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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Heating, Cooling, Generators, Water Heaters, Electrical Services, and more. Please feel free to contact us if you don’t see your question answered below, or ask our fully Koala-fied Koala Bear!

  • Heating/Cooling FAQs
  • Home Energy FAQs

What are the basics of HVAC?

HVAC stands for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.


The components that make up an HVAC system are generally the same:

The furnace. The furnace moves air from the heat exchanger into the air ducts.

The heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is not part of the furnace. It’s located inside the furnace, but operates independently by adding heat to the incoming air from the combustion chamber.

The evaporator coil is also in the furnace, but has a different job to do. When air runs through the evaporator coil, the coil absorbs heat and adds refrigerant. The now-cold air blows through the air ducts throughout your home.

The condensing unit. The condensing unit is like the evaporator coil but for an outdoor HVAC unit. Unlike the evaporator coil, the condensing unit gives off heat.

The refrigerant tubes. These metal tubes connect the evaporator coil with the condensing coil. This means the refrigerant tubes connect the indoor and outdoor HVAC units. The tubes contain cooling refrigerant under a wide range of temperatures.

The thermostat. This is the part of the HVAC system that you control to adjust the air conditioning or heating system or turn the system on or off. This small appliance is typically on a wall of the main level of your home. A programmable or “smart” thermostat can fine-tune your home’s temperature even if you’re not there, and be accessible through an online app on a computer or mobile device .

The ductwork.The air ducts move air throughout your home. Air comes into the HVAC system through certain sections and is distributed to rooms through other sections.

The vents. As the air travels through the ductwork, it enters the room through vents. Rectangular covers on the floor or ceiling direct and take in air.

The heat pump. During warmer months, the heat pump takes heat from the inside to the outside. During the colder months, it does the opposite.

What is the life expectancy of my HVAC system?

On average, an HVAC system can last between 10 to 25 years with preventative maintenance. The life expectancy of any HVAC system or equipment depends on the preventative maintenance and service performed as well as the type of equipment and your usage.

How often should I service my HVAC?

Your HVAC system should be checked by a professional once a year. So if you have a standard central AC or a furnace, each of these units should be maintained each year. If you have a heat pump system that you use year-round, then you'll want to schedule this service once every 6 months.

What is done during HVAC maintenance?

Your technician will check the circuits, safety controls, drain line, condensate pump, and all caps and valves. Electrical components will be inspected for signs of wear or damage and replaced to prevent sparking or failure. Your Tech will also check that your outdoor unit is level for optimum performance.

How much does HVAC installation or replacement cost?

Pricing depends on the size of your house, the brand and efficiency rating of your new HVAC unit, the length of your ductwork, and labor expenses. Replacing an entre HVAC system can range between $4,820 and $9,350 and takes about a day to complete. A change-out entails replacing out the main components of your HVAC system without any new ductwork.

What is the average cost to replace duct work?

The average cost to replace ductwork ranges between $25 to $55 per linear foot for materials and installation. A typical home needs 30 to 90 linear feet of ducting. Ductwork lasts 10 to 20 years on average before it needs replacing. New ducts are higher efficiency and produce better air quality.

How do you estimate a fair HVAC cost?

To calculate a fair HVAC installation cost, we need to determine two things. First, the price of the equipment you’re installing based on your required size of AC, size of the furnace, desired SEER value, and desired AFUE value. And second, the labor costs and installation supplies such as sheet metal, refrigerant, a thermostat, AC pad, and a line set. Our estimates are always broken down in writing so there are no surprises ,and no excuses.

Do you provide free estimates on repairs?

Yes! Quality Heating, Electrical and Air conditioning is proud to offer free estimates on repairs and equipment that are customized to meet your home's needs. If several solutions are available, we can often include "Good, Better, Best" options as well.

When should I replace my HVAC system?

You should replace your HVAC system if:
- Your AC is older than 10 years old, and the HVAC repair bill would be
more than 30% of the cost of a new AC unit.
- Your power bills keep going up and up.
- Your house is dusty, and the air quality seems poor.
- You can’t maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.
- Odd smells and sounds are emanating from the units.

What is a SEER Rating?

All new appliances are assigned a SEER rating (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio), which measures the energy efficiency of all HVAC systems. The higher the SEER number, the more efficient it is at heating and cooling in different temperatures.

Does a higher SEER cool better?

The more efficient your cooling system is the less energy it will take to cool your home. When it comes to SEER ratings, the higher the SEER rating the greater energy efficiency and that also means lower energy bills. ... The most efficient SEER ratings of air conditioners fall in the range of 20+.

What is Energy Star Certification?

Energy Star products have the backing of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ensuring that these products/appliances deliver better indoor air quality, protect our climate, and save money as well as energy.


A home or business can receive a special certification if all systems are built using Energy Star products. Federal and local rebates are generally offered on specific Energy Star units.

What size air conditioner is right for me?

To choose what size air conditioner is right for you, you need to first calculate size of the home spaces served by the air conditioner, in square feet.

To calculate the size, simply multiply the length times the width of the room or area to be cooled. Then, as a practical number, multiply that total times 25 BTU. This allows ample cooling, whether it is a rainy, moist day or a hot, sunny, humid day. Let’s say the room is 12 feet wide by 15 feet long. That means 12x15=180 square feet. Take the 180 sq. ft. times 25 BTU per square foot and you get the minimum BTU air conditioner you should buy. That means 180x25=4500 BTU cooling capacity is needed.

How do Ductless Air Conditioners work?

Ductless air conditioning systems (also known as mini-splits) link individual room units to an outdoor compressor. The indoor unit contains evaporator coils cooled with refrigerant. Warm air from the room blows over and is absorbed by the coils. From there, the refrigerant transfers all that inside heat to the outdoor unit.

Instead of a central indoor unit connected by long lengths of ductwork transporting warm and cool air back and forth, a mini-split system places small units directly in each room, which pull in warm air and send it back out as cold air. A popular alternative to traditional air conditioners, mini-splits involve much less intrusive installation, blend in better with the room and are quieter and very energy efficient.

What is an automatic backup generator?

An automatic backup generator is a back up electrical system that operates whether you are home or away. Within seconds of an outage, it automatically supplies power directly to your home’s electrical circuit breaker box. After utility power returns, the generator shuts itself off and waits for the next outage. It operates on natural gas or liquid propane gas and sits outside just like a central air conditioning unit.

Why should I buy an automatic backup generator instead of a portable generator?

During a utility power outage, an automatic backup generator provides numerous advantages over a portable generator: The American Red Cross recommends permanently installed backup generators as a safer way to provide backup power to a home than a portable generator. With an automatic backup generator properly installed outside, your home is protected from deadly carbon monoxide poisoning that is a much greater risk with portable generators. Running on the home’s natural gas or LP fuel supply, it is less expensive to run than gasoline and sources such as natural gas do not need to be refilled. They start automatically within seconds of a power outage, and eliminate the need to haul a portable generator outside or run extension cords throughout your home. They provide protection 24/7, whether you’re home or away, and they turn themselves off when utility power returns, so there is no need to monitor the unit during an outage.

How do I correctly size a generator for my home?

The most logical way to determine your needs is to envision your home without power. Some outages may be short in duration, while others could last for days or weeks. What would your family miss during an outage? The very best way to understand your options and work within your budget is to schedule a free in-home assessment. During your consultation, you will receive the personalized attention and detailed evaluation you need to find a solution that works for your needs.

What is the difference between an automatic air-cooled generator and an automatic liquid-cooled generator?

Air-cooled generators come with engines that use fans to force air across the engine for cooling, while liquid-cooled generators use enclosed radiator systems for cooling, similar to an automobile. Generally, liquid-cooled engines are used on larger kW generators due to the larger engines required for the higher power output.

What size gas line do I need for my generator??

Every home is different, and so is every installation. The placement of the generator, the amount of materials required, and the installation of the natural gas or LP fuel source all make estimating installation costs unique

How big should my liquid propane (LP) tank be?

Generac recommends at least 250 gallons for its automatic standby units. However, every home is different, and so is every installation and set-up. We recommend a free in-home assessment to help determine the best set up for your needs. In-Home Assessments are available to you at no charge, with no obligation, and no pressure.

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