Your questions answered: HVAC FAQs.

Central Air Inc in Portland Metro can answer all your HVAC-related questions. Before you get on the phone, check to see if we already responded to your question online. If you don’t see your question on the list or want more information on a particular topic, give us a call at 503-656-1908. Our staff can give you the information you’re looking for in a jiffy.
Like any product you want to keep in good shape, HVAC equipment requires proper care in order to provide the maximum benefits. Trained technicians can service your heating and cooling products to ensure they’re working at their maximum potential and help prevent more costly repairs in the middle of the hottest or coldest months of the year.
Central Air Inc in Portland Metro can price out individual units or multiple home comfort products for you. Call 503-656-1908 to hear more.
With two-stage heating, furnaces may work on two different levels: high and low. Since you can heat your home on the low setting a lot of the time, a two-stage furnace can run longer and more efficiently. Two-stage heating also works more quietly than traditional furnaces and can provide more even heat distribution and fewer temperature swings.
Precise Comfort™ technology is an operating and control system used in Lennox furnaces. The technology can automatically adjust heat by increments as tiny as 1 percent, increasing energy efficiency and helping you experience better comfort.

Modern furnaces are developed with a number of innovative features older furnaces don’t have. Today’s heating systems offer 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 bonus of modern furnaces is their ability to work 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 raised the minimum efficiency levels for air conditions, and the standards vary by region. Contact Central Air Inc at 503-656-1908 to find the requirements for the Portland Metro area.

Heating and cooling makes up a huge portion of your monthly utility bill. Getting new HVAC equipment with high efficiency ratings, such as SEER for air conditioners and AFUE for furnaces, is a simple step that can go a long way in lowering energy output. Beyond these ratings, also consider:

  • Routine maintenance – regularly having an expert tune-up your equipment will keep it working at its peak potential.
  • Adding a zoning system – by focusing your heating and cooling on the rooms you use most frequently, you won’t have to pay to heat or cool areas of your home that aren’t routinely used.
  • Installing a programmable thermostat – the Department of Energy estimates that a programmable thermostat can lower heating costs by up to 35 percent and cooling costs by up to 25 percent. Leave it up to your thermostat to turn down the heat when you’re away and return to your preferred temperature when you’re home.

There are many reasons to pick Lennox, but the top three are:

  • Lennox is a name you know and trust – known across the world for quality HVAC products, you can rest assured Lennox will provide you with high quality equipment.
  • Innovative and high quality products – Lennox has been on the leading edge of innovation in the heating and cooling industry for years. High quality furnaces, air conditioners and home comfort systems include innovative features to help your home stay more comfortable and energy efficient.
  • Reputation of excellence – high quality products are not the only arena Lennox excels in. Lennox dealers, like Central Air Inc, provide high quality service at all times, from your first consultation to your routine maintenance appointments.

Strategies to improve your indoor air quality can be as easy as vacuuming your home to something as large as adding a new ventilation system. Overall, good IAQ has four strategies:

  • Eliminate – lessen the pollutants floating in your air by cleaning your home routinely, particularly vacuuming carpet, washing linens and safely storing household chemicals.
  • Ventilate – make sure your home is well-ventilated to move airborne pollutants out of your home. In newer homes, well-done insulation will inhibit ventilation, so Lennox systems such as the Healthy Climate® ventilation system can help. These systems bring fresh air from outside into your home and direct the stale air out.
  • Clean – the right air filters, such as our Healthy Climate® air filters, will make certain the smallest particles don’t get through and are let out into your home. Germicidal lights can kill the germs that do make it through, and purification systems like the PureAir™ will help destroy odors and chemical vapors.
  • Monitor – keep your humidity levels in check with a programmable thermostat. High temperatures and humidity levels can elevate concentrations of mold, mildew and germs. A programmable thermostat will ensure your home is comfortable without letting humidity run rampant.
Try utilizing our Healthy Solution Finder, where you can pinpoint the indoor air quality issues that affect your home. After you choose the items that apply, the system will show the IAQ products that match your needs. You can also call Central Air Inc and walk our techs through some of the issues you experience. They can evaluate your home and needs and provide options and answers.
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 is pushed across a refrigerant coil on the indoor unit and then is sent to the outdoor unit where it is released. Your air conditioner pushes 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 Central Air Inc can help you figure out the minimum requirements for Portland Metro, let you know if your current systems meets those requirements or help you find a replacement air conditioner that does.
Your system’s service panel should have a white label on it, with your system’s model and serial numbers at the top. M/N signifies the system’s model number and S/N is the serial number.
Since equipment size needs vary by home, the best way to determine the proper size equipment for your home is to have a technician from Central Air Inc 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 home’s individual HVAC equipment needs.
Yes – debris can limit your system’s ability to function effectively. It’s not uncommon 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 a cooling systems has two-stage cooling, it means that there are two levels of operation. This allows the system to work as efficiently as possible since there is one level for milder weather and a second 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 improved humidity control.
Your system could be freezing up for a variety of reasons, but the most common 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 should call the professionals at Central Air Inc at 503-656-1908 for other problems or if you have other questions or concerns.
Central Air Inc has 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 looking for something that can fit with a home automation system – call Central Air Inc to hear about which thermostats you can choose from. Our team will help you find one that’s right for your system, your family’s needs and your budget.
A heat pump takes care of both your home’s heating and cooling needs, offering you one HVAC system that can be used in all four seasons. In the warmer months, heat pumps act like an air conditioner, capturing the hot air from inside your home and moving 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 used.
At Central Air Inc, we do recommend replacing both your indoor and outdoor units at the same time because:
  • Outdoor systems are now built to work with their matching indoor system for the most efficiency. When you replace just one of your systems, you may not see the same savings on your energy bills as if you had replaced them together.
  • Thanks to technological advancements, newer systems mean improved efficiency. This is also true for HVAC systems. While the advancements focus on improved 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 reduce your energy bills and keep your home more comfortable.
Yes. Your SunSource® Home Energy System has a communication module that transfers the system’s performance data to a website. The website includes information about your system’s status, energy production and environmental benefits, as well as carbon offsets in real time.
Yes, you will need an Internet connection if you want to utilize the system’s online monitoring system. The system lets you view energy production and environmental information. The monitoring service is provided free of charge for five years, and the performance-monitoring website is provided by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc.
Rain will clean the modules automatically 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 ruin the product.
Central Air Inc can help you find the right thermostat for you based on your home and current heating and cooling equipment. We have a selection of programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats, which can help increase the efficiency of your home’s furnace and/or air conditioner. Browse our thermostats or give us a call at 503-656-1908 for more information.
Your heating and cooling equipment can contribute significantly to your monthly energy expenses. However, these costs can be lowered with innovative and high efficiency products from Lennox®. You’ll want to look for high SEER and AFUE ratings when you’re in the market for a new air conditioner or furnace, respectively, as higher SEER and AFUE ratings signify higher efficiency products. If you’re not looking for new heating and cooling equipment, consider factors such as: 1. Maintenance: Furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC equipment work more efficiently when they are regularly maintained. 2. Zoning: When portions of your home are rarely used, you’re spending more money to heat or cool them to the same temperature as the rest of the house. A zoning system allows you to section off different parts of your home and control the temperature by each area. 3. Programmable Thermostats: Programmable thermostats can help you decrease your heating costs by 35 percent and your cooling costs by 25 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
A zoning system allows you to parcel your house and heat or lower the temperature in each area differently. While these systems work well for homes that have rooms that are seldom visited, they could also be great in situations where you and your family argue about the temperature in different areas of your residence. There are a collection of additional bonuses of zoning systems, like efficiency and comfort. View our selection of zoning systems or give Central Air Inc a shout to see how a zoning system could benefit your home.