Heating and Cooling: Frequently Asked Questions


Heating FAQ


Q: How often should I change my furnace filter?

A: When it comes to answering this question, the best place to start is the documentation that came with your furnace. You should use the manufacturer’s recommendations as a guideline, but understand that there are plenty of other variables in play that could require you to change it more often. If you have several shedding pets, for instance, or if one or more family members have allergies, you will want to change it more often. Remember that a clean filter means better indoor air quality, and since filters are fairly inexpensive and don’t cost as much to replace; it’s best to change your filter frequently. Contact us here at Quality Heating for your filter needs.


Q: What is a MERV rating?

A: MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and it is a term that refers to the quality of your furnace filter’s performance. In short, the higher your filter’s MERV number, the more efficient its performance.


Q: When I fire up my furnace for the first time, the heated air smells really bad. Why?

A: There are several possible reasons for a stinky startup. Dust may have settled on the heat exchanger over the summer and the smell is simply due to burning off that dust as your system kicks into gear again. If the odor persists even after your system has been operational for a day you may need to replace the filter. A seasonal maintenance inspection and cleaning from Quality Heating can prevent smelly air problems and catch a more serious problem that may be causing the malodor.


Q: I’ve been considering getting a new furnace, but I’m confused by the different energy efficiency numbers. What’s that all about?

A: Energy efficiency and saving on utility bills is on every consumer’s mind these days; as well as ours and it should be! AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, and it measures the amount of heat delivered to your home compared to the amount of fuel that is delivered to your furnace. Ratings for most new furnaces fall in the 80-98% range; the higher the number, the more efficient the appliance. In order to qualify for federal Energy Star tax credits, a furnace needs to have an AFUE rating of at least 95%.


Q: How do I know if I need a new furnace?

A: If your furnace is more than 14 years old, it’s probably time to invest in a new one. Many models can peak out at 20 years, but that’s absolutely the best case scenario. If you’re paying hundreds of dollars on repairs and your furnace has become a real money pit, now is a great time to get a new one. You’ll save money in the long run; not only on repair costs, but also on your energy bills. Today’s models are amazingly efficient as well as long-lived. For the best price and service call Quality Heating Inc. 208-529-2093.


Cooling FAQ


Q: What is a SEER rating?

A: SEER stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio and used exclusively for measuring the performance of the air conditioner. It measures the amount of cooling output of an air conditioner in relation to the amount of energy needed to run the system at that level. In order to be sold in the United States, an air conditioner needs to have a SEER rating of at least 13 seer. Air conditioners or heat pumps range from 13 seer to 21 seer.


Q: How do I know what size air conditioner my home needs?

A: To make sure you have the right size system for your needs, a trained and certified Quality Heating technician will perform a comprehensive load calculation. Then you can be sure that the one you choose will be just right for all your cooling needs.


Q: Is it OK just to start up my air conditioning system once hot weather hits?

A: No special requirements are needed to switch your system from “heat” to “cool.” However, to make sure your appliance operates at peak efficiency when you need it most, and to catch small problems before they become big ones, it’s wise to have a Quality Heating Technician come out and perform an inspection, cleaning and tune-up on your system before weather gets really hot. Before using your air conditioner, be sure to uncover your outdoor condenser and clear away any debris or shrubbery around the unit.

Q: What is that loud squealing noise I hear when the air conditioning is on?

A: Chances are the bearings in the motor may need lubrication or motor replacement. If you are not handy with doing the repairs yourself, a Quality Heating technician is happy to make a service call and take care of it. A central air system should be whisper-quiet and unobtrusive: no squealing allowed!


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

A: There’s no cut and dried answer to this question, but there are factors that can make this choice easier. An old or inefficient cooling system is a real money pit. It makes good sense to replace your old one. Contact Quality Heating and see what we can do for you to help your family stay cool and comfortable during Idaho’s hottest months.


Fireplace FAQ


Q: Do I need a chimney to have a gas fireplace installed?

A: Yes you do need to have a chimney to have a gas fireplace


Q: Will my gas fireplace operate when the power is off?

A: It really depends on the fireplace you have. Most will still operate but the fan will not be blowing any air, it is not recommended to run your fireplace while the power is off.


Q: How do I keep my fireplace running efficiently?

A: have a Qualified technician service clean your utilities regularly.


Q: How often do I need to have my fireplace serviced and cleaned?

A: Here at The Fireplace Shop we recommend one of our qualified technicians to come and service and clean your fireplaces at least once a year.