Frequently Asked Questions

Heating and Cooling FAQs

Should a Home HVAC System do more than Heat and Cool?

Yes, it certainly should! Good heating and cooling, with the right type of system, is more important than the average homebuyer realizes. No matter how perfect the home, convenient the layout, or magnificent the view, all will be useless if you are not completely comfortable. Good heating and cooling not only brings you proper and complete indoor comfort year round, but it also contributes to family health and reasonable housekeeping maintenance costs. Since a good heating and cooling system is hidden by design, it is too frequently forgotten or not given the careful consideration it deserves.

Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort system?

You wouldn’t buy a brand-new car and expect to never have to put air in the tires, change the oil and check out any unusual noises, would you? Well, in the same way it is important to have regular inspections by one of our trained service professionals. If not maintained properly, even the best equipment could cause problems.

Do I need a maintenance agreement?

Maintenance agreements are an easy and inexpensive way to protect your home, your family or your business from sudden failure of your system. You always want to be sure that your system is up and running when you need it on that first hot or cold day of each season! With our maintenance agreements, you’ll enjoy twice yearly annual season tune-ups, and as a maintenance customer, you receive discounts on parts as well. Also as a maintenance agreement customer, you receive priority response when you require a service call.

How much does a maintenance agreement cost?

Annual maintenance agreements start at just $139 per year, per unit. A very inexpensive way to protect your system from sudden failure and discomfort when the seasons change. Plus our service agreements are transferable and may increase the value of your home if you sell it!

Why is my system freezing up?

There are several things that can cause your HVAC system to freeze up. Most need to be corrected by our trained service technicians. Making sure the filter is clean or replaced and making sure the airflow is not restricted are about the only things you should check or handle yourself.<br />

Low refrigerant: In some cases, freezing up is caused by a leak in the refrigerant lines. Weak solder joints, friction from piping rubbing or vibrating against an object, leaking valves or loose fittings can cause leaks. The age of the system and the nature and location of the leak are the determining factors on whether to have the system repaired or replaced.

Dirty evaporator coil: Over time, the evaporator coil will become dirty. When this happens, the results are similar to those of having a dirty filter. Gradually you will lose airflow, slowly enough that you probably would not realize it until it freezes up or is not cooling adequately. You will need to contact us at Unlimited Air to correct the problem.

Defective blower motor or relay: A blower motor not running at the proper speed or not running at all can cause freezing. It can also be intermittent, starting at full speed and slowing down after it heats up. Or a relay could cause it to start one time and not the next. In either case, you will need to contact us at Unlimited Air to correct the problem.

Should you find that your system was freezing due to a dirty filter, after replacing or cleaning the filter, you can speed up the thawing process by turning the system off and turning on the fan. If you have a heat pump system, you can try turning the system to heating mode until the ice has melted. After the ice has melted, switch the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, contact us at Unlimited Air to schedule an inspection of your unit.

How important is it to get the right size of heating and cooling equipment?

Sizing HVAC equipment is very important from both a comfort and energy use standpoint. Heating and cooling equipment that is over capacity will not run as frequently or as long when it does run. In both cases, this may mean poor humidity control. It could also result in temperature variations or noticeable cycling. Over-capacity equipment will not be as energy efficient as properly matched capacity either. Equipment that is under-sized, will obviously result in loss of comfort during temperature extremes.

What is the difference between a Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty and an Extended Parts and Labor Warranty?

A limited warranty covers specific parts (i.e., compressor, coil, electronics, etc.); therefore, the warranty language limits it. Extended warranties are generally purchased in addition to the limited warranty. Extended warranties cover all parts and may also include the labor for the service call. An extended warranty protects you from unexpected and unbudgeted service calls for the duration of the warranty.

What is a SEER rating?

SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient the system is and the less it will cost in the long run to own and operate it.

Are your services guaranteed?

Yes, all of our services are guaranteed, and we strive for complete customer satisfaction.

Fireplace FAQs

What can you do to cut down on the amount of maintenance that your wood burning appliance needs?

  • Burn only clean, dry hardwoods
  • Do not use leftover wood from building projects that may have paint on it, or is pressure treated
  • Clean wood and a hot fire burns cleaner, creating less creosote deposit in the chimney

How often should I have my chimney cleaned?

Cleaning and maintenance of your fireplace, wood and gas stove should be done at least once a year. During your annual inspection, the chimney should be checked for any damage, creosote accumulation and buildup, or any sealant problems with your stove or chimney. Creosote is a result of gas that is produced by the fire in the form of smoke. It travels up the chimney to escape, but as the gas comes in contact with surfaces at a colder temperature in the chimney, it transforms into a dangerous solid called creosote. Creosote can and will ignite under certain conditions and will also reduce the efficiency of your fireplace or stove. Even if there is no creosote noticeable to the homeowner, the fireplace should be professionally inspected and cleaned once every year if used regularly or periodically, or if there is any hint of a problem. Since 90% of chimney fires are caused by creosote build-up, an inspection of the chimney from both ends, whether done by the homeowner or a professional, is recommended.

I tried to light a fire and smoke immediately filled the room. What can I do to prevent this?

If smoke fills the room when you try to light a fire, the chimney may be cold. This causes a down draft that pushes the smoke down the chimney instead of up. To warm the chimney and reverse the flow of air, stuff newspaper onto the fire shelf and light it. Once the draft is being drawn to the outside, you should be able to get your fire going. If you have this problem repeatedly, call a fireplace maintenance professional. In many instances, the problem is a chimney that is not tall enough.

What is the chimney height 2' by 10' rule?

There seems to be a lot of confusions in determining the safe and proper chimney height for a class “A” (wood burning) chimney.

There are two main factors that determine a safe and draft effective venting system:

  1. Safety (i.e., distance from the roof and combustibles, etc.)
  2. Draft capability of venting system. It must satisfy the draft requirements of the appliance.

To pass inspection in nearly any jurisdiction, the chimney must meet both safety and draft requirements. The (3′ by) 2′ by 10′ rule applies to both masonry and factory-built chimneys.

To determine if you are in compliance with these requirements, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the highest point in which the chimney passes through the roof at least 3 feet below the top of the chimney? (must answer YES)
  2. Measuring down 2 feet from the top of the chimney, then 10 feet horizontal in any direction. Does horizontal measurement come in contact with roof or any part of the home? (must answer NO)

Here’s an image that illustrates the 2′ by 10′ rule, for minimum chimney height.

Chimney Height 2' By 10' Rule

Chimney Height 2′ By 10′ Rule

If after you have read this and you still have additional questions, please contact us!

San Angelo has a professional chimney sweep! Contact us at Fireplaces Plus for a referral.

Are there any other fireplace safety tips to remember?

The Home, Patio & Barbeque Association has some great information. Check out these links:

Fireplace and Stove Glass Safety

Hearth Safety

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