Frequently Asked Questions
Q: WHY SHOULD I SCHEDULE AN ENERGY AUDIT?
To increase the comfort of your home
To increase the durability of your home
To ensure that energy improvement recommendations are portrayed with reasonable and consistent projections of energy savings
To increase the energy efficiency of your home
To reduce waste and pollution, protecting the environment
Q: WHAT IS HOME PERFORMANCE STUDY?
Hage Energy is all about making existing homes more comfortable, safer, healthier, more durable, and more energy efficient. Our energy consultants use proven building science to examine the whole home and how different systems within it interact. These systems include the building envelope (shell), heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, and the occupants themselves.
Q: WHAT SERVICES MIGHT BE INCLUDED IN A HOME PERFORMANCE PROJECT?
Our experts will conduct several home safety tests, including an energy audit, air leakage tests, carbon monoxide tests, combustion appliance back-draft testing, and other safety tests.
Q: CAN AN INVESTMENT IN HOME PERFORMANCE HELP MAKE MY HOUSE MORE COMFORTABLE?
Yes, because a home performance project will assess many different energy systems in your home to determine what problems are causing you to waste energy. Living more efficiently can help you live more comfortably.
Q: CAN A HOME PERFORMANCE PROJECT HELP ME LOWER MY ENERGY BILLS?
Yes, a home performance project can reduce annual utility bills by as much as 20 percent (U.S. EPA, U.S. DOE, Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® Brochure, EPA 430-F-09-001, January 2009).
Q: WHAT ARE LED LIGHTS?
LED stands for light-emitting diodes, which produce visible light when an electrical current passes through them.
Q: HOW IS LED LIGHTING DIFFERENT THAN OTHER LIGHT SOURCES, SUCH AS INCANDESCENT AND CFL?
LED lighting is considered much more efficient than incandescent or compact fluorescent lighting. The way LED lighting produces light is a little different from other light sources. LED uses light emitting diodes to produce light. LEDs are illuminated by an electrical current passing through semiconductor material. LEDs emit light in a specific direction, which is different from how incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs emit light.
Q: WHY SHOULD I PURCHASE A NEW HEATING OR AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM?
At Hage Energy, we realize that purchasing a heating or air conditioning system is no small matter. However, if your existing system is old, in need of repair, or simply inefficient, purchasing a new unit, one which can be as much as 60 percent more efficient than a system purchased just 10 years ago, can offer long-term benefits.
Rather than continuing to pay for ongoing maintenance and costly monthly bills, invest in a new system today that will save you money for years to come.
Q: WHY SHOULD I SCHEDULE AN ENERGY AUDIT?
Q: HOW DO I DETERMINE THE SIZE, OR CAPACITY, OF MY HVAC SYSTEM?
We will consider factors such as the size of your home, the number of residents in your home, the number of windows in your home, and the number of heat-producing fixtures in your home. Our specialists will factor all of this in to determine the appropriate heating or cooling unit for your home.
Q: WHAT GOES INTO INSTALLING A NEW SYSTEM?
A new ductwork system will have to be installed to handle the flow of air in and out of your new HVAC unit. Ductwork is the most important installation to make, since it determines the amount of air coming in and out of the system.
Q: HOW LONG WILL MY SYSTEM LAST?
Your air conditioner can last for more than a decade if you stick to regular maintenance and service.
Q: WHERE CAN I LOCATE MY AIR HANDLER OR FURNACE SYSTEM?
Depending on the design of your home, you can find your furnace system in several different locations. These systems are typically found in basements, while others may be in closets, attics, outside the home, or even on your roof.
Q: WHAT IS A HEAT PUMP?
A heat pump moves hot or cold air from one space to another. This includes moving hot air from inside to outside or exterior heat to the inside of your home.
Q: WHAT CAN I DO BEFORE CALLING SOMEONE TO SERVICE MY SYSTEM?
You can try disconnecting and reconnecting your indoor and outdoor switches to see if that fixes the problem. You can also simply check that your circuit breakers are in the ON position and that your filters are clean. Another check you can try is to open supply and return vents to look for obstructions and check the settings on your thermostat. Depending on what you want, you can also make sure your system switch is on the appropriate COOL or HEAT setting.
Q: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I REPLACE MY OLD SYSTEM?
We start the replacement process by inspecting your home. This inspection includes a detailed look at your ductwork, insulation, refrigerant, wiring, slabs, piping, and more.
Q: DO I NEED TO CHANGE MY INDOOR COIL?
It is generally a good idea to replace the indoor coil if you are also replacing your air conditioner or heat pump. There is a correlation between the efficiency of your heating or cooling system and the performance of the indoor coil, and changing out the current indoor coil for a new one may be critical to optimizing the performance, the efficiency, and the savings potential of your new system.
Q: WHAT IS AFUE?
AFUE is the abbreviation for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratio. AFUE is used to rate furnace efficiencies by dividing the ratio of heat output by heat input. This measurement describes how well fuel, gas, or oil is consumed to produce heat by a furnace. As the AFUE rate increases, the efficiency of your furnace also increases, lowering your fuel costs. Furnaces manufactured in the United States are required to have at least an 80 percent AFUE.
Q: WHAT IS HSPF?
HSPF is the abbreviation for the Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, which is a rating of the efficiency level of the heating operation of a heat pump. The higher the HSPF, the more efficient the heating performance of a heat pump. New units in the United States have HSPF ratings from 7.0 to 9.4.
Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A VARIABLE SPEED AIR CONDITIONER, TWO STAGE AIR CONDITIONER, AND SINGLE STAGE AIR CONDITIONER?
A single-stage air conditioner has only one speed setting and can only operate at full capacity when running. This means it will turn on and off more frequently to maintain the temperature you set, which can cause temperature fluctuations and higher energy bills. A two-stage air conditioner has two speeds, allowing it to operate at a lower capacity when conditions permit. This provides more consistent temperatures and can save energy in moderate weather conditions. A variable speed air conditioner can operate at any speed between its minimum and maximum capacity, providing the most precise temperature control and energy savings. It can also adjust its output based on the specific needs of your home, making it the most efficient and comfortable option.
Q: HOW DOES A VARIABLE SPEED AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM HELP MORE WITH HUMIDITY CONTROL?
A variable speed air conditioning system can help more with humidity control because it can operate at a lower speed for longer periods of time, which allows it to remove more moisture from the air. When the system runs at a lower speed, it can circulate air more slowly over the evaporator coil, which helps to remove more humidity. Additionally, a variable speed system can adjust its output to match the specific needs of your home, so it can remove just the right amount of humidity without overcooling your home or wasting energy. This makes it a more precise and efficient option for controlling humidity compared to single-stage or two-stage air conditioning systems.
Q: CAN A ZONING SYSTEM WORK WITH A SINGLE STAGE AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM?
Yes, a zoning system can work with a single-stage air conditioning system. A zoning system allows you to control the temperature in different areas or “zones” of your home independently, which can help to reduce energy waste and improve comfort. This is typically achieved by using dampers in the ductwork to direct air to specific zones. While a two-stage or variable speed air conditioning system may be better suited for use with a zoning system due to their ability to operate at lower speeds, a single-stage system can still work with a zoning system. The key is to ensure that the system is properly sized and installed to meet the specific needs of your home and zoning system. It’s important to consult with a comfort specialist at Hage Energy to determine the best system for your needs.
Q: MY UPSTAIRS IS ALWAYS WARMER THAN MY DOWNSTAIRS AND I ONLY HAVE ONE AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM. WHAT IS THE BEST SOLUTION?
One solution to address the temperature imbalance between your upstairs and downstairs is to install a zoning system. A zoning system allows you to control the temperature in different areas or “zones” of your home independently. This is typically achieved by using dampers in the ductwork to direct air to specific zones. With a zoning system, you can set different temperatures for your upstairs and downstairs, which can help to reduce energy waste and improve comfort.
Another solution is to install a ductless mini-split system, which is a type of air conditioning system that does not require ductwork. Ductless mini-split systems consist of an outdoor compressor unit and one or more indoor air handling units that are mounted on the wall or ceiling. Each indoor unit can be controlled independently, allowing you to set different temperatures for your upstairs and downstairs. This type of system can be a good option if you don’t want to install ductwork or if your home’s existing ductwork is not suitable for a zoning system.
It’s important to consult with a comfort specialist at Hage Energy to determine the best solution for your specific needs and budget. They can help you assess your home’s cooling needs and recommend the right system for your home.
Q: HOW CAN A THERMOSTAT HELP ME SAVE ON MY UTILITY BILLS?
A thermostat can help you save on your utility bills by allowing you to control the temperature of your home more efficiently. Here are a few ways a thermostat can help:
- Programming: Many modern thermostats allow you to program temperature settings for different times of day, such as when you’re at work or sleeping. This means you can set your air conditioning to use less energy when you’re not at home or when you’re asleep, which can help to reduce your utility bills.
- Smart features: Some thermostats have smart features that allow you to control them remotely from your smartphone or other device. This means you can adjust the temperature of your home even when you’re away, which can help you save energy and money.
- Energy monitoring: Some thermostats have energy monitoring features that allow you to track your energy usage and identify areas where you can save energy. This can help you make adjustments to your usage habits and save money on your utility bills.
Overall, a thermostat can help you save on your utility bills by allowing you to control your home’s temperature more efficiently and identify areas where you can save energy. It’s important to choose a thermostat that is compatible with your HVAC system and has the features you need to meet your energy-saving goals.
Q: DOES INSTALLING A UV LIGHTS HELP MY AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM?
Yes, installing a UV light can help your air conditioning system in several ways:
Reducing mold and bacteria: A UV light can help to reduce the growth of mold and bacteria in your air conditioning system, which can improve indoor air quality and reduce the risk of respiratory problems.
Improving efficiency: When your air conditioning system is free from mold and bacteria, it can operate more efficiently, which can help to reduce your energy bills.
Extending the life of your system: Mold and bacteria can cause damage to your air conditioning system over time, which can lead to costly repairs or replacement. A UV light can help to prolong the life of your system by reducing the amount of damage caused by mold and bacteria.
It’s important to note that while a UV light can be beneficial for your air conditioning system, it should not be relied upon as the sole method of maintaining indoor air quality. Regular maintenance, including changing air filters and cleaning ductwork, is still necessary to keep your system running efficiently and maintain good indoor air quality.
Q: WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A UV LIGHT AND AN AIR PURIFIER?
A UV light is a type of lamp that emits ultraviolet radiation. When installed in an air conditioning system, it can help to kill mold, bacteria, and other microorganisms that can grow in the system. The UV light disrupts the DNA of these microorganisms, preventing them from reproducing and causing damage to the system. While a UV light can be effective at improving indoor air quality, it only targets microorganisms and does not remove other types of pollutants, such as dust, smoke, or pet dander.
An air purifier, on the other hand, is a device that is designed to remove a variety of pollutants from the air, including dust, pollen, smoke, and pet dander. Air purifiers use filters to trap these pollutants and prevent them from circulating in the air. Some air purifiers also use additional technologies, such as ionizers or electrostatic filters, to attract and remove particles from the air.
In summary, a UV light is specifically designed to kill microorganisms in an air conditioning system, while an air purifier is designed to remove a wider range of pollutants from the air in a room or building. Both can be effective at improving indoor air quality, but they work in different ways and may be more effective in different situations.