Your questions answered: HVAC FAQs.

Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc. in West Palm Beach can answer all your HVAC-related questions. Before you get on the phone, browse these to see if we already responded to your question online. If you don’t see your question listed or want more information on a particular topic, give us a call at 561-656-4255. Our experts can offer you the information you’re looking for in no time.

Why does my home comfort system need regular maintenance?

Just like you need to take your car in to the shop for routine tune-ups, such as oil changes or looking at probable problems, your home comfort system should be subject to the same kind of attention. Scheduled maintenance by a trained technician provides various benefits to your HVAC equipment, which can help your systems perform efficiently and prevent costly breakdowns.

What is two-stage heating?

With two-stage heating, furnaces may run on two different levels: high and low. Since you can heat your home on the low setting a majority of the time, a two-stage furnace can run longer and more efficiently. Two-stage heating also operates more quietly than traditional furnaces and can give you more even heat distribution and fewer temperature swings.

What is Precise Comfort™ technology?

Lennox’s Precise Comfort™ technology is an operating and control system that allows a furnace to adjust heat and airflow by very small amounts, as low as a 1 percent change. The system is automatic and works similar to cruise control, making adjustments gradually to meet your comfort demands with energy efficiency.

Will my new furnace work differently than my old one?

Depending on how old your previous furnace was, you could experience a variety of differences. Furnaces today are designed to provide more even and efficient heating than ever before. Modern furnaces also better regulate temperature and air flow, moving more air over the heat exchanger than older furnaces.

Additionally, new furnaces are designed to operate with other high-efficiency HVAC products, such as air conditioners. The air conditioner blowers provide your heating system an extra lift so it can deliver cool air around your home efficiently. Special features like variable speed motors will also help lessen noise associated with operating your equipment and easily meet your family’s airflow needs.

What is the energy efficiency standard for air conditioners?

The Department of Energy recently boosted the minimum efficiency levels for air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged units made after Jan. 1, 2015, since heating and cooling contributes significantly to a home’s total energy usage. The requirements vary by region, so call Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc. for the efficiency standards for West Palm Beach.

How can I reduce my energy costs?

Heating and cooling makes up a huge portion of your monthly utility bill. Getting new HVAC equipment with high efficiency ratings, such as SEER for air conditioners and AFUE for furnaces, is a simple step that can go a long way in decreasing energy output. Beyond these ratings, also think about:

  • Routine maintenance – regularly having a pro tune-up your equipment will keep it running at its greatest potential.
  • Adding a zoning system – by focusing your heating and cooling on the rooms you use most frequently, you won’t have to pay to heat or cool areas of your home that aren’t used often.
  • Installing a programmable thermostat – the Department of Energy estimates that a programmable thermostat can decrease heating costs by up to 35 percent and cooling costs by up to 25 percent. Leave it up to your thermostat to turn down the heat when you’re not around and go back to your preferred temperature when you’re home.

Why should I buy a Lennox product?

There are many reasons to go with Lennox, but the top three are:

  • You know and trust the name – Lennox is well-known around the world for its quality home comfort products.
  • Innovation and high quality – Lennox is an industry leader, providing a large line of innovative solutions for your home comfort needs.
  • Commitment to excellence – We are dedicated to providing customers not only quality products, but also quality service. You can trust Lennox dealers, like those of us at Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc., to help you identify the right system for your home, expertly install it, and keep it working smoothly every time.

How can I improve my home’s indoor air quality?

Improving your home’s indoor air quality starts with four basic strategies:

  • Eliminate – poor indoor air quality leaves your home full of with air pollutants floating around your home, so to improve IAQ, the first step is to eliminate as many pollutants as possible. You can easily do this is by cleaning and vacuuming at least once a week, regularly washing linens and storing cleaning products safely.
  • Ventilate – proper insulation is great for keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but it also makes it harder for airborne pollutants to escape. Products like our Healthy Climate® ventilation system help exchange stale air for fresh, filtered outside air.
  • Clean – good ventilation and frequent cleaning are a start, but Healthy Climate® air filters, germicidal lights and PureAire™ purification systems take your IAQ to the next level by capturing microscopic particles, killing germs and removing particles and germs while destroying chemical vapors.
  • Monitor – programmable thermostats will help you keep an eye on the humidity levels and temperature to help prevent particles and germs from accumulating and keep your home comfortable.

How does an air conditioner work?

You might be surprised to know that air conditioners don’t technically make your home cooler; they actually remove the hot air and transfer it outside. This hot air moves across a refrigerant coil on the indoor unit and then is sent to the outdoor unit where it is released. Your air conditioner pushes as much hot air outside as is necessary to reach the temperature you have set on your thermostat.

What is the minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners in my state?

Minimum energy efficiency standards can vary by geographic location. Additionally, air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged units made after Jan. 1, 2015, have higher minimum efficiency levels than HVAC products manufactured prior to that date. The team at Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc. can help you determine the minimum requirements for West Palm Beach, let you know if your current systems meets those requirements or help you find a replacement air conditioner that does.

What size equipment do I need for my home?

Since equipment size needs differ for each home, the best way to figure out the right size equipment for your home is to have a technician from Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc. come out to perform load calculation tests. The tests take things like square footage, insulation value and amount, and more into account to determine your home’s unique HVAC equipment needs.

What is two-stage cooling?

When a cooling system uses two-stage cooling, it means that there are two levels of operation. This lets the system work as efficiently as possible since there is one level for milder weather and one for harsher weather that demands the system work harder. Two-stage cooling also enables slight temperature changes so you don’t experience extreme differences in temperature. Aside from better efficiency, other benefits of two-stage cooling include quieter operation and improved humidity control.

Why is my cooling unit freezing up?

When your cooling unit freezes up, there are a variety of reasons why it could be doing so. The most frequent reasons include: dirty filters, low refrigerant, a dirty evaporative coil and a faulty blower motor or relay. A dirty filter is something you can take care of as a homeowner, but the others need to be done by a professional like those at Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc.. Contact them at 561-656-4255 with any additional questions.

What is the best thermostat to use for my cooling system?

Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc. carries a number of great thermostat options for your HVAC systems. The best thermostat for you will depend on a variety of variables, such as whether you want one that’s programmable or not. No matter what kind of thermostat you’d like – or if you’re in the market for something that can fit with a home automation system – call Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc. to hear about which thermostats you can choose from. Our team will help you find one that’s best for your system, your family’s needs and your budget.

What is a heat pump?

A heat pump takes care of both your home’s heating and cooling needs, offering you one HVAC system that can be used in all four seasons. Throughout the warmer months, heat pumps act like an air conditioner, capturing the hot air from inside your home and transferring it outside; in the cooler months, this process is reversed. Heat pumps can be very energy efficient and may produce two to three times more heat than the energy needed for the process.

When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?

At Hopkins Air Conditioning, Inc., we do recommend replacing both your indoor and outdoor units at the same time because:

  • Nowadays, outdoor systems are built to work with their matching indoor system for the highest efficiency possible. When you replace only one of your systems, you may not see the same energy efficiency levels as if you had replaced them together.
  • Thanks to technological innovation, newer systems mean increased efficiency. This is true for HVAC products as well. While the advancements focus on improved heating and cooling efficiency, they also include benefits such as better air handling, filtering and noise reduction.
  • If your heating and cooling systems are 10+ years old, they need to be replaced. Older models have outdated technology that is likely costing you money due to poor efficiency. So by replacing your indoor system at the same time as your outdoor equipment, both your systems will provide better energy efficiency that helps you lower your energy bills and keep your home more comfortable.