Frequently Asked Plumbing Questions and More in Sterling, VA

1. Why should I replace my HVAC system and/or ductwork?
As systems age they are less efficient and may not provide all the advantages of the newer systems. For instance, most older systems deliver air only at one speed, so the system is either off or on high. That can lead to drafty rooms, wider temperature swings and more noise. But the newer systems are designed with a variable-speed furnace and the air handler adds just the right amount of warm or cool air to keep you at the temperature that suits you best.

Since a variable-speed fan can run at lower speeds, it better circulates the air and removes extra humidity. It helps your system work more efficiently; saving you on your utility bills. The unit is also quieter.

Why heat or cool the entire house when you spend most of your time in one area? If you have a home that is multilevel, the answer could be two or more zones so you can control the temperature as needed. Having multiple zones could significantly lower your energy costs and increase your comfort.
2. How can I increase the efficiency and life of my current HVAC system?
The most important thing you can do is clean and replace your filters frequently. Also, a system heats and cools more evenly when the blower is in the “on” position. The blower provides constant air movement throughout the home, and allows for better filtration. And have your system serviced regularly.
3. What should I do before calling for service?
An HVAC system can be complicated to person not certified to work on it. It should be serviced by a certified professional. However, if your HVAC system seems not to be working to its fullest potential, there are a few things you can try, which may fix your problem, prior to calling. If you do not feel comfortable performing any of these tasks, call us.
• Make sure the system switch is on the appropriate COOL or HEAT setting.
• Make sure your circuit breakers are in the ON position.
• Disconnect and reconnect your indoor and outdoor switches.
• Open supply and return vents and make sure they are unobstructed.
• Make sure your filters are clean.
• Check the settings on your thermostat.
4. How often should I change my air filters?
For optimum efficiency and filtration, we recommend that you replace your disposable filters at least once a month. If you have washable filters, they should be cleaned once a month.
***Ask about our 1 year service agreement***
5. How often should I have maintenance done?
You should have maintenance done on your system twice a year. This not only ensures maximum efficiency, it enables us to foresee any possible problems that may occur in the near future.
***Ask about our 1 year service agreement***
6. What is R-22 Freon?
R-22 is the common name for hydro-chlorofluorocarbon (HCFC). R-22 has been used as a refrigerant by HVAC manufacturers for over 40 years, but studies in the past decade have shown that HCFCs contain chlorine, an ozone-depleting agent. For this reason, the United States Clean Air Act has set a target date for January 1, 2010, on which HVAC manufacturers must cease the production of products that use R-22.
7. What is R-410A Freon and why was it developed?
R-410A is an environmentally friendly, next-generation refrigerant. Many refrigerants developed before R-410A contains chlorine, which is harmful to the ozone layer.

R-410A is chlorine-free and therefore better for the environment. In fact, the Clean Air Act requires that as of 2010, all new air conditioning and heat pump units manufactured in North America will use chlorine-free refrigerants. So by choosing an R-410A air conditioner or heat pump, you're getting the latest in refrigerant technology — and helping the environment!

R-410A was developed in response to an agreement between numerous countries (known as the Montreal Protocol), which stated that those countries would move toward discontinuing the use of hydrochloro-fluorocarbon (HCFC)-based refrigerants HCFCs are widely accepted to be ozone-depleting chemical compounds, and R-410A, a non-HCFC-based refrigerant, is a much more environmentally friendly product.
8. What are the advantages to having a programmable thermostat?
Different programmable thermostats offer many different features. Being that they are electronic, they are more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. With programmable thermostats you can control the temperature in your home at different times of day without ever touching your thermostat; turning it down while you are at work, and making sure it is to your liking when you get home.
9. What should I do if there is water coming through my ceiling?
It could be that the condensate drain is clogged. The condensate drain is where water is removed from the air in your home by the cooling coil which is generally located in your attic. Turn off the system at the thermostat and call us.
10. What do I do if my air conditioning unit is tripping the breaker?
This could be a serious issue; a tripping breaker can be a sign of a grounded compressor. Resetting the breaker could cause breaker arching and a possible fire. You should turn the air conditioning off at the thermostat and us.
11. Why is water coming out of my faucet slowly?
The most common reason for slow water faucet flow is a clogged aerator. This fix can be as simple as unscrewing the aerator, and if it is a big piece of debris, removing it. For smaller clogs, it is usually better to replace the aerator. Most come in standard sizes.