Does turning my air conditioner off when I’m gone really save energy?
There is a lot information out there on this one. Let us help you make the smart decision: it is okay to turn you’re A/C off when you’re not home. That’s right – turning you’re A/C off when you’re not home can save your money!
This is because you’re A/C is actually meant to operate at its best when it is operating in full gear as opposed to making small fluctuations to maintain a constant temperature. Constant fluctuation is actually more detrimental than you’re A/C working harder for a shorter period of time.
How do I choose the best A/C size for my home?
Choosing the right size air conditioner for your home is critical - and likely something you don't think about that much. Pick one that is too large or too small and you'll cost yourself money due to the system's inefficiency.
This question requires a pretty in-depth answer, but to keep it brief we'll provide you with this calculation:
((House square footage x 30) divided by 12,000) - 1.0 = Required Tonnage A/C
However, there are other factors that come into play so we highly suggest getting in touch an A/C professional to come conduct an assessment of your home.
What should I set my thermostat to if I'm going away?
If you're going away for a week or more, you'll save the most energy by turning your system off. If you're only going away for a short period of time, set your thermostat 7-10 degrees higher than normal. If you frequently take vacations, you may want to look into a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat. We can help install these for you!
How can I even out the heating and cooling of my home?
If your home is not heating or cooling evenly, you should look for blocked or dirty vents and be sure to vacuum them out. Next, you may want to have your air ducts checked for air leaks or add more insulation to your attic. Finally, you may want to consider a zoning system. While it’s a large investment, it is one of the most efficient ways to deal with uneven cooling.
How often does my furnace filter need to be changed?
We're sure you've read somewhere that you should change your furnace filters "regularly." We're also sure you're probably scratching your head, wondering what "regularly" really means. The frequency that you change your furnace filters depends upon if you have animals, how dusty your home is, whether you keep your fan set to on, if anyone smokes inside your home, and whether you keep windows and doors open.
Depending on all of these factors and the type of filters that you use, you may need to change your filters anywhere from every 30 days to every 6 months. Give us a call at (610) 363-3940 to have a heating specialists conduct a full maintenance check!
How does a standby generator work?
A standby generator will automatically turn on when a power outage occurs. It runs on existing natural gas or LP fuel supply. No extension cords needed.
Can a battery provide the same backup power as a generator?
In a power outage, a battery will only be able to support limited items (say your furnace, but not your refrigerator). Home backup generators can provide enough power to run all selected circuits.
What’s the differences between a portable generator and an automatic backup generator?
When you begin your search for generators, you will come across these two types: portable and standby. Portable generators are typically powered by gasoline, are less expensive, and used as a temporary solution. Standby generators are permanent backup power solutions that automatically turn on during a power outage. Standby generators are usually powered by natural gas or LP and must be professionally installed outside of your home.
Why does my drain get clogged?
Bathroom drains clog because of dirt, skin, hair, and soap scum building up on the walls of drain pipes. Kitchen sink drains clog as a result of cooking grease, oil, and other waste building up.
Why does the toilet keep running?
If your home’s toilet is running, you may need to replace the tank flapper or adjust the tank water level. A warped or damaged flapper allows water to seep out around it, and an improperly set fill valve may cause the water to constantly run into the overflow tube in the toilet tank.
What’s the difference between hard water and soft water?
Hard water contains a high level of mineral content – like magnesium and calcium. Soft water contains higher sodium content with small amounts of calcium and magnesium.
What can I put down my garbage disposal?
If a baby can eat it, then a food type won’t cause any problems for your garbage disposal. Stick to liquids, soft foods, and chopped foods. Always be sure to run cold water for 20-30 seconds before and after using your disposal. Lastly, pour a little dish soap down your garbage disposal or try ice cubes made out of lemon juice or vinegar to keep it fresh, clean, and free of debris.
Indoor Air Quality
What kind of things can harm air quality in my home?
Indoor air quality can be harmed be asbestos, radon, tobacco smoke, mildew, mold, bacteria, dust mites, stoves, space heater, fireplace, varnishes, paints, and various other products.
What is considered good indoor air quality?
Comfortable temperature and humidity, a fresh supply of outdoor air, and control of internal and external pollutants all contribute to good indoor air quality.
What causes poor indoor air quality?
Poor indoor air quality may be a result of water damage, leaks, dirt or pest droppings, standing water in humidifiers, bacteria in A/C units, and more.
How do I know if I have an air quality problem in my home?
If the air quality in your home or workplace is poor, you may notice: your allergies flaring up, dizziness, nausea, rashes, bronchitis-like symptoms, and various other health changes. If you notice any of the above, you’ll want to contact a professional air quality specialist to identify the problem.
What does it mean if there’s a smell coming from my outlet?
Believe it or not, a burning electrical outlet doesn’t always emit a typical burning smell. You may drive yourself crazy thinking that you have a dead mouse in your wall, when the problem actually stems from a burning electrical outlet or wire.
This is because of the chemicals that are used in making electric components high heat resistant. If you’re not sure where the smell is coming from, try smelling your circuit board first, then individual outlets – hopefully this will save you more money than having an exterminator come!
Once you’ve identified the outlet, turn off electricity supply to that area from the breaker, then unplug whatever is plugged into the outlet. Then contact, your local electrician to come inspect the outlet.
What does electrical “grounding” mean?
Electrical "grounding" is a way of ensuring that additional electricity can return safely to the ground without the danger of harming someone.
If a short is to occur, electricity would travel through a ground wire and cause a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker as opposed to fatally shocking someone if it were not grounded.
Grounding is important because it helps direct electricity, protects against electrical overload, and prevents injury or death.
How do I know if my current is grounded?
If your electrical system is grounded, your power outlets will accept plugs with three prongs, which usually means your system has three wires - one of them being a grounding wire.
Appliances designed to be grounded will be equipped with three-wire cords and three-pronged plugs.
Gas Logs and Fireplaces
How do gas fireplaces vent?
We recommend that you use a direct vent gas fireplace. These fireplaces draw outside air in for the fire and expel exhaust outside of the home. This single direct vent has two chambers to perform this process, keeping your indoor air quality safe.
There’s an odor coming from my gas fireplace. Should I be concerned?
If your fireplace is new, the odor you’re smelling could just be factory chemicals. Burn your fireplace for 3 hours to burn off debris.
If your fireplace is not new, the smell could be from pet dander or dust, or décor you have resting on or around your fireplace.
If you smell rotten eggs, leave your home immediately and call a professional – your fireplace could be leaking.
How often should I service my HVAC system?
No matter what kind of HVAC equipment you have, it should be serviced at least once a year. We like to suggest having your heating system checked in the Fall and the A/C checked in the Spring.
Why should I invest in a maintenance plan?
Your HVAC unit needs to be serviced regularly anyway, as noted above. Purchasing a maintenance plan can save you money long-term, and it ensures that you are placed as a priority in the event of a problem with your unit.
What do you mean by priority service?
AQM, Inc. maintenance agreement customers are always taken care of first! If you find yourself without any heating or cooling call us by 12:00 PM, we will respond the same day.
Which agreement is right for me?
It depends on the level of protection you’re comfortable with. Most of our customers choose our Platinum Agreement because there are no charges for covered repairs. If you have new equipment, you may find that the Preventive Maintenance Agreement provides you with sufficient coverage.
Will I be charged extra for after-hours emergency calls?
No. Customers with any of our Maintenance Agreements never pay overtime charges.