Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions? We’ve got answers. Browse some of our most frequently asked HVAC questions and their answers to see how we can help!

A: There are a number of factors to consider when determining whether to repair or replace an existing system. Depending on the type and age of the unit you currently have installed you may be able to save a significant amount of money by replacing it with a newer, more energy efficient unit.

Systems manufactured as recently as eight to ten years ago are up to 60% less energy efficient than systems on the market today. That means that, in many cases, a new unit can pay for itself in lower energy costs in a very short time.

If you are facing a large repair on an older system it might be a good time to replace the unit instead of simply buying a few more years on a system that will eventually need replacing. If financing a new unit, the monthly energy savings can usually help offset the cost of a new system.

A: The answer depends on a number of factors including the size of your home or office, the condition and configuration of the ductwork the energy source for your units and many others. The experienced professionals at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors Inc can help you choose the system that best suits your needs. Through determining the physical requirements of your home or office along with your preferences and desires we can help you choose a unit that will match your needs and control recurring costs.

A: Manufacturers provide different guidelines for the life expectancy of their various heating and air conditioning units. In general, under normal operating conditions and provided that routine maintenance is conducted in accordance with manufacturers’ guidelines you can expect your new unit to deliver dependable service for 20-25 years.

A: There are a number of things that you can do yourself to ensure the optimal operation and efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Here are a few:
  • The air filter in your furnace or fan coil should be inspected every 3 to 4 weeks. A dirty filter will cause your furnace, air conditioner or heat pump to work harder than necessary and will decrease the effectiveness and increase energy consumption.
  • If your indoor coil is accessible you should clean the top and underside using a vacuum cleaner equipped with a soft brush attachment. Make sure the coil is dry before cleaning for maximum effectiveness. If the coil is not completely accessible you may need to call a professional to perform the cleaning.
  • Keep your outdoor condensing unit free of dirt and debris. You should also check the base pan under the unit to ensure that grass clippings, leaves and other material has not collected to ensure the unit drains properly.
  • Make sure your outdoor unit is level. Units may become unlevel due to shifts in the ground beneath the unit resulting in incomplete draining.
  • Annual inspections of your heating unit are advised. If dirt, soot or rust are detected in the unit’s combustion or vent system call a professional to diagnose and repair any problems to ensure the safe and efficient operation of your unit.
  • Humidifiers should be cleaned at the beginning of every heating season. You should consult your owners’ manual for complete instructions on cleaning in the interior and exterior components. The evaporator pad should be replaced annually. If the water in your area is high in mineral content you should consider employing a water softening unit or clean your humidifier more frequently.
  • Humidifiers should be shut off at the beginning of the air conditioning season and cleaned
A: Your savings will vary depending on the amount of flushes but on average a typical household will see savings of between $50 and $100 annually.
A: There may be nothing wrong with your water heater. It may actually be that your faucets and shower heads are the culprits. Some older shower heads put out up to 5 gallons per minute. Newer shower heads only allow around 2.5 gallons of volume per minute. Switching to lower volume shower heads and faucets can sometimes solve the problem. It could also be that your water heaters’ dip tube needs to be replaced.
A: The most serious cause of water leaks from water heaters is a rusted out tank which requires you to replace the entire water heater. If your water heater is not near the end of the manufacturers’ life estimate it could be a much simpler and less costly problem. The pressure relief valve, usually located at the top of the unit, could be leaking. The cause could be a defective or worn out valve or one that simply needs tightening. Your owner’s manual should have detailed information about repairing or replacing the valve.
A: There are a number or possible causes for this problem. It could be that the flapper isn’t seating properly. The flapper can accumulate a thin layer of scale or a slippery film over time which can cause the water seal to fail. Cleaning or replacing the flapper will correct this problem. Another cause can be a kinked or tangled lift chain which is easily fixed as well. If neither of these is the problem it could be a worn out flush valve. There are a number of different kinds of assemblies available at any hardware store, plumbing supply company and most discount centers and installation is fairly straightforward.
A: In many cases the cause is a tripped high-temperature cutoff which can be fixed by simply pressing the reset button. If that doesn’t work it could be a faulty heating element. If that is the case you will have to replace the element.
A: The answer depends on a number of factors including the number of people in your household, number of bathtubs and / or showers, whether your home has a dishwasher, washing machine or whirlpool bathtub and whether your water heater is a natural gas or electric unit. Typically, for a family of 4, a 40 gallon gas water heater will be sufficient for your needs. If your water heater is electric you would want to consider a 50 – 60 gallon unit. Consult your plumbing contractor or water heater dealer to ensure the unit you choose will serve your needs.
A: “Hard water” is water that contains high levels of calcium and / or magnesium. The presence of these minerals in high amounts can result in deposits, called scale, on appliances and fixtures and can adversely affect their performance over time. Hard water can also decrease the cleansing action of soaps and detergents we use in cleaning our dishes, clothing and in bathing by creating pasty films on surfaces instead of dissipating the soaps and detergents for optimal effectiveness. Depending on the level of minerals present in your water you may want to consider installing a water softening system in your home. Water softeners essentially eliminate calcium and magnesium through interaction with sodium through a process called ion exchange.
A: The problem may be water lines that are not properly isolated from the structural elements of your home. If this is the case, the motion of water moving through the pipes may be transferring to beams, joists or studs in or beneath your flooring or in the walls. If the pipes are accessible the solution may be as simple as inserting an insulating material between the pipes and the structural elements they are touching. If your pipes only rattle when the water is turned on or off it may be that you need to install a water hammer arrester which will eliminate the jolt caused by quick closing water valves. This problem can be somewhat tricky to diagnose and you may want to consult a professional plumber.

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