Ask The Expert

At Favret Heating and Cooling, we get asked questions all the time. To make it more convenient for you, we’ve collected previous questions along with our expert responses.

What is the average life expectancy of a heating and cooling system?
The average life span of a furnace is 15 to 20 years. An air conditioning unit or heat pump is 10 to 12 years. Both of these estimates are dependent on the type of system and maintenance. Proper maintenance can extend the life of the HVAC unit.
Why should I purchase a maintenance plan?
A maintenance plan offers peace of mind and ensures that regular preventive maintenance is conducted and that you receive priority service in case of a breakdown.
Do I need to have my furnace and air conditioner serviced every year?
Regular HVAC maintenance extends the life of your system and reduces the risk of costly breakdowns by as much as 95%. Preventive maintenance helps ensure that your HVAC system runs at close to peak efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this can mean savings of up to 30% on your energy bill. Furnace manufacturers all recommend annual inspections and maintenance by a qualified technician.
My furnace and air conditioner don't work well in a couple of rooms. Can that be fixed?
Yes, by investigating the following areas.
1.) Are registers blocked?
2.) Are air vents (dampers) closed?
3.) Are the air ducts leaky or not insulated?
4.) Are the air ducts dirty?
5.) Is the HVAC system appropriately sized?
6.) Could a zoned HVAC system work better in your home?

A Favert professional can work with you to diagnose the problem and find a workable solution to meet your needs and budget.

Are there different types of furnaces?
Furnaces all work on the same principle; the unit heats the air, and a blower fan sends the hot air into the ventilation system. The fuel source will determine the type of furnace. Natural gas, electric, oil, and propane are common fuel sources in Ohio. Fuel efficiency is another factor; some furnace models are more efficient than others.
What size of furnace do I need?
The size of your home and the unit’s efficiency affect the size of the furnace you require. Too big, and it won’t dehumidify well. Too small, and it won’t heat and cool the house adequately. A professional HVAC contractor conducts a load calculation to assess the needs of the house and select an appropriately sized system.
How often should I change my air filter?
Furnace air filters should be replaced at least every 90 days, more frequently if you have had any construction or renovation done lately, have pets, and if one of your family members has breathing issues (like allergies or asthma).

Choose a filter that is just the right amount of filtering for your home, determined by its MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value). A clogged filter can prevent proper airflow in your HVAC system, causing the equipment to wear out prematurely.

In general, this is how often changing furnace filters needs to be done:

For 1- to 2-inch filters, replace them every 1 to 3 months

For 3- to 4-inch filters, replace them every 6 to 9 months

For 5- to 6-inch filters, replace them every 9 to 12 months

Should I switch to a high-efficiency air filter?
Maybe yes, maybe no.

While the air filter is meant to control the amount of unwanted air particles entering your home, the MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) is intended to help you determine which filter is the best fit for your home. The higher the MERV rating, the fewer particles and other contaminants pass through the filter.

While the highest MERV ratings are the most effective for air quality, they can also harm your HVAC system.

Airflow is vital for the performance and longevity of your furnace. Airflow is also the key to a comfortable home. A higher MERV rating means a higher resistance, which means less airflow.

If the MERV rating on your furnace is too high, it may force your furnace to work too hard and leave it vulnerable to damages. In addition, you may not get the air velocity required to reach all parts of your home, leaving inconsistencies in temperature.

A MERV rating of 13-16 is considered hospital-level air quality, so it is unlikely your home needs any more than that. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, filters from the 7-13 range often have minor differences from the higher MERV ratings. Still, they will allow your system to run much more efficiently.

What MERV rating you choose between 7 and 13 depends on what level of filtration you require. If your family has allergies or asthma, a higher MERV rating will be good for you. If your family doesn’t suffer from any breathing difficulties, a lower filter like a 7 will save you some money on your energy bill.

When I'm outside, my air conditioner is very loud. What can I do?
If you hear loud buzzing noises coming from the air conditioner, it is likely malfunctioning. Typically, the issue is either loose parts, missing or broken isolation feet, refrigerant leaks, or a malfunctioning compressor. Scheduling a service call is a good idea.
What temperature should I set my thermostat?
Favret recommends starting with a temperature of 68 degrees for heating. When sleeping and away from home, set the thermostat at 65 degrees for cooling, start at 78 degrees for a good mix of comfort and energy efficiency. Adjust as needed by 1 to 2 degrees until comfortable