You’ve got questions and the experts at R.J. Groner Inc. have the answers. Below you’ll find a collection of previous customer questions as well as the expert answers. If you’d like an answer to your question, just contact us and we’ll be glad to help. You can always call us at (570) 595-1010 to schedule a home or business visit for installations, maintenance or repairs.
A unit that is too big for your home will have short run cycles. It may take only a short time to cool the air, but the unit shuts off before enough air blows across the indoor coil where moisture condenses into water and drains from your system. Too much moisture left in the air can lead to mold and mildew problems.
These short run cycles also mean your system starts and stops more often which uses more energy and causes a lot of wear and tear. An air conditioner operates more efficiently during long run cycles.
The same holds true with heating systems. An oversized furnace will warm the house quicker, but it uses more fuel and causes greater temperature swings in the home.
Another reason matched systems are important is efficiency. Most systems people buy are too large for their homes, which uses more energy than needed for your home. A matched system outlined by a dealer who has completed a load calculation for your home provides just the right amount of heating and cooling you need so you get the most value for your utility dollar.
When humid air passes over chilled cooling coils, water condenses and drips through the coils into a collection pan, from which it continuously drains. Problems with these systems may occur when this water collects and becomes stagnant when it becomes blocked, either on the coils or in the drip pan. The pan will grow mold that can infect your home with dangerous mold spores very quickly. Problems also exist when the HVAC ducting contains microscopic mold spores that stay continually present and blow contaminants around the home or office often caused by mold in other parts of your home.
You can do 3 things to prevent mold growth in your system:
- Preventative maintenance will ensure that the collection pan under the indoor coil stays clean and clog free.
- Install ultra violet lights next to the cooling coils to kill any mold or bacteria growing on the coils or collection pan.
- Keep your ductwork clean and use a high-efficiency filtration system to keep your entire HVAC system clean.
Heat pumps have SEER ratings like air conditioners and Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) ratings for measuring heating efficiency. Higher HSPF ratings mean greater energy savings. The HSPF scale range is 7.5 to 13.0.
Today’s new high-efficiency furnaces can save up to 50% in operating costs over a ten-year-old furnace. Many 1990 and earlier model furnaces have Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) ratings of 65% or less. The minimum AFUE rated furnace that can be sold in the United States as of May 1, 2013 is 80% in southern states and 90% in northern states.
Our current product offering starts at this minimum AFUE rating and goes all the way to a very efficient 98.3% AFUE rating. Depending on your average usage, higher AFUE rated furnaces can significantly reduce your gas bill.
- Upgrade to a high-efficiency air conditioner – Swapping your old, inefficient air conditioning system for a high-efficient one can cut electricity bills by one-third. Consult one of our professional technicians to ensure your system is the right size for your home, and you aren’t over- or under-cooling for your space needs.
- Turn up the temperature – To save electricity during the summer, set the temperature above 75° as every degree below this will add an extra three to five percent to your energy bill.
- Install ceiling fans – Change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fans. In the summer, the blades should operate in a counter-clockwise direction as a way of creating a nice, gentle wind.
- Have an annual maintenance performed – Having an annual maintenance performed on your air conditioner by a licensed technician will help ensure it operates at its peak efficiency and catches any potential breakdowns before they occur.
- Don’t block vents in well-used rooms – Keep your supply and return air vents free of objects like blinds, carpets or furniture so your air conditioner can operate efficiently and there is even cool air distribution.
- Upgrade to a high-efficiency furnace – New high-efficiency furnaces use up to 50% less fuel than an older system.
- It can save you up to 25 per cent of your home-heating costs in one year, and within a few years, you’ll have recovered the initial cost of replacing/upgrading your furnace. Choosing a model with an energy efficient motor can save 20 to 50 percent of the energy needed to continuously operate a fan motor. Let us show you the advantages of replacing your old furnace today.
- Have an annual maintenance performed – Having an annual maintenance performed on your furnace by a licensed technician will help ensure it operates at its peak efficiency and catches any potential breakdowns before they occur.
- Install a programmable thermostat – A programmable thermostat enables you to control your home’s temperature when you’re away or asleep. For every 1° you lower your thermostat for seven hours per day, you save one percent on your heating bill.
- Don’t block vents in well-used rooms – Keep your supply and return air vents free of objects like blinds, carpets or furniture so your furnace can operate efficiently and there is even heat distribution.
- Install ceiling fans – Change the direction of airflow on your ceiling fans. In the winter, the blades should operate in a clockwise direction helping to push the warm air from the ceiling down into the room.
ENERGY STAR qualified products prevent greenhouse gas emissions by meeting strict energy efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
Heat pumps are a very efficient alternative to electric heat. A heat pump works the same as an air conditioner in the summer, but it runs in reverse in the winter to heat your home. The system will be matched with a backup heating source, most often electric heat for those extremely cold days of winter.
No matter what the temperature is outside, a Hybrid Heat system will automatically select the fuel source most efficient for your home, which means you’ll stay warm in the winter, cool in the summer and save money all year long.
To design a Hybrid Heat system for your home, we professionally match one of our heat pump units with a natural gas furnace. Contact us to see how much energy you can save over your existing system.
2-stage cooling can be done by having one unit with two compressors, one small and one large. The small one is typically capable of putting out about 50% the capacity of the larger one. The second way to have 2-stage cooling is to have a single scroll unloading compressor. This compressor can unload its capacity down to about 66% of maximum capacity. Both these methods of getting 2-stage cooling allow the unit to run at a lower stage when the high stage is not needed. By doing this, energy is saved.
2-stage heating has the same principle as 2-stage cooling. It allows the unit to adjust itself based on the amount of heating that is necessary. 2-stage heating is a good way to save on heating costs.
A heat pump system would have two different sized compressors, a small and a large one. The compressor that is used at a given time would depend upon the need. If only a small amount of heating is necessary, the smaller compressor would be used to save energy. The large compressor would only be used when a large amount of heating was needed.
A gas furnace that is 2-stage has a modulating gas valve that regulates gas flow depending upon the need.
My system doesn’t work well in a couple of rooms. What should I do?
This can occur for many reasons; uneven solar heat load through windows, an undersized system, improperly balanced or clogged system or a single system serving a two-story home with no zoning control. Each situation is different, usually requiring an onsite analysis with problem specific recommendations. Please call to arrange for us to see your home.
R-22 is still the most commonly used refrigerant in existing air conditioning equipment in residential homes today. However, per the Montreal Protocol, caps have been established to eliminate the production of R-22. In 2004, there was a 35% reduction; in 2010 there was a 65% reduction; in 2015 a 90% reduction; and finally in 2020 a 99.5% reduction in the production of R-22. This means that during the time of these reductions with high demand, the price of each pound of R-22 refrigerant could potentially skyrocket.
If you are considering replacing your existing air conditioning equipment, most higher efficiency products have already made the switch to R-410A, the more “environmentally sound” refrigerant.
Great strides have been made in reducing the operating sound level of equipment. We will be happy to show you the difference in sound ratings with our product line.
If you smell propane (LP) gas:
- Exit your home immediately.
- Propane gas can ignite easily. Do not light a match, start an engine, use a cell phone, or do anything that may create a spark.
- From a safe area, contact your propane supplier and call 911.
- If you are able, shut the propane gas supply off at the tank.
- Stay away from your home until you’ve been told that it is safe to return.
Natural gas: You have this type if you have a gas meter and pay a natural gas supplier or utility. A chemical odorant has been added to natural gas to give it a distinct smell. Learn to identify this odor.
If you smell natural gas:
- Exit your home immediately.
- Do not light a match, start an engine, use a cell phone, or do anything that may create a spark.
- From a safe area, contact your gas company or call 911.
- If you are able, turn the gas off at the meter.
- Stay away from your home until you’ve been told that it is safe to return.
The second most-common type of leak is caused by improperly adjusted or broken fill valve. If the float is set too high or the shut-off valve fails to close completely, water will continue to enter the tank and flow into the overflow tube. This type of leak can be seen simply by taking the tank top off and observing if water is flowing into the overflow tube once the tank is full. Excess water pressure can also have a negative effect on the operating system in your toilet.
If you are experiencing either of these types of leaks and need service to fix them, contact our office.
If the leak is inside your home or you have a burst pipe you should first turn off your water supply at your main shutoff valve. If you do not have a main shutoff valve, or don’t know where it is located, you may turn off your water at your meter in an emergency situation. It is advisable to contact a plumber during such emergencies. If any damage has occurred it is also advisable to contact your insurance company. Do not touch any wet electrical fittings – call an electrician.
Do not confuse toxic drain cleaners with the various drain maintenance products that are on the market. These products contain “friendly” bacteria and enzymes. They work great to keep any drain sludge and grease from building up in the pipes.
Most water is rarely “pure”. It can contain oxygen, magnesium, fluoride, chlorine and suspended particles. These components, in the concentrations in your water, are usually not bad for you. However, they do contribute to the taste and smell of the water. They also impart a slight conductivity to the water. Through an electrical process called electrolysis, this conductivity will eventually (over a long period of time) cause most metal to rust or corrode. When the water is heated, this electrical process can be accelerated.
Most water heaters are made of a steel tank with a porcelain enamel (glass) lining. However, due to production and assembly methods, it is not always possible to completely cover the inside of the tank. Therefore it is important to provide metal that can be consumed by the electrical process. This is where the sacrificial anode rod comes in. By acting as a lightning rod for the corrosion process, the anode rod draws the harmful electrolytic process away from the water heater tank and focuses the corrosion on the anode rod. Water heaters need this sacrificial anode rod to ensure that the electrolysis does not affect the tanks.
“Whether your water heater is gas-fired, oil-fired or electric, if it was exposed to flood water, the unit should be replaced.
In a gas unit, valves and controls will likely corrode. In an electric unit, the thermostat and controls will likely corrode. In both types, the insulation surrounding the unit will be contaminated and will be nearly impossible to disinfect. Additionally, the insulation would take a long time to dry, leading to corrosion of the tank from the outside.
Even if water heater components have been cleaned and the unit seems to operate properly, parts may corrode in the future. Both gas and electric water heaters have a pressure relief valve that can corrode and stick after being exposed to flood water. Therefore, be sure to replace this valve as well.”
(Taken from www.ahrinet.org)
At the suggestion of AHRI, be sure to have your inspection and replacement work performed by a qualified professional.
- Ensure that there are no sources of flammable vapors in the same area as your water heater (this includes gasoline, heating oils, lighter fluid, propane, etc.).
- Keep the top of the water heater clean. If you notice water dripping on the water heater from any piping, contact a plumbing professional to have the leak repaired.
- Keep the space around your water heater clean and free of dirt, boxes, paint cans, aerosol cans, household cleaners and trash. It is important to keep the heater accessible for proper operation and easy maintenance.
- Check to see if your indoor temperatures are comfortable before being concerned about a continuously running heat pump. Most heat pumps are designed to run frequently to keep the temperature stable and your home comfortable.
- The most common issues are either your thermostat is set too high, or you have an air leak. Check that your thermostat is set at a reasonable indoor temperature and make sure you don’t have a window or door open in your home.
- If you feel a draft near one of your windows or doors, you may need to repair or replace it to keep your home sealed.
- If your heat pump is running continuously and your home is still cold, you may have an improperly sized heat pump, clogged air filter, or damaged thermostat.
- Check to see that your humidifier valves are all open.
- Inspect the bypass damper and water valve. The bypass damper should be open, and the water valve should be open during the heating season and closed during the summer. Sometimes your humidifier is turned off or unplugged at the end of winter. If you have a rotating drum unit, you may need to fill the water level to keep your humidifier operating. Check to see if your unit is plugged in and turned on before giving us a call.
- Inspect your humidifier water panel. Look for signs of sediment and other debris on the evaporator pad or water panel. If these quick fixes don’t solve the issue, you may need a service call.
Contact us online or call (570) 595-1010 to schedule a time for us to come out for an estimate. We’ll inspect the motor, solenoid valve, wiring, and other systems to find the source of your humidifier issue and keep your HVAC system running efficiently all year.