Service Request Click Here



Shorewood - Joliet - Plainfield - Minooka




The air coming from the registers feels cool when my new heat pump is set for heating.  Is there a problem?

While a heat pump is perfectly capable of effectively heating your home, the temperature of the air coming out of the registers confuses some people.  The air is heated to about 90 to 95 degrees, depending on the outdoor temperature.  This temperature is approximately 20 to 25 degrees warmer than the indoor air temperature and will warm your house.  It is, however, below body temperature (98.6 degrees) and can feel cool when someone puts their hand in the airflow.


What is a hot surface igniter?

Unlike older-model gas furnaces that used a standing pilot light to ignite the burners on the furnace, many of today's models use an electronic ignition system.  This includes a Hot Surface Igniter, sometimes referred to as a glow plug or glow stick.  When there is a call for heat, the igniter receives electrical current in order to heat its surface and ignite the burners in the furnace. 


What are the differences in a single-stage, 2-Stage, and variable-speed gas furnaces?

A single stage furnace will deliver the same amount of heat and airflow no matter what the temperature is outside.  A 2-stage furnace with a 2-stage thermostat will begin in first stage (low burner, low airflow) and only go to second stage if the indoor temperature drops during first stage.  This makes the furnace run longer, providing greater air circulation, temperature distribution, and air filtration.  This also provides a more consistent indoor environment.  The second stage will only come on when the need is there and then it will be able to run longer and maintain the comfort level.  The more your system starts and stops, the less control you will have of your home's environment - and the less efficiently it works, partly due to duct heat loss.  The advantage of a 2-stage, variable-speed furnace is it has an Enhanced mode.  This allows the coil to cool quickly and the blower to slowly ramp up and ramp down or operate at 50 percent of the cooling air speed in the FAN ON position.  This provides greater humidity control, quieter operation, and maximum air circulation, temperature distribution, and air filtration.


What is an air handler?

The major components enclosed in an air handler's cabinetry are the blower and motor, controls, heater compartment, and an evaporator coil.  This is why it is also sometimes referred to as a fan coil.  A standard air handler, like the single stage furnace, delivers the same amount of airflow no matter what the temperature inside.  Variable-speed air handlers have an Enhanced mode, like our variable-speed gas furnace, allowing the coil to cool down quickly and the blower to slowly ramp up and ramp down or to operate at 50 percent of the cooling air speed in the FAN ON position.  This provides greater humidity control, quieter operation, maximum air circulation, temperature distribution, and air filtration for greater control of your home's indoor environment.


What is a heat pump?

The heat pump is an air conditioner that reverses the process of removing heat from the inside of the house in summer to absorbing the heat from outside air and moving it inside in winter.  It is effective by itself down to temperatures around 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit.  At that point, either a gas furnace or an air handler with supplemental electric heat will kick in and help heat your home.  The Auxiliary Heat light on your thermostat will light.  The heat pump will continue to operate along with the electric auxiliary heat.  It will shut off when a gas furnace is energized.  Emergency heat is a manual override option in the event your heat pump needs service.


What is the purpose of auxiliary heat?

Under normal operating conditions, the auxiliary heat is brought on automatically by the thermostat when the indoor temperature drops during heat pump operation.  There are also times during cold, wet weather when the outdoor coil may ice up and your heat pump will go into a defrost cycle.  This is nothing more than reversing the process back to cooling mode.  Cooling mode makes the outdoor coil hot and melts any ice.  The defrost cycle should only last a few minutes and then return to heating mode.  During the defrost cycle, your comfort system is in cooling mode and the supply air is cool.  To offset this cool air, the auxiliary heat will be energized during defrost.  A mist or fog may be visible from the outdoor unit during defrost.


Is a heat pump the right choice for my home?

The heat pump is effective in many geographic areas.  In all electric applications, the heat pump may consume less energy than an electric furnace or air handler using resistance heat. 


Why? Because it can deliver the same amount of BTUs as electric heaters using less electrical input than the electric heat.  In moderate climates the savings that natural gas yields may not be as advantageous as in colder climates, since there is less frequent use of the furnace in milder climates.  Of course, the heat pump can be matched with a gas or oil furnace where preferred.  The heat pump can operate in the milder temperatures when the gas or oil furnace may tend to short-cycle. 

To determine which system would serve your specific needs best, our Comfort Consultants will perform a load calculation on your home and then estimate the cost of operation for the different combinations of equipment.


What services need to be performed for preventative maintenance on my heating and air conditioning equipment? How often should this maintenance be performed?

We recommend that you have preventative maintenance before or during the winter heating season and before or during the summer cooling season.  Schuler Heating and Cooling, Inc. offers service agreements that include reduced rates on labor and parts and provide priority response.  Service/maintenance agreements include cleaning indoor and outdoor coils, tightening electrical connections, checking supply voltage and operating current, checking refrigerant charge, measuring temperature differential at supply and return registers, cleaning blower wheel and motor, inspecting and adjusting burner, checking heat exchangers, cleaning drain lines and pan, checking ductwork for leaks and insulation, and checking the thermostat.


How close to the outdoor unit should I plant shrubs or flowers?

Manufacturers generally agree that plants should not be closer than 18 inches.  Air conditioners need intake and exhaust air to operate efficiently.  If air cannot circulate, the unit could build up heat and require service.


What are the average life expectancies for heating and air conditioning equipment?

The average expected life of an air conditioner is approximately 12-15 years.  The average expected life of a heat pump is approximately 10 to 12 years, since it operates year round.  The average expected life of a gas furnace or air handler may be longer.  Units in corrosive environments, such as, but not limited to coastal installations, will tend to have shorter lives.


Is there any advantage to setting my thermostat fan to "ON" so the fan runs constantly?

Yes, there are a few.  The first is that you get constant filtering of the air in your home.  The second is that because the air is moving, you have a more even temperature throughout the home.  However, continuous fan mode during COOLING operation may not be appropriate in humid climates.  If the indoor air exceeds 60% humidity or simply feels uncomfortably humid, it is recommended that the fan be used in AUTO mode.