Your questions answered: HVAC FAQs. Farnell Mechanical, Inc. in Opelika can answer all your HVAC-related questions. Before you get on the phone, browse these to see if we already responded to your question online. If you don’t see your question in this list or want more information on a topic, give us a call at 334-524-2458. Our staff can provide the information you’re looking for in no time. Why is regular maintenance important? Like any product you want to keep in good shape, HVAC equipment requires proper care in order to deliver the greatest benefits. Trained professionals can service your heating and cooling products to ensure they’re working at their top potential and help prevent more pricey repairs in the middle of the hottest or coldest months of the year. How much will a Lennox product cost? Farnell Mechanical, Inc. in Opelika can price out individual units or multiple home comfort products for you. Call 334-524-2458 to learn more. What is two-stage heating? With two-stage heating, furnaces may run on two different levels: high and low. Since you can heat your home on the low setting a majority of the time, a two-stage furnace can work longer and more efficiently. Two-stage heating also works more quietly than traditional furnaces and can provide more even heat distribution and fewer temperature swings. How does Precise Comfort™ technology work? Precise Comfort™ technology is an operating and control system used in Lennox furnaces. The technology can automatically adjust heat by increments as small as 1 percent, increasing energy efficiency and helping you experience more comfort. How will my new furnace work differently from my old one? Modern furnaces are designed with a host of innovative features older furnaces don’t have. Today’s heating systems provide more even heating and are better at governing airflow. Although the air coming out of your vents may seem cooler than your old furnace, the airflow is much better and more efficient. Another benefit of modern furnaces is their ability to integrate with other HVAC products as part of a high-efficiency whole home comfort system. When combined with a high-efficiency air conditioner, furnace blowers can more easily accommodate add-on cooling. Other innovations, such as Precise Comfort™ technology and variable speed motors, will help your furnace operate more efficiently and quieter than ever. What energy efficiency standard should I look for in an air conditioner in Opelika? The Department of Energy recently raised the minimum efficiency levels for air conditions, and the standards vary by region. Contact Farnell Mechanical, Inc. at 334-524-2458 to find the requirements for the Opelika area. How can I reduce my energy costs? Heating and cooling makes up a huge portion of your monthly utility bill. Getting new HVAC equipment with high efficiency ratings, such as SEER for air conditioners and AFUE for furnaces, is a simple step that can go a long way in decreasing energy output. Beyond these ratings, also think about: Routine maintenance – regularly having an expert tune-up your equipment will keep it running at its greatest potential. Adding a zoning system – by focusing your heating and cooling on the rooms you use most frequently, you won’t have to pay to heat or cool areas of your home that aren’t used often. Installing a programmable thermostat – the Department of Energy estimates that a programmable thermostat can reduce heating costs by up to 35 percent and cooling costs by up to 25 percent. Leave it up to your thermostat to turn down the heat when you’re away and bring it back up to your preferred temperature when you’re home. Why should I buy from Lennox? There are many reasons to choose Lennox, but the top three are: Lennox is a name you know and trust – known across the world for quality HVAC products, you can rest assured Lennox will provide you with high quality equipment. Innovative and high quality products – Lennox has been at the forefront of innovation in the heating and cooling industry for years. High quality furnaces, air conditioners and home comfort systems include innovative features to help your home stay more comfortable and energy efficient. Reputation of excellence – high quality products are not the only arena Lennox excels in. Lennox dealers, like Farnell Mechanical, Inc., give you high quality service at all times, from your first consultation to your routine maintenance appointments. What can I do to improve my home’s indoor air quality? Strategies to improve your indoor air quality can be as simple as vacuuming your home to something as large as installing a new ventilation system. Overall, good IAQ includes four strategies: Eliminate – get rid of the pollutants floating in your air by cleaning your home regularly, particularly vacuuming carpet, washing linens and safely storing household chemicals. Ventilate – make sure your home is well-ventilated to move airborne pollutants out of your home. In newer homes, well-done insulation will inhibit ventilation, so Lennox systems such as the Healthy Climate® ventilation system can help. These systems bring fresh air from outside into your home and direct the stale air out. Clean – proper air filters, such as our Healthy Climate® air filters, will make certain the smallest particles don’t get through and are let out into your home. Germicidal lights can kill the germs that do make it through, and purification systems like the PureAir™ will help destroy odors and chemical vapors. Monitor – keep your humidity levels in check with a programmable thermostat. High temperatures and humidity levels can elevate concentrations of mold, mildew and germs. A programmable thermostat will ensure your home is comfortable without letting humidity run rampant. How can I find out which indoor air quality product will is right for my home? Try using our Healthy Solution Finder, where you can pinpoint the indoor air quality concerns that affect your home. After you select the items that apply, the system will show the IAQ products that meet your needs. You can also call Farnell Mechanical, Inc. and walk our techs through some of the problems you experience. They can evaluate your home and needs and provide options and solutions. How does an air conditioner work? You may be surprised to learn that air conditioners don’t technically make your home cooler; they actually remove the hot air and transfer it outside. This hot air blows across a refrigerant coil on the indoor unit and then is sent to the outdoor unit where it is released. Your air conditioner moves as much hot air outside as is necessary to reach the temperature you have set on your thermostat. What is the minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners in my state? Different regions have different minimum energy efficiency standards. Additionally, air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged units made after Jan. 1, 2015, have higher minimum efficiency levels than products manufactured prior to that date. The team at Farnell Mechanical, Inc. can help you determine the minimum requirements for Opelika, let you know if your current equipment meets those requirements or help you find a replacement air conditioner that does. How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my cooling unit? Your system’s service panel has a white label on it, with your system’s model and serial numbers at the top. M/N stands for model number and S/N is the serial number. What size equipment do I need for my home? Since equipment size needs vary by home, the best way to figure out the correct size equipment for your home is to have a technician from Farnell Mechanical, Inc. come out to perform load calculation tests. The tests take factors such as square footage, insulation value and amount, and more into account to determine your home’s unique HVAC equipment needs. Can frost, ice, dirt or other debris keep the outdoor unit of my cooling system from operating effectively? Yes – debris can affect your system’s ability to function effectively. It’s normal for heat pumps to have frost or ice on them in the colder months, but many include defrost controls so they can work efficiently regardless of the weather conditions. What is two-stage cooling? When a cooling systems has two-stage cooling, it means that there are two levels of operation. This allows the system to work most effectively since there is one level for milder weather and a second for harsher weather that demands the system work harder. Two-stage cooling also enables slight temperature changes so you don’t experience extreme differences in temperature. Aside from better efficiency, other benefits of two-stage cooling include quieter operation and better humidity control. Why is my system freezing up? Your system could be freezing up for a couple of reasons, but the most frequent are dirty filters, low refrigerant, a dirty evaporator coil and/or a faulty blower motor. Changing a filter is something any homeowner take care of; however, you’ll need to call the professionals at Farnell Mechanical, Inc. at 334-524-2458 for other problems or if you have other questions or concerns. What is the best thermostat to use for my cooling system? Farnell Mechanical, Inc. carries a number of great thermostat options for your HVAC systems. The best thermostat for you will depend on a variety of variables, such as whether you want one that’s programmable or not. No matter what kind of thermostat you’d like – or if you’re looking for something that can fit with a home automation system – call Farnell Mechanical, Inc. to hear about which thermostats you can choose from. Our team will help you find one that’s right for your system, your family’s needs and your budget. What is a heat pump? A heat pump takes care of both your home’s heating and cooling needs, offering you one HVAC system that can be used in all four seasons. Throughout the warmer months, heat pumps act like an air conditioner, capturing the hot air from inside your home and transferring it outside; in the cooler months, this process is reversed. Heat pumps can be very energy efficient and may produce two to three times more heat than the energy used. When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced? At Farnell Mechanical, Inc., we do recommend replacing both your indoor and outdoor units at the same time because: Nowadays, outdoor systems are built to work with their matching indoor system for the highest efficiency possible. When you replace only one of your systems, you may not see the same energy savings as if you had replaced them together. Thanks to technological advancements, newer systems mean better efficiency. This is also true for HVAC systems. While the advancements focus on greater heating and cooling efficiency, they also include benefits such as better air handling, filtering and noise reduction. If your heating and cooling systems are over 10 years old, they need to be replaced. Older models have outdated technology that is likely costing you money due to poor efficiency. So by replacing your indoor system at the same time as your outdoor equipment, both your systems will provide better energy efficiency that helps you reduce your energy bills and keep your home more comfortable. Can I see whether my solar HVAC system is performing at its highest potential? Yes. Your SunSource® Home Energy System has a communication module that transmits the system’s performance data to a website. The website shows your system’s status, energy production and environmental benefits, as well as carbon offsets in real time. Does the SunSource® communication module need an Internet connection? Yes, you will need an Internet connection if you want to use the system’s online monitoring system. The system allows you to view energy production and environmental information. The monitoring service is provided free for five years, and the performance-monitoring website is offered by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc. Do I need to clean off my solar modules? Rain will clean the modules automatically in most areas; however, if you live in a dusty area, you might see improved performance after periodically spraying the modules with water. Please note that high-pressure hoses and detergents should never be used to clean solar modules, as they can harm the product. Which thermostat is best for my HVAC system? Farnell Mechanical, Inc. can help recommend the right thermostat for you based on your home and current heating and cooling equipment. We carry a variety of programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats, which can help improve the efficiency of your home’s furnace and/or air conditioner. Browse our thermostats or give us a call at 334-524-2458 for more information. How can I improve my utility costs? Your HVAC equipment can contribute significantly to your monthly energy expenses. However, these costs can be decreased with innovative and high efficiency products from Lennox®. Look for high SEER and AFUE ratings when you’re ready to purchase a new air conditioner or furnace, respectively, as higher SEER and AFUE ratings denote higher efficiency products. If you’re not buying new heating and cooling equipment, consider factors such as: 1. Maintenance: Furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC equipment operate more efficiently when they are regularly maintained. 2. Zoning: When areas of your home are rarely used, you’re spending more money to heat or cool them to the same temperature as the rest of the house. A zoning system enables you to section off different parts of your home and control the temperature by each area. 3. Programmable Thermostats: Programmable thermostats can help you decrease your heating costs by 35 percent and your cooling costs by 25 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Why should I buy a zoning system? A zoning system enables you to divide your house and heat or lower the temperature in each part differently. While these systems function well for homes that have parts that are infrequently visited, they could also be great in situations where you and your family can’t agree on the temperature in certain parts of your house. There are a number of additional pluses of zoning systems, like efficiency and comfort. Look through our selection of zoning systems or give Farnell Mechanical, Inc. a shout to see how a zoning system could fit in your home.