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Frequently Asked HVAC Questions

Bathroom Plumbing Problems

Q: Why is my toilet is overflowing?   

A: The overflowing toilet is a homeowner’s nightmare, but don’t panic. When confronted with this all-too-common problem, your first and most important step is to immediately shut off the flow of water to the toilet (the shutoff valve is usually found at the bottom left under the fixture, about 6 inches off the floor). You can then try using a plunger. Or give us a call and we’ll send a trained plumbing technician to your home ASAP.


Q: Why is my bathroom sink or drain is clogged?

A: Chemical drain cleaning products are popular for treating clogs but they have high toxicity levels, are tough on the environment and, by some accounts, can cause damage to pipes. Instead, consider trying hot water and vinegar with your plunger as a home remedy. A handy homeowner may also wish to check the trap, the U-shaped section of pipe under the sink. However, if the clog is further down the system and your plunger isn’t getting the job done, you’ll likely need a plumbing technician equipped with a power snake.


Q: Why does my bathroom has low water pressure?

A: Several of the most common causes – debris and mineral buildup or corrosion in your pipes – generally require help from a professional. However, sometimes low water pressure is caused by malfunctions involving your municipal water supply, meaning a quick phone call can yield some answers. Finally, bathroom plumbing leaks could also be the problem. If you suspect this, try shutting off all your water taps and then check the reading on your meter. If the meter shows increased water usage when you return later to check it again, you probably have a leak that needs to be repaired by a plumber.


Q: What do I do if my toilet won’t stop running?

A: If your toilet is running continuously (a hissing sound is one common telltale sign), it’s likely you have a problem involving the mechanisms inside your tank. These include a flapper that blocks/allows water from the tank to enter the bowl, the pump that refills the tank after it empties or the float that rises and falls with the water level and causes the pump to stop when the tank is full. Whether you attempt to troubleshoot the problem yourself or call us at Heritage, don’t delay because you may be wasting (and paying for) a large quantity of water.


Q: Do you have any tips regarding preventive maintenance for bathroom sinks and pipes?

A: Bio-Clean is a blend of natural bacteria and enzymes that can be poured down bathroom and kitchen drains every month or so to attack organic wastes like grease, hair, food particles, paper, cotton and sewage. It’s an effective preventive solution and it’s safe for people, your plumbing and the environment.


Q: What do I do if my shower head is acting funny (low flow, spraying sideways)?

A: The jets in your shower head can become clogged with calcium deposits, causing the types of problems you’ve described. So thoroughly cleaning the shower head every 6 months or so should help.


Q: Do you also do installations of water-conserving toilets and other fixtures?

A: Yes, including bathtubs, showers, sinks, and faucets in all shapes and styles. If you’re considering a new look and feel for your bathroom, we can even help you choose high-quality fixtures and appliances, and arrange to have them professionally installed by our 5-star technicians.


Q: What might be causing discoloration in my tap water?

A: Discolored tap water can indicate a potential problem with your water heater. Or it can signal rusted piping – particularly in homes where galvanized steel piping has begun to rust from the inside out. When this is the case, options include replacing the rusted sections with PEX or copper piping.

Clogged sinks and drains. Leaky faucets and pipes. Poor water flow. Trouble with your garbage disposal. Our experienced plumbing technicians are skilled at fixing any kitchen plumbing problem you may face.

When something isn’t functioning properly in your kitchen it can have a big impact on your day-to-day life, so we’re committed to solving your problem as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible. The majority of our calls for kitchen plumbing repairs are about clogged drains that need to be snaked. But we’re also equipped to install new sinks or appliances, do major pipe overhauls and handle whatever kitchen plumbing problems may be disrupting your life.

Kitchen Plumbing Problems

Q: Why is my kitchen sink or drain clogged?

A: Chemical drain-cleaning products are popular for treating clogs, but they have high toxicity levels, are tough on the environment and, by some accounts, can cause damage to pipes. Instead consider trying hot water and vinegar with your plunger as a home remedy. A handy homeowner may also wish to check the trap, the U-shaped section of pipe under the sink. However, if the clog is further down the system, you’ll likely need a plumbing technician equipped with a power snake. Grease and food debris are the No. 1 culprits.


Q: Why is my kitchen faucet leaky?

A: Kitchen faucet leaks are often the result of wear and tear. Homeowners attempting to dismantle the faucet and repair it by replacing washers and O-rings should be sure to first turn off the water supply using the knobs underneath the sink. Repairing or replacing the faucet are the only two options, and while some homeowners feel confident enough to try the job themselves, most are more comfortable calling in a trained technician.


Q: Why is my garbage disposal not working like it used to?

Potential Causes/Solutions: Your garbage disposal system is designed to liquefy food waste before it goes down the drain. But the internal mechanisms can become dull over time, leaving the discarded food in chunks rather than a liquefied form; this can cause a foul odor in your kitchen. The disposal unit can also get jammed by such items as a bone or a plastic cap. In either case, when attempting to diagnose or fix the problem it is essential to turn off the power switch; and the safest approach is to kill the power at your circuit breaker as well.


Q: What are some do’s and don’ts for my garbage disposal?

A: Avoid putting pasta, rice and thick-skinned fruit or vegetable peels down the disposal. Bones and grease are other big no-nos. Direct food waste into the unit a little at a time rather than all at once – with the disposal already on and with cold water running (hot water can overheat the machinery and potentially shorten its lifespan). Feeding 2 cups of ice cubes into the disposal once a month will help key parts stay sharp and clean; occasionally adding small peels of lemon rind will help keep it smelling fresh.


Q: Will running hot water help cooking grease go down the drain?

A: Of course, you should avoid allowing any grease into your kitchen piping. But because a little bit is practically inevitable, it’s a better idea to run some cold water – hot water melts the grease into the piping and can create buildups faster, whereas cold water helps solidify the grease and carry it through your system.


Contact us today to learn more about our kitchen plumbing services.

Hot Water Heater Problems

Q: Why don’t I have hot water?

A: First things first, make sure your heater has fuel (for a gas water heater) or power (for an electric model). Next, gas water heater owners may wish to check to see if the pilot light has gone out and, if it has, try to relight it by following the directions on the water heater label. Electric heater owners can check the circuit breaker panel to see if it has tripped; if it has, this usually signals a bigger issue that is probably best handled by a professional.


Q: Why is my hot water heater leaking?

A: Finding a puddle near your hot water heater generally means there’s a leak in the water heater itself or one of its components. Some components may be replaced, but if the tank itself is leaking the only option is to replace the water heater. For homeowners who’ve suffered basement damage from a water leak and don’t want to get burned again, there are now leak detection alarm systems that alert you immediately and shut off the water supply to help protect you from damage.


Q: Why am I getting insufficient hot water?

A: This could signal a problem with a heating element in your hot water heater. Most electric water heaters have two heating elements, and insufficient hot water often means a problem with the lower element or thermostat. However, sometimes the problem may be that your household is using more hot water than it has in the past. A thorough assessment by a trained technician can help you determine whether your system is suitably sized for your needs or if there is a mechanical problem causing insufficient hot water.


Q: What is a tankless water heater and what are the benefits of having one?

A: Unlike traditional water heater systems that heat and store hot water around the clock, tankless water heaters save considerable energy by only heating your water as it is needed, without the use of a storage tank. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that, for homes that use 41 gallons or less of hot water daily, tankless water heaters can be 24%-34% more energy efficient than conventional storage tank water heaters. Homeowners should be aware that gas-fired tankless water heaters produce higher flow rates than electric ones.  Additional details surrounding the advantage of tankless water heaters can be found at Household Water Systems.


Q: I’m going away for summer vacation — should I turn my water heater off?

A: For electric water heaters, you’ll save energy during your vacation if you turn the temperature dial down or turn the system off at the circuit breaker panel. For homeowners with gas water heaters, there is often a vacation mode setting on the gas control valve. The U.S. Department of Energy offers additional energy-saving tips for water heaters.


Q: How important is it to get annual water heater maintenance?

A: Annual water heater service is recommended both by water heater manufacturers and by our team of 5-star technicians. Our 10-point inspection starts with flushing your tank of accumulated sediment that decreases efficiency and can cause reduced pressure over time, as well as checking the condition of anode rods that protect your tank and components from rust and corrosion.


Q: Are there things I can do at home to help reduce hot water heater energy costs?

A: Yes. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy offers helpful information about some simple do-it-yourself projects (such as insulating hot water pipes and lowering your water heater temperature) that can help you save energy and money.


Q: If I need a new water heater installation, how long does the job typically take?

A: We can often get to your home the same day you call. We’ll conduct a thorough analysis and, if a new water heater is needed, we’ll be upfront about your options and the pricing. Installation of a new water heater can usually be accomplished in half a day.

HVAC & Heating

Q: Why does my heating system keep turning ON and OFF? 

A: Your HVAC equipment cycles on and off based on the temperature detected by the thermostat sensor in your home; if the sensor isn’t working properly, your HVAC system does not know when to turn on and off. This wastes energy, costs you money and wears out your equipment. There may be other causes at play, but sometimes the fix may be as easy as changing the batteries in your thermostat or replacing it with a new one.


Q: Why does my HVAC system have limited air flow? 

A: Your ducts could be clogged or constricted, or leaking air. If so, you may need to get that ductwork cleaned and air-sealed. Be aware that your filter could also be part of the problem, restricting airflow through the unit, cutting its efficiency and reducing its ability to cool the air.


Q: My Energy Bills Are Unusually High

A: A spike in operating costs most often signals inefficient operation. After a dirty filter, the most likely culprit may be a choked condenser coil. If so, it is probably time for a tune-up.


Q: What does HVAC stand for?

A: Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning.


Q: What are some of the signs that I need HVAC system repairs?

A: Signs that you may need HVAC service include: leaking around the outside unit, the air flowing into the house isn’t hot or cool enough, the unit is short-cycling or constantly turning on and off, higher-than-normal energy bills, unusual smells or excessive noise during start-up and operation.


Q: How often should I schedule HVAC system maintenance?

A: Many manufacturers require annual maintenance in their warranties. The most conscientious approach is to have your HVAC contractor come out twice a year to conduct pre-season maintenance check-ups in the spring (for summer) and fall (for winter).


Q: What’s the most important thing I can do to help keep my HVAC system running smoothly?

A: Change the filter regularly. This helps your heating and cooling system operate at peak levels while improving indoor air quality. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that changing your HVAC filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%. High-quality 4-inch-thick filters should be changed every 6-9 months, while cheaper 1-inch filters may need to be replaced every 30 days.


Q: What certifications does an HVAC technician need?

A: HVAC technicians handling controlled refrigerant are required to have Environmental Protection Agency Section 608 certification. Additional licensing requirements vary from state to state; work on heating systems may require technicians to carry a Gas Fitter License, Oil Burner License or Sheet Metal License (when making duct work modifications). Homeowners can gain added peace of mind by choosing a contractor whose technicians receive advanced training and certification from NATE (North American Technician Excellence) — the nation’s largest nonprofit certification organization for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration professionals.


Q: How important is regular HVAC maintenance for my indoor air quality?

A: Extremely important. The EPA reports that indoor levels of airborne pollutants may be 2-5 times higher (in extreme cases more than 100 times higher) than outdoor levels. This is particularly significant if you or any family members suffer from respiratory issues such as asthma.

Common Heating Problems

Q: Why isn’t my heating system creating heat?

A: If you have a digital thermostat, check to make sure the visual display is functioning because if it isn’t you may be able to resolve your issue by simply replacing the battery. Also make sure the device is set to “heat” and that all other settings appear to be correct. The problem could also be related to your circuit breaker, the gas valve, pilot light (in older systems) and more.


Q: What is a heat exchanger and why is it important?

A: Hot air generated during the combustion process passes through a critical component called the heat exchanger, which warms the air being circulated back into your home. It also keeps the gases created during combustion separate from your breathing air. When it becomes cracked or damaged, it affects not only your gas furnace’s ability to keep you warm, it can also increase the risk of exposure to potentially deadly carbon monoxide (CO). The risk of carbon monoxide exposure is higher in a house with a gas heating system, so we recommend safeguarding your home with a CO monitor.

There are many different causes of heat exchanger malfunction or failure, including normal wear and tear. That’s why it’s important to have regular gas furnace maintenance each year. If there’s any sign of damage, our technicians can quickly diagnose the problem and clearly spell out your options.


Q: Why is my oil furnace burner not functioning?

A: This could be happening for a number of reasons, including an electrical issue, a faulty blower or motor, a plugged line, a pump problem, or an igniter complication. These are just a few issues that our technicians might diagnose when inspecting a faulty oil furnace. Additional steps you can take include checking your circuit breaker and locating the reset switch (on most systems it looks like a light switch mounted on a red plate) and turning it off and back on.


Q: Why do I need professional annual maintenance for my heating system?

A: In addition to making sure your heat exchanger is in good shape, annual maintenance helps prevent breakdowns and keeps your system running safely and efficiently (saving you money on fuel costs). Plus, getting annual maintenance is not just our recommendation, most manufacturers require it in order to stay in compliance with the terms of your warranty.


Q: If my heat exchanger needs to be replaced, does it make more sense to get a new gas furnace?

A: For safety purposes, both New Hampshire and Massachusetts require that a failed heat exchanger be shut down until either the heat exchanger or the entire system is replaced. However, replacing the heat exchanger can cost several thousand dollars. Depending on the age and condition of your gas furnace system, this can be a bit like putting a new engine in a car with 150,000-200,000 miles on it, so each system must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The good news is that our experienced technicians will always keep you in the know about what they discover, what your options are and how much any needed gas furnace repairs will cost.


Q: How long will my oil furnace heating system last?

A: It varies, of course, but the average life span of a mid-level quality oil furnace is approximately 15-17 years with regular filter changes and annual maintenance. In some new construction projects where the emphasis is on keeping costs to a minimum, the less-expensive systems chosen may have a shorter lifespan, averaging 10-12 years.


Q: Are there any key gas furnace maintenance procedures I can do at home?

A: Apart from making sure to schedule annual gas furnace maintenance, it is important to regularly replace your air filter — a relatively simple process even for homeowners who are not mechanically inclined.  As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a repair or to talk more about the importance of getting regular maintenance for your gas furnace heating system!

In addition to noticing that your furnace isn’t turning on or off properly, you may also detect an unusual noise. This is often a sign of a broken belt or motor. You may also identify a strange smell. These can be signs that you need immediate gas furnace repairs. If this is the case, just call Heritage! Our trained technicians are ready to help.

Even if you are not in need of a specific repair, it is important to have your furnace checked before every cold season. Our gas furnace maintenance service ensures that your heating system is working properly and performing at its best.


Q: What type of training is needed for technicians to work on gas furnace equipment?

A: One of the most important things to know about Heritage is that training for our gas furnace specialists, and for all of our technicians, goes far beyond applicable state or governmental requirements. Distinct from our competitors, we operate a state-of-the-art training center where our technicians receive up to 150 hours of specialized, hands-on training every year.

Regarding training requirements within our coverage area:
• New Hampshire has strict licensure requirements for any individuals installing, modifying or repairing gas-fired equipment.
• In Massachusetts, a gas license is not required to perform maintenance and most service work, but it is required when installing or changing gas piping or when installing or altering the venting.

This means that in both states, Heritage technicians receive significantly more comprehensive training than our competitors.


Q: How do I know the heating technician is really looking after my best interests?

A: The responsibility of being invited into your home to repair or maintain your heating system is one that we take extremely seriously. We thoroughly vet and train every technician to approach each service call with the utmost professionalism, courteousness and care. You can also be certain that our technicians will be friendly, straightforward and helpful when it comes to explaining their findings so you can fully understand the issue and get honest answers to all of your questions.


Q: How does the heating installation specialist come up with his recommendations?

A: It all starts with our comprehensive thermal audit of your home and our conversation with you about opportunities to maximize comfort levels throughout your entire home. Your installation specialist will listen closely to your needs and concerns, and use data and observations gathered during the thermal audit to design a range of options.

At Heritage, our experienced oil furnace installation specialists are trained to:
• Take the time to understand exactly what outcomes you are looking to achieve with your heating replacement.
• Make sure your existing piping and ductwork are properly designed to deliver optimal comfort and efficiency
• Be transparent about your options and replacement costs, always providing multiple system options and never pressuring you into picking a particular solution


Q: What if I want to get a second opinion or compare competing quotes?

A: No problem. We’re so confident about being able to earn your business by providing the highest quality customer service and workmanship that we encourage customers to compare our proposed solutions with those offered by the competition.

Sometimes a competitor may quote a lower price to get your heat flowing, but a closer look reveals that the competing quote is actually for an inferior solution. We request the opportunity to discuss competing replacement quotes with you to help ensure that your decision is truly based on an “apples to apples” comparison and to talk to you about our price-match guarantee.


Q: What are my payment options?

A: A heating system replacement represents a significant investment in your home. And while some customers may write a check or use a credit card; for others, solid financing options are imperative. Need a solution that involves no payments and no interest for 12 months? We offer a range of such options — all designed to make payment as convenient and painless as possible. Revisiting the design specifications of your optimal heating system solution can also be a way to realize savings.

In addition, Heritage makes it a priority to help customers reduce overall costs by taking advantage of utility and manufacturer rebates or tax incentives for upgrading to more efficient systems, even providing the applicable forms and helping to fill them out.  Heritage is proud to offer financing from GreenSky.  Make sure to check out our Financing page to learn more.


Q: How solid are your warranties and guarantees?

A: Our longstanding relationships with the leading manufacturers enable us to offer the most comprehensive warranty protections available. Plus, we’re happy to spend time explaining them. With Heritage, you’ll always know you are working with a company that has your back if something ever goes wrong with your heating system replacement. That’s peace of mind.

Q: How do I fix my air conditioner that is not cooling?

A: Possible causes include refrigerant that is low or leaking, thermostat issues, a clogged drain or a dirty filter. You can and should regularly change your filter (every 6-9 months for high-quality 4-inch-thick filters; as often as every 30 days for cheaper 1-inch filters). You can also check to make sure your condensate drain line is not clogged and check your thermostat to make sure it is set properly and is reading the correct temperature. Issues involving refrigerant are best handled by an HVAC professional because EPA certification is required.


Q: Why is my central A/C isn’t working at all?

A: First, make sure your thermostat is functioning; the problem could be as simple as a burned-out battery. Also, your outdoor compressor and fan controls could be worn out from turning on and off too frequently. If so, you’ll want to check (or have a professional check) your unit’s electrical connections.


Q: Why does my air conditioner has limited air flow?

A: Your air ducts could be clogged, constricted, or leaking air. Your filter could also be part of the problem, restricting airflow through your system, cutting its efficiency and reducing its ability to cool the air. For central air conditioning systems, our HVAC technicians can check for duct system leakage as part of your periodic maintenance.


Q: Why are my energy bills are unusually high?

Potential Causes/Solutions: A spike in operating costs most often signals an inefficiency. After a dirty filter, the most likely culprit may be a choked condenser coil. If so, it’s probably time for a tune-up from an HVAC professional.


Q: What’s the most important thing I can do to help keep my A/C system running smoothly?

A: Most importantly, you should change your filter regularly. This helps your cooling system operate at peak levels while improving indoor air quality. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that changing your HVAC filter can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%. High-quality 4-inch-thick filters should be changed every 6-9 months, while cheaper 1-inch filters may need to be replaced every 30 days.


Q: How will I know when to call for an A/C repair?

A: Signs that you may need A/C service include: leaking around the outside unit, air coming into the house that isn’t cool enough, short-cycling or constantly turning on and off, higher-than-normal energy bills or excessive noise during start-up and operation.


Q: How long will my A/C system last?

A: It varies, of course, but the average is 15-17 years. In some new construction projects where the emphasis is on keeping costs to a minimum, the less-expensive systems chosen may have a shorter lifespan, averaging 11-13 years.


Q: Do I ever need to have my refrigerant “topped off”?

A: No. HVAC systems do not consume the refrigerant as part of the cooling process. If the refrigerant is low, this indicates either that there is a leak or that it was set up improperly.


Q: Do I need to have my A/C system serviced every year?

A: Yes. Annual air conditioner maintenance is important for the health of your system and the comfort of your family, and necessary to stay protected under the terms of your warranty.


Q: What are some of the issues A/C maintenance will detect or prevent?

A: Having air conditioning maintenance performed annually will help uncover potential problems and prevent performance issues, including: low refrigerant levels, refrigerant leaks, frozen coils, broken thermostats, faulty wiring issues, defective sensors, system rupture or explosion, electrical shorts, even rodent or snake infestation.


Q: What is the most efficient thermostat setting for air conditioning?

A: The ideal setting is the highest temperature at which you feel comfortable. For many people this ranges from about 75 to 78 degrees. As a general rule of thumb, raising the thermostat setting by 2 degrees can reduce cooling costs by 5 percent.


Q: How does my air conditioner work?

A: Heat is extracted from the home by passing indoor air across a refrigerant coil. Refrigerant lines carry the heat from your home to the outdoor unit, where it is released into the outside air. A fan blows air across the chilled coils into your home. The cooling cycle continues until the indoor temperature reaches the thermostat setting. The process is explained in this video from How Stuff Works. And you can find a more detailed explanation (along with more helpful information and tips) in this Energy Saver 101 infographic from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Q: What can I do about improperly designed duct system?

A: According to the National Comfort Institute, the average duct system in the U.S. is only 57% efficient. One of the biggest reasons for this is that a poorly designed and installed system cannot supply and return the required airflow to heat and cool your house effectively even if your equipment is sized correctly and functioning properly.


Q: What can I do about leaking ductwork?

A: The average home loses about 20% to 40% of the air that circulates through its ducts, causing major inefficiencies in your heating or cooling system. Getting your ducts sealed ensures you will lose less air, meaning your system won’t be overworked trying to bring your rooms to a comfortable temperature. Leaky ducts can also allow pollutants to enter your home, negatively affecting your indoor air quality.


Q: What can I do about loose or poorly sealed registers and grills?

A: Air that you have already paid to heat or cool can escape your ducts before it ever reaches your rooms if your registers are not sealed or are not sealed well at the duct connection. Checking these connections can prevent your HVAC system from unnecessarily working harder to counter the effect of poor seals.


Q: What can I do about damage to flexible plastic air ducts?

A: Flexible plastic air ducts are commonly found in the attic of many homes. Damage to these ducts can restrict airflow, forcing your system to work harder to move air throughout your house. If you have insulated flexible ductwork, check to make sure it is not kinked, crushed, torn or twisted.


Q: What are some common sense tips involving air ducts?

A: Never allow vents and registers to be blocked by furniture or other household objects. Also, regularly clean any vents that have dust or debris on them.


Q: What are some other benefits of keeping my ductwork well maintained?

A: Maintaining and cleaning your ductwork helps your system run more efficiently, which extends the life of your heating and cooling equipment. And, of course, the cleaner air is far healthier for those (one in six Americans) who suffer from allergies or asthma.


Q: How do I know if I need my ducts serviced?

A: Signs that you need your ducts cleaned, maintained or sealed include: energy bills that are higher than usual; certain rooms that are harder to heat or cool, or visible evidence of ducts that are tangled, kinked or damaged. Another sign can be a stale or musty odor when the furnace or air conditioner is operating.


Q: Does my duct system really get that dirty?

A: Studies show that in a typical six-room home, up to 40 pounds of dust is created each year just through everyday living. We also generate significant quantities of pollutants and contaminants, potentially including mold and fungi, that are pulled into the HVAC system and recirculated five to seven times per day, causing a buildup of unhealthy elements in the ducts.


Q: Is it possible to do some of the duct maintenance work myself?

A: Yes. According to the EPA’s Energy Star program, “Some homeowners choose to take on duct sealing as a do-it-yourself project.” The EPA offers tips for such homeowners, as well as those who choose to work with Heritage for duct improvement projects.

Q: Are there any rebates available for smart thermostats?

A: Absolutely. State and federal governments offer incentives for people to use this energy-saving technology. Your HVAC contractor can help you identify rebates you may be eligible for and even get you started in the application process.


Q: What if you are not good at programming things, how hard or easy is it?

A: Programming your wall-mounted thermostat using the buttons on the device is easier than ever. And, as you might expect, the apps that enable you to control your system from your smartphone tend to be even more user friendly.


Q: I’ve heard about the Honeywell smart thermostat and am curious to learn more. Does Heritage offer this system?

A: Yes, Heritage works very closely with Honeywell and we’d love to talk with you about their impressive range of smart thermostat products and systems that are ideal for any home.


Q: What are outdoor reset controls and how do they help?

A: Outdoor reset controls automatically adjust your home’s boiler temperature based on the outdoor temperature, the idea being that heating your home to 70 degrees on a 50-degree day requires less energy than heating your home to 70 on a 10-degree day. An outdoor reset control saves energy by sensing the outdoor air temperature and then regulating the amount of heat your boiler makes based on actual demand rather than full capacity.


Q: What are the most efficient thermostat settings for heating and air conditioning?

A: In the summer, the ideal is the highest temperature at which you feel comfortable. For many people this ranges from about 75 to 78 degrees, according to the Department of Energy. In the winter, the DOE suggests, you can save energy by setting the thermostat to 68 while you’re awake and lower while you’re asleep or away from home.

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