Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have an existing warranty on my furnace, air conditioner or HVAC system?

Find the label on the outer surface of the system component for a manufacture date. If the equipment is less than five years old it may have a warranty, but also may not based on the manufacturer. Warranty terms and conditions vary by manufacturer and the installing company. Donelson Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can verify the warranty status of your heating and cooling system via System Inspection. We also offer a Platinum PLUSTM Protection Plan for home heating and air conditioning systems, regardless of how old your equipment is or manufacturer warranty status.

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Is sound an issue for heating and air conditioning?

Yes. Noisy heating and cooling equipmentincrease sound pollution.While no monetary savings are tied to less sound in your home, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a considerable effect on comfort and enjoyment of your Nashville home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a variety of factors, such as the equipment, and the degree to which the compressor is insulated can contribute to the amount of noise it makes.

Although many heating and cooling systems made today are quieter than ever before, it's a good  idea to compare sound ratings when evaluating a new air conditioner or heat pump, particularly if the equipment location is near bedrooms or living rooms.

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What is a Precision Tune-up and how much does it cost?

In addition to the professional visual inspection included with our System Inspection, a Precision Tune-up also comes with a full maintenance cleaning and lubrication of the heating or air conditioning equipment components. Discover more here about Donelson Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning’s Precision Tune-up steps . The cost of a tune-up varies by season, and printable coupons with seasonal discounts on tune-ups can often be found on our Coupons page.

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What's causing my duct work to pop when the furnace starts or stops?

A popping noise is a typically sign of an under-sized duct design. It may have to do with greater air flow than the duct work is able to manage. Have a qualified company analyze your home's ventilation system for proper design and provide a written recommendation. Improper duct work layout can be attributed to a variety of ventilation and air quality problems, including: 

  1. loud banging noises
  2. higher energy usage
  3. lowered life of the system
  4. uneven heating & cooling throughout your home
  5. damaged compressor in summer
  6. overheated unit in the cooler months
In addition, if your ductwork is the wrong size you may have other problems, such as leaky ducts and poor layout that impacts airflow. In humid states this can cause mold growth within your ductwork.

 

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When changing the outdoor system, should the indoor unit also be changed?

The answer is, typically, yes. Here's why.

Matched System Design: All air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units are specially constructed to work with a matched indoor unit for peak efficiency and performance. The effect of this matched equipment is a harmonized, top-performance team that ensures dependability and efficiency. Air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units may ”run” with indoor units other than those for which they have been specifically fabricated; however, the result would be a definite compromise in system performance.

Design Advances: Through the years, indoor blower coil units have undergone numerous design advances — especially in the areas of air handling performance, filtering efficiency and operating sound levels. A new outdoor unit will also incorporate the latest design advances.

Higher Cooling And Heating Efficiency: The cooling and/or heating efficiency ratings that are presented for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on their performance as matched systems. While changing only the outdoor unit may give you improved efficiency when compared with your old system, but efficiency will suffer from what it was designed to be, and your savings will be less than with a matched system.

Equipment Age: If an air conditioner or heat pump is 10 years old or more and needs to be replaced, the indoor unit is likely just as old and has been subjected to the same amount of degradation. Substituting both units means you won't have to change the indoor unit in just a short time… you'll have many years of efficient service with both units.

New Warranty: A new system also delivers you a new product warranty. Replacing the indoor unit together with the outdoor unit results in peace of mind, knowing that the new warranty covers the entire system for the same period of time.

A Bargain: At first glance, changing only the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump may appear to be a deal. But, when you consider the lower cooling and heating efficiencies, decreased reliability and high cost of ownership that results, it's not such a bargain. Replacing an entire system may cost more, but you benefit from efficiency, reliability and comfort for years into the future.

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Why don't you charge by the hour?

Similar to a value menu at many restaurants, charging a flat rate cost in place of an hourly charge delivers more value for our customers because nothing is excluded, the pricing is up-front, and it does not adjust. Regardless of the cost of parts or amount of time it takes to finish the repairs, the price will not change. This reason is one of many why Donelson Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is the most trusted name in Nashville.

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Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort system?

You probably wouldn't purchase a brand-new car and assume to not ever have to add air to the tires, change the oil and examine any unfamiliar noises. Your home comfort system is like your car’s engine; it’s a mechanical device with a motor, electrical components... and even fuel. So it is essential to have routine maintenance of your home comfort system by a qualified technician. If not properly and routinely maintained, even the best heating and air conditioning equipment could experience complications and become less 'fuel' efficient over time.

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Why is my AC system freezing up?

There are many possibilities that can trigger your HVAC system to freeze up; many of them usually need to be corrected by a professional technician. Determining the air filter is clean or replaced and confirming the airflow is not restricted are about the only things a homeowner should safely identify or handle themself.

Low refrigerant: Sometimes, freezing up is initiated by a leak in the refrigerant lines. Weak solder joints, friction from piping rubbing or vibrating against an object, leaking valves or loose fittings can cause leaks. The age of the system and the type and location of the leak govern the decision whether to have the system repaired or replaced.

Dirty evaporator coil: Over time, the evaporator coil will become dirty. When this happens, the results are similar to those of having a dirty filter. Gradually you will lose airflow, slowly enough that you probably would not realize it until it freezes up or is not cooling adequately. You will need to contact your local Service Experts sales and service center to fix the problem.

Defective blower motor or relay: A blower motor operating at the wrong speed or not running at all can cause freezing. It can also be sporadic, starting at full speed and slowing down after it heats up. Or a relay could cause it to start one time and not the next. Either way, you will need to contact your local Service Experts sales and service center to correct the problem.

Should you learn that your system was freezing due to a dirty air filter, after replacing or cleaning the filter, you can expedite the thawing process by turning the system off and then turning on only the fan. If you have a heat pump system, you can try turning the system to heating mode until the ice has melted. After the ice has melted, switch the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, contact Donelson Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning in Nashville to solve the problem.

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What is a Zoning System for a heating and air conditioning system?

Zoning Systems split your home’s duct work into different comfort areas, providing for independent temperature control in distinct areas that demand specific temperature conditioning.

For example, a cathedral-style room with large bay windows may stay too hot in the summer and feel too cold in the winter. A Zoning System will send more conditioned air to this large, sun-drenched area to help make up for the heat gained or lost through the windows. A different example of areas that could benefit from Zoning might be a nursery, home theater or music studio, where different temperatures may be needed in each room for the comfort and enjoyment of the people occupying these rooms. Contemporary families have different lifestyles and comfort needs. Maybe you have a home office that needs extra conditioning during the day and none at night. Or you only use the upstairs or back bedrooms when guests visit. No matter what your needs, a zoning system can keep each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.

Donelson Air Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning provides free estimates and a complimentary consultation on Zoning Systems, call 615-953-9885 today if you think a new Zoning System might be right for you.

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615-953-9885 today if you think a new Zoning System might be right for you.">
When should I install a Zoning System?

If you are changing your Nashville area home air conditioner, furnace or heat pump, it is the right time to also install a new zoning system to fix hot and cold spots or special temperature requirements in the home. When your new comfort equipment is coordinated by a zoning system, you will gain customized temperature control in each zone.

Zoning is also a great idea for new homes since the system can be installed during construction. If you are investing in a new home, check with your builder about a zoning system. It could make the difference between just enjoying your new house and being truly comfortable in it.

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Are all HVAC air filters the same?

No, HVAC air filters vary by quality and size, and some have specs that others don't. Usually we recommend purchasing the filter your HVAC manufacturer recommends pairing up with your installed system, but you may be tempted to try some other filter type for convenience or to remove extra debris from the air.

Filters have MERV ratings, which range from 1-20. MERV means "minimum efficiency reporting value". A higher MERV rating means fewer contaiminants pass through, and it catches finer particulates. This seems obviously good, and it can be, but a filter that eliminates finer dust and dirt will also build up more often, and pressure on your HVAC equipment will increase. If your system has not been crafted to operate with this kind of filter, it can decrease your airflow within your residence, impacting your comfort and energy costs. So what should you look for? Unless you're buying for a hospital, you simply don't need a MERV rating above 13. Truth be told, most residential units are specifically designed to work with a filter with a MERV rating below 13, and most often you will discover that quality systems have been made to work with a MERV rating of 8 or 11. All filters with a MERV rating of five should eliminate most of the common nuisances we know about such as pollen, pet dander, and lint. While some filters claim to be able to catch mold spores, we recommend removing any mold from your home you find, instead of trying to hide the issue with a finer filter.

Frequently the packaging tells how often your filter is recommended to be replaced. There are one-month filters and there are 3-month filters. You also have filters that are one flat piece, and you have some that are pleated with supporting wire. In our experience, the accordian style filters hold up better, and are worth a little extra.

You might also consider washable filters, also called reusable filters. Some homeowners like the environmentally friendly aspect of it, since they don't pile onto a wasteyard, and others consider it more convenient to just pull out the filter and clean it off rather than making a special run to the local hardware store for a filter of the proper size. These filters are often designed to work several years and will save you cold cash over time, though they are more expensive initially. However, washable filters do need to be dried out one hundred percent before placing it back to eliminate mold growth in your vents. In addition, most washable filters reportedly have a MERV rating between 1 and 4, and they lose their efficiency over a period of time. Some washable filters have been built with new technology, such as electrostatic air filters, that are meant to basically improve the MERV rating.

Finally, filters are built with different materials. Fiberglass filters are what is commonly used, and are the disposable type. Polyester and pleated filters normally catch more debris, but also reduce the airflow in your house. And there are high efficiency particulate arrestance filters, or you might recognize the acronym HEPA. While you could be tempted to buy a HEPA filter, just understand that's like putting a MERV 16 filter in your HVAC system and it's very unlikely that your system was constructed to handle that kind of resistance.

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Can indoor air be hazardous to your health?

No doubt about it. Exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors. The American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, making indoor air quality (IAQ) important for homeowners to know about. Many common household items contribute to poor indoor air quality. Compounds found in carpeting, furniture, upholstery and drapery fabric constantly emit fumes. Other sources of pollutants can include cleaning agents, paints and personal care products. The tight construction of today's homes also contributes significantly to poor IAQ. Things like weather stripping and storm doors are designed to save on energy costs. However, they also prevent proper ventilation by keeping indoor air in and outdoor air out. The result can be a buildup of contaminants within the home.

Poor IAQ can contribute to several health problems. Medical groups report that as many as half of all illnesses are caused or aggravated by indoor air pollution. Pollutants within the home can cause homeowners to suffer from flu-like symptoms such as headaches, nausea and respiratory irritation. In addition, two existing health problems that can be helped by improving indoor air quality are allergies and asthma. By removing airborne dust particles, the amount of exposure the respiratory system has to them is reduced. Proper ventilation also plays an important role in improving indoor air quality, helping to reduce the concentration of pollutants inside the home.

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How can I know that I have carbon monoxide in my home?

The best method of detection is to use a carbon monoxide detector in a central location. A carbon monoxide detector is like a smoke alarm. It monitors the air for carbon monoxide and gives an alarm if a specific level is detected. Ideally, you should have at least one detector adjacent to every living area, centrally located, or on each floor in your home. Carbon monoxide detectors are most effective when used in combination with preventive maintenance. Call 615-953-9885 for a complimentary consultation about purchasing a carbon monoxide detector.

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615-953-9885 for a complimentary consultation about purchasing a carbon monoxide detector.">
How can I eliminate indoor odors?

You may have tried to eliminate indoor odors by spraying air fresheners or lighting candles. Unfortunately, these tactics only mask the odors, they don't get rid of them. These remedies may in fact negatively affect indoor air quality from chemicals that cause allergic reactions or eye irritation for homeowners.

Bacteria, dust mites, animal dander, cat saliva and mold may also be roots of your home's odor problem. One method to purify the air is integrating germicidal (UV) lights in your home, which helps kill odors and inhibit the growth of biological contaminants, sterilizing surfaces in the HVAC system. They also purify the air, preventing the growth of contaminants. The UV lights are installed to work with your home comfort system.

Sometimes poor ventilation is also a cause of unpleasant odors. Moisture condensation on walls windows and stale air are signs of poor ventilation. A qualified Donelson Air Service Experts technician can inspect your home comfort system to determine if this is an issue that should be addressed. The technician can also inform you how you could increase the ventilation system’s ability to properly circulate and ventilate indoor air.

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How do I choose the right humidifier?

A great way to choose the correct humidifier is by having a home health report performed by Donelson Air Service Experts. Every house is different, and every family is different. So, every humidification need is also different. There are a few factors to understand when purchasing a humidifier for your home, Donelson Air Service Experts can help you understand and consider these issues.

Consider size. A humidifier's capacity, or the amount of moisture it can dispense in a given time, should match your particular household's needs. The capacity is measured as gallons per day of operation. One method that is used to determine the correct-sized humidifier for your home is by multiplying the total floor area in by the ceiling height. We can provide you with this information and additional ways you can determine which type of humidifier will best suit you and your family’s comfort needs.

Consider cost. Consider not only the purchase price of the humidifier, but also operating and maintenance costs. Some brands consume more energy than others, so choosing a model that is right for your home and budget is extremely important.

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How do I know which indoor air quality product is right for me?

Every person and every home entails a different comfort need. The threshold of irritancy and triggers that affect people’s health and comfort combine to determine the proper solutions. High threshold levels may require simple solutions like a better air filter. Low threshold levels may require an air purification system for the reduction of triggers and irritants. With a Home Health Report Card, Donelson Air Service Experts can help you decide which indoor air improvement products are right for you.

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How healthy is my indoor air?

According to studies commissioned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, exposure to air pollutants indoors can be 100 times higher than outdoors. Frequent dusting and vacuuming can help reduce the amount of dust and dust mites present in your home. However, not all airborne particles can be eliminated. Filtration devices can help eliminate particles that are too small to be caught by vacuuming. Some filtration devices include UV light units, air filters, energy recovery ventilators (ERVs), heat recovery ventilators (HRVs) and electronic air cleaners. A Home Health Report Card from Donelson Air Service Experts will help inform you which indoor air improvement devices are right for you. To receive a Home Health Report Card and personal air quality consultation Donelson Air Service Experts at 615-953-9885.

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How much water does a humidifier use?

Depending on the type you choose and the size of your house, a humidifier may use from 1.5 to 12 gallons per day when the furnace is operating. The amount of liquid used is enough to raise the humidity to a comfortable level, but not enough to notice a difference on your water bill.

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