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Your questions answered: HVAC FAQs

Contra Costa Heating & AC in the Bay Area can answer all your HVAC-related questions. Before you get on the phone, browse these to see if we already responded to your question online. If you don’t see your question in this list or want more information on a particular topic, give us a call at 510-343-9841. Our staff can provide the information you’re looking for in an instant.
Like any product you want to keep in good shape, HVAC equipment requires proper care in order to provide the maximum benefits. Trained experts can service your heating and cooling products to make certain they're working at their maximum potential and help prevent more pricey repairs in the middle of the hottest or coldest months of the year.
The cost varies depending on the equipment size and different features, so we advise contacting Contra Costa Heating & AC at 510-343-9841 to obtain a quote.
With two-stage heating, furnaces may run on two different levels: high and low. Since you can heat your home on the low setting a majority of the time, a two-stage furnace can run longer and more efficiently. Two-stage heating also runs more quietly than traditional furnaces and can provide more even heat distribution and fewer temperature swings.
Contra Costa Heating & AC offers several different brands and models that include advanced technology to cool and warm your home more efficiently. Technology in the newer HVAC systems provides more precision when it comes to matching your home comfort needs. If you need more information, please reach out to our experts at 510-343-9841.

Modern furnaces are created with a number of innovative features older furnaces don't have. Todays heating systems give you more even heating and are better at regulating airflow. Although the air coming out of your vents may seem cooler than your old furnace, the airflow is much better and more efficient.

Another perk of modern furnaces is their ability to integrate with other HVAC products as part of a high-efficiency whole home comfort system. When combined with a high-efficiency air conditioner, furnace blowers can more easily accommodate add-on cooling. Other innovations, such as Precise Comfort technology and variable speed motors, will help your furnace work more efficiently and quieter than ever.

The Department of Energy recently increased the minimum efficiency levels for air conditions, and the standards vary by region. Contact Contra Costa Heating & AC at 510-343-9841 to find the requirements for the the Bay Area area.

There are lots of ways to lower your energy costs and one of the best ways is to make sure you have an energy-efficient HVAC system. Contra Costa Heating & AC has many highly efficient products that will help reduce the amount of energy you are using and save you money. In addition to searching for products that have the Energy Star® certification, high SEER ratings for air conditioners or AFUE ratings for furnaces, here are some other things to consider:

  • Remember to schedule ongoing maintenance and have an experienced contractor take a look at your system to ensure its running efficiently.
  • If you have clear areas of your home that you need to heat or cool, you could consider a zoning system. This allows you to target that area and eliminates wasted energy on heating or cooling areas that aren't used.
  • Programmable or smart thermostats make it easier to maintain your home comfort while not wasting energy to heat or cool your space if you aren't home. It is an easy way to reduce energy costs and once you set it, you can walk away and understand its going to take care of your indoor comfort.
Contra Costa Heating & AC has been assisting the the Bay Area community for many years and has been providing trustworthy and dependable service. Our service and the products we carry are of the highest quality and you can be confident in the results. Our knowledgeable team is here to help you get your ideal home comfort.

There are four things to review when enhancing your indoor air quality:

  • The indoor air quality in your home starts to suffer when the air begins filling up with air pollutants. The biggest concern is getting rid of these pollutants. Some to-dos to add to your weekly checklist is vacuuming, washing your linens and ensuring any cleaning products are stored properly.
  • Especially in newer homes, the insulation is installed so well that it might be hard for these pollutants to leave the home. While it helps to keep your home warm or cool, depending on the season, its beneficial to get some fresh air inside.
  • Make sure that you have good ventilation and arrange routine maintenance on your system. And while that's important, you can also take your IAQ even further by using air filters, germicidal lights and purification systems to get rid of particles while eliminating chemical vapors.
  • Smart or programmable thermostats can assist in controlling humidity levels as well as the temperature. This can help stop germs and other particles from collecting while preserving your home comfort.
Each house brings a unique situation, which is why we recommend that you contact our pros at Contra Costa Heating & AC to find out which solution will be best for your space. Our experts will conduct an assessment of your current system and determine what your ideal home comfort looks like. That will help us select which products will be most effective.
You may be surprised to learn that air conditioners don't technically make your home cooler; they actually remove the hot air and direct it outside. This hot air blows 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.
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 Contra Costa Heating & AC can help you figure out the minimum requirements for the Bay Area, let you know if your current systems meets those requirements or help you find a replacement air conditioner that does.
Your systems service panel should have a white label on it, with your systems model and serial numbers at the top. M/N is the model number and S/N is the serial number.
Since equipment size needs differ for each home, the best way to determine the correct size equipment for your home is to have a technician from Contra Costa Heating & AC come out to perform load calculation tests. The tests take factors such as square footage, insulation value and amount, and more into account to determine your homes individual HVAC equipment needs.
Yes debris can affect your systems ability to function effectively. Its normal for heat pumps to have frost or ice on them during the winter, but many include defrost controls so they can work efficiently regardless of the weather conditions.
When an air conditioner uses two-stage cooling, it means that there are two levels of operation. This allows the system to work more efficiently since there is one level for milder weather and another for harsher weather that demands the system work harder. Two-stage cooling also enables almost unnoticeable temperature changes so you don't experience extreme differences in temperature. Aside from better efficiency, other benefits of two-stage cooling include quieter operation and enhanced humidity control.
Your system could be freezing up for a variety of reasons, but the most typical are dirty filters, low refrigerant, a dirty evaporator coil and/or a faulty blower motor. Changing a filter is something you, the homeowner, can take care of; however, you'll want to call the professionals at Contra Costa Heating & AC at 510-343-9841 for other problems or if you have other questions or concerns.
Contra Costa Heating & AC carries 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 Contra Costa Heating & AC to hear about which thermostats you can choose from. Our team will help you find one thats right for your system, your family's needs and your budget.
A heat pump takes care of both your homes heating and cooling needs, offering you one HVAC system that can be used in all four seasons. During the warmer months, heat pumps act like an air conditioner, capturing the hot air from inside your home and directing 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.
At Contra Costa Heating & AC, we do recommend replacing both your indoor and outdoor units at the same time because:
  • Today, outdoor systems are built to work with their matching indoor system for the highest efficiency possible. When you replace one system but not the other, you may not see the same energy efficiency levels as if you had replaced them together.
  • Thanks to technological improvements, newer systems mean better efficiency. This is true for heating and cooling products as well. While the advancements focus on higher 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 costing you money 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 decrease your energy bills and keep your home more comfortable.
Your home energy system may have a communication module that directs performance stats to an online site or portal. You can visit this to review your system's status, the amount of energy being produced and the positive effect you are having on the environment. You can also take a look at your owner's manual for recommendations on monitoring performance.
Rain will clean the modules by itself 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 harm the product.
Contra Costa Heating & AC can help you find the right thermostat for you based on your home and current heating and cooling equipment. We carry a variety of programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats, which can help increase the efficiency of your homes furnace and/or air conditioner. Take a look at our thermostats or give us a call at 510-343-9841 for more information.

A significant portion of your monthly energy costs can be attributed to your heating and cooling system. It makes sense, because our home comfort is a critical aspect of our day-to-day lives. Thankfully, there are high-efficiency solutions from Contra Costa Heating & AC that can keep you comfortable while also decreasing energy costs. When it's time for you to look for a new HVAC system, there are a couple things to consider. You'll want to look for air conditioners with high SEER ratings and furnaces with high AFUE ratings. These ratings measure efficiency, so the larger the number the better off you'll be when it comes to saving on energy costs. You can also consider these tips:

  • Keep your system operating to its best ability by scheduling routine maintenance. It helps uphold efficiency and make sure everything is operating properly.
  • Consider a zoning system if you only have specific rooms that need to be heated or cooled. There is no need to waste energy adjusting the temperature in a room that is never, or rarely used.
  • The U.S. Department of Energy states that programmable thermostats can save up to 35 percent on heating costs and 25 percent on cooling costs. There are a lot of programmable and smart thermostat products that are easy to use and vary in the amount of features-so you can find an solution that you are comfortable with.
A zoning system lets you parcel your house and heat or air condition each space differently. While these systems work well for homes that have areas that are infrequently used, they may also be beneficial in situations where you and your family disagree on the temperature in different portions of your residence. There are a number of additional benefits of zoning systems, like efficiency and comfort. Browse our selection of zoning systems or give Contra Costa Heating & AC a shout to see how a zoning system could work for your home.