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 outside of the equipment for a manufacture date. Equipment less than five years old may have a warranty, but also may not based on the make. Warranty terms and conditions vary by manufacturer and the installing company. Broad Ripple Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can determine 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.

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Is sound an issue for heating and air conditioning?

Yes. Noisy heating and cooling equipmentcontribute to sound pollution. Although no monetary savings are tied to less sound in your home, the sound rating of a cooling system can have a significant effect on comfort and enjoyment of your Indianapolis home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a variety of factors, such as the age and make of 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 built today are quieter than ever before, it's a good  thought 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?

Besides the visual check provided with our System Inspection, a Precision Tune-up also includes a full maintenance cleaning and lubrication of the heating or air conditioning equipment components. Discover more here about Broad Ripple Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning’s Precision Tune-up steps . The expense of a tune-up varies by season, and printable coupons with seasonal discounts on tune-ups are also usually available 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 be caused by greater air flow than the duct work is built for. Have a qualified company analyze your home's ventilation system for proper design and recommend adjustments. Improper duct work layout can cause a variety of ventilation and air quality problems, including: 

  1. excessive noise
  2. higher energy bills
  3. lowered life expectancy of the system
  4. uneven airflow throughout your home
  5. damaged compressor in hotter months
  6. overheated unit in the winter
In addition, if your ductwork is the wrong size you may have other problems, such as leaky ducts and poor layout that reduces airflow. In humid climates this can encourage mold growth within your ductwork.

 

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When changing the outdoor equipment, should the indoor unit also be replaced?

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

Matched System Design: All air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units are specially created to work with a matched indoor unit for optimal efficiency and performance. The effect 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 effect 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. An up-to-date outdoor unit will also incorporate the latest design advances.

Higher Cooling And Heating Efficiency: The cooling and/or heating efficiency ratings that are posted for an air conditioner or heat pump are based on their performance as matched systems. While changing only the outdoor unit may provide improved efficiency compared to the old system, but it will not be as efficient as 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 the time has come for it 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 change the indoor unit in just a short time… you'll have many years of efficient service out of both units.

New Warranty: A new set of equipment also provides you a new product warranty. Substituting the indoor unit at the same time as 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 the result is 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 instead of an hourly cost delivers more value for our customers because nothing is excluded, the pricing is up-front, and it does not change. Regardless of the cost of parts or amount of time it takes to make the repairs, the price will not change. This is just one reason why Broad Ripple Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is the most trusted name in Indianapolis.

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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 expect to never have to add air to the tires, change the oil and examine any abnormal 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 important 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.

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Why is my AC system freezing up?

There are many things that can cause 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 determining the airflow is not restricted are about the only things a homeowner should safely check 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 will determine 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. Progressively 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 running at an improper speed or not running at all can cause freezing. It can also be discontinuous, 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. In either case, you will need to contact your local Service Experts sales and service center to correct the problem.

Should you find 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, change the system settings back to normal. If the system refreezes, contact Broad Ripple Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning in Indianapolis to fix 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 separate comfort areas, allowing for independent temperature control in distinct areas that demand specific temperature conditioning.

For example, a cathedral-style room with large bay windows may remain too hot in the summer and feel too cold in the winter. A Zoning System will direct more conditioned air to this large, sun-drenched area to help make up for the heat gained or lost through the windows. Another example of areas that might 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. Perhaps 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. In any case, a zoning system can maintain each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.

Broad Ripple Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning provides free estimates and a complimentary consultation on Zoning Systems, call 317-527-0271 today if you think a new Zoning System might be right for you.

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317-527-0271 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 Indianapolis area home air conditioner, furnace or heat pump, it is an excellent time to also install a new zoning system to address 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 precise 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.

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Are all HVAC air filters the same?

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

Filters have something called MERV ratings, which range from 1-20. MERV is an acronym for "minimum efficiency reporting value". A higher MERV rating means fewer contaiminants pass through, and it blocks finer particulates. This seems obviously good, and it can be, but a filter that stops finer dust and allergens will also clog up faster, and pressure on your system will go up. If your system has not been designed to function with this kind of filter, it can decrease your airflow within your home, putting the hurt on your comfort and energy expenses. So what should you know before you buy? Unless you're a hospital, you simply don't need a MERV rating above 13. Truth be told, most residential systems are specifically designed to work with a filter with a MERV rating below 13, and frequently you will learn 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 catch most of the everyday nuisances people care about such as pollen, pet dander, and dirt. While some filters claim to be able to catch mold spores, we recommend having a professional remove any mold from your home you find, instead of trying to delay the issue with a finer filter.

Often the packaging indicates how often your filter should 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 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 called reusable filters. Some homeowners like the environmentally friendly aspect of it, because they don't pile onto a wasteyard, and others consider it more convenient to just yank 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 designed to work several years and will save you cash over those years, though they are more expensive initially. However, washable filters have to be dried out one hundred percent before returning it back to prevent 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 time. Some washable filters have been built with new technology, such as electrostatic air filters, that are meant to effectively 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 can catch more debris, but also decrease the airflow in your residence. And there are high efficiency particulate arrestance filters, or HEPA for short. While you might be tempted to put in a HEPA filter, just understand that's like putting a MERV 16 filter in your HVAC system and it's highly unlikely that your equipment was made 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) extremely important. 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. 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 your home. A carbon monoxide detector is a device very similar to 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 very effective when used in combination with preventive maintenance. Call 317-527-0271 for more information about purchasing a carbon monoxide detector.

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317-527-0271 for more information 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 using 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 stale air are signs of poor ventilation. A qualified Broad Ripple 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 to improve 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 Broad Ripple Service Experts. Every home is different, and every family is different. So, every humidification need is also different. There are a couple factors to understand when purchasing a humidifier for your home, Broad Ripple 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 information to help you figure out 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 models 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, Broad Ripple 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 captured 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 Broad Ripple 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 Broad Ripple Service Experts at 317-527-0271.

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How much water does a humidifier use?

Depending on the type you choose and the size of your indoor area, 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 a comfortable level, but not enough to notice a difference on your water bill.

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