1. Why is it so expensive?
This is a common question that is frequently asked about all products, not just home comfort systems.
As far as home comfort systems go, there are many things that go into a quality system. First off, a lot of thought and planning must take place. Every home is different. Your home is where at least one third to one half of your daily activities occurs. A review of the homeowners life style, the families health conditions relative to asthma, allergies, dry throat, etc., interior furnishings relative to antique furniture, hardwood floors, orientation of the home, window types, insulation levels, size and shape and looseness/tightness of the home, exterior shading, ceiling heights, etc. should be evaluated. All of these considerations should go into the sizing, design and configuration of a quality home comfort system. While some companies will install a system without these considerations, a good, quality home comfort system that offers premium comfort, indoor air quality and energy efficiency will always utilize these inputs when designing a custom system for the individual family.
Once the home comfort system is designed and approved by the homeowners, the installation begins. This is another key area where all installations are not created equal. A quality installation will include an installation plan, layout and instructions for the installation team. The installation will include quality equipment and materials/ductwork that are sized properly for that particular job. The supervisor will insure that the installation team shows respect for the homeowner’s property and cleans up completely after the job. The installation team should be properly briefed as to the specifics of the job. Checklists should be used by the installation team and supervisor to insure that the job is installed to industry standards. A startup should be performed that tests and documents all aspects of the system performance. Again, checklists should be used to assist with the documentation of the startup. A review of the system installation, operation of the system, warranty and maintenance/service should be provided to the homeowners.
In addition, reputable companies will have HVAC and business licenses and have liability, automobile, and worker’s compensation insurance. They will have a well trained service department and maintain a spare parts inventory to support warranty work, ongoing maintenance and service of all systems. The company will be accessible to the homeowners 24/7. The technicians should be properly certified, i.e. CFC, NATE, etc. They should have references available on request. Reputable companies are stable and usually have been in business for an extended period of time and are active in industry associations.
In conclusion, if you want a quality system, you must consider all aspects of the system and its implementation and service, not just price. Provided below is a quote, that’s been around for a long time, that offers a very wise buying philosophy.
2. What are the advantages of a variable speed furnace blower motor over a standard single speed furnace motor?
There are many reasons for choosing a variable speed furnace, but the main reason is comfort. The term “variable speed” refers to the furnace’s fan motor, which moves at different speeds to precisely control the flow of heated and cooled air throughout your home. Better airflow control means a better balance of temperature and humidity.
A variable speed blower provides more comfort and efficiency, with less sound and better Indoor Air Quality.
More comfort. Variable speed home comfort systems precisely regulate airflow to provide better control of temperature, humidity and air distribution.
More efficiency. Compared to a conventional single-speed furnace, a variable speed furnace performs better and uses about two-thirds less electricity. During cooling operation, variable speed technology typically results in an efficiency gain of 1 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio). The higher the SEER, the lower your utility bills will be.
Less sound. A variable speed furnace also ensures quieter operation. The furnace slowly ramps up to speed, so there’s no sudden “kick” or blast of air at startup.
Cleaner air. Because the furnace fan is always in constant operation, a variable speed furnace will continue to slowly and inexpensively circulate air throughout your home. This allows your filters to capture more contaminants (because air is constantly passing through them), so you can breathe easier.
Enhanced humidity control. When moisture levels are high, there’s a higher potential for mold growth and other pollutant problems. Compared to a single-speed furnace, a variable speed furnace is more effective at drawing moisture from the air for improved air quality and comfort.
In my opinion, furnaces and air handling units with variable speed blowers are the single best improvement you can make to any home comfort system. As the blower section operates during all seasons, it is the heart of the home comfort system.
3. What can I do to keep my system in top performing condition?
Keep the filters changed on a regular basis; 1” filters – monthly, 3” filters – every 6 months, 5” filters – annually
Keep grass from growing too tall near the A/C. This can decrease the air flow across the coils and reduce the efficiency of the system.
Wash the outdoor coil with a garden hose at least once per summer to get dust, pollen, grass clippings, etc. from the coil/aluminum fins.
Flush the condensation drain pipe by pouring ½ cup of Clorox bleach into the opening in the drain pipe at the evaporator coil. The bleach will kill algae and remove mineral deposits that accumulate on the inside of the drain pipe and, if left alone, will stop up the drain, back up the water to the evaporator coil, and overflow onto the ceiling, floor or wherever the system is located. This treatment should be done once at the beginning of the cooling season and again about mid cooling season, around July 1.
Invest in an Eagle Vision Plan (EVP) maintenance agreement with Ferguson Heating and Air. Our NATE certified technicians will come out twice a year during the heating and cooling seasons to insure that your system(s) are in peak operating condition. There are many benefits to owning an EVP, including priority service. See our Maintenance section on this website or contact our office for more information.
4. What is the significance of the American Eagle logo?
The American Eagle represents the three tenets that Ferguson Heating and Air Conditioning Company is built upon: Strength, Integrity, and Vision.
Our Strength comes from being a leader in the HVAC industry since 1946 as a family owned and operated business who takes great pride in providing a well designed and installed system for each and every customer.
Our Integrity is based upon over 60 years of customer relationships of doing what’s best for the customer and using their “Word of Mouth” advertising as our primary source for new customers.
We get our Vision from our vast experience and our knowledge and commitment to current technologies.
We strive for excellence in every job we do with inspiration from the American Eagle and the three tenets that he represents.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Terminology
AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency): The ratio of annual output of useful energy or heat to the annual energy input to the furnace. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace; higher efficiency translates to more savings on fuel bills.
BTU (British thermal unit): The amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
CAAG (Conditioned Air Association of Georgia): The Conditioned Air Association of Georgia (CAAG) is a statewide, non-profit trade association which represents contractors who are engaged in the design, sales, installation, maintenance, service and repair of heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) for residential and light commercial customers. The association has local chapters that meet regularly to keep up with current events, trends, and training in the industry.
Cfm (cubic feet per minute): A standard of airflow volume measurement. A typical system produces 400 CFM per ton of air conditioning.
HVAC: Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning.
IAQ (Indoor Air Quality): Indoor Air Quality
MERV: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. A standard rating procedure for air filters. The higher the rating the fewer dust or allergen particles get into the air. Some common particles related to MERV ratings are pet dander, insecticide dust, lint, smog, household dust, tobacco smoke, viruses, pollen and bacteria.
NATE (North American Technician Excellence): The leading non-profit certification program for technicians in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration (HVACR) industry and the only certification test supported by the entire industry. NATE, founded in 1997, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. NATE is the only technician certification organization governed, owned, operated, developed and supported by the HVACR industry.
Relative Humidity: The ratio of the water-vapor pressure of air compared to the vapor pressure it would have if saturated at its dry-bulb temperature.
SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio): A measure of energy efficiency. The amount of cooling your equipment delivers per every dollar spent on electricity, i.e. Btu’s per watt of electricity. Ton (of air conditioning): A cooling unit of measure. Each ton equals 12,000 Btuh. Heat pumps and air conditioners are generally sized in tons.