. In this position, air constantly circulates in the building and filters air through the unit's air filter.

What do rating numbers mean?

The Canadian government requires an efficiency rating for all heating and cooling equipment. The rating reflects the percentage of energy used efficiently. A higher rating indicates higher efficiency.

What does AFUE stand for?

Gas furnaces are rated according to their annual fuel utilization efficiency, or AFUE. The higher the AFUE rating is, the more efficient the unit is.

What does SEER stand for?

For the efficiency of a central air conditioning unit, it's rated by the seasonal energy efficiency rating, or SEER. The higher the SEER rating is, the more efficient the unit is.

What is a HSPF?

For the efficiency of heat pump equipment, especially in the heating mode, they are rated by the heating seasonal performance factor, or HSPF. The higher the HSPF rating is, the more efficient the unit is.

What is the difference between a split system and a package unit?

A split system uses separate indoor and outdoor components in order to provide a complete home comfort system. But in the package unit, there is no external coils, air handlers, or heating units; in other word, it is an all-in-one or self-contained unit.

When replacing an outdoor unit, do I need to replace the indoor unit too?

This would be dependent on the age and condition of the indoor unit. We recommend if the age of the outdoor and indoor unit is more than 15 years, replace both units. Of course, some systems are designed to operate as a complete system, and both units have to match. The efficiency rating is based on the entire system and replacing the entire system ensures the system will be reliable, efficient and meet tax credit requirements.

Who do I contact for heating and cooling products and service?

For questions concerning new products, energy efficiency ratings, savings on your utility bills, or repair or replacement services, Call our office and speak with one of our staff. We will happy to answer your questions.

Furnaces

How can I know when it is time to replace my system?

In following simple guidelines, you can estimate whether or not fixing vs. replacing is the right decision. On average, the lifetime of:

  • An efficient air conditioner or heat pump unit is about 12-15 years
  • An efficient furnace is about 15-20 years

However, other factors must be considered for this guideline, like:

  • Has the unit been repaired several times? • Have you had yearly maintenance service?
  • Does the unit have higher than average wear?

Even if units haven't reached the average lifetime of a typical system, it might make sense to replace them.

If you have a furnace with less than 90% efficiency and you are having high utility bills, it may be time to upgrade.

Some high efficiency furnaces can cost just $2,800 to replace, so if you take into account the condition of your furnace, the age of the system, the cost of a repair and the higher cost of utility bills, it probably makes more sense to replace it.

How long does it take to install a system?

On an average home, once the equipment is delivered, an in-house installation can typically be completed the same day.

How often do I need to replace the furnace filter?

It's recommended by most manufactures that a 1" air filter needs to be replaced every 2-3 months. 4" air filters should be replaced at a minimum of around 6 months. But there are different kinds of filters in the market that you could change or clean less often. We recommend you use a filter with a high MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value).

How often should I maintain my furnace?

Furnace maintenance should be performed once a year in order to keep it running at peak performance. It's suggested that your heating equipment should be tuned during the fall/winter. Think of it as an oil and filter change in your vehicle. You can ignore the oil change, but at the time of repair, it will cost more than just the oil change. Maintaining your furnace will give you peace of mind, and it will add longevity to the life of the unit and help to reduce utility costs.

How should I know if my system is working properly?

Has your system been making unusual noises? Does it heat all areas of your house sufficiently? Is your utility bill going up? Does it take longer to heat up the space? If you are noticing any of the above signs; it may require service to avoid any serious damage to your system. These repairs will also help to keep your home comfortable. Preventative maintenance is very important, so please be sure to always have annual maintenance performed on all units (furnace, heat pump and air conditioner). This preventative maintenance will help keep your repair bills down and provide longevity to the equipment.

Heat Pumps

How do I know if my system is working properly?

Is it starting to make noises? Is it cooling all areas of the house sufficiently? Have your utility bills gone up for no apparent reason? Has it been taking longer to cool down the space?

Any of these are signs that you may need service to avert any further serious damage to your system as well as keep your home or business comfortable for the people and pets in it.

It is important to have yearly maintenance on your cooling system to keep it at peak performance and help with longevity.

If not all areas are cooling properly, this might be corrected by adding zoning or taking a look at the duct system.

How should I maintain my heat pump?

Here are a few tips for the proper operation of a heat pump and optimizing your energy saving:

  • Do not setup backup heating systems on your thermostat; backup heating systems are usually more expensive to operate.
  • Continuous indoor fan operation also can degrade heat pump performance unless a high-efficiency, variable-speed fan motor is used; operate the system on the "auto" fan setting on the thermostat.
  • Proper maintenance is the key to efficient operation; the difference between the energy consumption of a well-maintained heat pump and a severely neglected one ranges from 10%-25%.
  • Clean or change filters once a month or as needed, and maintain the system according to manufacturer instructions; dirty filters, coils, and fans reduce airflow through the system; reduced airflow decreases system performance and can damage your system's compressor.
  • Clean outdoor coils whenever they appear dirty; occasionally, turn off power to the fan and clean it; remove vegetation and clutter from around the outdoor unit.
  • Clean the supply and return registers within your home, and straighten their fins if bent.

Have a professional technician service your heat pump at least every year, the technician can do the following:

  • Inspect ducts, filters, blower, and indoor coil for dirt and other obstructions
  • Diagnose and seal duct leakage • Verify adequate airflow by measurement
  • Verify correct refrigerant charge by measurement
  • Check for refrigerant leaks • Inspect electric terminals, and if necessary, clean and tighten connections • Lubricate motors, and inspect belts for tightness and wear
  • Verify correct electric control, making sure that heating is locked out when the thermostat calls for cooling and vice versa
  • Verify correct thermostat operation

What are the advanced features to look for in a heat pump?

A number of relatively new Innovations are improving the performance of heat pumps.

Unlike standard compressors that can only operate at full capacity, two speed compressors or variable speed compressors allow heat pumps to operate closet to the heating or cooling capacity that is needed at any particular moment. This saves large amounts of electrical energy and reduce compressor wear out. Two-speed or variable speed heat pumps also work well with zone control systems.

Zone control systems are often used in larger homes. By using automatic dampers, it will allow the heat pump to keep each zone at different temperatures

Also, some models of heat pumps are equipped with variable speed or dual-speed fans. The variable-speed controls for these fans attempt to keep the air moving at a comfortable velocity, minimizing cool drafts and maximizing electrical savings. It also minimizes the noise from the blower running at full speed

Aluminum coils allow for continuous calls and do not corrode like capper coils. New “fin” coils have thousands of tiny “spines” radiating out from them to provide greater heat transfer capabilities and more efficiency over the long haul

Communicating heat pumps in matched system installations provide a continuous flow of information between furnace, heat pump and the thermostat to ensure maximum efficiency and the greatest comfort.

In comparison with a combustion fuel-fired furnace or standard heal pump alone, this type of system is also economical. Actual energy savings depend on the relative costs of the combustion fuel relative to electricity.

What is a heat pump?

It is an electrical/mechanical device which transfers heat from one place to another place. In climates with moderate heating and cooling, heat pumps provide an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air conditioning systems. Like your air refrigerator, heat pumps circulate refrigerant, cycling it between indoor coils and outdoor coils. This creates energy which extracts heat to make cool spaces warmer.

During the heating season, heat pumps move heat from the outdoor unit into your indoor unit in the house, and during the cooling season, heat pumps transfer heat for the inside of your home, through indoor coils, to the outdoor unit.

Because heat pumps transfer heat rather than generate heat, they can provide up to 4 times the amount of energy they consume.

The most common type of heat pump is the air-source heat pump, which moves heat between your house and the outside air

Heat pumps do use electricity, but they can trim the amount of electricity used for heating by as much as 30% - 40%. Higher HSPF heat pumps also have dehumidifiers, which is better than standard air conditioners, resulting in less energy usage and more cooling comfort in warmer seasons. However, the efficiency of most air-source heat pumps as a heat source will drop dramatically at low temperatures (-10°C), generally making them unsuitable for colder climates, although there are other systems that can overcome that problem.

For homes without ducts, air-source heat pumps are also available in a ductless version they call a mini heat pump.

In a combination gas furnace and electric air conditioner installation, the furnace heats and the air conditioner cools. The annual operation costs are the sum of the two units.

But in a combination of a gas furnace and electric heat pump inhalation, usually the furnace heats below about  -5°C degrees, and the heat pump heats from -5°C up to around 20°C and cools above 20°C (depending on settings).

Therefore, the operations costs of heating below -5°C degrees are the same. However, heating costs from -5°C to 20°C degrees are lowered significantly with the heat pump, and therefore, the annual cost is less than the furnace/AC installation.

Electronic Air Cleaners

How do I clean my electronic filters?

Always, at first, turn off the main power to the furnace. Then by pushing and holding the power button over Electronic Air Filter for approximately 5 seconds, let all of the LEDs illuminate. After releasing the power button, the LEDs will remain on until the voltage has discharged. Then it is time to safely remove the door. In most air purifier filters, there are three parts: the filter, the field charger and the collection cells. It’s recommended that the filters be vacuumed outside of the home to ensure particles on the filter are not re-introduced into the air.

To reset the pre-filter timer, press and hold the RESET button until the pre-filter LED turns off (3 to 5 seconds). To reset the collection cell timer, press and continue to hold the RESET button until the collection cell LEDs turn off (4 to 5 seconds).

System Maintenance

Do I need a preventative maintenance agreement?

Preventative maintenance agreements are an easy and inexpensive way to protect your home, your family or your business from unexpected failure of your system.

It guarantees and ensures that your system is up and running during the first hot or cold day of each season!

With our preventative maintenance agreements, you'll have twice yearly annual season tune-ups, and as a regular maintenance customer, you will receive 15% discounts on parts as well.

Do I need maintenance on both my indoor and outdoor unit?

Yes. Think of maintenance like an oil change or tune-up on your vehicle. It extends the life of the equipment, can prevent major unexpected expenses, keeps utility bills down, and provides peace of mind.

How often should I change my filter?

For the best performance of your system, replace the filters every 2 month, but since people can often forget about the filter, we recommend buying a case of 12 disposal filters (inexpensive) and changing them on the first of each month.

I have water draining on my floor; why does this happen?

This can happen for a few reasons. The condensate pump may not be working or the trap may be clogged. Sometimes the condensation line may be sloped in the wrong direction. All of these symptoms need attention. If you need help, call Ariana Heating & Air Conditioning for a service call.

What is the benefit to having a preventative maintenance agreement?

We will schedule maintenance twice a year (before the season starts), and our technician will visit your home at a time-that is convenient for you. You also get priority service for repairs during the high season and 15% off any necessary repair. Again, you have peace of mind knowing we keep track of your system and keep it operating efficiently.

How much does a preventative maintenance agreement cost?

The cost will be based on what equipment you decided to insure under the preventative maintenance agreement. You can add the heating system (air handler or gas/propane furnace), heat pump and/or air conditioner to your heating plan. This agreement is designed to meet your system requirements, so you can add just the heating or both heating and cooling. Hs a very inexpensive way to protect your systems from sudden failure and discomfort when the seasons change. And, our service agreements are transferable and may increase the value of your home if you sell it,