Frequently Asked Questions and Troubleshooting

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Winter Season | Heating Mode

Here are some tips on getting through the cool days!
Will I save energy if I turn my air conditioner off during the day when nobody is home?

Your air conditioner was designed to maintain a temperature rather than attain it. On a 100° F day, the system is designed to maintain an indoor temperature of 78°, an 18° differential. If the house were allowed to reach 90° indoors, the unit would be unable to reduce the temperature to 75° because of the tremendous heat load of the house and its furnishings. This means you should not turn off the system during high-heat conditions unless you will be leaving your home for extended periods of time and are willing to wait a considerable time for the house to cool.

My furnace is on, but there is no warm air.

Your thermostat may use batteries to operate the control program, typically AA. The thermostat batteries should be replaced each year. The thermostat is designed to be set to 70° F in the winter.

My furnace is on, but some rooms are still cool.

The ductwork in your home is designed for “average exposure” situations. This means that you may wish to adjust some registers in your home to suit your needs and seasonal weather conditions. If one room is too cool during the heating season, partially close registers in other rooms to force more air to the desired room.

In two-story homes, seasonal adjustment of registers may be necessary to compensate for the heat’s natural tendency to rise. To offset this factor, adjust or close registers upstairs to force more heat to the first floor. You may also partially close registers in the rooms you don’t spend much time in, forcing more air to the rooms with more frequent use. Do not close a register just because it serves an upstairs area; instead, evaluate each room and only adjust the rooms that are the most important to you. To ensure adequate airflow and capacity of your equipment, we recommend that you close as few registers as possible.

What can I do to ensure that my furnace will work properly during the winter months?

Perform a pre-season furnace check in September, turn on your heating system to be sure everything is functioning as expected.

To test your system, follow these seven simple steps each fall:

  1. Set your thermostat to the MANUAL position
  2. Set the fan switch to the AUTO position
  3. Switch the thermostat to HEAT
  4. Raise the temperature setting to a point that is at least 5°F above the actual room temperature
  5. The furnace blower fan won’t start immediately and could be delayed by up to three minutes.
  6. Let the furnace run for ½ hour while checking for warm air coming from each register in the home
  7. After testing, reset your thermostat setting to your preference (typically 70° in winter and 78° in summer)
There is smoke and a burning smell coming from my room registers.

Do not be alarmed by a little smoke or burning smell from your registers when using the furnace for the first time each heating season. These things are normal and will not last very long. However, should the condition continue, turn the unit off and contact a service company.

There is no airflow to some/all rooms in my home.

Check all room registers to ensure that they are open. The ductwork in your home is designed for “average exposure” situations. This means that you may wish to adjust some registers in your home to suit your needs and seasonal weather conditions. If one room is too hot or too cool, partially close the registers in other rooms to force more air to the desired room.

Remember, you must regularly clean your filters. Allowing filters to become dirty or clogged can impair the equipment’s performance and may severely damage system components. This type of damage is not covered by a warranty and can be very costly. It is important to make filter changing or cleaning a regular concern. Return air grills and registers should remain unobstructed at all times to assure proper airflow and prevent possible damage to the system. Filters should be cleaned or replaced every 30 to 90 days. Pet owners should replace filters every 30 days.

My furnace is off, but the fan is still running.

Your furnace blower fan will continue to run for three to five minutes after the thermostat has turned off the furnace.

Your thermostat may use batteries to operate the control program, typically AA. The thermostat batteries should be replaced each year.

My system is on, but it is not cooling or heating my home fast enough.

Temperature Design Conditions

Your heating and air conditioning system has been designed and sized to provide maximum comfort and energy efficiency, as outlined by the State of California Title-24 Energy Requirements. Below are the design assumptions used for calculating your home’s heating and cooling loads:

Outdoor Design Conditions: Winter: 0.2% design temperature of 31°F for Sacramento. This temperature will be met or exceeded 99.8% of the time, all year. Summer: 1.0% design temperature of 98°F for Sacramento is to be used for air conditioner sizing.

Indoor Design Conditions: Winter: 68°F indoor, as dictated by the California Energy Commission (CEC). Summer: 78° F indoor, with a 4.5° swing factor, as directed by the CEC and Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

Helpful tip: During peak winter conditions, the home will be more comfortable if you leave the thermostat set between 68° and 70° and set the “FAN” to “ON.” This will maximize the equipment’s performance and comfort. With the fan on, warm air will circulate from upstairs to the downstairs; or in a single-story, it will help to blend the air temperature and reduce the room to room temperature differences.

Summer Season | Cooling Mode

Here are some answers to help you with those warm days!
My thermostat is set for 75°, but my house won’t get any cooler than 83°.

When outdoor temperatures rise above system design conditions, the indoor temperature rises accordingly. An indoor temperature of 83° with an outdoor temperature of 105° is possible.

Older homes have issues with building envelope thermal insulation. Attic might have very low insulation thickness. Windows might be inefficient. Walls might not have insulation. Air Ducts might be damaged or open, thus dumping air into the unconditioned space.

My air conditioning is on, but there is no or very little air velocity.

Allowing filters to become dirty or clogged can impair the equipment’s performance and may severely damage system components. This type of damage is not covered by any warranty and can be very costly. So, it is important to make filter changing or cleaning a regular concern. Return air grills and registers should remain unobstructed at all times to assure proper airflow and prevent possible damage to the system. Filters should be cleaned or replaced every 30 to 60 days. Purchase replacement filters in the basket.

Your thermostat may use batteries to operate the control program, typically AA. The thermostat batteries should be replaced each year. The thermostat is designed to be set to 78°F in the summer. On a day-to-day basis, the system should be allowed to operate continually in the cool mode.

My air conditioning system won’t turn on.

A large percentage of service calls are attributed to fuse failure or tripped circuit breakers. This is mainly due to voltage interruptions or temporary low voltage in the area. Always check fuses and circuit breakers before calling a warranty service on your equipment, as not doing so will result in you being charged for non-warranty service.

If a fuse is blown, it should be replaced with the same size and type as specified on the air conditioner’s data plate. The fuse can be tested with an ohmmeter to determine if it is good (some hardware stores provide this service). You cannot determine if the fuse is good by visual inspection. The fuses, if your system uses them, will be located in the electrical disconnect box next to your air conditioner. These fuses should be “time delay” fuses.

Circuit breakers are located and labeled in the home’s main electrical panel. To check or reset the air conditioning breaker make sure to turn the breaker all the way to the OFF position before resetting it back to the ON position.

My A/C is on, but some rooms are still warm

The ductwork in your home is designed for “average exposure” situations. This means that you may wish to adjust some registers in your home to suit your needs and seasonal weather conditions. If one room is too hot during the cooling season, partially close registers in other rooms to force more air to the desired room. Solar exposed rooms can have a 1 to 4 degrees difference to adjacent rooms.

In two-story homes, seasonal adjustment of registers may be necessary to compensate for the heat’s natural tendency to rise. To offset this factor, adjust or close the first-floor registers. You may also partially close registers in the rooms you do not spend much time in, forcing more air to the rooms with more frequent use. To ensure adequate airflow and capacity of your equipment, we recommend that you close as few registers as possible.

How can I ensure that my air conditioner will work properly during the summer months?

Perform a pre-season A/C system check each April or May. Turn on your cooling system to be sure everything is functioning as expected.

To test your system, follow these seven simple steps each spring:

  1. Set your thermostat to the MANUAL position
  2. Set the fan switch to the AUTO position
  3. Switch the thermostat to COOL
  4. Lower the temperature setting to a point that is at least 10° below the actual room temperature
  5. This should turn on the outdoor condensing unit, check to be sure that it is running
  6. Let the air conditioner run for ½ hour while checking for cool air coming from each register in the home
  7. After testing, reset your thermostat setting to your preference (typically 70° in winter and 78° in summer)
I have followed all of the troubleshooting tips, but my system still is not working properly working

Please Contact Us

Helpful tip: Not replacing the air filter regularly will hurt your system, even damage the equipment. Imagine blocking your car radiator with cardboard, it will overheat and eventually damage the engine. If your filters are not replaced at least every quarter then you run the risk of overheating the fan motor, lowering the efficiency of the system, running the unit longer because of lack of air circulation in the space; thus accelerating the wear and tear on the heating and cooling parts.
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