Frequently Asked Questions
Old fuse panels like push-o-matics along with Federal Pacific Electric Stab-lok, Zinsco, and Sylvania panels are not to code and should be replaced. This is because the breakers will not trip when they should and pose a fire risk due to arcing between the terminals.
According to Energy Star, a home in Central PA should have a total R-Value, or resistance to heat, between R-49 and R-60. This would equate to about 16.5″ to 20″ of total blown-in insulation.
A Standard 1″ air filter should be changed at least every 3 months, even as soon as monthly during heavy use times and if there is a lot of activity from people or pets. Media air filters, usually 2″ – 4″ thick, will last longer, usually around 6 months, because of a bigger surface area. These can be changed annually in some cases.
Hard water is not necessarily bad for you to drink but it can have adverse effects on hair and skin. Otherwise, it is harmful to your home’s plumbing and any water-using appliances, resulting in a decrease in their efficiency and useful life.
Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio or SEER, is a way to measure an air conditioner or heat pumps performance during the cooling season. The minimum SEER in Pennsylvania is 13 for A/C and 14 for heat pumps. When considering replacing either, the SEER is only part of the equation, even those minimums will be an improvement on many systems over 10 years old. So, don’t get overly hung-up on a SEER rating, consider all of the other features and benefits and how a system will perform for you and your home.
An accurately sized air conditioner is critical to the performance of your system and the comfort of your home. A load calculation should be performed by a professional to determine the exact heating and cooling needs of your home. There is no real rule-of-thumb as it encompasses much more than just the square footage of the home.
In the summer or cooling season, the upper vents should be open to return the rising hot air and keep cool air from falling. Conversely, in the winter the bottom vents should be open to pull hot air down and the cold air off of the floor.
A heat pump may look like it is smoking during the heating season but really it is steam as the system goes into a defrost-mode to remove frost from the coils. As long as you are not smelling smoke, this is normal operation for a heat pump in the winter.
Dust is usually generated by the activity in the home, the more people, pets, and movement throughout, the more dust. It also infiltrates the home via air leaks. Dust can also be introduced by loose or detached ductwork in attics, basements, and crawlspaces. It’s important to seal gaps around the home and ductwork. It is also important that ductwork is properly attached and in good condition.