We have answers for your frequently asked questions. No matter what your HVAC questions are, the techs at Garoken Energy Co. Inc. in Beaverton have answers. Whether you have questions about selecting new HVAC equipment to best practices on care and maintenance, we are here to help. Our online FAQs answers give you a rapid response for your convenience, but if you want to know more on any topic, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 503-848-3838. Why does my home comfort system need regular maintenance? Like any product you want to keep in good shape, HVAC equipment requires proper care in order to give you the greatest benefits. Trained professionals can service your heating and cooling products to make certain they’re working at their greatest potential and help prevent more costly repairs in the middle of the hottest or coldest months of the year. Where can I find prices for Lennox products? Garoken Energy Co. Inc. in Beaverton can price out individual units or multiple home comfort products for you. Call 503-848-3838 to hear more. What is two-stage heating? With two-stage heating, furnaces may work on two different levels: high and low. Since you can heat your home on the low setting a lot of the time, a two-stage furnace can work longer and more efficiently. Two-stage heating also works more quietly than traditional furnaces and can provide more even heat distribution and fewer temperature swings. What is Precise Comfort™ technology? Precise Comfort™ technology is an operating and control system used in Lennox furnaces. The technology can automatically adjust heat by increments as tiny as 1 percent, improving energy efficiency and helping you experience precise comfort. Will my new furnace work differently than my old one? Modern furnaces are designed with a host of innovative features older furnaces don’t have. Today’s heating systems provide more even heating and are better at controlling airflow. Although the air coming out of your vents may seem cooler than your old furnace, the airflow is much better and more efficient. Another benefit of modern furnaces is their ability to work with other HVAC products as part of a high-efficiency whole home comfort system. When combined with a high-efficiency air conditioner, furnace blowers can more easily accommodate add-on cooling. Other innovations, such as Precise Comfort™ technology and variable speed motors, will help your furnace work more efficiently and quieter than ever. What is the energy efficiency standard for air conditioners? The Department of Energy recently increased the minimum efficiency levels for air conditions, and the standards vary by region. Contact Garoken Energy Co. Inc. at 503-848-3838 to find out the requirements for the Beaverton area. How can I reduce my energy costs? Heating and cooling makes up a huge portion of your monthly utility bill. Purchasing HVAC equipment with high efficiency ratings, such as SEER for air conditioners and AFUE for furnaces, is a simple step that can go a long way in lowering energy output. Beyond these ratings, also think about: Routine maintenance – regularly having a professional tune-up your equipment will keep it operating at its highest potential. Adding a zoning system – by focusing your heating and cooling on the rooms you use most frequently, you won’t have to pay to heat or cool areas of your home that aren’t used often. Installing a programmable thermostat – the Department of Energy estimates that a programmable thermostat can reduce heating costs by up to 35 percent and cooling costs by up to 25 percent. Leave it up to your thermostat to turn down the heat when you’re not around and bring it back up to your preferred temperature when you’re home. Why should I buy a Lennox product? There are many reasons to go with Lennox, but the top three are: Lennox is a name you know and trust – known throughout the world for quality HVAC products, you can rest assured Lennox will provide you with high quality equipment. Innovative and high quality products – Lennox has been on the cutting edge of innovation in the heating and cooling industry for years. High quality furnaces, air conditioners and home comfort systems include innovative features to help your home stay more comfortable and energy efficient. Reputation of excellence – high quality products are not the only arena Lennox excels in. Lennox dealers, like Garoken Energy Co. Inc., give you high quality service at all times, from your first consultation to your routine maintenance appointments. How can I improve my home’s indoor air quality? Strategies to increase your indoor air quality can be as basic as vacuuming your home to something as large as installing a new ventilation system. Overall, good IAQ includes four strategies: Eliminate – get rid of the pollutants floating in your air by cleaning your home regularly, particularly vacuuming carpet, washing linens and safely storing household chemicals. Ventilate – make sure your home is well-ventilated to move airborne pollutants out of your home. In newer homes, well-done insulation will inhibit ventilation, so Lennox systems such as the Healthy Climate® ventilation system can help. These systems bring fresh air from outside into your home and direct the stale air out. Clean – correct air filters, such as our Healthy Climate® air filters, will ensure even the smallest particles don’t get through and are let out into your home. Germicidal lights can kill the germs that do make it through, and purification systems like the PureAir™ will help get rid of odors and chemical vapors. Monitor – keep your humidity levels in check with a programmable thermostat. High temperatures and humidity levels can increase concentrations of mold, mildew and germs. A programmable thermostat will make sure that your home is comfortable without letting humidity run rampant. How do I know which indoor air quality product will work best for my home? Try using our Healthy Solution Finder, where you can select the indoor air quality problems that affect your home. After you select the items that apply, the system will show the IAQ products that fit your needs. You can also call Garoken Energy Co. Inc. and walk our techs through some of the concerns you experience. They can evaluate your home and needs and provide options and solutions. How does an air conditioner work? You might be surprised to know that air conditioners don’t technically make your home cooler; they actually remove the hot air and direct it outside. This hot air blows across a refrigerant coil on the indoor unit and then is sent to the outdoor unit where it is released. Your air conditioner transfers as much hot air outside as is necessary to reach the temperature you have set on your thermostat. What is the minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners in my state? Different regions have different minimum energy efficiency standards. Additionally, air conditioners, heat pumps and packaged units made after Jan. 1, 2015, have higher minimum efficiency levels than HVAC products manufactured prior to that date. The team at Garoken Energy Co. Inc. can help you figure out the minimum requirements for Beaverton, let you know if your current products meets those requirements or help you find a replacement air conditioner that does. How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my cooling unit? Your system’s service panel has a white label on it, with your system’s model and serial numbers at the top. M/N stands for model number and S/N is the serial number. What size equipment do I need for my home? Since equipment size needs differ for each home, the best way to find out the proper size equipment for your home is to have a technician from Garoken Energy Co. Inc. come out to perform load calculation tests. The tests take factors such as square footage, insulation value and amount, and more into account to determine your home’s individual HVAC equipment needs. Can frost, ice, dirt or other debris keep the outdoor unit of my cooling system from operating effectively? Yes – debris can limit your system’s ability to function effectively. It’s not uncommon for heat pumps to have frost or ice on them in the colder months, but many include defrost controls so they can work efficiently regardless of the weather conditions. What is two-stage cooling? When a cooling systems has two-stage cooling, it means that there are two levels of operation. This allows the system to work as efficiently as possible since there is one level for milder weather and another for harsher weather that demands the system work harder. Two-stage cooling also enables more even temperatures so you don’t experience extreme differences in temperature. Aside from better efficiency, other benefits of two-stage cooling include quieter operation and better humidity control. Why is my cooling unit freezing up? Your system could be freezing up for a couple of reasons, but the most frequent are dirty filters, low refrigerant, a dirty evaporator coil and/or a faulty blower motor. Changing a filter is something homeowners take care of; however, you’ll need to call the professionals at Garoken Energy Co. Inc. at 503-848-3838 for other problems or if you have other questions or concerns. What is the best thermostat to use for my cooling system? Garoken Energy Co. Inc. has a number of great thermostat options for your HVAC systems. The best thermostat for you will depend on variables such as whether you want one that’s programmable or not. No matter what kind of thermostat you’d like – or if you’re searching for something that can fit with a home automation system – call Garoken Energy Co. Inc. to hear about which thermostats you can choose from. Our team will help you find one that fits with your system, your family’s needs and your budget. What is a heat pump? A heat pump takes care of both your home’s heating and cooling needs, offering you one HVAC system that can be used year-round. In the warmer months, heat pumps act like an air conditioner, capturing the hot air from inside your home and transferring it outside; in the cooler months, this process is reversed. Heat pumps can be very energy efficient and may produce two to three times more heat than the energy it uses. When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced? At Garoken Energy Co. Inc., we do recommend replacing both your indoor and outdoor units at the same time because: Today, outdoor systems are built to work with their matching indoor system for maximum efficiency. When you replace only one of your systems, you may not see the same energy savings as if you had replaced them together. Thanks to technological innovation, newer systems mean better efficiency. This is true for HVAC products as well. While the advancements focus on higher heating and cooling efficiency, they also include benefits such as better air handling, filtering and noise reduction. If your heating and cooling systems are over 10 years old, they need to be replaced. Older models have outdated technology that is likely costing you money due to poor efficiency. So by replacing your indoor system at the same time as your outdoor equipment, both your systems will provide better energy efficiency that helps you decrease your energy bills and keep your home more comfortable. Is it possible to see whether my solar HVAC system is performing at its full potential? Yes. Your SunSource® Home Energy System has a communication module that transmits the system’s performance data to a website. The website will show your system’s status, energy production and environmental benefits, as well as carbon offsets in real time. Does the SunSource® communication module need an Internet connection? Yes, you will need an Internet connection if you want to make use of the system’s online monitoring system. The system lets you view energy production and environmental information. The monitoring service is provided at no cost for five years, and the performance-monitoring website is offered by an independent third party, Enphase Energy Inc. Do I need to clean off my solar modules? Rain will clean the modules by itself in most areas; however, if you live in a dusty area, you could see improved performance after periodically spraying the modules with water. Please note that high-pressure hoses and detergents should never be used to clean solar modules, as they can ruin the product. Which thermostat is best for my HVAC system? Garoken Energy Co. Inc. can help you find the right thermostat for you based on your home and current heating and cooling equipment. We have a selection of programmable and nonprogrammable thermostats, which can help improve the efficiency of your home’s furnace and/or air conditioner. Browse our thermostats or give us a call at 503-848-3838 for more information. How can I improve my utility costs? Your heating and cooling equipment can contribute significantly to your monthly utility bills. However, these costs can be reduced with innovative and high efficiency products from Lennox®. Look for high SEER and AFUE ratings when you’re ready to purchase a new air conditioner or furnace, respectively, as higher SEER and AFUE ratings denote higher efficiency products. If you’re not purchasing new heating and cooling equipment, consider factors such as: 1. Maintenance: Furnaces, air conditioners and other HVAC equipment operate more efficiently when they are regularly maintained. 2. Zoning: When portions of your home are rarely used, you’re spending more money to heat or cool them to the same temperature as the rest of the house. A zoning system allows you to section off different areas of your home and control the temperature by each area. 3. Programmable Thermostats: Programmable thermostats could help you decrease your heating costs by 35 percent and your cooling costs by 25 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Why should I get a zoning system? A zoning system allows you to parcel your house and heat or air condition each part differently. While these systems function well for homes that have areas that are rarely occupied, they can also be helpful in situations where you and your family disagree on the temperature in certain portions of your house. There are a variety of additional benefits of zoning systems, including efficiency and comfort. Look through our selection of zoning systems or give Garoken Energy Co. Inc. a call to see how a zoning system could fit in your home.