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Recent People With Heating Needs:

Need an estimate: We have a furnace that is 23 years old I believe that has always worked fine, but with the year we have had I have a feeling it will die soon. I would like to see how much it would be to replace the furnace and also add a few vents to certain areas. We would also like to see how much it would be to get rid of the swam cooler and have the heat and AC together.

Nicole B

I have an Amana 95 model number GUX045X308. It is blowing cold air. No heat. Need HVAC service.

David A

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Heating - Heating Questions
1.20 If this is stated in the lease, who is responsible for a new AC unit in a building I just leased a month ago?

Q. Repairs by Tenant: Tenant shall keep by routine maintenance, repair, and replacement, at its sole cost and expense, the interior of the Premises, together with the storefront and all doors and windows of the Premises, and all electrical, plumbing, and any other mechanical installations serving the Premises or located therein, whether or not in or under the floor slab or on the roof of the Premises, in good condition and working order. Tenant agrees to employ a suitable contractor to perform Tenant's obligations for maintenance of the heating, cooling and ventilating units of the Premises, including at least semiannual inspections and cleaning of the system together with such servicing as each such inspection shall disclose, or as shall otherwise be reasonably required by Landlord. In the event Tenant fails to perform its maintenance, repair, or replacement obligations as provided herein, Landlord may, at its option, perform such remedial action on behalf of Tenant, and Tenant agrees to pay to Landlord, as Additional Rent, the cost thereof plus fifteen (15.0%) percent overhead promptly upon demand by Landlord. Georgia

A. The landlord is responsible for all major repairs. If the unit is bad, that is not considered maintenance.

1.20 Ceramic Tile..Do You have it anywhere in your home...Need to know some stuff about it..?

Q. So When installing ceramic tile, (ours is going to be porceline) is it best to put the heating system ounderneath? Do you really need it. I keep telling my parents to put it and they aren't sure we really need it. I told them how my friend had it in her sunroom and they ended up pulling it all out a few years after to re-do it with the heating system underneath. What do you guys think? Also who would be installing it? Do you get an electrition or does the ceramic floor installer do it? Thanks! I'm sorry I didnt word that correctly...my friend had ceramic in her sunroom without the heating system and they pulled all the ceramics out afew years after to re-do it with the heating system because they said it was too cold all the time..thats what im worried about..is it really cold all the time on the feet..I felt the ceramic tile we have piled ready to be installed and it doesn't feel too cold, what do you think?

A. I would think that in most climates it wouldn't be absolutely necessary to have floor heating if your house has an alternate source of heat. I don't have heat under my tile floors.They do stay cool but shoes or socks remedy that. Another thing to consider is the heating cost. We had marble floors in the home I grew up in and it was heated. The cost of heating the floor is very expensive. Like I said it just depends on the climate. If you live in a very cold climate you may want to go ahead and install it but otherwise it's really not necassary. God bless!!

1.20 What is the difference between air conditioning and air recirculation?

Q. Air conditioning costs more but what exactly is the difference between the two systems? Is air recirculation effective at cooling or heating the vehicle interior on hot or cold days?

A. Air Recirculation and/or the Max A/C button do the same thing. They close off the vents that let fresh air into the car from the base of the windshield. Air Recirculation should be combined with A/C usage, which is why on some cars (older domestic US cars in particular) it's labled Max A/C. Air Recirc setting helps the air conditioner system by recirculating already cooler air through the system, rather then trying to take warmer outside air and cool it down. You can use it with heat, but on some cars (older Japanese and German cars in the US) they aren't set-up to run the A/C compressor in defrost mode. Any moisture at all will cause your windows to fog, ALL OF THEM, unless you also turn on the A/C button too. A/C doesn't really cost much more then 1 mpg on most cars. For me personally, I'll use A/C whenever I can. My comfort is worth more then 1 mpg.

1.20 Why do my heating and air conditioning units come on at the same time?

Q. I have central air. I turned my heater on for the first time yesterday and it seemed to work just fine. I felt the air coming from the vents and it is warm. The temperature reached the set temp on the thermostat. The problem is that my air conditioning unit also comes on. I don't think this is normal. Can someone please tell me why this is happening? Thanks.

A. It may be a heat pump. An easy way to tell is to look at the thermostat. If it has an emergency setting, it is a heat pump. For more info, check out the heat pump page at my source.

1.20 What is involved in installing Air Conditioning in a single family home?

Q. We live in an old 1950's house and currently have central heating, which my husband installed in our home a few years ago. Is it possible to add air conditioning, as well. Can anyone help out with advice or how it would work and what the cost would be? Real answers, please...no trolls!

A. You want to start with what you have that is very familiar to you but you haven't described it enough. Is it a forced hot air system with duct work and is the duct work insulated? If this is the case then the process is to install an "A" coil above the furnace and below the plenum that distributes air to the various ducts. This is connected to a condensate drain, and two refrigeration lines that are also insulated. The refrigeration lines connect to an outside unit called a condenser. The condenser has to have electrical power attached to it. The refrigeration lines must be vacuumed out with a vacuum pump and then the refrigerant has to be transferred to the appropriate levels in the now closed system. The cost for this work will vary depending upon where it is done and the going rate in that location. The cost of the equipment will be more static but depend upon the capacity of the unit and this depends upon the size of the house.

1.20 Are you an HVAC service technician?

Q. Do you enjoy it? Do you get decent business? And would it be helpful towards achieving competence in commercial HVAC design? Thanks.

A. There's a very good demand for hvac technicians that are competent and willing to get their hands dirty. The principles of hvac are always going to be the same. The technology itself makes advances regularly as more and more people become conscious of energy savings. When the economy is good there are lots of new installations. When the economy is not doing so well, people fix the broken units. The world has become absolutely dependent on refrigeration and heating and air conditioning technology. Residential comfort cooling pays well and provides a stable work environment. Commercial refrigeration and comfort cooling pays better and has a much broader application. Either way, it's a good occupation and presents excellent opportunities for a challenging and rewarding life.

1.20 What is up with my home AC?!?

Q. This is kinda long so bear with me. Firstly, I have to confess I know absolutely nothing about the workings of my A/C. I am utterly challenged in the area of HVAC technology. I also grew up in countries that did not have AC so until I moved into my home, I never knew anything about maintenance or changing the filters (which I do religiously every 2-3 months). I moved into my condo two years ago and have been successfully using the heating and AC unit ever since until this Summer when weird things started happening. Back in March I had a technician come by and do a service. Then in April/May, when things normally start getting warm around here, the weather was cool and yucky so altho the thermostat was turned to cool it really wasn't needed. Oh, and ever since I moved in the FAN setting has been on Auto (the other option is On). Back in May one evening it turned really warm and when I got home the condo was a balmy 82º! Everything was turned on as usual, but there was no cold air coming from anywhere and the AC was totally silent. I tried adjusting the temperature settings, switching the thermostat off/on, going thro the entire program settings . . . the only thing that worked was switching the Fan from Auto to On. Switching it back only turned the AC off. After about 4 hours the temp finally fell below 80º at home and I was able to switch the Fan to Auto without it turning the AC off. Since then it has worked fine BUT this past week we again had very cool unseasonal weather and so it hasn't been working. Except for today when the temp outside rose and it's very humid too. Sure enough, the AC is only working right now in the On setting. So . . . all you HVAC experts, what is going on?! Is there a real problem I should have checked out ASAP or is it just doing this because the AC isn't being used several days at a time? Should I be concerned and calling the service technician out again?

A. Many people think they know what is going on with an AC unit but are totally wrong so don't slit your wrists. From the sounds of it, you need some straight up advice so here it is. Bear with me as I tend to run off at the mouth. Since the AC worked well the past 2 years I would tend to think something changed when the technician did the service on it. It may be that he did something or it may be that something has failed since. Be that as it may, let me explain a couple things for you. Your AC unit is made up of 2 seperate parts, the outdoor condensing unit and the indoor air handler. The thermostat receives its power (24 volts) from a control board in the indoor unit. The power is provided from the transformer near the control board. The control board may have an led light on it. Built into the control board are some chips and resistors and capacitors and most important some relays. One of the relays is the indoor fan motor relay. That relay controls which speed winding is energized in the fan motor. Indoor blowers usually have 2 speeds they need to operate at. For the cooling cycle, the high speed winding is needed. For the heating cycle, the low speed winding is needed. Most AC units come from the factory with indoor blower motors with up to 4 speed windings. They should already be set up so your proper windings are connected and since you have a couple years of good operation its reasonable to assume that they are still connected correctly. Let's talk about the thermostat for a minute. The thermostat has 2 switches on it. One switch is used to choose either HEAT or COOL. That switch often has a setting for AUTO to let the thermostat choose the needed cycle. It should also have an OFF setting. The FAN switch has ON and AUTO settings. When the ON setting is used the indoor blower motor is energized by the board on its high speed winding. In the AUTO position the correct speed is selected for cool or heat automatically. When the control board "sees" a call for cooling, the indoor blower is energized on its high speed winding from the board. When the control board "sees" a call for heating, the blower is energized on its low speed winding. The control board also sends power to the outdoor condensing unit to run for cooling or to the furnace to run for heat. Usually, all of this is taken care of for you by the thermostat set points. It sounds like you may have a problem with either your thermostat or with the control board. I would recommend that you have a qualified service technician come and check it out. It should take no more than about 30 to 45 minutes to have a good handle on it. The technician should be able to tell you just what is going on and what if any repairs might be needed. Most service companies now have fixed prices for whatever you may need and they should be able to tell you the total cost of that work including labor before they do any work. There will likely be a service charge for the diagnostics but that will usually be included in the actual repair if you elect to have it done by them. I hope this helps.

1.20 TRANE heat pump: Any heating/cooling experts here?

Q. I have a Trane heat pump about 5 yrs old. It is an average sized system you typically find in an average size home. I suspect it has a problem and I am hoping someone can tell me more. I have already had plenty of input from the backyard handyman, so now I am hoping to hear from professionals. First of all, I will start by telling you a problem that it had back in the summer. I have no idea whether or not it is related to the problem I am having now. In the spring, when it was first getting warm enough to use air conditioning, The fan in the outside unit would not run. The unit was making a buzzing sound like it was trying to run, but it rarely would do so. The air conditioning would not cool. It just blew out warm air. I had it repaired by my local heating and cooling shop, the same one that installed the unit when it was new. I had no more problem until recently. Now, it has the same symptoms again. The outside unit just makes a buzzing noise, but the fan hardly ever runs. If I go out and check 10 times, the fan might be running 1 out of the 10. I have stayed outside and waited 30 minutes to see if the fan would start running, and it never does. Since this problem started, I have seen the fan run a couple of times, and when it does, it seems normal. It does not seem to be seizing up or anything. It does not make an unusual sound when it runs. The system is still heating normally without having to switch to emergency heat. If I never went out and looked at the outside unit, I would not have known anything was wrong. We have had quite a bit of cold weather, some nights have been in the single digits, and the unit seems to behave the same whether it is 5 degrees or 35 degrees. The unit is in use every day (at least at night). Once or twice a week when we are home all day, we use a wood burning stove and do not use the heat pump, sometimes in the evenings, we burn wood and the unit is off for 4-5 hrs, but other than that, the thermostat is set to 65-70 all the time.

A. Check all wires for connections If capacitor was not replace when new motor was installed or is mismatch with what the fan motor calls for that may very well be the issue Check contactor for signs of pitting Possible the defrost control board may be faulty and the unit is going into defrost mode when it should not be and hence it turning the fan off. The other thing that comes to mind is there is a pre-timed delay for defrost operation of the heat pump by default it should be set on the control board via the jumper at 30. There are 3 settings 30,60 and 90.. It possible the unit is set on a 90 min defrost cycle and that why you never or hardly ever see the fan spinning. It needs to be set on 30. Quick note for you when heat pump goes into defrost mode, fan shuts off, compressor is running, and there is a change in pitch from compressor. When unit comes out of defrost mode, fan should turn back on. Also, if you thermostat is digital it should bring on Aux heat to maintain comfort levels while unit is in defrost mode. In addition when heat pump cant keep up heat wise, the stat may bring on the aux heat as well to keep temps up. To test the board on the unit, there is a test terminal 2 pins that have to be jumped. If the unit will not go into defrost mode the board is bad and needs to be replaced. Your getting ample power to the unit from what it sounds like or the compressor would not run. So you need to look at the things I mentioned. If the did not replace the dual run capacitor that would be my first check that A the original motor may have not been bad and B the slapped a motor in and now it hit or miss when it runs.

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