We have answers for your frequently asked questions. Schagrin Gas Company in Middletown 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 in this list or want more information on a subject, give us a call at 302-658-2000. Our staff can give you the information you’re looking for in no time. 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 certain they’re working at their top 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? Schagrin Gas Company in Middletown can price out individual units or multiple home comfort products for you. Call 302-658-2000 to find out more. What is two-stage heating? Two-stage heating enables 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 kept on the low setting, permitting your two-stage unit to run for longer periods of time. Two-stage units also offer more even heat distribution, fewer temperature swings, quiet operation, increased 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 small as 1 percent, increasing energy efficiency and helping you experience better comfort. Will my new furnace work differently than my old one? Modern furnaces are developed with a number of innovative features older furnaces don’t have. Today’s heating systems give you more even heating and are better at regulating 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 bonus of modern furnaces is their ability to operate 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 Schagrin Gas Company at 302-658-2000 to find out the requirements for the Middletown area. How can I reduce my energy costs? Lennox has a host of HVAC products with high efficiency ratings, which can help lessen the amount of energy they require to run. Aside from picking products that have received Energy Star® certification or achieved high SEER ratings for air conditioners or AFUE ratings for furnaces, you can think about the following: Maintenance – making sure your system receives regular maintenance by a trained expert can keep your system operating at its best performance. Zoning – zoning systems allow 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 use infrequently. Programmable thermostats – using a programmable thermostat allows you to set the temperature in your home based on your schedule. They can be programed to provide the comfort you desire when you’re home, and increase or decrease the temperature while you’re away, 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 Schagrin Gas Company, provide high quality service at all times, from your first consultation to your planned maintenance appointments. How can I improve my home’s indoor air quality? Strategies to increase your indoor air quality can be as basic as vacuuming your home to something as large as installing a new ventilation system. Overall, good IAQ includes four strategies: Eliminate – get rid of the pollutants floating in your air by cleaning your home regularly, 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 ensure even 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 destroy 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 certain that your home is comfortable without letting humidity run rampant. 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 pinpoint the indoor air quality issues that affect your home. After you select the items that apply, the system will show the IAQ products that fit your needs. You can also call Schagrin Gas Company and walk our techs through some of the issues you experience. They can evaluate your home and needs and provide options and solutions. How does an air conditioner work? Most homeowners believe that air conditioners make the air in your home cooler, but it actually removes the heat from your home, moving the hot air outside. That hot air moves across a cold indoor coil where refrigerant in the lines sends the heat to the coil in your outdoor unit, releasing it outside. This cycle 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 regionally and carry varying requirements based on your location. Schagrin Gas Company can help 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? These numbers can be found on a nameplate or sticker that is near your system’s service panel. The sticker is white with black letters and have both of these numbers located near the top of the sticker. M/N signifies 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 will best suit your home, but the most reliable way to choose a system is by having your local Schagrin Gas Company technician come out and perform a load calculation. This calculation considers your home’s: square footage, insulation value, amount of insulation, and a variety of other factors. Can frost, ice, dirt or other debris keep the outdoor unit of my cooling system from operating effectively? Yes, because dirt and other debris can hinder your system’s ability to work efficiently. For heat pumps, it is not unusual to have frost or ice on them during the winter, but they also include 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 its hottest, the high setting is used, and when it’s cooler or more mild, the low setting gets the job done. 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 maintain such even temperatures for your comfort. This also means a quieter cooling system, greater efficiency and improved humidity control. Why is my cooling unit freezing up? Your system could be freezing up for a variety 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 you, the homeowner, can take care of; however, you should call the professionals at Schagrin Gas Company at 302-658-2000 for other problems or if you have other questions or concerns. What is the best thermostat to use for my cooling system? Picking the best thermostat for your cooling system comes with a lot to think about. That’s why it’s nice to have such a great variety of choices from Schagrin Gas Company. 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 pick from. Some thermostats will depend on what type of heating and cooling system you have, but the team at Schagrin Gas Company will be able to help determine what options meet your needs and your budget. What is a heat pump? Heat pumps can be a tad confusing due to their name, but they actually cover both your heating and cooling needs all year. When it’s hot outside it operates like an air conditioner in that it removes heat from your home, but when it cools off, the process gets reversed 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 designed to work with to ensure efficient performance. When they aren’t paired with the other piece as a total system, efficiency might be affected. 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 developments most importantly include greater heating and cooling efficiency, but also consist of 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 today’s models. Getting 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 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 see the system’s status, energy production and environmental benefits. The site also shows carbon offsets as it happens. Do I need an Internet connection 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 free of charge for five years. Should I clean my solar modules? In most locations, rain will clean the solar modules off automatically. If you are located 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 clean solar modules. What is the best thermostat for my home comfort system? The right thermostat for you depends on your heating and cooling equipment. Schagrin Gas Company sells programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats that can help enhance the efficiency of your HVAC systems. Browse our available products or contact us at 302-658-2000 to learn more. How can I control my energy bills? Heating and cooling can contribute to a significant chunk of your utility bill. The innovative and high efficiency HVAC products available from Lennox® can help decrease these costs. If you’re searching 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: 1. Is your equipment regularly maintained? Whether it’s a furnace or air conditioner, HVAC systems will opperate more efficiently after regular maintenance checks. 2. Do you need a zoning system? If there are spaces 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. 3. Are you using a programmable thermostat? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, programmable thermostats could 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 equipment gives you the ability to section off areas of your home and control the thermostat differently in each area. Zoning tends to be best for when you have spaces of your house that are seldom used or when you and your family are always in disagreement of what the temperature in each area of your home should be. Zoning systems are almost noiseless and efficient, giving you more control over the comfort of your family home. Learn more about the equipment available from Schagrin Gas Company.