FAQs

Why Is My System Freezing Up?

There are several factors that can cause system freezing. Most need to be corrected by your Airflow technician. One thing you can do to prevent or correct this problem is to make sure the filter is clean or replaced. You can check to see if airflow is restricted.

After replacing or cleaning the filter, you can speed up the thawing process by turning the system off and turning on the fan. If you have a heat pump system, you can try turning the system to heating mode until the ice has melted. After the ice has melted, switch the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, contact Airflow to correct the problem.

In some cases, freezing is caused by a leak in the refrigerant lines. Weak solder joints, friction from piping rubbing or vibrating against an object, open valves or loose fittings are all factors that can cause leaks. When determining whether to have the system repaired or replaced, the age of the system and the nature and location of the leak are important considerations.

Over time, the evaporator coil will become dirty. When this happens, you will begin to lose airflow, slowly enough that you probably would not realize it until it freezes up or cooling performance is compromised. At this point, you will need Airflow to correct the problem.

A blower motor not running at the proper speed or not running at all is another factor that can cause freezing. Motor operation may be intermittent, starting at full speed and slowing down after it heats up. Or, a relay could cause it to start one time and not the next. In either case, you will need Airflow to correct the problem.

What is Two-Stage Heating & Cooling?

Two-stage cooling means the air conditioner or heat pump has a compressor with two levels of operation: high for hot summer days and low for milder days. Since the low setting is adequate to meet household-cooling demands 80% of the time, a two-stage unit runs for longer periods and produces more even temperatures.

Longer cooling cycles also translate to quieter, more efficient operation and enhanced humidity control. Compared to a single-stage unit, a two-stage air conditioner or heat pump can remove twice as much moisture from the air. This is important because when moisture levels are high, there’s a higher potential for mold and other pollutant problems.

Two-stage heating means the furnace has two levels of heat output: high for cold winter days and low for milder days. Since the low setting is adequate to meet household-cooling demands 80% of the time, a two-stage unit runs for longer periods and provides more even heat distribution.

Longer, low-capacity operation has many advantages:

 

Consistent comfort

Two-stage heating eliminates the temperature swings associated with standard furnaces, regulating temperature to within as little as one degree of the thermostat setting.

Quiet operation

Two-stage furnaces start in the first stage, when the amount of heat required is lower, instead of reaching full capacity all at once. That means there’s no sudden “kick” or blast of air.

Improved air filtration

Low-speed operation allows your filters to capture more contaminants (because air is constantly passing through them), so you can breathe easier.

Efficient performance

Because the furnace operates mostly in its lower-capacity first stage, it burns less fuel than a standard furnace that always runs at full capacity and shuts off when the heating demand has been met.

Zoning

Zoning divides your home into separate comfort areas and makes your equipment cool or heat only areas that need conditioning.

Today’s families have different lifestyles and comfort needs. Maybe you have a home office that needs extra conditioning during the day, and none at night. Or you only use the upstairs bedrooms when guests visit. Whatever your needs, zoning can keep each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.

If you are replacing your air conditioner, furnace or heat pump, it is an excellent time to install a zoning system. When your new comfort equipment is matched with a zoning system, you will have precise control in each zone.

Houses that had been nearly impossible to keep comfortable are a thing of the past. Zoning is also excellent for new homes, since it is installed during construction. 

New Furnace Considerations

A furnace with variable-speed technology lets you take control of your comfort and energy bills. This feature ensures a home receives the precise amount of air required to keep a family comfortable. Besides providing exceptional comfort, this technology also saves homeowners money on their energy bills because the efficient variable-speed motors consume less electricity than standard furnace motors. Typical furnaces operating in the continuous fan mode consume 400 watts of energy – while some furnaces with this technology use only 60 to 80 watts.

Variable speed operation can also help control high humidity, reducing the chances of airborne mold growth and other indoor air quality problems. The continuous fan mode works well with indoor air quality products, such as filters, because it operates at a slower speed, allowing them to capture more contaminants.

A furnace with two-stage heating can be a tremendous help when looking for that just-right temperature during the cold winter months. Furnaces with two-stage heating can reduce temperature swings in the home. Unlike traditional furnaces, which operate at their full heating capacity, two-stage furnaces are designed to operate like two separate furnaces and maintain more consistent comfort levels throughout a home.

Two-stage heating has many comfort advantages. The temperature inside a home should vary only a few degrees versus the larger temperature swings that are common with traditional furnaces. The first stage consists of the furnace running at about 68 percent of its heating capacity. A two-stage furnace will always start in the first stage and attempt to meet the heating demand. This reduced capacity is enough to warm a home on mild winter days. When temperatures drop, the furnace adjusts itself and enters the second stage to meet the demand for heat within the home

If you want to save money on your heating costs, consider purchasing a high efficiency furnace. They can help reduce your energy costs as well as conserve our natural resources. When selecting a furnace, pay close attention to the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The AFUE number represents how efficiently a furnace converts fuel to energy. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more energy-efficient or fuel-efficient the furnace. The U.S. government’s minimum AFUE rating for a furnace is 78 percent.

It’s also important to look for Energy Star products. This means the product meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards by using less energy, which reduces pollution. Energy Star products reduce energy use by 20-40 percent.

Conventional Heating & Air

An air conditioner seems as if it cools your home’s air, but it actually makes your home less warm by removing heat from the indoor air and transferring that heat to the outdoor air.

Heat is extracted from the home by passing indoor air across a refrigerant coil in the indoor unit. Refrigerant lines then carry the heat to the outdoor unit, where it is released into the outside air. The cooling cycle continues until the indoor temperature reaches the thermostat setting.

A heat pump is an all-in-one heating and air conditioning system that works year-round to keep you comfortable.

During warmer months, a heat pump works as a normal air conditioner. It extracts heat from inside the home and transfers it to the outdoor air. In colder weather, however, the process reverses – the unit collects heat from the outdoor air and transfers it inside your home.

Even when the air outside feels extremely cold, the air still contains some heat. The heat pump pulls the heat from this cold outdoor air and sends it inside to warm your home. When there’s not enough heat in the outside air to meet the demand of the thermostat setting, an electric heater supplements the outdoor air to warm the home. Extremely efficient, this process produces two to three times more heat than the energy it uses.

Also, a heat pump can be an effective add-on option to use in conjunction with an existing gas furnace. With this dual-fuel option, the two systems share the heating load, but never function at the same time. Each system operates when it is most cost effective. The heat pump will be the primary heating and cooling system. However, when the temperature drops below the heat pump’s ability to operate as efficiently as the gas furnace, the gas furnace will take over until the temperature rises enough for the heat pump to operate more efficiently.

If you’re in the market for a new furnace, consider purchasing a high efficiency model. They can help reduce your energy costs as well as conserve our natural resources.

When selecting a furnace, pay close attention to the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE). The AFUE number represents how efficiently a furnace converts fuel to energy. The higher the AFUE percentage, the more energy-efficient or fuel-efficient the furnace will be. The U.S. government’s established minimum AFUE rating for a furnace is 78 percent.

It’s also important to look for Energy Star products. This means the product meets the environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) standards by using less energy, which reduces pollution. Energy Star products reduce energy use by 20-40 percent.

Geothermal Systems

Geothermal heating and cooling systems are energy efficient systems designed to tap the stored energy found beneath the earth’s surface. Throughout the year, outdoor temperatures fluctuate with the changing seasons. However, underground temperatures do not. In fact, about four to six feet below the earth’s surface, temperatures remain relatively constant year-round. A geothermal system, which consists of an indoor unit and a buried earth loop, capitalizes on these constant temperatures. And, compared to ordinary systems, geothermal technology can save you 30% to 60% on your monthly energy bills. Geothermal is the safest, cleanest, most reliable space conditioning system you can buy.

Airflow Heating and Cooling offers complete in-house loop design and installation, and has performed many installations in the Upper Cumberland area.

The universal definition of geothermal is “…pertaining to the heat of the earth.”

In the winter, fluid circulating through the system’s earth loop absorbs stored heat and carries it to the home. The indoor unit compresses the heat to a higher temperature and distributes it throughout the home. In the summer, the system reverses, pulling heat from the home, carrying it through the earth loop and depositing in the cooler earth.