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Question: What are some definitions for the terms that Air Handlers, Inc. use?


AFUE - Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, a rating that reflects the efficiency of a gas furnace in converting fuel to energy. A rating of 80 means that approximately 80 percent of the fuel is utilized to provide warmth to your home, while the remaining 20 percent escapes as exhaust.

BTU -British Thermal Unit. In scientific terms, it represents the amount of energy required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. One BTU is the equivalent of the heat given off by a single wooden kitchen match. For your home, it represents the measure of heat given off when fuel is burned for heating or the measure of heat extracted from your home for cooling.

CFM - Cubic feet per minute, a standard of airflow measurement. A typical system produces 400 CFM per ton of air conditioning.

Capacity - The output or producing capability of a piece of cooling or heating equipment. Cooling and heating capacity are normally referred to in BTUs.

Compressor - The heart of an air conditioning or heat pump system. It is part of the outdoor unit that pumps refrigerant. The compressor maintains adequate pressure to cause refrigerant to flow in sufficient quantities in order to meet the cooling requirements of the system.

Condenser Coil or Outdoor Coil - Located in the outdoor unit, the coil dissipates heat from the refrigerant, changing the refrigerant from vapor to liquid.

Damper - Found in ductwork, this movable plate opens and closes to control airflow. Dampers are used effectively in zoning to regulate airflow to certain rooms.

Down flow Furnace - A furnace that pulls in return air from the top and expels warm air at the bottom.

Ductwork - Pipes or channels that carry air throughout your home.

Evaporator Coil - The coil that is inside your house in a split system. In the evaporator, refrigerant evaporates and absorbs heat from air passed over the coil.

Heat Exchanger - A device for the transfer of heat energy from the source to the conveying medium.

Horizontal Furnace - A furnace that lies on its side, pulling in return air from one side and expelling warm air from the other.

Humidifier - A device that injects water vapor into heated air as the air is expelled from the furnace

Humidity - The amount of moisture in the air. Air conditioners remove moisture for added comfort.

HSPF - Heating Seasonal Performance Factor. Refers to the efficiency of the heating mode of heat pumps over an entire heating season; the higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

HVAC - Heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

ICM - Integrally Controlled Motor. A specially engineered, variable-speed motor used in top-of-the-line indoor units. ICM motors are more than 90 percent efficient versus 60 percent efficiency for conventional motors. Continuous comfort, quiet operation and ultimate system efficiency are the benefits of the indoor products graced with the ICM motor.

Packaged System - A piece of air conditioning and heating equipment in which all components are located in one cabinet. Used occasionally in residential applications, the packaged unit is installed either beside or on top of the home.

Refrigerant - A substance that produces a refrigerating effect while expanding or vaporizing.

Refrigerant Lines - Set of two copper lines connecting the outdoor unit and the indoor unit.

SEER - Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, a rating that measures the cooling efficiency of a heat pump or air conditioner; the higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

Split System - Refers to a comfort system configuration consisting of components in two locations. Common examples include an outside unit, such as an air conditioner, and an indoor unit, such as a furnace and coil

Switchover Valve - A device in a heat pump that reverses the flow of refrigerant as the system is switched from cooling to heating. Also called a reversing valve or four-way valve.

Thermostat - A temperature control device, typically found on a wall inside the home. It consists of a series of sensors and relays that monitor and control the functions of a heating and cooling system. Programmable thermostats allow you to program different levels of comfort for different times of the day.

Ton - A unit of measurement used for determining cooling capacity. One ton is the equivalent of 12,000 BTUs per hour.

Up flow Furnace - A furnace that pulls return air in from the bottom and expels warm air from the top.

Zoning - A method of dividing a home into zones, which enables you to control the amount of comfort provided to each.

Question: What are some questions that I should ask a contractor?


Things you should ask other contractors.

Do they flow nitrogen when welding refrigerant lines? This maintains cleanliness inside the copper lines.

Do they evacuate the system to below 500 microns? Required by every major manufacturer.

Do they still use duct tape? Not allowed by Washington State Code.

Proper refrigerant charging. CRITICAL - if you are installing a new central air conditioner or heat pump you should know that recent field studies suggest that approximately 75% of installed cooling equipment may have incorrect amounts of refrigerant. Incorrect refrigerant levels can lower efficiency by 5 to 20% and can ultimately cause premature component failure, resulting in costly repairs that could have been prevented. A good contractor will use one of three methods, recommended by equipment manufacturers, to verify the correct refrigerant level. These methods include super-heat, sub-cooling, or weight. Ask your contractor how they verify the refrigerant level is correct.

Check the Better Business Bureau for any complaints against a company. We have never had a complaint and are very proud of this!!

Question: Should I repair or replace my equipment?

Answer: http://www.lennox.com/beforeyoubuy/when-to-replace/

Question: Why should I hire a local H.V.A.C. contractor?


When getting work done on your home, you want to make sure you choose the right person to do the job in order to prevent problems later on, especially in the H.V.A.C. industry when any equipment you choose may be just fine, but if the installation is improper, the system will not operate as designed and all efforts at energy efficiency could be lost.

Many people are tempted to hire a big-name contractor, either locally or from other areas, but that is not always the best decision. Bigger is not always better, especially when it comes to contractors. Big contracting companies are not always able to give you the kind of attention you deserve because they are dealing with so many others. Often times, when multiple visits are necessary, the customer may never see the same person twice. A local contractor will give your project more personalized attention and go the extra mile to make your job something special, not just another task to finish.

A local personal contractor is usually more concerned to make sure they do the job right the first time. Big-name contractors are often unconcerned about doing a quality job because they believe a little negative publicity is to be expected when they work is such large volumes. Your local personal contractor, however, knows the importance of good word-of-mouth advertising and works hard for you because one bad report can really hurt.

Question: Why should I hire NATE-certified technicians?


Why NATE Certification?

NATE Certification makes good business sense. Certification is about professionalism, pride, knowledge, proficiency and consumer trust because NATE-certified technicians are experts in residential HVAC and light commercial and commercial refrigeration

Why Take NATE's Tests?

Technicians taking the test can prove they have the knowledge to be the best. Those who pass can wear the distinctive NATE patch and place the NATE decal on their truck. The NATE symbol is recognized by the industry and growing numbers of consumers as the mark of technician excellence.

Who Supports NATE Certification?

Contractors support NATE Certification because certified technicians remain in the industry longer, and have the knowledge to do the job right the first time and are more productive than non-certified technicians. Manufacturers & distributors support NATE Certification because certification encourages proper installation and service of equipment by knowledgeable technicians, which means fewer warranty returns and ultimately, a better bottom line.

Educators and trainers support NATE Certification because they benefit from a uniform standard of knowledge that allows them to better prepare the technician workforce of tomorrow.

Utilities support NATE Certification because properly trained and tested technicians can assure the correct installation and servicing of sophisticated HVAC/R equipment that saves energy and money when operating at peak efficiency.

Question: Does Air Handlers drug test?


Air Handlers and Sheet Metal Workers Local #66 are committed to protecting the safety, health and well being of sheet metal workers and all people who come into contact with them on worksites or use the products they produce.

How the SNAP Drug Testing Program Works - All covered employees are required to take a baseline drug test. Bargaining unit workers must have passed an initial baseline test before they are eligible for dispatch and will be issued testing forms and instructions when registering with the local union. If the test is negative (passed), the employer will be notified and the employee’s status (o.k. to work) will be entered into a confidential database by the program administrator. If a worker switches employment, the new employer must check with the program administrator to determine that the worker is still in good standing in the program to avoid another test. The program administrator can now track by computer where each participant is currently employed.

Each month, the program administrator uses a computer to lottery select a small percentage of workers for testing. Workers’ names are matched to the company where they are currently working. The program administrator confidentially notifies a pre-designated employer representative at each company that certain workers have been selected. Each worker must then go to a designated collection site for a drug test within 24 hours of notification.

All test results are confidentially tracked by only the SNAP program administrator to insure compliance with program rules. All collections are performed by trained personnel following the Department of Transportation protocols and guidelines for workplace drug testing.

All drug analysis is performed in laboratories certified by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

All alcohol testing is performed and/or confirmed by evidential breath testing devices approved by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

All drug tests are reviewed by an independent, certified Medical Review Officer (MRO) before verified results may be reported to the designated employer representative. This gives the employee a chance to explain a valid reason for a positive test, for example, prescription drugs. The MRO will act as a vital screen to assure that management is not notified of a positive result on a drug test until the MRO is satisfied that it resulted from illegal drug use. Each employer has a designated employer representative to coordinate substance abuse and drug testing issues. This individual has received training on program administration, substance abuse and chemical dependency, drug and alcohol testing, the proper use of employee assistance programs and confidentiality requirements. Positive tests will be treated confidentially by the employer.

Question: When replacing the outdoor unit of a heat pump or air conditioner, should the indoor unit also be replaced?

Answer: Read this PDF

Question: What can you tell me about heat pump/air conditioning refrigerants?

Answer: Read this PDF

Question: What exactly is a heat pump?

Answer: Read this PDF

Question: Will my new gas or propane furnace work differently than my old one?

Answer: Read this PDF

Question: Why are two-stage gas/propane furnaces better than single stage?

Answer: Read this PDF

Question: Why should I choose a variable-speed furnace for my home?

Answer: Read this PDF

Question: What can I do about lingering odors in my home?

Answer: Read this PDF

Question: Why should I choose a Lennox product?

Answer: Read this PDF