FAQ’s

Listed below, are frequently asked questions related to HVAC, Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. By clicking on the plus sign, it will pop out a box that will give you a more detailed answer.

In most cases a service call will be needed to fix these problems, but some of them can be fixed without having to call a technician out. If you are experiencing a problem which requires attention, and if you are in our service area, you may e-mail our Service Department directly by clicking here or call us at (650) 322-4328 to schedule an appointment.

Efficiencies Explained

Heating and Cooling Efficiency Ratings Explained

As you search for the ideal HVAC system, you will encounter various industry-standard efficiency ratings. The higher efficiency your product, the lower your long-term energy costs will be. In addition to offering high-quality products and exceptional customer service, we want to educate our customers. Obviously, the more efficient a product is, the great your long-term savings will be.

There are three main ratings to pay attention to when selecting a product:

  1. SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) measures and rates the efficiency of the cooling processes in air conditioners and heat pumps. All new products are required by law to have a minimum 13.0 SEER rating.
  2. AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) measures the efficiency for gas and oil-fired furnaces. This rating uses a percentage to tell you much fuel is used to heat your home versus how much fuel is wasted.
    Cost Savings: If you replace a furnace with an AFUE of 60% with a new, highly efficient furnace, you could save up to 40% on your heating bills. You can easily recoup the cost of replacing your old furnace through lower utility bills.
  3. HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) measures the efficiency of a heat pump's heating mode. All new models are required to have a minimum 6.8 HSPF rating.
    Cost Savings: Although higher efficiency heat pumps and air conditioners typically have higher equipment costs, they do lead to lower utility bills. In a warm and/or humid climate, an owner can usually recoup the costs of buying high efficiency equipment through lower utility bills in a few years.

My Pilot Light is out, what should I do?

Your Power Company will light it. If it will still not light, have them check thermostat and power.

My Pilot Light is on, but my furnace is not operating – what should I do?

First, check for power, check fuses and/or ON-OFF switch. Next, check thermostat for proper setting. If none of these approaches work, call: 650-322-HEAT (4328) Alternative HVAC Solutions.

Why is my furnace blowing out cold air?

It could be a thermostat problem, something is in the flue, transformer, or "Main Board".

My furnace has a funny smell, what could it be?

It could be dust, pet hair, and/or burning pollutants can cause an unpleasant odor. More seriously, it could be a gas leak.

How can I tell whether my furnace has a CARBON MONOXIDE leak?

Have your power company or Alternative HVAC solutions come out to check for cracks in exchanger.

Why does my furnace not put out enough heat?

Improper combustion, restricted air flow, leaks in the duct work or improper design, could all play a role.

Why is my furnace so noisy?

It could be a worn fan belt, bad bearings, or bearings in need of lubrication.

Why do the registers at the far end of my home have little or no air flow?

The duct work could be leaking or the TRUNK LINE could be the wrong size.

My allergies seem to bother me a lot at home. What can I do?

At least, change your AIR FILTERS. You might also consider having you AIR DUCTS cleaned. Much of the dust, mites and other debris that build up in the AIR DUCTS are circulated into the air of your home.

What are the benefits of an AIR FILTRATION system?

An Air filtration system removes dust, pollen, spores, and smoke. It can also reduce the cost of Furnace and Air Conditioner maintenance.

What is a humidifier should we purchase for our home?

It is very possible that more than one model humidifier may work for your home, and your contractor can help you choose the best for your application. The most qualified person to help you decide which humidifier will best fit your needs is your local HVAC contractor. They can recommend and install the best unit for your home based on its size, age and construction.