HVAC Equipment and Service

HVAC represents Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning. HVAC is commonly used to describe an entire heating and cooling system including of the duct work, air filters, humidification controls, and registers.

Find the label on the exterior of the equipment for a manufacture date. If the equipment is less than five years old it may have a warranty, but also may not depending on the manufacturer. Warranty terms and conditions vary by manufacturer and the installing company. Komfort Air can verify the warranty status of your heating and cooling system via System Inspection. We also offer a Platinum PLUSTM Protection Plan for residential heating and air conditioning systems, regardless of how old your equipment is or manufacturer warranty status.

Yes. Noisy heating and cooling equipmentadd to sound pollution. Although no financial savings are tied to lower sound levels, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a considerable effect on comfort and enjoyment of your Mint Hill home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a variety of factors, such as the unit, and the degree to which the compressor is insulated can add to the amount of noise it makes.

Although the majority of heating and cooling systems made today are quieter now more than ever, it's a safe  notion to compare sound ratings when assessing a new air conditioner or heat pump, particularly if the equipment location is near bedrooms or living rooms.

In addition to the comprehensive visual inspection that comes with our System Inspection, a Precision Tune-up also includes a complete maintenance cleaning and lubrication of the heating or air conditioning equipment components. Find out more here about Komfort Air’s Precision Tune-up steps . The cost of a tune-up varies by season, and printable coupons with seasonal discounts on tune-ups are also usually available on our Coupons page.

A Service Call fee is a charge for the effort associated with the time and travel to diagnose, inspect and provide expert recommendations for a home's heating or air conditioning system by a certified professional technician. Coupons for the Service Call fee are often available on our web site, in the Yellow Pages, or by email when joining our Email Club at the bottom of this page.

A popping noise is a typically sign of an under-sized duct design. It may be attributed to 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 cause several ventilation and air quality problems, including: 

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

 

The answer is, most likely yes. Here's why.

Matched System Design: All air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units are specifically fabricated to work with a matched indoor unit for ideal efficiency and performance. The result of this matched equipment is a coordinated, 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 precisely designed; however, the outcome would be a definite compromise in system performance.

Design Advances: Over time, indoor blower coil units have undergone many design advances — especially in the areas of air handling performance, filtering efficiency and operating sound levels. The latest outdoor unit will also comprise 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 lower 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 constant operation over the years. Changing both units means you won't have to substitute the indoor unit in a short time period… you'll have many years of efficient service from both units.

New Warranty: A new system also gives 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, substituting only the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump may appear to be a savings. 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.

Similar to a value menu at many restaurants, charging a flat rate cost as opposed to an hourly cost provides more value for our customers because everything is included, 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 is just one reason why Komfort Air is the most trusted name in Mint Hill.

You probably wouldn't purchase a brand-new car and plan to never have to put air in the tires, change the oil and check out any atypical 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 maintained properly and routinely, even the best heating and air conditioning equipment could experience complications and become less 'fuel' efficient over time.

There are many items that can cause your HVAC system to freeze up; most of them usually need to be corrected by a professional technician. Making sure 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: In some cases, 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. How long your system has been operating and the kind and location of the leak govern the decision whether to have the system repaired or replaced.

Dirty evaporator coil: As time passes, the evaporator coil will become dirty. On these occasions, the results are similar to those of having a dirty filter. Increasingly 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 remedy 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 speed up 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 Komfort Air in Mint Hill to fix the problem.

If you are changing your Mint Hill area home air conditioner, furnace or heat pump, it is a good time to also install a new zoning system to address hot and cold spots or special temperature needs in the home. When your new comfort equipment is matched with a zoning system, you will gain customized temperature control in each zone.

Zoning is also excellent 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.

Saving Energy at Home

With energy costs going up, there are a few steps you can take to drive down the expenses of heating and cooling your home. HVAC equipment usually uses more energy than any other appliance in the home. This inevitably shows up every month on the energy bill, but it's important to remember that energy costs can be controlled in several ways.

Maintenance: One step to control energy costs is to schedule annual maintenance to make sure your furnace and air conditioner is running properly and efficiently. Operating dirty heating or cooling equipment can result in unnecessary loss of efficiency and may even damage the equipment.

High Efficiency: If you are in the market for a new home comfort system, consider investing in a high-efficiency system. They are designed to help reduce your energy costs as well as help conserve natural resources. When selecting a new home comfort system, pay close attention to the SEER rating of the air conditioner and the AFUE of the furnace. The higher the SEER or AFUE, the higher the efficiency and savings.

Zoning: Zoning can dramatically lower your heating costs. Zoning divides your home into separate comfort areas, which are heated or cooled based on the occupancy of the rooms. That means a zoning system allows each room in your home to potentially have its own temperature setting. With a zoning system, you no longer pay to heat or cool rooms of your home that are rarely used, and you can achieve the exact temperature you want in highly occupied rooms.

Programmable Thermostats: Programmable thermostats can make a significant difference in energy consumption. Since you can proactively set a schedule for the days and times that the home is occupied, these thermostats are able to deliver exact comfort, efficiency and energy savings. For example, if you're going to be away, you can set the whole house at an energy-saving temperature to avoid heating or cooling an empty house and conserving energy in the process.

Indoor Air Quality

No, HVAC air filters vary by quality and size, and some have technology that others don't. In most cases we recommend using the filter your HVAC manufacturer recommends pairing up with your installed unit, but you may be tempted to try some other filter type for convenience or to remove additional debris from your home.

Filters have something called MERV ratings, which range from 1-20. MERV means "minimum efficiency reporting value". A higher MERV rating equates to fewer particles pass through, and it captures finer particulates. This sounds fantastic, and it can be, but a filter that eliminates finer dust and dirt will also build up more often, and pressure on your system will increase. If your system has not been designed to function with this kind of filter, it can reduce your airflow throughout your house, impacting your comfort and energy bills. So what should you look for? Unless you're buying for a hospital, you definitely don't need a MERV rating above 13. Fun fact, most residential units are specifically designed to work with a filter with a MERV rating below 13, and usually you will find that higher end systems have been made to operate with a MERV rating of 8 or 11. All filters with a MERV rating of 5 should eliminate most of the major nuisances everyone cares about such as pollen, pet dander, and lint. While some filters claim to be able to catch mold spores, we recommend hiring a pro to clean out any mold from your home you find, instead of trying to cover up the issue with a finer filter.

Usually the packaging indicates how often your filter ought to be replaced. There are one-month filters and there are 3-month filters. There are also filters that are two dimensional, flat screens, and you have some that are built accordian style with supporting wire. In our experience, the accordian style filters hold up better, and are worth the extra pennies.

You could also consider washable filters, also known as reusable filters. Some homeowners like the environmentally friendly aspect of it, since they don't add to a wasteyard, and others consider it more convenient to simply slide out the filter and hose it off rather than making a special trip to the local hardware store for a filter of the right size. These filters are often made to endure several years and will save you cash over the long run, though they are more expensive initially. However, washable filters have to be dried out thoroughly before placing it back to stop mold growth in your ducts. In addition, most washable filters reportedly have a MERV rating between 1 and 4, and they lose their efficiency over time. Some washable filters have been built with updated technology, such as electrostatic air filters, that are meant to essentially improve the MERV rating.

Finally, filters are composed from different materials. Fiberglass filters are what is commonly used, and are the disposable type. Polyester and pleated filters are known to catch more debris, but also reduce the airflow in your residence. And there are high efficiency particulate arrestance filters, or HEPA for short. While you might be tempted to buy a HEPA filter, keep in mind that's like putting a MERV 16 filter in your HVAC system and it's highly unlikely that your unit was constructed to handle that kind of resistance.

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) a critical component of home comfort. 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 be a direct or indirect cause of 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. Additionally, 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.

The best method of detection is to use a carbon monoxide detector indoors. A carbon monoxide detector is a device very similar to a smoke alarm. It monitors the air for carbon monoxide and sounds an alarm if a specific level is detected. Ideally, you should have 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 for a complimentary consultation about purchasing a carbon monoxide detector.

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 installing 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 contributes to unpleasant odors. Moisture condensation on walls windows and stuffy air are signs of poor ventilation. A qualified Komfort Air technician can inspect your home comfort system to determine if this is indeed the problem. The technician can also inform you how you could increase the ventilation system’s ability to properly circulate and ventilate indoor air.

A great way to choose the correct humidifier is by having a home health report performed by Komfort Air. Every dwelling is different, and every family is different. So, every humidification need is also different. There are a couple factors you should take into consideration when purchasing a humidifier for your home, Komfort Air can help you understand and consider these criteria.

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.

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, Komfort Air can help you decide which indoor air improvement products are right for you.

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 picked up by a vacuum. 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 Komfort Air can help you decide which indoor air improvement products are right for you. To receive a Home Health Report Card and personal air quality consultation Komfort Air at .

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

How often to change your air filters can depend on a few things:

  • the type of air filter you are using
  • the overall indoor air quality
  • how many pets are in the home
  • the number of people occupying the home, and
  • the level of air pollution and construction around the home

For basic 1"-3" air filters, manufacturers usually recommend to change them every 30-60 days. If you suffer from light to moderate allergies, you could upgrade the air filter or change them even more often. Or, if you're in a more remote area or less occupied home (like a vacation home) and there are fewer cars around, annually may be quite sufficient.

Here are some general guidelines to know how often you should change the air filter at home:

  • Vacation home or single occupant and no pets or allergies: every 6-12 months
  • "Average" suburban home without pets: every 90 days
  • Add a dog or cat: every 60 days
  • Add more than one pet or anyone has allergies: 20-45 days

Yes. Carbon monoxide is an invisible threat to health and safety in the home. Though more commonly connected to fireplaces and vehicle emissions, carbon monoxide poisoning may be found any home unless certain precautions are taken.

During heating season, people are confined indoors with unusually dry air for many months each year. Humidifiers help to keep comfortable levels of moisture, and properly maintained levels of humidity are beneficial for your respiratory system. Whole-house humidifiers work like old-fashioned room humidifiers. They put moisture into the air, making harsh, dry air much easier to breathe. And whole-house humidifiers automatically humidify the entire home, no more moving a humidifier from room to room, spilling water on the floor as you go.

When we breathe it, carbon monoxide mixes with with the red blood cells in the blood and displaces the oxygen our bodies need to survive. Carbon monoxide combines with the red blood cells over 200 times more easily than oxygen and creates a condition known as carboxyhemoglobin saturation. Carbon monoxide, instead of oxygen, then gets carried to the vital organs through the bloodstream. Our organ tissues require oxygen; without it, our bodies start to asphyxiate or suffocate. It takes the body much longer to eliminate carbon monoxide, however its absorption is very fast.

Allergies and asthma are two health issues that could be helped with cleaner indoor air. When airborne irritants are removed, allergy and asthma sufferers often find relief from their symptoms. Even people who consider themselves healthy who may have never suffered from allergies could benefit from clean air. Dust, smoke and other particles float around in the air, causing your drapes and furniture to gather dust. By removing airborne dust particles, you reduce the amount of exposure your respiratory system has to them.

Unfortunately, the symptoms of carboxyhemoglobin saturation are easily overlooked because they they tend to be flu-like. With mild exposure, most people experience headaches, fatigue and nausea. Medium exposure can cause a severe throbbing headache, drowsiness, disorientation, confusion and an accelerated heart rate. Extreme exposure can lead to unconsciousness, convulsions, cardiorespiratory failure, coma and possibly death.

Prevention is the most important step. Taking proper safety steps will reduce your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Because cars and trucks are a major cause of carbon monoxide poisoning, always take your car out of the garage to let it warm up. Never leave it running in the confined space of a garage. The same holds true for lawn mowers or snowmobiles.

Never use ovens or grills as heating devices. These appliances are designed to be safe and efficient and not produce substantial amounts of carbon monoxide. However, it is important to check all combustion appliances to be sure they are operating properly and to be sure that all chimneys and vents are connected properly and not blocked. Schedule annual maintenance by a qualified technician to check the condition of these appliances.

Many everyday household items may contribute to poor indoor air quality. Compounds found in carpeting, furniture, upholstery and drapery fabric constantly emit gases or fumes. Other sources of pollutants are cleaning agents, paint and personal care products.

Though they are typically more efficient, newer homes do not breathe (ventilate) the way older homes have. Tight-sealing weather stripping and storm doors keep indoor air in and outdoor air out. This provides higher energy savings, but the limited exchange of outdoor and indoor air can mean a buildup of contaminants inside your home. In these circumstances, a whole home ventilation system is recommended. Ventilation systems exchange poor indoor air for fresh outdoor air, without sacrificing energy savings.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is generated by the incomplete combustion of fuels such as wood, natural gas, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, coal and charcoal. It is caused by lack of oxygen or a disruption in the burning process. Household items such as a furnace, water heater, stove, space heaters, charcoal grill and gas dryer can be sources of carbon monoxide, especially if they are not in proper working condition or have been installed improperly. Vehicle exhaust fumes from attached garages, as well as improperly operating fireplaces may also be a source of carbon monoxide. CO is poisonous to the body and is fatal at high levels or with long exposure.

Indoor Air Quality is a term used to explain the level or amount of air pollution that exists inside a house or building, particularly occupied areas or rooms. Exposure to air pollutants can be up to 100 times higher indoors than outdoors, and the American Lung Association estimates that most people spend 90% of their time indoors. So the IAQ level and IAQ products that help to improve air quality and eliminate indoor air pollution have become an important concern for many families, especially those suffering from allergies and respiratory issues.

Installing a humidifier is usually an easy job when you upgrade your furnace. But you can also have a humidifier fitted to your existing heating and cooling system. Periodic cleaning and draining of the reservoir is strongly recommended to maintain the system. Komfort Air can provide maintenance on the humidifier as needed, or proactively as part of our PLUS Maintenance Agreement. Call for more information about humidifier maintenance or for a free estimate on a new humidification system.

We suggest that a home's humidity level be between 30 and 60 percent. However, during extremely cold weather, a home loses humidity to the outdoors and the level may drop to as low as 10 percent. When humidity levels drop, it’s best to have a whole-home humidifier to help ensure that the proper level of moisture is present throughout the house. Not having enough moisture in the air can cause dryness in the membranes of the nose, throat and bronchial tubes and can be the source of several health-related problems. Relative humidity also has a significant effect on controlling the occurrence of airborne infections.
In addition to the health benefits, humidifiers are an easy way to keep room environments comfortable. Whole-house humidifiers work like old-fashioned room humidifiers. They put moisture into the air, making harsh, dry air easier to breathe, however, they work on a larger and more efficient scale. A humidifier uses from 1.5 to 12 gallons of water per day — just enough to raise the humidity in the home to the desired level, but not enough to make a difference on the water bill. And because a humidifier is installed into the ductwork, there is no need to carry one from room to room.

Dry air contributes to making your throat feel dry or aggravate respiratory ailments. During cold winter months, your home rapidly loses its humidity to the outdoors. Humidity levels could drop to as low as 10 percent. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends that homeowners maintain a humidity level between 30 and 60 percent.

Dry air may also cause more than health problems. Static electricity is a direct result of very dry air and houseplants may suffer from "winter drought" caused by low humidity levels. A whole-home humidifier adds moisture to your indoor air and can help relieve ailments related to dry respiratory membranes and would be our recommended solution to this issue.