Metcalfe Heating & Air Conditioning

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FAQs

What should I look for in a good HVAC service provider?

  • HVAC service providers should be licensed and insured.
  • All technicians should be certified.
  • All parts and products should be quality name brands.
  • Providers should file city permits for all installation work performed.
  • The provider should have excellent references.
  • You should feel comfortable with the provider.

If another company installed our HVAC system can you service it?

Yes. We charge a fee for diagnostic testing. If we discover a problem with your system we’ll explain it to you and provide an estimate for the cost of repair. That fee will include a one-year parts and labor guarantee.

What’s the first thing I should do if my furnace won’t start?

Reset the furnace. The reset switch looks like a light switch on your furnace. Turn this switch “off” for 20 seconds, then back on. Then be sure to call us to schedule a diagnostic test. The fact that it did not start on its own indicates a problem.

What is a chimney liner and why is it needed?

Chimney liners are made of metal and are placed in existing brick chimneys for proper venting. If you are replacing an old, inefficient furnace with an efficient one, you will need to have the chimney liner replaced. Old chimney flues are too large to meet new vent requirements.

Do all chimneys need a chimney liner?

Almost all brick chimneys need a liner because the flues are generally too large. Metal chimneys usually do not need a liner.

What is an energy-efficient furnace?

Furnaces are rated with Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The minimum AFUE number is 80. Higher AFUE numbers offer greater efficiency.

What is the difference between an 80% efficient furnace and a 90% efficient furnace?

  • An 80% efficient furnace and a 90% efficient furnace will heat your home equally well however the 90% furnace saves you approximately 10% in operating costs.
  • 80% furnaces typically vent up a chimney because they have high exhaust temperatures that remove products of combustion.
  • 90% furnaces have such a low exhaust temperature that they have to be power-vented directly outside.

How often should I change my furnace’s filter?

For standard replaceable filters, change once a month. If you have an electronic cleaner, clean every three months. For a whole house HEPA cleaner, you need to replace it once a year.

We need a new furnace and our air conditioner is getting old too. Will it save us money to buy both at the same time?

Yes. We can save you money by sending our installers only once.

Furnaces are rated with efficiency levels. What about air conditioners?

Air conditioners use a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). The minimum is 10 SEER, but the optimum is 13 SEER. The efficiency improves the higher the SEER number. Every time the rating increases by one point, the efficiency increases by approximately 10%.

Is it true that the government is phasing out Freon (R-22) for central air conditioners?

Freon (R-22) central air conditioners cannot be manufactured after the year 2010. The Freon (R-22) refrigerant cannot be manufactured after 2020. Since Freon (R-22) will be made on a limited basis, it will become very expensive, similar to Freon (R-12).

What will be replacing Freon (R-22)?

410A is the refrigerant of choice to replace Freon (R-22). It is environmentally friendly and cools equally to R-22. It is also known as PURON, the brand name from Bryant.

What’s the best way to get my air conditioning running in the spring?

  • Remove the air filter on the furnace and clean it.
  • Turn the damper on the furnace to “Summer.”
  • If you have a humidistat, turn it from 35% to 0%.
  • Turn the disconnect back on 24 hours before starting your air conditioner.
  • Wash the condenser unit (that’s the unit outside your house). To do this, set your hose nozzle to a fine spray of water and spray from the top down.
  • Turn on your air conditioning.

How often should I have my air conditioner checked?

Both Furnaces and Air Conditioners should be checked yearly to ensure warranty and guarantee the highest efficiency. View our Service Agreements page for information.

How do I clean an electronic air cleaner?

Spray it with an all purpose cleaner and let it dry and reinstall it. Or, put it in your dishwasher. Use a soap that leaves no film and be sure to protect the thin “piano” type of wires in the cleaner from the spikes in the dishwasher tray. One way is to set the cleaner on top of glasses that are placed over these spikes in the dishwasher.

What can I do to improve my indoor air quality?

  • Keep windows and doors closed during allergy season.
  • Properly ventilate your home. Use exhaust fans whenever you cook or shower.
  • Use and air cleaner and replace the filters regularly.
  • Treat the air with an ultraviolet air treatment system.
  • Maintain the right relative humidity between 45%-65% as recommended by the EPA.

Your quality heating, furnace, heat pump and air conditioning service professionals, serving Upper Marlboro MD, Arlington VA and Alexandria VA.