Heating and Air

It’s one of the most important systems in your home, but do you pay it the attention it deserves?

We rely on HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) to keep us warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It’s one of the most important systems in our homes, as it controls temperature, humidity, and air quality. But it’s also expensive, accounting for as much as half an average home’s energy use. That’s why it’s so important to make smart decisions about installing and maintaining an efficient system. It can make a big impact on both your family’s comfort and your budget.

Products & Services

Products & Services

We offer services and repairs to residential customers and all brands of current systems.

Maintenance Agreement

Maintenance Agreement

Why should I schedule regular maintenance of my HVAC system?

FAQ's

FAQ's

Learn about where to place a thermostat and how your system can save energy.

Products & Services

Upstate Service Solutions is licensed, bonded and insured. We offer services and repairs to residential customers and all brands of current systems. We also install new systems, specializing in American Standard but offering alternative brands as well.

Our products and services include:

  • Duel-fuel systems: Using electricity and natural gas, these systems offer the best of both worlds.
  • Duct insulation retrofit: Save energy and money by re-insulating older duct systems.
  • Ductless systems: These energy-efficient systems are also known as a mini split.
  • Electronic air cleaners: Your whole family will benefit when these capture up to 95 percent of airborne particles.
  • Energy recover ventilation: Bring in fresh air from outside without the humidity, pollen and other pollutants.
  • Heat pump systems: Heat and cool with this electric system.
  • Heating and air conditioning system analysis: See the difference between a new system and your current system.
  • Planned unit replacements: Benefit from a warranty and energy savings and avoid unexpected future expenses.
  • Programmable thermostats: Enjoy ease and convenience with energy savings.
  • Season tune-ups and inspections: Avoid potential problems by keeping your system safe and efficient.
  • Services and repairs: We service and repair all brands of systems.
  • Solar attic ventilation fans: Reduce attic temperatures by up to 20 degrees.
  • Financing options: We proudly offer financing options with approved credit through Wells Fargo Financial National Bank. Learn more.

Maintenance Agreement

What is a Preventative Maintenance Check for your HVAC unit?

A Preventative Maintenance Check is a scheduled, inspection and maintenance of your HVAC system in preparation of the upcoming season. These checks are usually performed semi-annually to maintain peak efficiency, prevent utility overpayment and avert system failures through preventative maintenance that can help extend the life of your HVAC system.

Why do you need a preventative maintenance check for your HVAC unit?

Most people don’t think about preventative maintenance when it comes to their heating and air unit. Ordinarily the only time the unit gets attention is when it’s not working. Following are a few reasons why you should do a regular service of your unit:

  • Minimize the risk of equipment failure and maximize the life of your unit.
  • Performing the check semi-annually allows your unit to work at maximum efficiency
  • Optimize energy saving as a result of your unit working at its utmost efficiency.

Many people do not realize that your heating and air conditioning system is one of the biggest uses of energy in your home. Neglected maintenance will result in higher utility bills, and it will decrease the life of your unit. The old cliché’ “out of sight, out of mind” is true. Your HVAC unit is one of those things you don’t think about, until it fails. Decreased efficiency, utility overpayment, discomfort, loss of productivity, eventual premature replacement, and higher repair coast are a result of the neglect.

What should you expect your Upstate Service Solutions technician to do during your spring preventative maintenance check?

  • Check system functions
  • Inspect electrical components and connection and repair/replace or tighten as required
  • Ensure proper airflow and change dirty air filters
  • Clean and lubricate motors as required
  • Examine belts, adjust and align as required
  • Clean condensate pans, traps and lines to prevent obstructions
  • Inspect inside and outside coils for efficient operation
  • Inspect safety devices for proper operation
  • Test and inspect contactors and capacitors for proper operation
  • Check refrigerant levels and if low, find the leak (According to many equipment manufacturers, a 10% refrigerant loss will result in a 20% decrease in system efficiency!)

What’s your bottom line?

  • Savings: Preventative maintenance checks more than pay for themselves through higher efficiency and less utility overpayment.
  • 10% savings on repair services post maintenance check (with a signed maintenance agreement)
  • Peace of Mind: Preventative Maintenance will mean fewer system failures and a longer life for your HVAC equipment.

FAQs

Should I install a programmable thermostat?

programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs.

Why is proper thermostat placement important?

If the temperatures that your thermostat reads are not reflective of the average temperature in your home, your air conditioner will either operate too often or not often enough. In either case, it will be difficult to maintain the temperature levels that you want in your home. Since thermostats are typically installed when your air conditioner is installed, improper placement might occur due to a poor system installation or a remodel to your home that changes the area surrounding your thermostat.

Where should I avoid placing a thermostat?

In direct sunlight. If the sun is shining through a window directly on your thermostat, your thermostat will think your home is hotter than it actually is. This will cause your air conditioner to operate more often than it needs to, which will make your home too cool and cause your system to consume more energy.

Near air vents. If your thermostat is near an air vent, cool air from your air conditioner can blow on it and your thermostat will think it’s cooler than it really is. This can cause your air conditioner to short-cycle, which is bad for your system and your home comfort.

Near other drafts. In addition to your air vents, drafts can come from windows, doors, fans and other places that can influence your thermostat’s temperature readings.

Near heat-producing appliances. If your thermostat is near any heat-producing appliances (especially near your kitchen), your thermostat will get warmer readings than the rest of your home and tell your air conditioner to stay on longer.

In a de-centralized location. Your thermostat should be placed in the center of your home, because that’s where you’re most likely to get an average reading of your home’s temperature levels. If it’s not in a central location, its temperature readings will likely not reflect the rest of your house and your home will either be too hot or too cold.

What is a mini split or ductless air conditioner?

Like central air conditioners, these units have a split design but without an elaborate system of ducts. The split system (also called a mini-split, ductless split, or duct-free system) has at least one unit inside the home (this is the evaporator) and one outdoor unit (the condenser). Small tubes of refrigerant run from the outdoor unit to the indoor units—these are also known as line sets. Indoor units can be wall or ceiling mounted. Ductless splits can be used to cool one zone or multiple zones, applying two to four indoor units to one condenser. The indoor units can all be used independently of each other.

The following information is provided courtesy of www.energystar.gov:

Do I get a bigger HVAC system to be comfortable and save energy?

When replacing heating and cooling (HVAC) equipment, bigger doesn’t always mean better. If the unit is too large for your home, you will be less comfortable and might actually have higher utility bills. For example, an oversized central air conditioner will operate in short run cycles, not allowing the unit to reach efficient operation and remove humidity from the air – resulting in an uncomfortable home. Your contractor should determine the right size for your heating and cooling equipment by using ACCA/ANSI Manual J or an equivalent sizing calculation tool that takes into account specific information about your home.

Does changing my furnace or air conditioning filter each month save energy?

Changing your furnace or air conditioning filter regularly (at least every 3 months) is a good idea, but it is hard to know how much energy it actually saves. Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work a little harder to keep you warm or cool, wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, leading to expensive maintenance and/or system failure.

What temperature should I set my air conditioner during the summer (or my heat during the winter)?

Setting your thermostat is a very personal decision. There are no hard-and-fast rules; your settings largely depend on your own comfort. On average, for every degree you set back your thermostat, you can save 2% on your energy bill. And keep in mind, the average household spends more than $2,200 a year on energy bills—nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Through proper use of a programmable thermostat (using the 4 pre-programmed settings) you can save about $180* every year in energy costs for a typical, single-family home. Experiment with adjusting the temperature to see what is right for you and your family. Learn more at energystar.gov/pts.

*The $180 savings assumes an 8 -our daytime setback and a 10-hour nighttime setback of 8 degrees F in winter and 4 degrees F in summer.

Does it help to close vents in rooms not being used during the day?

The answer to this question is very site specific and dependent on several factors, such as: heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system design, location of the thermostat, house design, and climate. In the right situation, closing vents and/or doors to certain rooms that are not being used during the day (or even during a whole season) may reduce heating or cooling bills. However, when you close vents/doors you could also throw off the balance of the system, change the way air is distributed, or cause the thermostat to detect temperatures which make the rest of the house uncomfortable.

We recommend that you check with your local heating and cooling contractor when they come for the next system tune-up. Propose to them which doors or vents you want to close and why. They should be able to help you decide whether certain doors or vents can be closed to reduce the amount of space in your home that is being heated or cooled.

What's the difference between a split system and a packaged unit?

A central air conditioner (or heat pump) is either a split-system unit or a packaged unit. The majority of consumers have split systems in their homes. A split-system central air conditioner has 3 components:

  • An outdoor metal cabinet that contains the condenser and compressor
  • An indoor cabinet that contains the evaporator coil
  • An air handler, that in most cases is part of the furnace or heat pump, that sends the cool air through the duct system

If your home already has a furnace but no air conditioner, a split-system is the most economical central air conditioner to install.

A packaged central air conditioner has the evaporator coil, condenser, and compressor all located in one cabinet, which usually is placed on a roof or on a concrete slab next to the house’s foundation. This type of air conditioner also is used in small commercial buildings. Air supply and return ducts come from indoors through the home’s exterior wall or roof to connect with the packaged air conditioner, which is usually located outdoors. Packaged air conditioners often include electric heating coils or a natural gas furnace. This combination of air conditioner and central heater eliminates the need for a separate furnace indoors.

What is SEER? EER? HSPF?

Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) is most commonly used to measure the efficiency of a central air conditioner. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system. SEER measures how efficiently a cooling system will operate over an entire season.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) is a measure of how efficiently a cooling system will operate when the outdoor temperature is at a specific level (95oF). The higher the EER, the more efficient the system.

Heat Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF) is the most commonly used measure of a heat pumps heating efficiency. The higher the HSPF, the more efficient the heat pump.

How do I know if I need a new heating and cooling (HVAC) system?

If your HVAC is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, you should have it looked at by a professional HVAC contractor. If it is not performing efficiently or needs upgrading, consider replacing it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR. Installed correctly, these high-efficiency heating and cooling units can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs. Before you invest in a new HVAC system, make sure that you have addressed the big air leaks in your house and the duct system. Sometimes, these are the real sources of problems rather than your HVAC equipment.