We are here to answer FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions:
A service contract provides regular system inspections which will:
- Identify potential problems and allow action before a crisis happens
- Keep your heating & cooling systems running at maximum efficiency which lowers energy costs
- Prolong the life of your heating and cooling equipment
- Maintain the safety levels of your units
Your heating & cooling system equipment should be checked and serviced at least once a year. The optimal time to check your heating system is in the fall and for your air conditioning system, it’s in the spring.
The Emergency Heat switch on a Heat Pump thermostat confuses many people. Only use the Emergency Heat in emergency situations. If your home is not heating properly in winter and is very cold, switch to Emergency Heat and call for service.
When you switch the fan to “On” versus “Auto” your indoor fan will run continuously. Turn the switch to “Auto” and the fan will run only as needed.
Yes! You will have constant filtering of the air. A second advantage is that the constant airflow will allow an even temperature throughout your home. However, if your home feels very humid, set the fan to the “Auto” mode.
New air conditioning and heating equipment lasts longer than ever! The end of a furnace’s or air conditioner’s service life depends on more than just chronological age. Energy-efficiency issues and the price of any necessary repairs versus the cost of upgrading to a new unit all enter into that determination.
The most-frequently-used efficiency ratings are:
- SEER – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER): This ratio tells you the amount of cooling your system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity. The SEER rating of any unit can range anywhere from 13 to 17. The higher the SEER, the more efficient the system will be and the less it will cost in the long run to own and operate.
- HSPF – Heating Seasonal Performance Factor (HSPF): Similar to SEER, it is a measurement of efficiency of the heating portion of a heat pump. HSPF ratings range from 6.8 to 10; high-efficiency units have efficiencies of 7.5 HSPF or above.
- AFUE – Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency Ratio (AFUE): A measurement of the percent of heat produced by a furnace for every dollar of fuel consumed. The higher the AFUE rating, the lower the fuel costs. All furnaces manufactured today must meet at least 78%. Older furnaces (10–15 years or older) may fall below this minimum. Furnaces with AFUE ratings from 78% to 80% are considered mid-efficiency; ones with AFUE ratings above 90% are considered high-efficiency.
- MERV – Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV): A filter rating system relating to the size of the holes in the filter that allow air to pass through. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the holes and the higher the efficiency in capturing contaminants. MERV rating range from a low of 1 to a high of 16.
- ENERGY STAR: An international standard for energy efficient consumer products. The Energy Star designation originated in the United States. It was developed by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1992. Energy Star-labelled products generally use 20% to 30% less energy than required by federal standards.
A solar panel cell or unit converts a light (Sun) energy into DC electricity. A solar panel is made up of multiple PV cells which are connected together in series or/and parallel. Any household requires AC electricity of 120V or 240V. It means any household solar panels require DC to AC inverter.
A micro-inverter converts direct current (DC) generated by a single solar module (one or multiple solar panels) to alternating current (AC). The output from several micro-inverters is combined and often fed to the electrical grid if a household does not have a battery system. Micro-inverters compete with conventional String and Central inverters. Any inverter must be connected via circuit breaker to the grid, even you have a battery system as a Tesla Wall or others. Any household Solar system must provide electricity to the grid after all batteries are charged. This prevents overcharging your battery system because few overcharging cycles can destroy your batteries.
- Extendability and flexibility: You can daisy-chain micro-inverters. While the maximum number of microinverters in the chain is specified by manufacturer, the number of chains in the system is practically unlimited. An advanced micro-inverter may consume power from up to 4 panels or quad module
- Maximum power harvesting: The rated output of any two panels in the same production run can vary by as much as 10% or more. Shading from trees can also affect output. These variations are compounded by a string-inverter configuration but not so in a micro inverter configuration. The result is maximum power harvesting from a micro-inverter array
- Easy monitoring and maintenance: Most micro-inverters have a Web-based interface which you can access by typing its private IP (eg 192.168.0.254) in your browser. In this case micro-inverters simply become an “access point” on your local wireless or wired network. You can control and monitor any micro-inverter’s power output or other micro-inverter parameters on your network without expensive special software!
- Never lose power with micro inverter: Solar systems supply the excess power, that beyond the consumption by the connected load, to the Utility/Power Grid. Usually your solar micro-inverters sync with your internal power grid by watching for 60Hz sinus signal from the Power Grid. If your house loses power, your typical micro-inverter will stop the panels’ power output because the 60Hz sinus is absent. There are new Off-Grid micro-inverters that solve this problem. You just need to add one “Off-Grid micro-inverter” to the chain of micro-inverters. The Off-Grid microinverter generates the 60 Hz signal that always needs to be present for the synchronization between all the micro-inverters. In this case you will also need a storage (rechargeable battery) to accumulate the excess energy instead of having it transferred to the down Power Grid.
- Individual Optimization: Micro-inverters optimize for each solar panel, not for the average of the entire solar panel system, as string inverters do. This enables every solar panel to perform at its maximum potential. In other words, one solar panel alone cannot drag down the performance of the entire solar array. With a string inverter, the system is optimized instead of limited by the weakest link.
- Saving $$$ on wire: String inverters require running multiple strands of thick DC wire from the solar panels through a conduit to the string inverter. Micro-inverters connect to a simple AC trunk cable carrying normal household voltage. An electrician can connect a 120V micro-inverter (from two solar panels) directly to the refrigerator outlet, which will save the household approximately $20/month. This is just a start, as you can expand this small system at any time
- Safety: A central or string inverters consumes up to 800V DC — dangerously high voltage! A chain of micro-inverters connects to a common AC circuit breaker with normal household voltage.