Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I have an existing warranty on my furnace, air conditioner or HVAC system?

Locate the label on the exterior of the system component for a manufacture date. Equipment less than five years old may have a warranty, but also may not depending on the manufacturer. Warranty terms and conditions vary by manufacturer and the installing company. Parker Pearce Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning can figure out the warranty status of your heating and cooling system via System Inspection. We also offer a Platinum PLUSTM Protection Plan for your heating and air conditioning systems, regardless of the age of your equipment or manufacturer warranty status.

Is sound an issue for heating and air conditioning?

Yes. Heating and cooling that make a lot of noiseadd to sound pollution.While 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 Gaithersburg home. The sound level of an air conditioner or heat pump depends on a variety of factors, such as how old and who manufactured the , and the insulation of the compressor can add to the amount of noise it makes.

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

What is a Precision Tune-up and how much does it cost?

In addition to the comprehensive visual inspection that comes with our System Inspection, a Precision Tune-up also comes with a complete maintenance cleaning and lubrication of the heating or air conditioning equipment components. Find out more here about Parker Pearce Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning’s Precision Tune-up steps . The cost of a tune-up varies by season, and printable coupons with seasonal discounts on tune-ups may be found on our Coupons page.

What's causing my duct work to pop when the furnace starts or stops?

A popping disturbance is a typically sign of an under-sized duct design. It may be attributed to greater air flow than the duct work can handle. Have a qualified company analyze your home's ventilation system for proper design and recommend adjustments. Improper duct work layout can be attributed to several ventilation and air quality problems, including: 

  1. loud banging noises
  2. higher energy usage
  3. lowered life of the system
  4. uneven heating & cooling throughout your home
  5. damaged compressor in cooling season
  6. overheated unit in the winter
In addition, if your ductwork is the wrong size you may have other concerns, such as leaky ducts and poor layout that impacts airflow. In humid environments this can cause mold growth within your ductwork.


When substituting the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be changed?

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 optimal efficiency and performance. The consequence of this matched equipment is a synchronized, top-performance team that ensures dependability and efficiency. Air conditioner and heat pump outdoor units may ”operate” with indoor units other than those for which they have been precisely fabricated; however, the consequence would be a definite compromise in system performance.

Design Advances: As research has improved, indoor blower coil units have undergone many design advances — especially in the areas of air handling performance, filtering efficiency and operating sound levels. A new outdoor unit will also comprise 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 when compared with your old system, but efficiency will suffer from what it was designed to be, and your savings will be less 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 wear and tear. Changing both units means you won't have to change the indoor unit in a brief time period… you'll have many years of efficient service with both units.

New Warranty: A new unit also delivers you a new product warranty. Changing 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, 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 get much more efficiency, reliability and comfort for years into the future.

Why don't you charge by the hour?

Similar to a value menu at nearby restaurants, charging a flat rate cost as opposed to an hourly charge 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 complete the repairs, the price will not change. This is one of the reasons why Parker Pearce Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning is the most trusted name in Gaithersburg.

Why is it important to have regular maintenance on my home comfort system?

You probably wouldn't get a brand-new car and plan to not ever 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 critical to have routine maintenance of your home comfort system by a qualified technician. If not maintained properly on a routine basis, even the best heating and air conditioning equipment could have difficulties and become less 'fuel' efficient over time.

Why is my AC system freezing up?

There are an abundance of items that can trigger 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 investigate or handle themself.

Low refrigerant: On occasion, freezing up originates with 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 nature and location of the leak govern the decision whether to have the system repaired or replaced.

Dirty evaporator coil: In time, the evaporator coil will become dirty. On these occasions, the results are similar to those of having a dirty filter. Gradually 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 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. 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 expedite 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 Parker Pearce Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning in Gaithersburg to correct the problem.

What is a Zoning System for a heating and air conditioning system?

Zoning Systems separate your home’s duct work into individual comfort areas, providing for independent temperature control in distinct areas that need specific temperature conditioning.

For example, a large living room with large bay windows may stay too hot in the summer and feel too cold in the winter. A Zoning System will send more conditioned air to this large, sun-drenched area to help make up for the heat gained or lost through the windows. An additional example of areas that may 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. Families today 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. Whatever your needs, a zoning system can maintain each area of your house at the perfect temperature for you and each family member.

Parker Pearce Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning provides free estimates and a complimentary consultation on Zoning Systems, call 301-476-4577 today if you think a new Zoning System could help solve your home comfort challenges.

301-476-4577 today if you think a new Zoning System could help solve your home comfort challenges.">
When should I install a Zoning System?

If you are modifying your Gaithersburg area home air conditioner, furnace or heat pump, it is a good time to also install a new zoning system to fix 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 precision temperature control in each zone.

Zoning is also something to consider for new homes since the system can be installed during construction. If you are purchasing 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.

Are all HVAC air filters the same?

No, HVAC air filters vary due to quality and size, and some have technology that others don't. Usually we recommend using the filter your HVAC manufacturer recommends pairing up with your installed unit, but you may be tempted to try a different filter type for convenience or to remove more contaminants from your home.

All filters have MERV ratings, which range from 1-20. MERV means "minimum efficiency reporting value". A higher MERV rating tells you that fewer particles pass through, and it catches finer particulates. This sounds fantastic, and it can be, but a filter that stops finer dust and allergens will also build up more often, and pressure on your HVAC equipment will increase. If your system has not been engineered to function with this kind of filter, it can decrease your airflow around your residence, affecting your comfort and energy costs. So what should you do? Unless you're a hospital, you definitely don't need a MERV rating above 13. Fun fact, most residential HVAC systems are specifically designed to work with a filter with a MERV rating below 13, and frequently you will discover 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 everyday nuisances everyone cares about such as pollen, pet dander, and dirt. While some filters claim to be able to catch mold spores, we recommend removing any mold from your house you find, instead of trying to cover up the issue with a finer filter.

Usually the packaging tells how often your filter ought to be replaced. There are one-month filters and there are 3-month filters. Additionally we have 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 weather better, and are worth it for the extra durability.

You may also consider washable filters, also known as reusable filters. Some homeowners like the environmentally friendly aspect of it, since they don't want to add to a dump, and others consider it more convenient to simply yank out the filter and clean it off rather than making a special run to the local hardware store for a filter of the proper size. These filters are often designed to endure several years and will save you cash over time, though they are more expensive initially. However, washable filters have to be dried out thoroughly before placing it back to eliminate 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 a period of time. Some washable filters have been built with new technology, such as electrostatic air filters, that are meant to essentially improve the MERV rating.

Finally, filters are made of different materials. Fiberglass filters are what we see most often, and are the disposable type. Polyester and pleated filters normally catch more debris, but also decrease the airflow in your home. And there are high efficiency particulate arrestance filters, or you might recognize the acronym HEPA. While you could be tempted to put in a HEPA filter, keep in mind that's like putting a MERV 16 filter in your HVAC system and it's very unlikely that your unit was built to handle that kind of resistance.

Can indoor air be hazardous to your health?

Absolutely. 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 contribute to 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.

How can I find carbon monoxide in my home?

The best method of detection is to use a carbon monoxide detector indoors. A carbon monoxide detector is like 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 301-476-4577 for additional details about purchasing a carbon monoxide detector.

301-476-4577 for additional details about purchasing a carbon monoxide detector.">
How can I eliminate indoor odors?

You may have tried to cover up 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 is also a cause of unpleasant odors. Moisture condensation on walls windows and stuffy air are signs of poor ventilation. A qualified Parker Pearce Service Experts 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.

How do I choose the right humidifier?

An excellent way to choose the correct humidifier is by having a home health report performed by Parker Pearce Service Experts. Every dwelling is different, and every family is different. So, every humidification need is also different. There are a few factors you should take into consideration when purchasing a humidifier for your home, Parker Pearce Service Experts 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 products consume more energy than others, so choosing a model that is right for your home and budget is extremely important.

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, Parker Pearce Service Experts can help you decide which indoor air improvement products are right for you.

How healthy is my indoor air?

According to studies created 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 vacuuming. 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 Parker Pearce Service Experts 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 Parker Pearce Service Experts at 301-476-4577.

How much water does a humidifier use?

Depending on the product 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 liquid used is enough to raise the humidity to your desired level, but not enough to notice a difference on your water bill.