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Questions & Solutions

At Bob Baker’s, we take pride in helping our customers understand the their home comfort systems. Here are some frequently asked questions. Please give us a call or email us if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Q. How often should I change my filter?

A. Usually once per month your filter should be changed if you have the disposable type, or cleaned if you have a permanent, washable filter or electronic air cleaner. Each home is different, so you may need to do this more often, especially if you have pets or severe allergies. Checking the filter(s) regularly will give you an indication of how often it needs cleaning or replacing.

Q. What can happen if I don’t change or clean my filter regularly?

A. A dirty filter can cost you efficiency and perhaps, the life of your system. A very dirty filter (or no filter at all) can restrict airflow through the system, making the system inefficient. Eventually this can cause damage to your system, requiring expensive repairs or replacement.

Q. I don’t know where my filter is…where should I look?

A. Your filter can be located in different places, depending on the design of your system. Most often, it will be located at the gas furnace or air-handler (if you have a heat pump), and is inserted either above or below where the air is coming into the unit. Sometimes homes have what is called a “filter grille”, where it is located inside one of the large vents that take air INTO your system. If you have a large home, you may have more than one filter grille, so be sure to check. Usually these filter grilles have knobs to loosen so you can remove and replace or clean the filter and put it back in place. Be sure to properly install the filter by following the arrows on the side that indicate airflow direction.

Q. How do you determine what size system to install in my house?

A. Bob Baker’s home comfort specialist will personally assess the size of your home and calculate the proper size of equipment you will need. The type and size of your ductwork will also be taken into account, to assure that your home system will provide the right comfort and cost savings you are looking for. Accurately sized equipment is important, since an over or undersized system can work improperly to heat or cool your home, and also not be cost-effective.

Q. How long does it take to install a new system in my home?

A. Most residential replacements take a good part of the day, depending on the whether you are having both heating and cooling pieces replaced. Modifications such as ductwork design or new construction may take additional time. Our home comfort specialist will assess the time needed when providing you an estimate.

Q. What are the advantages of having a service contract?

A. A service contract can save you money immediately, and over time. By the time you have paid for the proper maintenance on your system twice a year, you have pretty much paid more than it would cost an annual contract. Plus, the cost of a motor or other part (which can get expensive) is automatically covered when you have a contract. Additionally, by maintaining your system properly, you are saving money on your utility bill AND prolonging the life of your system.

Q. How do I go about getting a service contract?

A. Just call our office and we can set up a service contract inspection. There is no charge for this service unless you would the like repair or maintenance performed at the time. If your equipment qualifies for a contract, we will mail you a contract with the price per year for you to look over.

Q. What's the difference between “AUX. HEAT” and “EM. HEAT”

A. Good question! A heat pump's ability to transfer heat into the home is only effective down to an outdoor (ambient) temperature of around 35 degrees. When the outdoor temperature goes below that, electric auxiliary heat comes on. Your thermostat automatically senses when this extra heat is needed, and turns it on. Most thermostats will display a blue or green “AUX. HEAT” (auxiliary heat) light when the supplemental heat is on. If your heat pump is broken, or if you need to warm your house up quickly from a cold temperature, you may want to turn on the supplemental heat manually. When you do this, you are using the same resistance heat, but since you have switched it on, the thermostat will show w a red “EM. HEAT” (emergency heat) light instead.

Q. How do I know if there is enough humidity in my home during the winter?

A. Most recommend around 35-40% humidity as beneficial to keeping your house healthy. If you have a whole-house humidifier set at 40% and you notice droplets of water on your windows, you may want to turn your humidistat down just a bit. Each home is different and humidity levels can be affected by how much cooking, showering is done etc. If you notice static or other evidence of dryness, then you may need to turn your humidistat up.

Q. Will Bob Baker’s be the lowest price for new equipment?

A. While Bob Baker’s competitively prices installations, we will by no means cut corners just to be the lowest price. Quality installation is so important to the proper functioning of your equipment, not to mention your safety. So, while others may offer lower prices, your neighbors will tell you that we can ensure the best job overall.

Q. How long should expect my old equipment to last?

A. Most furnaces and air conditioners will last about 12-15 years. Many customers choose to replace equipment that is over ten years old to save energy and therefore, money.