Frequently Asked Questions

Heating and cooling systems work incredibly hard to perform their functions for your household. The constant stopping, starting and continual operation can wear down a machine quickly and unexpectedly if the proper care and maintenance is delayed. However, by performing preventive maintenance or servicing your system regularly, you can maximize the lifecycle of your heating or cooling unit and guard against many unexpected failures

Preventive maintenance inspections performed on a regular basis can uncover leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires and corroded electrical contacts.

At least once a year heat pumps and air conditioners require a professional tune-up. All HVAC equipment is recommended to be cleaned once a year as per manufacturers. Warranties can be void by manufacturers from not maintaining proper maintenance on systems.

Inspections on boiler and furnace systems should include ductwork, pipes, dampers, valves, the chimney, registers, radiators, pumps, blowers, fuel lines, the gas meter, oil tank and every part of the actual furnace and boiler. Meanwhile, heat pump and air conditioning unit inspections should also include inspections of the fan, compressor, indoor coils, outdoor coils and refrigerant lines.

Standard filters work to keep your system and its ductwork clean but they don’t really improve indoor air quality. In order to do that you need a media filter. The media filter rests between the main return duct and the blower cabinet and will improve dust and particle removal by seven times that of a standard filter. However, upgrading to a pleated media filter will remove everything from insecticide dust to airborne viruses from the filtered air. A media filter can have a life exceeding two months. Always choose a filter that matches your blower’s capacity.

Here are several tips to help you keep your system running at its most efficient level:

1. Keep your thermostat at a constant temperature, the recommended temperature is 78º, even when no one is home.
2. Change your filters every month.
3. Check the outside condensing unit regularly for any grass clippings or leaves stuck to the coil. If it is dirty:
4. Disconnect the power at the circuit breaker FIRST!
5. Spray water from a garden hose through the coil until the water passing through it is clear.
6. Turn the power back on.
7. Have the unit serviced every spring by a licensed service company.

With the new WiFi thermostats, you can now control and customize your homes level of comfort from any mobile device. With only a swipe of a finger, you can raise or lower temperature, or turn your system on or off. No more worrying!

Use a shop-vac to clean out your drain line on a regular basis. This will prevent the water from backing up and causing damage to your home or office.

Remember to change your air filter on a monthly basis. This simple task can often save you time and money by preventing break downs that require a service tech to repair.

Before calling for a service tech, always be sure to check your breakers and your thermostat to be sure they are turned on. Many service calls can be avoided by a simple reset of the breakers and thermostat.

If you or family members suffers from health problems, look into an ultraviolet light unit for your home. This will reduce the amount of harmful particles in the air and help slow or stop the spread of sickness to other family members.

If you are having problems with your system please give us a call to see what can be done to put your system back to its normal running capacity.

“I only change my Ruud furnace filter when it looks dirty.” Although this is a common assumption of how to know when to replace a furnace filter, it is not good advice. If you can see a build-up of particulates on your filter then it should have most likely already been replaced. A dirty filter not only reduces the efficiency of your furnace but more importantly, negatively impacts the quality of the air you and your family breathe.

But how do you know when to change your filter? The correct answer is: it depends. Many manufacturers recommend that you change your furnace filter every three months. But this is only meant as a guideline. As you might have guessed, every household is different.

A variety of factors may determine how often you change your filter. They include the type of filter, specific conditions in the home, and furnace usage patterns, to name just a few.

The required change-out frequency varies with filter type, unit location, and other environmental factors. For residential applications, standard disposable polyester or pleated air filters should at least be checked every 3 months. Often after that length of time, a filter will require a change, however environmental factors such as pet hair, heavy foot traffic in your home, and tobacco smoke can decrease the life of your filter; requiring a more frequent change.

For higher efficiency filters or other types of media air cleaner, the life can range from 6 months to over 1 year. Commercial applications have an even broader spectrum of change-out frequencies. Air filters in restaurants are commonly changed every 4 to 8 weeks depending on the customer traffic and filter type. Retail chains, strip malls, and other small businesses vary, but usually are in need of a change every 12 weeks.

Industrial facilities, depending on the nature of their business, often require a filter change-out every week. Plants with heavy smoke, soot, and other airborne contaminants require a massive filtration system, and with all the pollutants in the air, the filters can quickly become saturated. For a free frequency recommendation, please contact NOVA Heating and Air Conditioning.

Yes! As your air filters get dirty, they begin to restrict the air flowing through the unit. This causes the HVAC unit to work harder to maintain a sufficient air flow. Because your unit is working harder and longer, it is using more electricity, which over time can dramatically increase your utility costs. In addition, dirt acts as an insulator disrupting the heat transfer of the air flowing through the unit. Call NOVA Heating and Air Conditioning to have your filters changed today!

This also causes your unit to work harder, which uses more electricity. There is an optimum time to change any air filter; which is when it has reached its maximum efficiency with out becoming restrictive. By changing your filters on a regular schedule, you really can save money on your utility costs, and help promote a cleaner environment.

Not regularly changing your air filters can also lead to costly mechanical breakdowns. Keeping your air filters clean is truly the most cost effective way to maintain your expensive HVAC equipment, and a cleaner environment for your family, friends, and co-workers.

If you have a forced air heating system, check your furnace’s blower compartment and blower coils. Vacuum them if you see dirt and dust there. You should also check the fan belt tension, and lubricate the fan and motor bearings.

If you have a steam system, check the shut-off valve for leaks.
Bleed hot water system radiators at least once a year.
Don’t keep clutter near your furnace. It’s a fire hazard, and may keep your system from operating efficiently.
To make sure you’re getting the most out of your heating system, keep the heating registers and vents throughout the house free of dust, dirt, and pet hair by vacuuming them at least once a year.
Listen for odd sounds when your heating or cooling system kicks in. If you hear anything unusual, get in touch with your service professional so you can head off problems before they become serious.
In winter months, set your ceiling fan at its slowest speed and reverse it in order to gently push warm air down from the ceiling without generating a breeze.

Getting your HVAC system inspected twice a year by NOVA Heating and Air Conditioning is the ideal situation for most people. This will allow for two important things to occur:

1) This will make sure your system is running effectively and efficiently and that no issues are apparent thus ensuring your system will work when needed.
2) It will ensure your system is clean of debris and in this case, mold/mildew formations and thus avoiding any of the potential health risks associated with mold/mildew.
3) Installing an air purification system into your HVAC system will greatly reduce, if not completely eliminate up mold, bacteria, odors, viruses, smoke and VOCs – leaving behind clean, fresh and odor free air.

Molds are usually not a problem indoors, unless mold spores land on a wet or damp spot and begin growing (in the case above, it’s the evaporator coil). Molds produce allergens (substances that can cause allergic reactions), irritants, and in some cases, potentially toxic substances (mycotoxins). Inhaling or touching mold or mold spores may cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Allergic responses include hay fever-type symptoms, such as sneezing, runny nose, red eyes, and skin rash (dermatitis). Allergic reactions to mold are common and the reactions can be immediate or delayed. Molds can also cause asthma attacks in people allergic to mold. In addition, mold exposure can irritate the eyes, skin, nose, throat, and lungs of both mold-allergic and non-allergic people.