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What size heating & air conditioning system do I need?

A system that is too large will cool or heat your house quickly, but you may not feel comfortable. That's because it will satisfy the thermostat before the heat is evenly distributed.

On the other hand, a system that is too small just cannot get the job done, especially in extreme weather conditions. The air conditioner will run constantly in the summer and the furnace will do the same in the winter.

But a correctly sized system isn't just based on the size of the structure. Many factors go into determining the size of the system. Including type of house and walls, type and size of windows, insulation, basement and attic conditions, house orientation, and so on. At RMS Heating and Air Conditioning, we do an on-site assessment for every quote to ensure that our customers get exactly what they need to maximize comfort and save on energy costs.

What is the difference between a single stage and a two stage furnace?

A single stage, or one-stage, furnace means exactly what the name sounds like – it only has one setting. Whenever it’s turned on, this type of furnace is running at full capacity regardless of the outside temperature. Single stage furnaces are less efficient than other types because they’re always running at full blast.

Two stage furnaces have two output levels – low and high. Most of the time, these furnaces operate on the low setting. They only kick into high gear when an extra boost is needed to raise the temperature in your home. Two stage furnaces generally only operate on high about 25% of the time saving you money on your energy bills.

These furnaces run for longer periods of time, but they provide more even heat distribution throughout your home. Most homeowners find that two stage furnaces are quieter than single stages furnaces, and they usually don’t need to adjust their thermostats as often.

When should I think about getting my furnace tuned up?

Fall is the best time to get your furnace maintained - before it’s needed in the dead of winter.

If you were going on a long road trip, would you wait until you were half of the way to your destination to get your vehicle tuned up? Of course not. You wouldn’t want to risk having your car break down. The same common sense applies to your furnace. You really shouldn’t wait until winter is here to get your furnace tuned up – especially with the extreme cold and snow we get in the Erie area. Winter is like a long road trip for your furnace–make sure it’s ready for it.

What is that burning smell when my heater turns on?

If you noticed a burning smell when you turned on your furnace for the first time this winter, don’t worry. This is pretty normal.

As your heater sits unused during the summer, it collects dust. When you turn on your furnace for the first time in the fall, some of the dust burns off when it heats up. How long the smell lasts depends largely on how dusty your furnace got.

You can minimize this smell by making sure you get a heating tune-up each fall. During a tune-up, your furnace’s internal components are cleaned. This clean up removes dust and keeps your heater running efficiently all winter.

How can I tell if my attic needs more insulation?

The proper amount of insulation saves you money and helps to make your home more comfortable. If your insulation is even with or below the attic’s floor joists, you need more insulation. The recommended amount is 10-14 inches spread evenly throughout your attic.

What is a programmable thermostat?

A programmable thermostat is a thermostat with an additional set of features that automatically adjust the temperature of your home based on the day of the week and the time.

For example, if you work Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., you can set a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature when you leave and return each day, saving you money on your energy bill.

How do I know if I need a new air conditioner?

There are 3 common signs to look for.
The air conditioner has reached the end of its lifespan-An air conditioner lives 15 years on average.
It runs inefficiently-if your system takes forever to cool your home and you have higher energy bills, it may be time to replace it.
The air conditioner requires frequent and expensive repairs-if your system needs expensive repairs every year, it would make good economic sense to invest in a new one.

Will my air conditioner run less if I use my ceiling fan to help cool my home?

No. A ceiling fan won’t actually lower the temperature in your home. It only makes the room feel cooler by creating air movement. However, running your ceiling fan does allow you to turn your thermostat temperature setting up 4 degrees without feeling uncomfortable. This will help you lower your electricity bills.

When is the best time to tune up my air conditioner?

Spring is the best time to tune up you air conditioner. A little maintenance in the beginning of the air conditioning season will maximize efficiency and can prevent small problems from becoming big, expensive problems later on.

All equipment, even the most reliable, needs routine maintenance. Complicated equipment like today’s air conditioners benefit in many ways from annual service. They recover much of their lost efficiency, they are less likely to suffer a major break down, they have a longer life span, they increase your comfort, and they operate for less money.

My upstairs is always warmer than my downstairs. Is it possible to even out the temperatures?

Heat rises. In most multi-level homes, the upstairs rooms will be warmer than downstairs rooms. However, this can be minimized with a properly sized heater and/or air conditioner along with proper duct design and adjustments. At RMS Heating, we strive to help all of your rooms be as comfortable as possible, allowing you to enjoy more of the space in your home.

How often should I change the air filter?

Changing the air filter is one of the easiest and cheapest things you can do to keep your system running correctly. We highly recommend that you check your air filter at least once a month (or every 30 days).

Clean or replace your air filter whenever it is visibly dirty. A dirty air filter restricts airflow to your air conditioner and heater. This results in higher energy costs, more repairs and a shorter system lifespan.

Should I be concerned about indoor air quality?

Yes. It is common knowledge that air pollution affects your health. In fact, those subject to air pollution are at greater risk for strokes, heart attacks, respiratory complications and cardiovascular disease. Indoor air quality plays an important role in the health of you and your family. We offer a variety of solutions to help you achieve the best indoor air quality possible to help you breathe easy! Ask about our UV Filters.