Knowledge Center

Frequently Asked Questions

What size equipment do I need?

Cool Heat Mechanical Systems will measure your home and ask questions about your family’s comfort needs. Do you have a ranch-style home or a compact two-story? Are there cathedral ceilings, an indoor spa or an exercise room? How well insulated and weather-proofed is your home? What kind of windows do you have? Answers to these and other questions will help us design a system that is right for you.

Should I cover my outdoor unit in the winter?

Covering the unit is not necessary. Air conditioners are manufactured to withstand all possible climate changes.

What do all those rating numbers mean to me?

The federal government requires all air conditioning and heating equipment to be rated as to efficiency. The higher the rating the more efficient the equipment. For cooling the rating is SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating); heat pump heating is HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor) and gas furnaces are rated with AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency).

What temperature should I set my thermostat at when I am not at home in the summer-winter?

It is recommended that you set your thermostat no higher than 80′ during unoccupied periods. When returning home the system will then be able to respond to a your desired comfort requirements. Asking your equipment to bring your home from 95′ to 72′ can cause problems requiring service. In winter no lower than 62′. Maintaining a reasonable temperature conserves energy.

How close to the outdoor unit should I plant flowers or shrubs?

Manufacturers agree that plants should not be closer than 18 inches. Air conditioners need to take in and exhaust air to operate efficiently. Lack of circulation can cause excessive temperatures and require service.

What about the refrigerant used in air conditioners today? Can I still buy it if I need it?

Refrigerant 22 used in most air conditioners today will be manufactured in the United States until 2010. Replacement refrigerants are now entering the market; there is no need to be concerned about the price or availability of R-22 at this time.

How often should I change my air filters?

The more the equipment runs the more often a filter needs changed. The recommended frequency is once a month. We suggest no less than every three months. Replace filters with the same size and type as the original filter. If your filter is not the disposable type, follow manufacturer instructions for cleaning.

Should I drain my hot water boiler at least once a year?

No, hot water boilers should not be drained, because when they are re-filled the dissolved oxygen in the water will cause oxidation and scale build-up on the hot surfaces of the boiler, in turn causing damage and inefficiencies. The air must be removed or it will stop the pumps from circulating water.

What kind of oil should I use in my boiler circulation pumps? How often?

Use only 20 weight non-detergent oil. DO NOT USE MOTOR OIL. Lubricate the motor bearings and bearing assemblies every 90 days. Do not over lubricate as this will damage motor mounts and cause excessive wear on couplings. Consult the pump manufacturer’s instructions for best results.

How often do I need service on my expansion tank?

A standard closed loop expansion tank requires draining at the beginning of each heating season. A diaphragm expansion tank requires no maintenance. Follow manufacturer’s instructions.

How often should I inspect my safety relief valve?

At least once a year, at the start-up of the heating season. Lift the relief valve test handle and allow water to escape for 5 seconds.

What maintenance does my water heater need?

At least annually test the safety valve and drain 5 gallons of water from the bottom drain valve.

Where should I mount a carbon monoxide detector?

For forced air systems mount the detector as close to the return air grills as possible. For hot water or steam boilers install in or close to the boiler room.