We have answers for your frequently asked questions. Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing in Bakersfield can answer all your HVAC-related questions. Before you get on the phone, look 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 subject, give us a call at 661-437-3499. Our experts 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 give you the greatest benefits. Trained technicians 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? Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing in Bakersfield can price out individual products or multiple home comfort products for you. Call 661-437-3499 to find out more. What is two-stage heating? Two-stage heating enables 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 left on the low setting, permitting your two-stage unit to work for longer periods of time. Two-stage units also provide more even heat distribution, fewer temperature swings, quiet operation, improved 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 little as 1 percent, boosting energy efficiency and helping you experience precise comfort. How will my new furnace work differently from my old one? Modern furnaces are created with a variety 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 bonus 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 operate more efficiently and quieter than ever. What energy efficiency standard should I look for in an air conditioner in Bakersfield? The Department of Energy recently raised the minimum efficiency levels for air conditions, and the standards vary by region. Contact Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 661-437-3499 to find the requirements for the Bakersfield area. How can I reduce my energy costs? Lennox carries a variety of HVAC products with high efficiency ratings, which can help lessen the amount of energy they require to operate. 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 think about the following: Maintenance – ensuring your system obtains regular maintenance by a trained expert can keep your system operating at its top performance. Zoning – zoning systems allow you to only heat or cool only targeted areas of your home, so you won’t have to pay to heat or cool spaces that you don’t usually use. Programmable thermostats – using a programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home according to your schedule. They can be programed to offer you 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 various reasons to choose Lennox, but the top three are: Lennox is a name you know and trust – known around 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 on the leading edge 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 Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing, provide high quality service at all times, from your first consultation to your scheduled maintenance appointments. What can I do to improve my home’s indoor air quality? Strategies to increase your indoor air quality can be as easy as vacuuming your home to something as large as adding a new ventilation system. Overall, good IAQ involves four strategies: Eliminate – lessen 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 hinder 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 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 increase concentrations of mold, mildew and germs. A programmable thermostat will make certain 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 utilizing our Healthy Solution Finder, where you can pinpoint the indoor air quality issues that affect your home. After you pick the items that apply, the system will show the IAQ products that match your needs. You can also call Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing and walk our techs through some of the issues you experience. They can evaluate your home and needs and provide options and solutions. How does an air conditioner work? Lots of homeowners believe that air conditioners make your home cooler, but it actually removes the heat from your home, moving 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 the heat 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 increasing 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. Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing can help answer any questions you may have regarding these minimum requirements and let you know what choices are available when you’re in the market for a replacement system. How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my cooling unit? You can find these numbers on a nameplate or sticker that is near your system’s service panel. The sticker is white with black letters and have both of these numbers located near the top of the sticker. M/N signifies 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 is the best fit for your home, but the most reliable way to choose a system is by having your local Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing technician come out and perform a load calculation. This calculation considers your home’s: square footage, insulation value, amount of insulation, and a number 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,” because dirt and other debris can inhibit 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 feature defrost controls to ensure they work efficiently in that type of weather. 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 is used, and when it’s cooler or more mild, the low setting gets the job done. Typically, the lower setting is able to take care of your cooling needs, but even when the high setting kicks in, you may not realize it because it can generate such even temperatures for your comfort. This also means a quieter cooling system, greater efficiency and enhanced humidity control. Why is my system freezing up? Your system could be freezing up for a number 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 should call the professionals at Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing at 661-437-3499 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 to think about. That’s why it’s nice to have such a wide variety of choices from Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing. Whether you’re in the market for for a programmable or non-programmable thermostat or want to join the smart home trend, there are various thermostats that you have to pick from. Some thermostats will depend on what type of heating and cooling system you have, but the pros at Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing will be able to help determine what options meet your needs and your budget. What is a heat pump? Heat pumps can be a bit confusing due to their name, but they actually take care of both your heating and cooling needs year-round. When it’s hot outside it runs 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 might 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 suggest you 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 total system, efficiency might be affected. As with most products, advancements have brought about newer, more efficient ways of doing things. Heating and cooling systems are no different. These developments most importantly include greater heating and cooling efficiency, but also include improved air handling, filtering and noise pollution reduction to name a few. Heating and cooling systems that are more than 10-15 years old typically need to be replaced. Not only do they feature outdated technology, but they are also less efficient than today’s models. Buying a new indoor unit at the same time means you’ll have a matched system to provide you with improved comfort and efficiency for years to come. How will I know 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 information for each module to a website. You can go to this website to learn about the system’s status, energy production and environmental benefits. The site also shows carbon offsets in real time. 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 seeing 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 locations, rain will naturally clean the solar modules. If you are located 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 clean solar modules. What is the best thermostat for my heating and cooling system? The best thermostat for you depends on your heating and cooling equipment. Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing sells programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats that can help improve the efficiency of your HVAC systems. View our available products or contact us at 661-437-3499 to learn more. How can I control my energy costs? Heating and cooling can make up a significant portion of your utility costs. The innovative and high efficiency heating and air conditioning products available from Lennox® can help decrease 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 product efficiency, and the higher the number, the more efficient the product. Aside from purchasing a new home comfort system, consider these other factors: 1. Is your product 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 parts 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 taking advantage of 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 systems give you the opportunity to divide areas of your house and control the thermostat differently in each area. Zoning tends to be ideal for when you have areas of your home that are seldom used or when you and your family are always in disagreement of the perfect temperature for the house. Zoning systems are almost noiseless and efficient, giving you more control over the comfort of your home. Find out more about the zoning systems available from Hillcrest Air Conditioning & Plumbing.