HVAC FAQs

Your HVAC system plays an important role in your home comfort, but sometimes all of the HVAC terms and system requirements can get downright confusing! There’s a good chance that you’ve got a lot of important questions about your air conditioning or heating system and how it works. Not to mention, you’ve probably got some questions about the best ways to care for your HVAC system and get the most out of this equipment.

That’s why we put together a list of the most frequently asked questions about HVAC and home comfort. This is by no means an extensive list, but these are some of the most common questions that we get from our customers. Use these answers as a starting point for your research. And don’t be afraid to contact us if you don’t see an answer to your question here!

Before You Buy

In the market for a new HVAC system or products? Here are some questions you may have as you before you buy:

  • Do I need a new air conditioner or furnace?

    There is no easy answer to this question. The home comfort needs of every homeowner vary, and so does the quality and performance of their current HVAC systems. The easiest way to know if you need a new air conditioner or furnace is to consider how well your current unit meets your home comfort needs. If you find it difficult to stay comfortable, it may be time to find a new system.

    The age of your HVAC system is one of the most common indicators that you need a new unit. Though the standard HVAC system lasts about 10 years, some quality equipment may maintain performance for a longer period of time. Similarly, some low-quality systems may not last the entire decade. Consider how well your aging system is able to meet your home comfort needs and how efficiently the system runs over time.

    Yet another indicator that you may need a new HVAC system is when the cost of repairs is more than the cost of a new installation. Sometimes all your system needs is a simple repair to get back up and running. However, when the repairs become extensive or costly, it can often make more sense to just invest in a new unit.

    If you’re not sure whether or not you need to purchase a new HVAC system, contact us. Our HVAC technicians can inspect your system and give you an honest assessment of whether a repair or replacement would be in your best interest.

  • What is the proper size HVAC system for my home?

    The size of your new HVAC system will depend on the size of your home, your home comfort needs, and other factors such as the type of home, insulation, and house orientation. The only way to know for sure what size heating and cooling system you need is to work with a qualified HVAC technician that specializes in new system installation. The tech will come to inspect your home, take measurements, and ask questions to ensure that you are getting the correct sized system for your home comfort needs.

    It’s important to note that getting a properly sized system is imperative to your home comfort. A system that is too small will have to work twice as hard to keep your home comfortable. Not only does this waste energy and drive up your utility bills, but you may find that it’s impossible to stay comfortable. A unit that is too large for your home will turn on and off more often than it needs to, causing unnecessary wear and tear on the system’s parts. Avoid all of this by working with an HVAC installation specialist who can help you find the right size for your home.

  • Which brand HVAC system should I buy?

    The best HVAC system brand for your home will depend on your needs, preferences, and budget. No matter which brand you choose, consider the company’s reputation for providing quality products. You will want to choose a brand that has a long-standing history of developing dependable, efficient, and quality HVAC systems that will last for the long-haul.

    For these reasons and more, Sheldon’s recommends Carrier home comfort systems to our customers. Carrier has a rich history of developing reliable HVAC systems and accessories that provide reliable home comfort solutions for homeowners across the globe across a range of budgets and preferences. As a Riverside Carrier Factory Authorized Dealer, Sheldon’s has the experience and skill to provide expert installation, repair, and maintenance on all models of Carrier HVAC systems.

  • How do I find the right heating or cooling system that’s right for me?

    Do your research! There are a lot of different heating and cooling systems out there that provide a range of different features and benefits. To find the best heating and cooling system for your home, look for a quality system that has the features you need to keep your home comfortable while remaining within your budget.

    Need help finding the right heating or cooling system for your home? We’d love to help. We put together a convenient guide to Carrier HVAC systems that helps you better understand which series works for your needs and budget. But we are also happy to work with you one-on-one to help you find the perfect HVAC system for your home comfort needs. Give us a call to get started: (877) 411-9888.

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HVAC 101

Getting to know the basics of your HVAC system can help you better understand how to care for your equipment and get the most out of your air conditioner or heater. Here are some common HVAC 101 questions that will help you get to know your HVAC system:

  • What does HVAC stand for?

    HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. These three functions play an important role in home comfort and are all closely related. The goal of an HVAC system is to provide thermal comfort while maintaining the quality of your indoor air. An HVAC technician is someone who is trained and specializes in the installation, repair, and maintenance of heating and air conditioning systems.

  • How does my HVAC system work?

    Your HVAC system distributes conditioned air (warm or cool) throughout your home or office building. A fan draws your indoor air in through vents located throughout your house. The air then travels through the air ducts to your unit’s air handler. The conditioned air is then returned to your home through vents and registers.

    In the simplest terms, your HVAC system takes in your indoor air, conditions it and then distributes the conditioned air throughout your home. Not only does the HVAC system distribute air that is the desired temperature, but it also works to improve the quality of the air by filtering out dust, dirt, and other particles.

  • How long will my HVAC system last?

    The lifespan of your AC or heater will depend on a number of factors, including the quality of your equipment, how well the system has been maintained over time, and how you use your system. In general, your heating and cooling system will last about 10 years. With routine maintenance, the system may last longer. Additionally, HVAC rejuvenation services can help give your aging system a new life — improving efficiency and performance so that you can get more life out of your HVAC system.

  • How do I know if my HVAC system needs repair?

    There are many different signs that may indicate your HVAC system needs repair. Here are just a few of the common issues that may signal you need to call an HVAC technician to inspect and repair your heating and cooling system:

    • Loud Noises – If your AC or heater is making loud or strange noises, this may be a sign that your system needs repairs.
    • Strange Odors – Turn off your system and call an HVAC technician immediately if you start to notice burning smells or moldy odors coming from your heating or cooling unit.
    • Can’t Stay Comfortable – When you are having trouble getting your home to a comfortable temperature or maintaining that temperature over time, this may indicate that something is wrong with your system.

    These are just a few of the issues that may indicate your system is in need of repair. When in doubt, just call the HVAC experts at Sheldon’s.

HVAC Maintenance

Maintaining your HVAC system is an important part of ensuring efficiency and optimizing home comfort. Here are a few of the most common questions we get asked about heating and air conditioning maintenance:

  • How often should I replace my HVAC air filter?

    You should replace your HVAC system filter when it becomes dirty or clogged. The exact frequency will depend on your home comfort, HVAC system, and the type of filter that you are using. Typically, we recommend that you check your air filter each month and replace as needed. The average homeowner will find that they need to replace their HVAC filters once every three months.

  • Why do I need preventative HVAC maintenance?

    Just like your vehicle needs a periodic oil change and other system checks, your heating and cooling systems also need preventative maintenance to keep them running smoothly and efficiently throughout the year. By maintaining your HVAC system, you can help prevent some costly repairs while also ensuring optimal efficiency and performance year-round.

  • When should I get HVAC maintenance on my system?

    Not every HVAC system or home is the same. However, we generally recommend scheduling a preventative HVAC maintenance visit with a qualified HVAC technician at least twice a year. There are many preventative maintenance tasks that you can tackle yourself, but it’s best to have an experienced HVAC tech check on your system before summer and winter start to ensure that your air conditioner and heater are ready for the season ahead.

  • What is an HVAC tune-up?

    An HVAC tune-up is a preventative maintenance visit where an HVAC technician inspects, cleans, and lubricates your heating and cooling system parts. During this tune-up, the HVAC tech will also look for any worn or damaged parts and access any repair needs.

  • How often do I need an HVAC tune-up?

    Though every heating and cooling unit is different, we typically recommend getting an HVAC tune-up at least twice a year. Ideally, you should schedule an HVAC maintenance visit once in the spring before you begin using your AC heavily in the summer and once in the fall before heating season starts.

  • What is an HVAC maintenance plan?

    An HVAC maintenance plan is an agreement that allows homeowners to get the HVAC maintenance they need on a regular schedule. Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning offers HVAC maintenance plans that provide Riverside homeowners with affordable options for ongoing preventative maintenance checks throughout the year. (Learn more about our HVAC maintenance plans.)

Maintenance Plans
Don’t wait until it is too late, call today to get a maintenance plan for the most expensive appliance in your home!

HVAC Energy Efficiency

Maintaining energy efficiency is an important part of keeping your home comfortable while keeping your utility bills reasonable. Here are some questions to help you better understand HVAC energy efficiency:

  • What is a SEER rating?

    SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The SEER rating is used to measure the average cooling output of an air conditioner over the course of a standard cooling season. Most modern air conditioners have a SEER rating of 13 or 14, but higher efficiency systems can reach up to 21 or 25 SEER.

  • What is an HSPF rating?

    HSPF stands for heating seasonal performance factor. The HSPF rating is used to measure the energy efficiency of heat pumps. Most homeowners should look for a heat pump with an HSPF rating between 8 and 10. To earn the ENERGY STAR® distinction, heat pumps must have an HSPF rating of at least 8.2 as well as a SEER rating of 12 or higher.

  • How can I improve my HVAC energy efficiency?

    If you want to reduce energy waste and decrease utility bills over time, you need to make an effort to use your HVAC system more efficiently. One of the best ways to do this is to adjust your thermostat a few degrees higher in the summer and lower in the winter. Make sure that you adjust the temperature when you and your family will be out of the house for a long period of time.

    A smart or programmable thermostat makes adjusting the temperature of your home easy. With a programmable thermostat, you can make sure that you are adjusting the temperature during periods of the day when your home is not occupied so that you aren’t using energy to heat or cool an empty home. A smart thermostat makes home comfort even more convenient as it allows you to adjust the temperature from anywhere through an app on your smartphone.

    For more tips, please check out our Riverside guide to energy efficient HVAC.

Get HVAC Help Today

Have a pressing HVAC question that wasn’t addressed above? Need help navigating your HVAC system? The HVAC experts at Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning can answer any question or address any concern that you may have about your HVAC system and its operation. We can help you find the right heating and cooling systems and products for your home comfort needs while also providing quality HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance.

Call Sheldon’s Heating & Air Conditioning today to speak with a home comfort specialist who can answer your questions and help you get the home comfort you deserve: (877) 411-9888.