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Frequently Asked Air Conditioning

and Heating Questions

The temperature in the house is fine, but the indoor fan runs all the time. What's wrong?

 

Sometimes homeowners turn the fan switch to "On" versus "Auto" which causes the indoor fan to run continuously. Turn the switch to "Auto" and the fan should stop running continuously.

 

Is there any advantage to setting my thermostat fan to "On" so the fan runs constantly?

 

Yes, there are a couple. The first is that you get constant filtering of the air in your home. The second is that because the air is moving, you have a more even temperature throughout the home. However, continuous fan mode during the cooling season may not be appropriate in humid climates. If the inside of your home feels uncomfortably humid, it is recommended that the fan be used in "Auto" mode.

 

How long does a typical furnace and air conditioner last?

 

On average, a furnace or air conditioner will last 10 - 20 years. Sometimes it pays to replace the old system sooner because of the higher efficiency (lower gas and electric bills) provided by newer equipment. Life expectancies can vary greatly. The major factors influencing life expectancy are proper installation and regular maintenance. Maintenance is a must to maximize efficiency and protect your investment.

 

Some rooms in our house are too hot (or cold). Can this be fixed?

 

Certainly, there are a variety of causes for airflow problems. Sometimes the problems are due to a dirty filter, coil, and/or blower which results in reduced air flow passing through the air handler and causing the air to die off in the outer branches of the duct system. From time to time the duct work comes loose and a minor reattachment repair can solve the problem. In a lot of cases, there are duct design issues. In these cases, a professional from James Thomas Heating and Cooling should be called in to troubleshoot the situation. Solutions can range from some simple air balancing to replacement of ducts to advanced climate control systems such as a zone system.

 

What can I do to maintain my furnace?

 

Your forced-air heating system will perform more efficiently (i.e. save you money on energy bills and repair costs) if you...

 

* Inspect filters once a month and replace them when they are dirty.

* Make sure air supply and return vents in your home are not obstructed. Make sure nothing is in front of them or on top of them such as furniture, curtains, boxes, toys, etc.

* Check chimney and venting systems once a year for secure fittings, leaks, corrosion, or damage.

* Keep area around furnace clean and clutter free. Keep at least 3 - 4 feet totally clear all the way around your furnace.

* Do not block the source of furnace combustion air by enclosing furnace in a small closet or by making the room it is located in too air tight. The furnace needs to pull air from its immediate surroundings.

 

What can I do to maintain my air conditioner or heat pump?

 

Regular maintenance will extend the life of your equipment and reduce repair costs. Here are some simple tasks that should be done.

 

* Keep debris, grass clippings, dirt, and leaves away from outdoor unit.

* Use a hose to clear the aluminum fins from airborne debris (be careful, the fins bend easily. Use a regular hose without a spray nozzle, and a very soft brush with light to no pressure).

* If your system operates on propane gas, regularly check your propane gas percentage to make sure you do not run out.


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