HVAC Information: FAQ, Glossary, and More
No matter what your HVAC questions are, the experts at Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning in Memphis have answers. Whether you have questions about selecting new HVAC equipment to best practices on care and maintenance, we are here to help. Our online FAQs answers provide a rapid response for your convenience, but if you want to know more on any topic, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 901-365-4260.
Why does my home comfort system need regular maintenance?
Like any product you want to keep in good shape, HVAC equipment requires proper care in order to give you the greatest benefits. Trained professionals can service your heating and cooling products to make sure they’re working at their greatest potential and help prevent more pricey repairs in the middle of the hottest or coldest months of the year.
Where can I find prices for Lennox products?
Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning in Memphis can price out individual products or multiple home comfort products for you. Call 901-365-4260 to hear more.
What is two-stage heating?
Two-stage heating permits the furnace to heat at two levels of output: high for cold winter days and low for mild ones. Approximately 80 percent of the time, your home’s heating requirements can be met when the furnace is left on the low setting, allowing your two-stage unit to work for longer periods of time. Two-stage units also provide more even heat distribution, fewer temperature swings, quiet operation, better air filtration, and energy efficiency.
What is Precise Comfort™ technology?
Precise Comfort™ technology is an operating and control system used in Lennox furnaces. The technology can automatically adjust heat by increments as little as 1 percent, boosting energy efficiency and helping you experience more comfort.
Will my new furnace work differently than my old one?
Modern furnaces are designed with a host of innovative features older furnaces don’t have. Today’s heating systems give you more even heating and are better at governing airflow. Although the air coming out of your vents may seem cooler than your old furnace, the airflow is much better and more efficient.
Another benefit of modern furnaces is their ability to work with other HVAC products as part of a high-efficiency whole home comfort system. When combined with a high-efficiency air conditioner, furnace blowers can more easily accommodate add-on cooling. Other innovations, such as Precise Comfort™ technology and variable speed motors, will help your furnace operate more efficiently and quieter than ever.
What is the energy efficiency standard for air conditioners?
The Department of Energy recently increased the minimum efficiency levels for air conditions, and the standards vary by region. Contact Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning at 901-365-4260 to find out the requirements for the Memphis area.
How can I reduce my energy costs?
Lennox carries a variety of HVAC products with high efficiency ratings, which can help reduce the amount of energy they require to run 40]. Aside from selecting products that have received Energy Star® certification or achieved high SEER ratings for air conditioners or AFUE ratings for furnaces, you can think through the following:
- Maintenance – making certain that your system receives regular maintenance by a trained expert can keep your system working at its peak performance.
- Zoning – zoning systems permit you to only heat or cool only specific areas of your home, so you won’t have to pay to heat or cool spaces that you don’t typically utilize.
- Programmable thermostats – using a programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home around your schedule. They can be programed to offer you the comfort you desire when you’re home and increase or decrease the temperature while you’re not around, helping you save on heating and cooling costs.
Why should I buy a Lennox product?
There are many reasons to choose Lennox, but the top three are:
- Lennox is a name you know and trust – known throughout the world for quality HVAC products, you can rest assured Lennox will provide you with high quality equipment.
- Innovative and high quality products – Lennox has been on the leading edge of innovation in the heating and cooling industry for years. High quality furnaces, air conditioners, and home comfort systems include innovative features to help your home stay more comfortable and energy efficient.
- Reputation of excellence – high quality products are not the only arena Lennox excels in. Lennox dealers, like Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning, give you high quality service at all times, from your first consultation to your routine maintenance appointments.
How can I improve my home’s indoor air quality?
Strategies to boost your indoor air quality can be as basic as vacuuming your home to something as large as replacing a new ventilation system. Overall, good IAQ has four strategies:
- Eliminate – lessen the pollutants floating in your air by cleaning your home often, particularly vacuuming carpet, washing linens, and safely storing household chemicals.
- Ventilate – make sure your home is well-ventilated to move airborne pollutants out of your home. In newer homes, well-done insulation will inhibit ventilation, so Lennox systems such as the Healthy Climate® ventilation system can help. These systems bring fresh air from outside into your home and direct the stale air out.
- Clean – proper air filters, such as our Healthy Climate® air filters, will make sure the smallest particles don’t get through and are let out into your home. Germicidal lights can kill the germs that do make it through, and purification systems like the PureAir™ will help diminish odors and chemical vapors.
- Monitor – keep your humidity levels in check with a programmable thermostat. High temperatures and humidity levels can increase concentrations of mold, mildew, and germs. A programmable thermostat will make sure that your home is comfortable without letting humidity get too high.
How do I know which indoor air quality product will work best for my home?
Try checking out our Healthy Solution Finder, where you can pick the indoor air quality problems that affect your home. After you choose the items that apply, the system will show the IAQ products that fit your needs. You can also call Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning and walk our techs through some of the issues you experience. They can evaluate your home and needs and provide options and answers.
How does an air conditioner work?
Most homeowners believe that air conditioners make your home cooler, but it actually removes the heat from your home, moving the hot air outside. That hot air flows across a cold indoor coil where refrigerant in the lines sends the heat to the coil in your outdoor unit, releasing the hot air outside. This process continues until the indoor temperature reaches the temperature you set on your thermostat.
What is the minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners in my state?
Due to the increasing amount of energy used by heating and cooling systems, the Department of Energy (DOE) hiked up the minimum efficiency levels for air conditioners, heat pumps, and packaged units manufactured after January 1, 2015. These levels are determined by region and carry varying requirements based on your location. Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning can answer any questions you may have regarding these minimum requirements and let you know what choices are available when you’re in the market for a replacement system.
How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my cooling unit?
You can find these numbers on a nameplate or sticker that is near your system’s service panel. The sticker will be white with black letters and have both of these numbers located near the top of the sticker. M/N denotes model number while S/N is your serial number.
What size equipment do I need for my home?
There are a handful of ways to determine what size system is the best fit for your home, but the most reliable way to determine the right size system is by having your local Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning technician come out and perform a load calculation. This calculation considers your home’s square footage, insulation value, amount of insulation, and a number of other factors.
Can frost, ice, dirt, or other debris keep the outdoor unit of my cooling system from operating effectively?
The short answer is “yes,” because dirt and other debris can impede your system’s ability to work efficiently. For heat pumps, it is normal to have frost or ice on them during the winter, but they also are built with defrost controls to ensure they work efficiently in those kinds of weather.
What is two-stage cooling?
Two-stage cooling means that your cooling unit has two levels of operation. When summer is in its hottest weeks, the high setting kicks in, and when it’s cooler or more mild, it operates on the low setting. Typically, the lower setting will take care of your cooling needs, but even when the high setting starts up, you may not realize it because it can generate such even temperatures for your comfort. This may also mean a quieter cooling system, greater efficiency and better humidity control.
Why is my cooling unit freezing up?
Your system could be freezing up for a couple of reasons, but the most typical are dirty filters, low refrigerant, a dirty evaporator coil, and/or a faulty blower motor. Changing a filter is something any homeowner take care of; however, you’ll need to call the professionals at Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning at 901-365-4260 for other problems or if you have other questions or concerns.
What is the best thermostat to use for my cooling system?
Identifying the best thermostat for your cooling system comes with a lot to think through. That’s why it’s nice to have such a big variety of choices from Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning. Whether you’re looking for a programmable or non-programmable thermostat or want to join the smart home trend, there are various thermostats that you have to select from. Some thermostats will depend on what type of heating and cooling system you have, but the experts at Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning will be able to help determine what options are best for your needs and your budget.
What is a heat pump?
Heat pumps can be a tad confusing due to their name, but they actually meet both your heating and cooling needs throughout the year. When it’s hot outside, it runs like an air conditioner in that it removes heat from your home, but when it cools off, the process gets switched around and it collects heat from outside and brings it inside. Heat pumps are also very efficient and may produce up to two or three times more heat than the energy it uses.
When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?
Of course we suggest you also replace your indoor system, but this is why:
All outdoor cooling systems have a matching indoor unit that they are intended to work with to ensure efficient performance. When they aren’t paired with the other unit as a total system, efficiency may be diminished.
As with a lot of products, advancements have brought about newer, more efficient ways of doing things. Heating and cooling systems are no different. These improvements most importantly include better heating and cooling efficiency, but also involve improved air handling, filtering, and noise pollution reduction to name a few.
Heating and cooling systems that are more than 10–15 years old normally need to be replaced. Not only do they feature outdated technology, but they are also less efficient than more recent models. Adding a new indoor unit at the same time means you’ll have a matched system to provide you with improved comfort and efficiency for years to come.
How can I tell if my solar HVAC system is performing to its maximum potential?
The communication module on your SunSource® Home Energy System sends the system’s performance information for each module to a website. You can go to this website to learn about the system’s status, energy production, and environmental benefits. The site also shows real time updates of carbon offsets.
Is an Internet connection necessary to use the SunSource® communication module?
Yes, an Internet connection is needed for you to take advantage of the online monitoring system, which includes seeing energy production and environmental benefit information. The system’s performance-monitoring website is maintained by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc., and the monitoring service is provided at no cost for five years.
Do I need to clean my solar modules?
In most locations, rain will naturally clean the solar modules. If you reside in a dusty or industrial area, periodically spraying the modules with water may help improve performance. However, detergents and high-pressure hoses should never be used to rinse solar modules.
What is the best thermostat for my home comfort system?
The best thermostat for you depends on your heating and cooling equipment. Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning has programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats that can help improve the efficiency of your HVAC systems. View our available products or contact us at 901-365-4260 to learn more.
How can I control my energy expenses?
Heating and cooling can represent a significant amount of your utility bill. The innovative and high efficiency heating and air conditioning products available from Lennox® can help reduce these costs. If you’re looking for a new heating and/or cooling system, look for products with high SEER ratings for air conditioners and AFUE ratings for furnaces. SEER and AFUE are a measure of product efficiency, and the higher the number, the more efficient the product. Besides purchasing a new home comfort system, consider these factors:
- Is your product regularly maintained? Whether it’s a furnace or air conditioner, HVAC systems will work more efficiently after regular maintenance checks.
- Do you need a zoning system? If there are areas of your home that are rarely used, a zoning system will allow you to heat or cool only the commonly used parts of your house.
- Are you taking advantage of a programmable thermostat? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, programmable thermostats can reduce your heating costs by up to 35 percent, and your cooling costs by up to 25 percent.
What are the benefits of zoning systems?
Zoning systems give you the ability to section off portions of your home and control the temperature differently in each area. These systems are ideal for when you have parts of your home that are rarely used or when you and your family are constantly in disagreement of what the temperature in each area of your home should be. Zoning systems are quiet and efficient, enabling you to have more control over the comfort of your home. Discover more about the zoning systems available from Landmark Heating & Air Conditioning.
HVAC Glossary of Terms
Terms and technical definitions for heating, cooling, and indoor air quality products.
Annualized Fuel Utilization Efficiency is a measure of your furnace’s heating efficiency. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more efficient the furnace. The minimum percentage established by the DOE for furnaces is 78%.
The distribution or movement of air.
Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration Institute (ARI)
ARI is an industry trade association that develops standards for measuring and certifying product performance. For instance, ARI Standard 270 provides guidelines for establishing sound levels for outdoor air-conditioning equipment.
Air Handler/Coil Blower
The indoor part of an air conditioner or heat pump that moves cooled or heated air throughout the ductwork of your home. An air handler is usually a furnace or a blower coil.
Microscopic living organisms suspended in the air that grow and multiply in warm, humid places.
A British thermal unit is a unit of heat energy. One Btu is the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. The higher the Btu rating, the greater the heating capacity of the system.
British thermal units per hour.
The Combined Annual Efficiency is a measure of the amount of heat produced for every dollar of fuel consumed for both home and water heating.
An odorless, colorless, tasteless, poisonous, and flammable gas that is produced when carbon burns with insufficient air.
Central Air Conditioning System
System in which air is treated at a central location and distributed to and from rooms by one or more fans and a series of ducts.
Stands for Cubic Feet per Minute. This measurement indicates how many cubic feet of air pass by a stationary point in one minute. The higher the number, the more air is being moved through the ductwork by the system.
Composite Fan Blades
Used in select Lennox outdoor air conditioner or heat pump units, blades are manufactured with rugged materials and an exclusive angled design that improve operation and durability, even in the harshest environments.
The part of the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump that compresses and pumps refrigerant to meet household cooling requirements.
A component of a SunSource® Home Energy System, a communication module allows you to view system status and environmental benefits in real time.
The outdoor portion of an air conditioner or heat pump that either releases or collects heat, depending on the time of the year.
A movable plate, located in the ductwork, which regulates airflow. Dampers are used to direct air to the areas that need it most. Typically used in a zoning application.
A decibel is a unit used to measure the relative intensity of sound.
The Department of Energy is a federal agency responsible for setting industry efficiency standards and monitoring the consumption of energy sources.
An air-conditioner or heat pump that is shipped dry and charged with refrigerant at the place of installation. Dry-charged units are appropriate for homeowners who need a replacement unit compatible with R-22 refrigerant.
A comfort system that pairs an electric heat pump with a gas furnace, providing an energy-efficient alternative to the conventional furnace/air conditioner combination.
The method by which air is channeled from the furnace or the blower coil throughout your home.
Electronic Air Cleaner
An electronic device that filters out large particles and bioaerosols in indoor air.
An EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) designation attached to HVAC products that meet or exceed EPA guidelines for high-efficiency performance above the standard government minimums.
The Environmental Protection Agency develops and enforces federal environmental regulations. The EPA oversees the nationwide ENERGY STAR® program.
The part of the air conditioner or heat pump that is located inside the air handler or attached to the furnace. Its primary function is to absorb the heat from the air in your house.
Stands for “frequently asked questions.”
Garage heaters are an excellent product for combating cold garages and workshops during the winter months. Heating capacities provide warmth for a 1 car garage up to a 4+ car garage application. Separated combustion models provide heating for hard-to-heat applications. Available in natural or propane gas, units should be installed by a Lennox dealer/installer.
A grid-tied system is the most common and least expensive of all residential solar systems. It allows you to use your own solar-generated electricity to save energy and reduce costs. At times when the solar system isn’t producing electricity, such as at night, electricity is provided by the utility company’s grid, or network of power stations.
Located in the furnace, the heat exchanger transfers heat to the surrounding air, which is then pumped throughout the home.
A heat pump is an HVAC unit that heats or cools by moving heat. During the winter, a heat pump draws heat from outdoor air and circulates it through your home’s air ducts. In the summer, it reverses the process and removes heat from your house and releases it outdoors.
When an air handler or furnace is positioned on its side and circulates air in one end and out the other. Ideal for attic or crawl space installations.
The Heating Seasonal Performance Factor is the heating efficiency rating for heat pumps. The higher the rating, the more efficient the heat pump. HSPF will be regulated in 2006 at 7.7.
An indoor air quality device that introduces moisture to heated air as it passes from the furnace into the ductwork for distribution throughout the home.
An automatic device used to maintain humidity at a fixed or adjustable set point.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.
Refers to products from the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection of heating, cooling, and humidity control products that are configured to work with the iComfort Wi-Fi® programmable thermostat as an advanced home comfort system.
iComfort by Lennox® System
Lennox’ most advanced heating, cooling, and humidity-control products synchronize with the iComfort Wi-Fi® thermostat to deliver maximum comfort, performance and efficiency.
See Evaporator Coil.
(See “net metering.”)
A family of international standards for quality management and assurance.
The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of a filter describes the size of the holes in the filter that allow air to pass through. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the holes in the filter, the higher the efficiency.
A unit of measure equal to one millionth of a meter, or one thousandth of a millimeter.
With this service, which is available from many utility providers, you can get full retail value for most, if not all, of the electricity produced by your own generating system, such as a SunSource® Home Energy System. Your utility meter keeps track of the “net” difference between the electricity you use from your utility provider and the electricity you produce with your own system.
Air contaminants in the form of gases.
Off-grid or Off-the-grid
An off-grid electricity-generating system operates independently from the utility grid, providing all of the electricity needed in the home. Stand-alone systems are much more expensive than grid-tied systems. However, for homes located in remote areas without utility service, or where installing power lines would be extremely costly, a stand-alone system is a good option.
See Condenser Coil.
Any substances measuring less than 100 microns in diameter. The EPA has found that small particles (less than 2.5 microns) are responsible for the health effects of greatest concern.
A thermostat with the ability to record different temperature/time settings for your heating and/or cooling equipment.
The old standard for residential air conditioners, R-22 refrigerant is now being phased out by the U.S. EPA. Lennox offers dry-charged units for those who still have R-22 compatible systems.
A chlorine-free refrigerant that meets the EPA’s newest, most stringent environmental guidelines.
A chemical that produces a cooling effect while expanding or vaporizing. Most residential air conditioning units contain the standard R-22 refrigerant, or Freon.
Two copper lines that connect the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump to the indoor evaporator coil.
A specially designed compressor that works in a circular motion, as opposed to up-and-down piston action.
The Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is an energy efficiency rating for air conditioners. The higher the SEER, the better the energy performance, the more you save. The DOE’s established minimum SEER rating for cooling is 13.00.
SilentComfort™ Outdoor Fan Motor
Used in select Lennox outdoor air conditioner or heat pump units, the fan motor is designed with innovative electronic sensor technology that helps optimize overall system performance while keeping sound levels low.
A heating and cooling system contained in one outdoor unit.
An HVAC system in which some components are located inside the structure of the house and some are located outside. Split systems should be matched for optimal efficiency.
A component of a SunSource® Home Energy System, solar modules mount on the roof to harness solar power to reduce heating and cooling costs.
A term used with select air conditioners and heat pumps from the Dave Lennox Signature® Collection, “solar ready” means the systems can be integrated with solar modules in a SunSource® Home Energy System.
Monitors temperature and humidity and adjusts heating or cooling system to maintain desired levels.
Usually found on an inside wall, this device operates as a control to regulate your heating and cooling equipment, allowing you to adjust your home comfort at the touch of a switch.
Unit of measurement for determining cooling capacity. One ton equals 12,000 Btuh.
Provides two levels of heating or cooling output for greater temperature control, energy efficiency, and improved indoor air quality.
When an air handler or furnace is installed in an upright position and circulates air through the side or bottom and out through the top. Typically used in basement, closet, and attic installations.
Variable Speed Motor
A motor that automatically adjusts the flow of warm or cool air for ultimate comfort.
A system that exchanges stale, recirculated indoor air with fresh, filtered outside air.
A method of partitioning a home into independently controlled comfort zones for enhanced comfort and efficiency.