Frequently Asked Questions About Heating and Cooling

At Advanced Comfort Systems, we have expert knowledge to share. Our customers know we are their best resource when they have heating and cooling questions. Based on their comments, we’ve compiled and provided answers to their most frequently asked questions about furnaces, air conditioners, humidifiers, and more:

How often do I need to have my heating and cooling equipment serviced?
Most manufacturers will not honor warranties and cover unexpected repairs if you don’t have annual maintenance performed on your equipment. Having your heating and cooling equipment serviced each year by a qualified company promotes its energy efficiency, helps prevent breakdowns, and extends its lifespan.

Does it matter what time of year my furnace or air conditioner is serviced?

No. Unless you have oil-fired equipment, we can perform service at any point during the year. However, since it’s an outdoor unit, it’s best to have an air conditioning system serviced when it’s at least 60 degrees outside.

How often do I need to replace my furnace filter?

To help avoid costly repairs and maximize performance, change the inexpensive, one-inch filters monthly. Two-inch filters should be changed every two to three months. And the four-inch MERV 8 filters we typically include with most of our furnace installations should be changed every six months, especially if you have pets or allergies. If you have a Carrier® Infinity® thermostat, it automatically tells you when to change your filter.

When do I know it’s time to replace my furnace or air conditioner?

With proper maintenance, most furnaces last 15 to 25 years. Older systems are less energy efficient and costlier in terms of repairs, replacement parts, and utility bills. If your heating system is over 10 years old and has been running more often and louder than usual, consider new furnace installation.

Properly maintained air conditioners will last 10 to 20 years—yours could show signs of wear and tear that may only require replacement parts or proper cleaning. However, if you notice strange noises, a significant change in your utility bills, or inconsistent cooling, it might be time to think about a new air conditioner installation.

Do I need to replace my air conditioner when I update my furnace?

No—it’s not necessary to replace a working air conditioner that’s keeping you comfortable, but if both are needed, you can save on service and installation costs by having both installations done simultaneously. Because R22 refrigerants will soon be discontinued, it may be advantageous to replace your outdated AC and furnace at the same time.

What is the proper humidity level for my house?

Every house is different, but an optimal humidity level year-round is 50 percent. Higher humidity in the winter makes your home feel warmer while your thermostat setting is lower. Reduce your humidity during the summer for that same effect of added comfort without adjusting your thermostat to a lower temperature. A whole-home humidifier and dehumidifier are the best options for staying economically comfortable all year long.

How can I save money on my heating and cooling bills?

Programmable thermostats help you save on heating and air conditioning costs by letting you set temperatures to match your comfort level and lifestyle. Use the sun to your advantage, seal all windows and doors, and use ceiling fans to improve circulation. Another way to save is to explore alternative options like a boiler or ductless split systems.

What do I need to know about energy ratings for furnaces and air conditioning systems?

Newer furnaces have an Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio (AFUE)—look for a rating of 95 percent or higher. Air conditioners have an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)—look for a rating of eight or higher. Higher ratings mean lower energy costs—trust our team to recommend the right fit for your home and budget.

Still Have Questions?

The experts at Advanced Comfort have all your heating, air conditioning, indoor air quality, and plumbing answers. Contact us today—we’re happy to help!

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