We have answers for your frequently asked questions. No matter what your HVAC questions are, the experts at Kowalski Heating & Cooling in McMurray have answers. Whether you have questions about picking new HVAC equipment to best practices on care and maintenance, we can help. Our online FAQs answers provide a fast response for your convenience, but if you want to know more on any topic, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 724-745-7404. Why is regular maintenance important? Like any product you want to keep in good shape, HVAC equipment requires proper care in order to give you the best benefits. Trained technicians can service your heating and cooling products to ensure they’re working at their top potential and help prevent more expensive repairs in the middle of the hottest or coldest months of the year. How much will a Lennox product cost? Kowalski Heating & Cooling in McMurray can price out individual units or multiple home comfort products for you. Call 724-745-7404 to learn more. What is two-stage heating? Two-stage heating allows the furnace to heat at two levels of output: high for cold winter days and low for mild ones. About 80 percent of the time, your home’s heating requirements can be met when the furnace is kept on the low setting, permitting your two-stage unit to operate for longer periods of time. Two-stage units also give more even heat distribution, fewer temperature swings, quiet operation, increased air filtration and energy efficiency. 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 tiny as 1 percent, improving energy efficiency and helping you experience better comfort. How will my new furnace work differently from my old one? Modern furnaces are created with a host of innovative features older furnaces don’t have. Today’s heating systems offer 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 operate 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 work more efficiently and quieter than ever. What energy efficiency standard should I look for in an air conditioner in McMurray? The Department of Energy recently boosted the minimum efficiency levels for air conditions, and the standards vary by region. Contact Kowalski Heating & Cooling at 724-745-7404 to find the requirements for the McMurray area. How can I reduce my energy costs? Lennox has a variety of HVAC products with high efficiency ratings, which can help reduce the amount of energy they require to work. Aside from choosing products that have received Energy Star® certification or achieved high SEER ratings for air conditioners or AFUE ratings for furnaces, you can consider the following: Maintenance – making certain that your system gets regular maintenance by a trained technician can keep your system working at its peak performance. Zoning – zoning systems enable you to only heat or cool only specific areas of your home, so you won’t have to pay to heat or cool spaces that you don’t typically utilize. Programmable thermostats – using a programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home according to your schedule. They can be programed to provide the comfort you desire when you’re home, and increase or decrease the temperature while you’re away, helping you save on heating and cooling costs. Why should I buy from Lennox? There are many reasons to pick 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 Kowalski Heating & Cooling, 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 basic as vacuuming your home to something as large as replacing a new ventilation system. Overall, good IAQ involves 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 – the right air filters, such as our Healthy Climate® air filters, will ensure even 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 get rid of odors and chemical vapors. Monitor – keep your humidity levels in check with a programmable thermostat. High temperatures and humidity levels can raise concentrations of mold, mildew and germs. A programmable thermostat will make sure that 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 select the indoor air quality problems that affect your home. After you choose the items that apply, the system will show the IAQ products that meet your needs. You can also call Kowalski Heating & Cooling and walk our techs through some of the problems you experience. They can evaluate your home and needs and provide options and answers. How does an air conditioner work? Most homeowners believe that air conditioners make your home cooler, but it actually removes the heat from your house, sending the hot air outside. That hot air flows across a cold indoor coil where refrigerant in the lines sends the heat to the coil in your outdoor unit, releasing it outside. This cycle continues until the indoor temperature reaches the temperature you set on your thermostat. What is the minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners in my state? Due to the high amount of energy used by heating and cooling systems, the Department of Energy (DOE) raised the minimum efficiency levels for air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged units manufactured after January 1, 2015. These levels are determined based on region and carry varying requirements based on your location. Kowalski Heating & Cooling can help answer any questions you may have regarding these minimum requirements and let you know what choices are available when you’re searching for a replacement system. How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my cooling unit? These numbers can be found on a nameplate or sticker that is near your system’s service panel. The sticker should be white with black letters and have both of these numbers located near the top of the sticker. M/N stands for model number while S/N is your serial number. What size equipment do I need for my home? There are a few ways to determine what size system will best suit your home, but the most reliable way to choose a system is by having your local Kowalski Heating & Cooling technician come out and perform a load calculation. This calculation considers your home’s: square footage, insulation value, amount of insulation, and a handful of other factors. Can frost, ice, dirt or other debris keep the outdoor unit of my cooling system from operating effectively? The short answer is “Yes.” Dirt and other debris can hinder your system’s ability to work efficiently. For heat pumps, it is common to have frost or ice on them during the winter, but they also are built with defrost controls to ensure they work efficiently in those types of conditions. What is two-stage cooling? Two-stage cooling means that your cooling unit has two levels of operation. When summer is in its hottest weeks, the high setting kicks in, and when it’s cooler or more mild, the low setting gets the job done. Most of the time, the lower setting can take care of your cooling needs, but even when the high setting kicks in, you may not realize it because it can maintain such even temperatures for your comfort. This also means a quieter cooling system, greater efficiency and better humidity control. Why is my system freezing up? Your system could be freezing up for a couple of reasons, but the most common 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 Kowalski Heating & Cooling at 724-745-7404 for other problems or if you have other questions or concerns. What is the best thermostat to use for my cooling system? Choosing the best thermostat for your cooling system comes with a lot of considerations. That’s why it’s nice to have such a big variety of choices from Kowalski Heating & Cooling. Whether you’re searching for a programmable or non-programmable thermostat or want to join the smart home trend, there are a number of thermostats that you have to select from. Some thermostats will depend on what type of heating and cooling system you have, but the experts at Kowalski Heating & Cooling will be able to help determine what options fit your needs and your budget. What is a heat pump? Heat pumps can be a tad confusing due to their name, but they actually meet both your heating and cooling needs year-round. When it’s hot outside it operates like an air conditioner in that it removes heat from your home, but when it cools off, the process gets reversed and it collects heat from outside and brings it inside. Heat pumps are also very efficient, and may produce up to two or three times more heat than the energy it uses. When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced? Of course we advise you to also replace your indoor system, but this is why: All outdoor cooling systems have a matching indoor unit that they are designed to work with to ensure efficient performance. When they aren’t paired with the other part as a complete system, efficiency may be affected. As with many products, advancements have brought about newer, more efficient ways of doing things. Heating and cooling systems are no different. These advances most importantly include better heating and cooling efficiency, but also involve improved air handling, filtering and noise pollution reduction to name a few. Heating and cooling systems that are more than 10-15 years old usually need to be replaced. Not only do they have outdated technology, but they are also less efficient than more recent models. Getting a new indoor unit at the same time means you’ll have a matched system to provide you with even more comfort and efficiency for years to come. How can I tell if my solar HVAC system is performing to its maximum potential? The communication module on your SunSource® Home Energy System sends the system’s performance records for each module to a website. You can visit this website to learn about the system’s status, energy production and environmental benefits. The site also shows carbon offsets as it happens. Do I need an Internet connection to use the SunSource® communication module? Yes, an Internet connection is needed for you to take advantage of the online monitoring system, which includes accessing energy production and environmental benefit information. The system’s performance-monitoring website is provided by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc., and the monitoring service is provided free for five years. Should I clean my solar modules? In most areas, rain will clean the solar modules off automatically. If you live in a dusty or industrial area, periodically spraying the modules with water may help improve performance. However, detergents and high-pressure hoses should never be used to wash solar modules. What is the best thermostat for my heating and cooling system? The right thermostat for you depends on your heating and cooling equipment. Kowalski Heating & Cooling sells programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats that can help increase the efficiency of your HVAC systems. Check out our available products or contact us at 724-745-7404 to learn more. How can I control my energy bills? Heating and cooling can make up a significant amount of your utility expenses. The innovative and high efficiency heating and air conditioning products available from Lennox® can help reduce these costs. If you’re searching for a new heating and/or cooling system, look for products with high SEER ratings for air conditioners and AFUE ratings for furnaces. SEER and AFUE are a measure of system efficiency, and the higher the number, the more efficient the product. Other than purchasing a new home comfort system, consider these other factors: 1. Is your equipment regularly maintained? Whether it’s a furnace or air conditioner, HVAC systems will opperate more efficiently after regular maintenance checks. 2. Do you need a zoning system? If there are areas of your home that are rarely used, a zoning system will allow you to heat or cool only the commonly used spaces of your house. 3. Are you using a programmable thermostat? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, programmable thermostats can reduce your heating costs by up to 35 percent, and your cooling costs by up to 25 percent. What are the benefits of zoning systems? Zoning equipment gives you the the comfort of sectioning portions of your residence and control the thermostat differently in each part of your home. Zoning equipment is good for when you have areas of your house that are infrequently used or when you and your family are always in disagreement of the perfect temperature for the house. Zoning systems are quiet and efficient, allowing you more control over the comfort of your house. Discover more about the zoning systems available from Kowalski Heating & Cooling.