FAQ’s
Kelowna Heating & Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Gas HVAC Technicians Serving the Okanagan

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WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO REPLACE MY FURNACE?

Any time is a good time to replace an old less-efficient furnace. Don’t wait until it’s getting cold at night and your furnace isn’t coming on! The average life span of a furnace typically is 15 years; you can check for a sticker on your furnace which will tell you the date it was manufactured.

WHAT ARE THE WARNING SIGNS THAT MY HVAC SYSTEM IS FAILING?

When you raise the temperature on your thermostat and don’t feel any hot air coming out of the floor duct or wall ductless spit, your house isn’t cooling, you hear unexpected noise coming from the unit, or your electric or gas bills are going up quickly, it might be time to replace. We will provide you with a recommendation as to whether it is better to repair or replace.

MY FURNACE IS ACTING UP AGAIN—SHOULD I FIX IT OR REPLACE IT?

This might depend on the age of the system and why it is acting up. Systems can act up for many reasons but if the age of the system is 15 years or older then it is highly recommended that your furnace be replaced.

IS IT CHEAPER TO INSTALL AN AC WITH A FURNACE?

Yes! Installing both pieces of equipment at the same time is cheaper than installing at separate times. 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I REPLACE MY FURNACE FILTER?

Furnace filters should be changed on average every 4 to 6 months. Filter changes are also dependent on the area where you live; high dust or smoke areas may need more frequent filter changes. When your filter is covered in dust and debris, the pores that allow air to flow through get blocked. The filter must be changed for the furnace to work efficiently when circulating the air.

WHAT IS TWO-STAGE COOLING?

Two stage cooling is when a condensing unit is capable of cooling in two different stages. The furnace runs at a lower stage most of the time, using less electricity and this helps to save money and the environment. When the temperature changes dramatically, the furnace switches to a higher stage to get the job the done. If only a small amount of cooling is needed to reach a required temperature, then the system runs in first stage. When the temperature can’t be met in that amount of time, the system ramps up to the second stage.

WHAT IS A HEAT PUMP?

A heat pump is an air conditioner that can work in reverse. During the summer months, it removes heat from the air in your home and transfers it to the outside. In winter months, a heat pump can draw heat from the outside air -even on cold days – and use this heat to heat the inside of the home. Choose a heat pump that has been designed for the region’s temperature range, We recommend that there should always be a form of backup heat (i.e. A gas furnace). A heat pump is a great option if you want to reduce adding CO2 emissions from a gas furnace, or when electricity is the only source of energy available in your neighbourhood. 

WHAT IS THE BEST THERMOSTAT TO USE FOR MY HEATING SYSTEM?

There are so many choices out there for thermostats, with some being WIFI-connected and programmable.  Having a WIFI device allows you to use an app for your phone to check and change your home’s temperature on the go! Let your Radian technician know your wants, needs and lifestyle and they can match you with the perfect thermostat! 

WHO DO I CONTACT IF I HAVE ANY QUESTIONS?

Many HVAC manufacturers provide detailed manuals and technical support on their websites. Or you can call us!

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE LENNOX EQUIPMENT LIMITED WARRANTY AND THE LENNOX 10-YEAR EXTENDED LIMITED WARRANTY PROGRAM?

The Lennox Equipment Limited Warranty is a 5-year limited warranty and is transferable to different owners. The Lennox Extended Warranty adds an extra 5 years – once the equipment is properly registered through Lennox, and it is NOT transferable between owners.

HOW CAN I COMPARE ONE LENNOX® PRODUCT TO ANOTHER?

Please visit the Lennox website and then call us to start the conversation! We can help you determine the right product for your needs and your budget.

HOW CAN I IMPROVE MY INDOOR AIR QUALITY?

Healthy Climate Solutions™ from Lennox offer many innovative and effective ways to improve the quality of your home’s air. Their solutions include air purification, humidity control and ventilation products.

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE DANGERS OF CARBON MONOXIDE?

If a HVAC system is releasing carbon monoxide, your detector may go off. At low concentrations, one might experience fatigue in healthy people and chest pain in people with heart disease. At higher concentrations, the dangers are impaired vision and coordination; headaches; dizziness; confusion; and nausea. CO can be fatal at very high concentrations so having a working, up to date carbon monoxide detector in your home is essential.

WHY IS CARBON MONOXIDE (CO) IN YOUR HOME DANGEROUS?

Breathing CO reduces your body’s ability to carry oxygen in your blood and can affect you before you notice its presence. Exposure to the gas can cause carbon monoxide poisoning (CO poisoning) and is dangerous to your health.

HOW CAN I TELL IF THERE IS CARBON MONOXIDE IN MY HOME?

You might see soot or brownish-yellow stains around a leaking appliance. You might notice stale, stuffy, or smelly air, like the smell of something burning or overheating. Soot, smoke, fumes, or back-drafts coming into the house from a chimney, fireplace, or other fuel burning equipment is another sign. As well, you might hear your CO detector sound an alarm!

WHAT IS OZONE?

Ozone is a form of oxygen. In the earth’s stratosphere, it helps to block potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun from reaching us here on earth However, at lower levels in the atmosphere—the air we breathe—it’s a product of pollution and can be dangerous. Some air purifiers will detect high ozone levels in your home. 

WHICH AIR FILTRATION PRODUCTS MAKE OZONE?

Some ionizing air purifiers and portable air cleaners on the market today actually end up making your air quality worse by emitting ozone. Other ozone sources include items with electric motors, such as vacuum cleaners and refrigerators.

HOW DO ALLERGENS GET INSIDE MY HOUSE?

It’s not just your dog or cat that’s the culprit. Pollen particles can blow into your home through open windows, and they can get tracked inside by people and pets. Prolonged damp areas in your home can lead to mold and mildew buildup. Textile fibers from clothing, curtains and other fabrics produce and collect dust.

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WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CLEAN AIR?

Simply breathing contaminated air can result in severe health complications, so aiming to reduce the amount of airborne pollution is critical for human beings in general. Breathing in clean air has many benefits, including:

  • Cleaner lungs
  • Decreased asthma and allergies symptoms
  • Improved skin appearance
  • Helps digestion
  • Psychological and emotional stabilizer
  • Better mood and normalized sleep patterns
  • Reduce chances of lung, heart, and arterial diseases
ARE ALL AIR FILTERS CREATED EQUAL?

No, there are MANY different types of air filters. Ask one of our technicians which type would best suite you home, equipment and lifestyle.

HOW DOES OVERLY DRY AIR AFFECT MY HOME COMFORT AND HEALTH?

Indoor air that’s too dry can leave skin feeling itchy and dried out. Overly dry air can also increase static electricity, create cracks in furniture and leather, shrink wood floors and furnishings, and cause breathing difficulty or even nosebleeds. When nasal passages dry out, the body can become more vulnerable to respiratory viruses.

CAN INDOOR AIR HUMIDITY AFFECT ASTHMA AND OTHER RESPIRATORY AILMENTS?

Breathing in humid air activates nerves in your lungs that narrow and tighten your airways. Humidity also makes the air stagnant enough to trap pollutants and allergens like pollen, dust, mold, dust mites, and smoke. These can set off your asthma symptoms.

WHEN REPLACING AN OUTDOOR AC UNIT, SHOULD THE FURNACE ALSO BE REPLACED?

Depending on the situation, if you are considering a new AC unit that is being replaced with a unit of the same size and refrigerant then the rest of your HVAC might be able to remain. If the unit is very old though, it’s likely the furnace is too! It might be more cost-efficient to replace both at the same time. If the outdoor AC is being upgraded to one with safer (different) refrigerant then both units must be replaced and matched properly.

HOW MUCH DOES A FURNACE COST?

The cost of a furnace is dependent on many factors. BTU’s, efficiency, size, cooling, fan function, ductwork changes, and stages are things that affect your quote.

IS IT CHEAPER TO INSTALL AN AC WITH A FURNACE?

Yes! Installing both pieces of equipment at the same time is cheaper than installing at separate times.

WHY IS MY FURNACE LEAKING WATER?

If your furnace is a high efficiency furnace then it is a condensating furnace. It creates condensation in the exhaust that must drain back through the furnace to prevent water freezing at the end of the pipe. If the furnace is leaking water the drain could be backed up or there could be possible cracks inside the unit’s condensate compartments.

HOW SHOULD I MAINTAIN MY FURNACE?

Annual service of each piece of HVAC equipment is highly recommended for prolonged life, efficient functioning, and may save you money replacing parts. This must be done by certified technicians.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN R-22 AND R-410A REFRIGERANTS?

The major difference between R-22 and R-410A refrigerants are their effect on the earth’s ozone layer. R-22 is depleting the ozone and has been discontinued because of this. R-22 cannot be replaced with R-410A however because they work at different pressures. The R-22 equipment must be replaced.

SHOULD I COVER MY AIR CONDITIONER OR HEAT PUMP IN THE FALL AND WINTER?

A cover should never be placed on a heat pump; this equipment is built to withstand the outdoor elements. However, putting a cover on an air conditioner over the fall/winter/spring will keep the equipment cleaner. Just be careful to make sure the cover is removed before turning on the equipment, as this could cause major damage.

WHAT IS A "PROPERLY MATCHED" SYSTEM?

A properly matched system is one where all the HVAC equipment can function together without issues. An air conditioner shares the furnace’s airflow system, so the furnace must be designed to be able to accommodate the size of air conditioner needed for the home. 

IS THERE REALLY A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AIR CONDITIONER AND HEAT PUMP SOUND LEVELS?

Yes, the sound levels can be different. The sound levels on all condensing units are dependent on their design. Newer heat pumps are quieter.

HOW MUCH WATER DOES A HUMIDIFIER USE?

Depending on the climate, the model you choose, and the size of your home, a humidifier may draw from 1.5 to 12 gallons per day when the furnace is operating. This minimal amount of water is enough to raise the humidity to your desired level, but not enough for you to notice a difference on your water bill.

HOW DOES EXCESSIVE HUMIDITY AFFECT MY HOME COMFORT AND HEALTH?

Humidity can do more than just affect the level of comfort in your home. With too much moisture in your home, it is likely that you could start to see water stains on hardwood floors or fabrics and condensation forming on windows. High levels of humidity could also be to blame for musty smells throughout your home or even mold forming. The temperature both in your home and outside tends to feel warmer than it is when there is high humidity. This is because it causes sweat to evaporate more slowly, or not at all, which keeps your body from cooling off naturally. This could even lead to overheating. The moisture in the air can also cause bacteria and viruses to thrive, especially if mold is forming, making it easier to become ill.

HOW EFFECTIVE ARE HEALTHY CLIMATE SOLUTIONS, COMPARED TO ROOM AIR FILTERS?

The PureAir ™ Air Purification System cleans the air in your home better than any other single system you can buy*. That’s because it addresses the three major areas of air quality—allergy-aggravating particles, molds and germs, and chemical vapors/odors—in one powerful system.

WHY IS PROPER AIR CIRCULATION IMPORTANT IN THE HOME?

Air flowing freely throughout your home helps to regulate temperature, prevent buildup of particles and mold, and it makes breathing easier for everyone in your family. Also, if you enjoy cooking or use a lot of hobby supplies (glue, spray paints, epoxy, etc.), good air circulation can help dissipate odors and fumes.

WHAT ARE SOME CAUSES OF HOME ODORS?

Some minor odors might come from pets, trash, cooking. Major odors that should be investigated are sewer odor plumbing drains, mold, gas, smoke, and any strong chemical smells.

CAN STRONG ODORS IN MY HOUSE CAUSE HEALTH PROBLEMS?

Some chemicals with strong odors may cause eye, nose, throat or lung irritation. Strong odors may cause some people to feel a burning sensation that leads to coughing, wheezing or other breathing problems. If you are concerned, please schedule us for a HVAC checkup.