We have answers for your frequently asked questions. No matter what your HVAC questions are, the pros at Patterson & Stirling Inc in Erie have answers. Whether you have questions about picking new HVAC equipment to best practices on care and maintenance, we can help. Our online FAQs answers give you a fast response for your convenience, but if you want to know more on any topic, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 814-833-5558. Why is regular maintenance important? Just like you need to take your car in to the shop for regular tune-ups, such as oil changes or checking out possible problems, your home comfort system should receive the same kind of attention. Regular maintenance by a skilled technician provides various benefits to your HVAC equipment, which can help your systems perform efficiently and prevent costly breakdowns. How much will a Lennox product cost? Call Patterson & Stirling Inc at 814-833-5558 to receive a quote on Lennox equipment. What is two-stage heating? With two-stage heating, furnaces may operate on two different levels: high and low. Since you can heat your home on the low setting a lot of the time, a two-stage furnace can work longer and more efficiently. Two-stage heating also works more quietly than traditional furnaces and can give you more even heat distribution and fewer temperature swings. How does Precise Comfort™ technology work? Lennox’s Precise Comfort™ technology is an operating and control system that allows a furnace to adjust heat and airflow by very small amounts, as low as a 1 percent change. The system is automatic and operates similar to cruise control, making adjustments gradually to meet your comfort demands with energy efficiency. How will my new furnace work differently from my old one? Depending on how old your previous furnace was, you could experience a host of differences. Furnaces today are created to offer more even and efficient heating than ever before. Modern furnaces also better regulate temperature and air flow, moving more air over the heat exchanger than older furnaces. Additionally, new furnaces are crafted to work with other high-efficiency HVAC products, such as air conditioners. The air conditioner blowers give your heating system an extra lift so it can deliver cool air around your home efficiently. Special features like variable speed motors will also help reduce noise associated with operating your equipment and easily meet your family’s airflow needs. What energy efficiency standard should I look for in an air conditioner in Erie? The Department of Energy recently boosted the minimum efficiency levels for air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged units manufactured after Jan. 1, 2015, since heating and cooling contributes significantly to a home’s total energy usage. The requirements vary by region, so call Patterson & Stirling Inc for the efficiency standards for Erie. How can I reduce my energy costs? Heating and cooling makes up a huge portion of your monthly utility bill. Purchasing HVAC equipment with high efficiency ratings, such as SEER for air conditioners and AFUE for furnaces, is a simple step that can go a long way in decreasing energy output. Beyond these ratings, also consider: Routine maintenance – regularly having a pro tune-up your equipment will keep it running at its highest potential. Adding a zoning system – by focusing your heating and cooling on the rooms you use most frequently, you won’t have to pay to heat or cool areas of your home that aren’t used regularly. Installing a programmable thermostat – the Department of Energy estimates that a programmable thermostat can lower heating costs by up to 35 percent and cooling costs by up to 25 percent. Leave it up to your thermostat to turn down the heat when you’re away and go back to your preferred temperature when you’re home. Why should I buy from Lennox? There are many reasons to choose Lennox, but the top three are: You know and trust the name – Lennox is recognized around the world for its quality home comfort products. Innovation and high quality – Lennox is an industry leader, giving you a huge line of innovative solutions for your home comfort needs. Commitment to excellence – We are devoted to offering customers not only quality products, but also quality service. You can trust Lennox dealers, like those of us at Patterson & Stirling Inc, to help you identify the right system for your home, expertly install it, and keep it operating smoothly every time. What can I do to improve my home’s indoor air quality? Improving your home’s indoor air quality starts with four basic strategies: Eliminate – poor indoor air quality leaves your home packed with air pollutants floating around your home, so to improve IAQ, the first step is to eliminate as many pollutants as possible. You can easily do this is by cleaning and vacuuming at least once a week, routinely washing linens and storing cleaning products safely. Ventilate – proper insulation is great for keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but it also makes it harder for airborne pollutants to escape. Products like our Healthy Climate® ventilation system help swap out stale air for fresh, filtered outside air. Clean – good ventilation and regular cleaning are a start, but Healthy Climate® air filters, germicidal lights and PureAire™ purification systems take your IAQ to the next level by picking up microscopic particles, killing germs and removing particles and germs while destroying chemical vapors. Monitor – programmable thermostats will help you control the humidity levels and temperature to help prevent particles and germs from building up and keep your home comfortable. How can I find out which indoor air quality product will is right for my home? Our Healthy Solution Finder lets you pick details specific to your family and home and will help you find equipment best suited to meet your needs. You may also consult with Patterson & Stirling Inc experts who can make a recommendation based on their evaluations of your home and your current indoor comfort system. How does an air conditioner work? It may come as a surprise that air conditioners don’t technically make your home cooler; they actually remove the hot air and transfer it outside. This hot air is pushed across a refrigerant coil on the indoor unit and then is sent to the outdoor unit where it is released. Your air conditioner moves as much hot air outside as is necessary to reach the temperature you have set on your thermostat. What is the minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners in my state? Different regions have different minimum energy efficiency standards. Additionally, air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged units made after Jan. 1, 2015, have higher minimum efficiency levels than equipment manufactured prior to that date. The team at Patterson & Stirling Inc can help you find out the minimum requirements for Erie, let you know if your current equipment meets those requirements or help you find a replacement air conditioner that does. How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my cooling unit? Your system’s service panel will have a white label on it, with your system’s model and serial numbers at the top. M/N stands for model number and S/N is the serial number. What size equipment do I need for my home? Since equipment size needs vary by home, the best way to determine the proper size equipment for your home is to have a technician from Patterson & Stirling Inc come out to perform load calculation tests. The tests take things like square footage, insulation value and amount, and more into account to determine your home’s unique HVAC equipment needs. Can frost, ice, dirt or other debris keep the outdoor unit of my cooling system from operating effectively? Yes – debris can inhibit your system’s ability to function effectively. It’s not uncommon for heat pumps to have frost or ice on them in the colder months, but many include defrost controls so they can work efficiently regardless of the weather conditions. What is two-stage cooling? When a cooling systems has two-stage cooling, it means that there are two levels of operation. This lets the system work most effectively since there is one level for milder weather and one for harsher weather that demands the system work harder. Two-stage cooling also enables more even temperatures so you don’t experience extreme differences in temperature. Aside from better efficiency, other benefits of two-stage cooling include quieter operation and improved humidity control. Why is my system freezing up? When your cooling unit freezes up, there are a number of reasons why it could be doing so. The most frequent reasons include: dirty filters, low refrigerant, a dirty evaporative coil and a faulty blower motor or relay. A dirty filter is something you can take care of as a homeowner, but the others need to be completed by a professional like those at Patterson & Stirling Inc. Contact them at 814-833-5558 with any further questions you may have. What is the best thermostat to use for my cooling system? Patterson & Stirling Inc offers a number of great thermostat options for your HVAC systems. The best thermostat for you will depend on variables such as whether you want one that’s programmable or not. No matter what kind of thermostat you’d like – or if you’re searching for something that can fit with a home automation system – call Patterson & Stirling Inc to hear about which thermostats you can choose from. Our team will help you find one that’s right for your system, your family’s needs and your budget. What is a heat pump? A heat pump takes care of both your home’s heating and cooling needs, offering you one HVAC system that can be used year-round. Throughout the warmer months, heat pumps act like an air conditioner, capturing the hot air from inside your home and moving it outside; in the cooler months, this process is reversed. Heat pumps can be very energy efficient and may produce two to three times more heat than the energy needed for the process. When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced? At Patterson & Stirling Inc, we do recommend replacing both your indoor and outdoor units at the same time because: Nowadays, outdoor systems are built to work with their matching indoor system for maximum efficiency. When you replace one system but not the other, you may not see the same savings on your energy bills as if you had replaced them together. Thanks to technological advancements, newer systems mean increased efficiency. This is true for heating and cooling products as well. While the advancements focus on greater heating and cooling efficiency, they also include benefits such as better air handling, filtering and noise reduction. If your heating and cooling systems are more than 10 years old, they need to be replaced. Older models have outdated technology that is likely adding to your energy costs due to poor efficiency. So by replacing your indoor system at the same time as your outdoor equipment, both your systems will provide better energy efficiency that helps you reduce your energy bills and keep your home more comfortable. Is there a way to tell if my solar HVAC system is performing at its highest potential? Yes. Your SunSource® Home Energy System has a communication module that transfers the system’s performance data to a website. The website shows your system’s status, energy production and environmental benefits, as well as carbon offsets in real time. Does the SunSource® communication module need an Internet connection? Yes, you will need an Internet connection if you want to utilize the system’s online monitoring system. The system enables you to view energy production and environmental information. The monitoring service is provided free for five years, and the performance-monitoring website is maintained by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc. Do I need to clean off my solar modules? Rain will clean the modules automatically in most areas; however, if you live in a dusty area, you may see improved performance after periodically spraying the modules with water. Please note that high-pressure hoses and detergents should never be used to clean solar modules, as they can ruin the product. Which thermostat is best for my heating and cooling system? Patterson & Stirling Inc can help recommend the right thermostat for you based on your home and current heating and cooling equipment. We offer a selection of programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats, which can help improve the efficiency of your home’s furnace and/or air conditioner. Browse our thermostats or give us a call at 814-833-5558 for more information. How can I improve my energy costs? Your HVAC equipment can contribute significantly to your monthly energy costs. However, these costs can be reduced with innovative and high efficiency products from Lennox®. You’ll want to look for high SEER and AFUE ratings when you’re in the market for a new air conditioner or furnace, respectively, as higher SEER and AFUE ratings signify higher efficiency products. If you’re not buying new heating and cooling equipment, consider factors such as: 1. Maintenance: Furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC equipment run more efficiently when they are regularly maintained. 2. Zoning: When parts of your home are rarely used, you’re spending more money to heat or cool them to the same temperature as the rest of the house. A zoning system allows you to section off different areas of your home and control the temperature by each area. 3. Programmable Thermostats: Programmable thermostats can help you decrease your heating costs by 35 percent and your cooling costs by 25 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Why should I get a zoning system? A zoning system enables you to divide your house and heat or lower the temperature in each area differently. While these systems operate well for houses that have rooms that are infrequently visited, they may also be helpful in situations where you and your family can’t agree on the temperature in different parts of your residence. There are a variety of additional benefits of zoning systems, such as efficiency and comfort. Browse our selection of zoning systems or give Patterson & Stirling Inc a ring to see how a zoning system could work for your home.