Frequently Asked Questions

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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 model. 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 Back to Top
What size system do I need for my home?
There are many things which will determine the size (capacity) system your home requires. Some of these are: square feet to be cooled, climate, humidity, number of windows, insulation factors, which direction your home faces, heat producing appliances, and even the number of people who will be in the home. We can do an energy analysis on your home and help you decide what your particular needs are for your lifestyle. Back to Top
What is the difference in the 92% + AFUE Furnace and the standard 80% AFUE Furnace?
The 90% Furnaces are condensing Furnaces which provide up to 15% more efficiency than the 80% model. The 90% + units have a secondary heat exchanger designed [drains moisture like an AC system] to capture the heat from the exhausted flue gases before they leave the unit. This is heat is applied to your home or office normally lost to the flue system as in standard vented furnaces. When you choose this model be sure it is a 29-4C stainless steel secondary heat exchanger design! Purchase the most efficient Furnace you can afford, as it will benefit you in the long and short term. Back to Top
I have been told 92% [AFUE] Efficient Furnaces are much harder to service than standard efficiency 80% [AFUE] units? Is this true?
No, not in our mind! There is very little difference in the products and the equipment we provide is very accessible for service. Plus you save 10-15% in fuel consumption with the higher efficiency furnace. Back to Top
What is the advantage of Variable Speed Blowers over a standard furnace blower?
Variable speed fans operate on a simple principle: they are able to spin at different speeds depending on the heating and cooling needs of your home. Usually, they operate at lower speeds, delivering a steady, reliable stream of warm or cool air to your home. This helps control humidity levels, utility costs and system noise. When conditions become more extreme, the fan speed increases so that the system can meet increased demand, guaranteeing that on even the hottest days or coldest nights, you’re comfort needs will be met. Back to Top
What is the value of a set back thermostat or programmable thermostat?
Studies have shown that when used effectively you can save form 5 to 10% or more using these units. Programmable Thermostats are available in simple, easy to use styles or with more advanced features and interfaces. Back to Top
Is there any advantage to setting my thermostat fan to “ON” so the fan runs constantly?
There are a couple. One is that you get constant filtering of the air in your home. The other is that because the air is moving, you have a more even temperature throughout. Back to Top
Will anything help control the humidity in my house?
Humidity is a problem in many areas. The best way to control excessive humidity is to have a system that runs longer at lower speeds. Variable speed air handling equipment runs at very low speeds, which keeps the air circulating against the cooling coil and removes much more moisture than conventional systems. At these low speeds, the variable speed motor uses much less electricity than conventional motors. Back to Top
What is the advantage of applying a Humidifier to my heating system?
We use only quality units and the Humidifier keeps the RH [relative humidity] at the proper levels in your home. You feel more comfortable and it keeps wood, furniture and other items from drying out in the winter heating season. Humidity level requirements change with out door temperatures. We have units that self adjust to outdoor temperature changes! Humidifiers are also a valuable part of a good Indoor Air Quality system! Back to Top
I need a new outdoor unit, but my indoor unit works fine. What are the advantages of replacing my whole system at the same time?
Air conditioners are designed as matched systems, with an efficiency rating given for the whole system. If you replace only one part, you do not get the advantage of many technology changes that make the system work efficiently to ensure comfort. Also, the indoor system contains a cooling coil which may be partially blocked by particles that will decrease efficiency. Further, if your whole system is replaced, you will be less likely to need service in the near future. Back to Top
How much will my new air conditioning system cost?
The answer is, that depends. There are many factors which must be considered: the efficiency of the equipment, the size of your home, is the duct work installed and in good condition, do you need a thermostat or electronic air cleaner. In most cases, replacing your whole system, indoor and outdoor components, will result in a more efficient, longer lasting system but will also cost a little more. Back to Top
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. In fact, rain helps keep your unit clean. Of course, because heat pumps run all year long, they should never be covered. Back to Top
How close to the outdoor unit should I plant shrubs or flowers?
Manufacturers generally agree that plants should not be closer than 18 inches. Air conditioners need to take in and exhaust air to operate efficiently. If air cannot circulate, the unit could build up heat and require service Back to Top
How often should I change or clean my filters?
Filters should generally be replaced every month when the system is running. Replace filters with the same kind and size as original filter. If your filter is not disposable, follow the manufacturer instructions for cleaning. Back to Top
How important is it to have my heating or cooling system checked on a regular basis?
VERY IMPORTANT! First of all if you read the Manufactures Warranty it is often a requirement to have your system serviced to maintain the factory warranty! Also by having regular service it has been proven that homeowners and commercial building owners save up to 15% on energy cost! We offer service agreements that can be purchased providing the care your system needs. Our Comfort Club members also receive a 15% discount repairs along with priority service. Back to Top
How often do you recommend we have our air conditioner and furnace serviced?
We recommend that you have routine preventative maintenance performed a minimum of twice a year for your heating and cooling systems. Our tune-ups include all of the necessary maintenance that is required by manufacturers to keep your warranty current and in good standing. Check out our Comfort Club for information on annual maintenance. Back to Top
How much does Schwantes Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. charge compared to other heating and air conditioning companies?
Schwantes Heating is usually neither the least nor the most expensive in a market and we encourages you not to be a victim of price. You, your family and the comfort you deserve in your home or business is NOT TO BE NEGOTIATED OR MINIMIZED. Our Service Technicians and our Installers are some of the best in the industry. They will thoroughly diagnose your “comfort system” and recommend what is needed to maximize your comfort. If you thoroughly compare the competition, it will be impossible to find the same value for less money! Back to Top
What is the difference in a Manufacturer’s Limited Warranty and an Extended Parts and Labor Warranty?
A limited warranty covers specific parts (i.e. compressor, coil, electronics, etc.); therefore, it is limited by the language in the warranty. Extended warranties are generally purchased in addition to the equipment. Extended warranties cover all parts and may also include the labor for the service call. An extended warranty protects you from unexpected and unbudgeted service calls for the duration of the warranty. Back to Top