FAQ’s

Guide to Frequently Asked Questions

The Favret Company is committed to providing you with the best in customer service.
To further enhance your Internet HVAC experience, we have a series of frequently asked questions.
These pages are broken down into three categories: Heating,  Air Conditioning and Miscellaneous.

 

Heating Questions – 

I have an arrow on my furnace filter but I do not know which way it should point?
The arrow should point in the same direction as the air flow. In most cases, it will point towards the Furnace or Air Handler and should fit between the return air part of the system and the furnace.
How often should I change the standard throw-away filter on my furnace?
You should change your standard furnace filter every 4 to 12 weeks. Believe it or not, a filter actually becomes more efficient as it get dirtier, up to a point. After peak efficiency is reached, the efficiency drops again. Inspect the filter every 4 to 12 weeks and use your own judgment. Don’t let the filter get “clogged” as this can cut down on the efficiency and/or cause damage to the unit.
Is there a real difference between the spun glass furnace filters and the more expensive micron corrugated filters that have ratings of 8 and 10?
Our opinion is Yes there is a real difference. If you would like more information on this do a internet search for “MERV Ratings”, which stands for: MINIMUM EFFICIENCY REPORTING VALUE (MERV).
Here are some links to Independent / Government Agencies, and a Manufacture that have tips for you on this subject.
http://www.lungusa.org/press/envir/hh_1009014.html     http://www.epa.gov/iaq/    www.filtrete.com

 

PARTICULATE

SIZE*

Dust Mite Particles

10 microns

Cat Allergens

1.8 to 3 microns

Dog Allergens

5 microns

Mold Spores

2 to 10 microns

Pollen Grains

10 to 20 microns

*Particle sizes may vary depending on source, fragmentation, and degradation. The typical allergy particle that reaches the airways ranges in size from 2 to 10 microns.

 

At what temperature should I set my thermostat, if I go away for a few days or even longer during the winter?
Gas Furnace, We recommend about 55° degrees. It’s low enough to save you energy and money but warm enough to protect your pipes and other vital parts of your structure. Also, it’s a good idea to turn your main water supply off even if you’re only going to be gone for a day. A water leak could cause very costly damage to your home. Heat Pump, We recommend about 65º degrees if running in normal Heat Pump mode. Heat pumps need a higher indoor temperature to work properly. You can also turn the Heat Pump over to Emergency Heat Mode and then you could set the thermostat down to about 55° degrees.
How often should I have Maintenance done on my Furnace?
We suggest (1) once a year in the fall, to help your furnace run more efficiently and have a longer life span and get more heat for your fuel dollar. More importantly, the maintenance also includes a thorough safety check of the entire unit for cracked or defective/damaged parts.
Can I troubleshoot before calling for service?
The answer is, “Yes.” Here are some simple procedures you can perform before going to the expense of a service call:

  • Check disconnect switches (indoor and outdoor if you have a split system). Make sure that circuit breakers are ON or that fuses have not blown.
  • Check for sufficient airflow. Make sure air filters are clean and that supply-air and return-air grilles are open and unobstructed.
  • Check the settings on your thermostat. If you want heat, make sure the temperature control selector is set above room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is at HEAT or AUTO. The FAN switch should be set at ON for continuous blower operation or AUTO if you want the blower to function only while the unit is operating.

In addition to the routine maintenance you perform, your home comfort system should be inspected at least once a year by a properly trained service technician. The Favret Company will make sure your system operates safely and gives you the best performance at the lowest cost. You may also want to ask us about an economical service contract that covers seasonal inspections for a flat fee.

 

Cooling Questions –

I have an arrow on my furnace filter but I do not know which way it should point?
The arrow should point in the same direction as the air flow. In most cases, it will point towards the Furnace or Air Handler and should fit between the return air part of the system and the furnace.
I have a fan switch on my thermostat, where should it be set?
This is completely your preference. This switch has two positions, fan “on” or fan “auto” (Automatic). By setting this switch to the on position will cause the indoor fan to run constantly 24 hours a day and can give you more even temperatures through out your home.
Should I cover my outdoor air conditioning unit during the cold winter months?
If your Air Conditioner blows air out the top of the air conditioner then covering it would help keep debris out of it. The one thing you could do is cover the top of the condensing unit (with a piece of plywood with something to hold it down) or (trash can lid with door springs to hold it down) so that no debris can get in. We recommend putting some sort of a hard cover over at least the top of the unit to protect against damage from falling ice, etc. A cover will also protect the finish and guard against rodents making the unit their winter home. Caution: The cover must be removed before the start of operation the following Spring.
Can I turn off the power to my central air conditioning system during the winter months?
Yes, you can. There is a circuit breaker for the air conditioner in your electric panel or at the air conditioner outside there maybe a disconnect box where you can shut it off.

Note: Next spring be sure to turn the power back on to the Air Conditioner at least 24 hours in advance of running the air conditioner. This will warm the oil in the crank case of the compressor in the air conditioner.
How often should I have Maintenance done on my Air Conditioner?
We suggest (1) once a year, in the spring before the start of summer. This will help the unit run more efficiently and help with the life span of the unit.
When my Air Conditioner is on there is water leaking in my basement, why and what should I do?
The water is leaking because your condensate drain pipe is clogged. It needs to be cleaned out and that will make the water stop leaking in the basement.
Can I troubleshoot before calling for service?
The answer is, “Yes.” Here are some simple procedures you can perform before going to the expense of a service call:

  • Check disconnect switches (indoor and outdoor if you have a split system). Make sure that circuit breakers are ON or that fuses have not blown.
  • Check for sufficient airflow. Make sure air filters are clean and that supply-air and return-air grilles are open and unobstructed.
  • Check the settings on your thermostat. If you want cooling, make sure the temperature control selector is set below room temperature and the SYSTEM switch is on the COOL or AUTO position. The FAN switch should be set at ON for continuous blower operation or AUTO if you want the blower to function only while the unit is operating.

In addition to the routine maintenance you perform, your home comfort system should be inspected at least once a year by a properly trained service technician. The Favret Company will make sure your system operates safely and gives you the best performance at the lowest cost. You may also want to ask us about an economical service contract that covers seasonal inspections for a flat fee.

 

Miscellaneous Questions –

I'm not sure what the proper humidity setting for my humidifier is?
The recommended settings on the humidistat are based on years of research (see table below) and experience as to what is best for the average home. These settings represent a compromise between RH levels that would be most desirable for comfort reasons and humidity levels that are suitable for protection of your home and to avoid condensation on your windows. For example, a wintertime indoor RH of 50% may be considered ideal, but unfortunately, it probably would result in damage to your home. Observance of the recommended RH levels on your humidistat, therefore, is an important safeguard. Condensation of water on inside windows in the form of fogging or frost is usually an indication of too high relative humidity. This same condensation can take place in other areas in your home with the possibility of dam-age resulting.

It is important to anticipate a drop in outdoor temperature and reduce the setting accordingly to avoid excessive condensation. For example, with an outdoor temperature of 20° the correct setting will be 35% relative humidity. If the temperature is expected to fall to 0° that evening, then merely reduce the setting to 25% several hours prior to the temperature change.

Outdoor-Indoor Relative Humidity

 

Outside Temperature Deg. F Recommended RH
+40º 45%
+30º 40%
+20º 35%
+10º 30%
25%
-10º 20%
-20º 15%

 

Why is my humidifier hooked up to hot water?
Most humidifiers are hooked up to a cold water line but in certain situations where more humidity is required or the water supply is very mineral rich , the manufacturer recommends hooking up to hot water supply. This will automatically increase the humidification capacity of the unit and help to prevent mineral buildup in the unit which is the leading cause a humidifier will stop working.
How often should I replace my humidifier water panel / pad?
We recommend at least every (2) two years. Most manufactures of humidifiers recommend every year.
I have a fan switch on my thermostat, where should it be set?
This is completely your preference. This switch has two positions, fan ” on” or fan ” auto” (Automatic). By setting this switch to the on position will cause the indoor fan to run constantly 24 hours a day and can give you more even temperatures through out your home.