Heating and Cooling 101

Heating and cooling are two of the most important concepts of home ownership. In fact, heating and cooling systems are major factors for those looking to purchase homes, and are a critical part of living comfortably in a home.

You may frequently hear the term “HVAC,” which is used to describe home heating and cooling systems. The acronym stands for Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning–which are the 3 primary functions of a home system. They control air temperature and humidity, and maintain the quality of the air in the home.

Central System

Heating and cooling systems may be classified as central or local.

Central heating and cooling is the most standard method, and is defined by a system that produces warm or cool air in one central area and then distributes it throughout the home. There are many types of systems that work as central systems, from traditional split systems to packaged product systems.

Products typically used in central heating and cooling systems include:

  • Heat Pumps
  • Air Conditioners
  • Gas and Oil Furnaces
  • Fan Coils
  • Evaporator Coils
  • Single Packaged Products
  • Controls and Thermostats

Local heating and cooling, on the other hand, produces warm or cool air at the location where it is needed and serves small spaces. Room Air Conditioners and Duct-Free Split Systems are examples of local heating and cooling.

Heating

Heating systems keep your home warm and comfortable. If you live in a particularly cold climate, the function of your heating system is a high priority.

Most central heating and cooling systems are classified as forced air systems, because they send air through ductwork for distribution. The ductwork can contain products that filter or clean the air.

Radiant systems create heat and deliver it using components such as radiators that distribute the heat into the home. Boilers are a traditional radiant heat source.

Typical heating products include:

  • Heat Pumps
  • Gas and Oil Furnaces
  • Fan Coils
  • Boilers
  • Single Packaged Products

Cooling

Whole-home air conditioning systems are central systems that rely on ducts to deliver cooled air throughout the home. An air-conditioning system provides cooling, ventilation, humidity control and even heating (if using a Heat Pump) for a home.

Air conditioning units cool refrigerants like Puron Refrigerant and Freon and deliver them to evaporator coils, which dissipate the refrigerant and blow cool air into ducts for delivery throughout the home. Products such as room air conditioners are local cooling options for smaller areas within homes. Instead of delivering cooled refrigerant to a coil and then to ductwork, a room air conditioner contains all the components in a single unit and blows air directly into a room.

Air-conditioned homes often have sealed windows, because open windows would disrupt the attempts of the control system to maintain constant temperature.

Typical air conditioning products include:

  • Heat Pumps
  • Central Air Conditioners
  • Evaporator Coils
  • Single Packaged Products

Specialty Products — Duct-Free Split Systems (DFS)

As the name implies, a duct-free split system does not rely upon air ducts to route treated air through your home or office. Instead, these specialty products are added for a specific room, such as a home theatre, an exercise room, a garage, or other room where adding ducts is impractical. These comfort systems can supply heating, cooling, or both, and are a split-system in that the condensing unit sits outside your home while the indoor unit sits unobtrusively on the wall to control and direct the airflow. These Carrier systems are full-featured and couldn’t be any easier to operate.

Typical Duct-Free Systems:

  • High-Wall Systems
  • Under-Ceiling Systems
  • In-Ceiling Systems

Thermostats

The term “thermostat” commonly refers to any unit that controls the operation of a heating and cooling system. Thermostats are used to turn on heating or cooling systems to bring the home to a set temperature. In addition to basic temperature control, programmable thermostats can be used to manage the timing of the system’s functions, which can control overall energy use and costs.

Indoor Air Quality

Improve the air quality inside your home. It could be the best choice you ever make for your family.

Improve your home’s health by enhancing the quality of the air inside. Carrier humidifiers help you control air moisture, ventilators bring fresh air into your home, electronic and traditional air filters clean the air before it circulates, and advanced ultraviolet lamps eliminate germs and bacteria.

Carrier Fan-Powered Humidifiers are independent units with their own fans that add moisture directly into your ducts, while Bypass Humidifiers work in tandem with your furnace system to deliver enhanced moisture throughout your home. Both options are quiet, energy efficient ways to make your home more comfortable, and reduce static electricity.

Efficient and innovative Carrier Energy Recovery Ventilators bring fresh air into your home throughout the longer cooling season, while Heat Recovery Ventilators keep your air warm and fresh during longer heating seasons – forcing stale air and pollutants out of your home.

State-of-the-art Carrier air filtration systems such as the Infinity Air Purifier and Performance Electronic Air Cleaner effectively remove bacteria, pollen, animal dander and other pollutants as small as 0.01 microns – that’s 18,000 times smaller than the head of a pin. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficiently the cleaner removes particles.

UV Lamps from Carrier zap the mold and bacteria that can sometimes grow in the moist environment of your air conditioning or indoor coils. This way, unhealthy pollutants are killed and won’t circulate through your family’s home.

Contact us today and we’ll show you how you can improve your air quality.

Troubleshooting Guide

Here are a few simple things to try before calling us to your home for a service visit.

Air Conditioning Equipment Checklist

  1. Check to make sure that your thermostat is set in the “cool” position.
  2. Ensure that your outdoor air conditioning (condensing unit) is running.
    • Check the circuit breakers in the circuit breaker box (or electrical panel), most likely mounted to an outside wall in the back of the house. Make sure they are all in the “ON” position.
    • Check the outdoor unit “disconnect switch” to make sure it is in the “ON” position. The disconnect switch is located near the outdoor unit. (Normally a grey 8″ wide x 16″ high x 4″ deep box mounted to the wall).
  3. Ensure that the blower motor in your furnace is running. (If the thermostat is in the “cool” position, the furnace blower should be running.)
    • If not, check to make sure the on / off switch at the furnace is in the “ON” position.
  4. Be sure that you have changed your filter in the furnace recently.
    • An extremely blocked filter can cause your outdoor air conditioner unit to shut down due to lack of proper airflow.
  5. Check all return air grilles to make sure they are not blocked by furniture
    • Furniture should be moved away from return air grilles at least four inches for adequate air supply.

Gas Furnace Equipment

  1. Check to make sure that your thermostat is set in the “heat” position.
  2. Make sure that the temperature setting on the thermostat is set above (or higher than) the indoor temperature showing on the thermostat.
  3. Ensure that there is power to the furnace.
    • Try turning the fan to ‘ON’ using the fan switch on the thermostat to test for power to furnace.
  4. Check the circuit breakers at the electrical panel.
  5. Check the SSU switch (it looks like a light switch on a gray box located at the furnace) to be sure it is in the ‘ON’ position.
  6. Has the furnace filter been replaced recently?
    • All 1-inch thick furnace filters should be replaced monthly.
    • Wider 2-inch thick, and other high-capacity pleated filters can most likely be changed every other month or just 6 times per year.
  7. If the system is running but you have not changed your filter, the filter needs to be replaced.
  8. Check all return air grilles to make sure they are not blocked by furniture.
    • Check all supply air registers to make sure they are open and blowing air. (The return air grilles are normally located on your walls and are wide and flat).

If these handy checklists do not solve your problem, contact us right away for service.

Coupons

Get your money’s worth when you stretch your dollars with BEST Bucks.

Tax Credits

You can get a credit on your Oregon income taxes for purchasing energy-efficient HVAC systems for your home:

Click on the category to view technical requirements and current lists of eligible equipment.

Important: For heat pump installation and diagnostics, and for duct sealing and testing, we require that an Oregon Department of Energy tax credit technician perform the work.

The tax credit is based on the amount of energy saved above standard models. The tax credit is the amount noted on the list of qualifying equipment.

To qualify for a tax credit, you must have an Oregon income tax liability. If you are an Oregon resident and do not have an Oregon income tax liability, you may choose to transfer your tax credit to an Oregon resident who does. This is done by checking the Pass-through Option section on the application form. More information is on the form.

To receive your tax credit certification by April 15, please submit your tax credit application to the Oregon Department of Energy by April 1 of the year following your purchase. You may still apply for a tax credit after April 1, but may have to amend your tax filings to claim your credit.

Financing

Innovative Carrier products are trusted in more homes than any other brand–and financing is no different. Through our close partnership with Umpqua Bank, participating Carrier dealers offer a variety of flexible options for financing your new Carrier product or system. That way, you can invest in your home’s comfort or respond to an unexpected heating and cooling need without breaking your monthly budget.

With financing from Carrier and Umpqua Bank, you’ll enjoy:

  • Low monthly payments
  • Preferred interest rates
  • Flexible terms

Plus, by taking advantage of special Carrier financing, you won’t use up your existing funding sources, like a home equity line of credit, credit card or bank account. They’ll still be available when you need them.

To find out which Carrier financing options are available to you, or to learn about special financing promotions, contact Best Heating & Cooling.

logo-umpqua-bank

Energy Trust of Oregon

Energy Trust is an independent nonprofit organization that offers cash incentives and services for qualifying energy-efficiency and renewable energy projects in homes, businesses and industry. These cash incentives are separate from state and federal tax credits. We serve customers of Portland General Electric, Pacific Power, NW Natural and Cascade Natural Gas.

We also maintain a network of local, independent trade ally contractors — including Best Heating — who install many of the projects qualifying for cash incentives, such as insulation, water heating systems, windows and solar energy systems.

Not a customer of PGE, Pacific Power, NW Natural or Cascade Natural Gas? You may still qualify for state or federal tax credits for your project. We also encourage you to ask your utility if they offer any cash incentives or rebates to help you make energy-efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems.

logo-energy-trust