How long should my old air conditioner and furnace last?

Typically an air conditioner or furnace will last 10-12 years. Sometimes it pays to replace the old system sooner because of the higher efficiency (lower gas and electric bills) provided by equipment. Due to our climate, life expectancy can vary greatly. Maintenance is a must to maximize efficiency and protect your investment.


My electric and gas bills are high. Will a new air conditioner and furnace lower my bills?

YES! A new air conditioner can cut electrical consumption, as much as 50%. Even a 14 SEER air conditioner will cut the electricity used by as much as 30%. A new 92% furnace can usually cut the gas used by the old furnace by as much as 30%, and a new 80% (minimum allowed by the federal government) will use approximately 20% less.


What is Seer?

This stands for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. The size of an air conditioner is rated in Tons, however the efficiency is rated in SEER. It’s like mpg (miles per gallon) in a car – the higher the mpg (or SEER) the lower the gasoline (electricity) bill.


What is a heat pump? Is it better than an air conditioner?

In the summer, a heat pump is no different than an air conditioner. In the winter, a heat pump operates in reverse and heats the indoors. Heat pumps need auxiliary heat (electric resistance heat or gas furnace) to help them when it is very cold or when the thermostat is moved more than 2 degrees at a time. The initial investment for a heat pump is higher than for an air conditioner, and the duct-work must be right for proper operation. One common complaint of a heat pump is that the air coming out of the registers is not hot enough (compared to a gas furnace). With all their drawbacks, heat pumps will reduce the winter heating bills. However, if you have electric heating, the savings is dramatic and you will probably want to stay with a heat pump.


Should I replace my air conditioner and furnace at the same time, or can they be installed separately?

Yes, they can be installed separately; however, to ensure proper efficiency and capacity they should be installed as a matched system.


Is it OK to install a different brand of air conditioner (or furnace) to work with my existing air conditioner (or furnace)?

No. The system needs to be matched per AHRI guide lines. This is an independent testing lab that does the required testing to make sure the system is matched. This will insure a properly matched system is installed. You can visit https://www.ahridirectory.org/Search/SearchHome?ReturnUrl=%2f  for more information.


My friend works for an air conditioning and heating company and says he can install a new air conditioner (or furnace) for me for a lot less money. Is this a good idea?

Be sure the installer has a license (NC Licenses Board), obtains all required permits and has adequate insurance. Keep in mind you will be dependent on him and his schedule for warranty repairs. If he meets the above requirements, has the needed experience and you understand that repairs may not be timely – you may save some money, but be sure you are not getting a “cheap” installation that will cost you more in the long run.


How does Biggs Air Conditioning determine what size of air conditioner and furnace to install?

Biggs’s Comfort Consultant will measure your home and calculate the actual cooling and heating load on the home (calculation based on window size and direction, walls, ceiling, floor, appliances, insulation, etc). This will determine the proper size of equipment that is needed. This will be compared to your current equipment and ductwork and will be adjusted based on your lifestyle, etc.


I want a big air conditioner. Someone told me this is not good – what are the advantages and disadvantages?

An “oversized” air conditioner will cool your house quicker, but it will use more electricity and will not remove humidity adequately. If your ductwork is not big enough for the “oversized” air conditioner, the coil may freeze and then the air conditioner won’t work at all. Obviously the air conditioner must be big enough to cool the house, but too big is just as bad.


Some rooms in our house don’t get enough cooling (or heat). Can this be fixed?

Sometimes running the blower continuously will solve this problem. Usually the new furnace will have better air flow which will help, and there is usually a way to install an additional register in the area to obtain more air flow.


Should I run the blower continuously, or use the auto position on the thermostat?

Using the auto position is the best way to operate your indoor blower. Running the blower all the time can create moisture issues in the home at certain times of the year. Some of the new furnaces have the ability to use a slow blower speed for continuous operation, and a faster speed when the furnace or air conditioner are running. Having a properly sized system is key to the comfort in your home.


How many bids should I get before I decide on a new system?

Three bids are generally enough. If Biggs HVAC is servicing your current system, or if we have installed equipment for you in the past, you should be comfortable in obtaining a proposal from Biggs, then determining if you feel the need to obtain additional bids. Another way to obtain several bids without the effort is to call current customers that have had a system installed recently and ask why they chose Biggs HVAC (your comfort consultant can give you a list of customers). We also will leave behind a checklist that will allow you to compare bids based on what is needed and what can be added.


How do I check out the companies I am considering to install my new system?

This is the easiest, yet most important step – call customers. Eliminate any company that doesn’t give you a list of customers that they have installed during the last 1-24 months. Call the BBB and tell them you are considering a new system and ask about their experience with Biggs HVAC (or any other company you are considering). Make sure to understand the rating system BBB uses and if they are registered. Check out our Google reviews @ https://g.page/BiggsHVAC and you will see that we take care of our customers. Google is the only review company that does not charge businesses for reviews which means you get honest reviews.


How do I pay for my new system?

For installation of new equipment, we do not require any down payment, however we ask for payment after the installation is complete (unless other arrangements have been made). We accept VISA, MasterCard, Cash and Checks. We also have financing options available.


Why should I consider a new high-efficiency filter?

High-efficiency filters remove more of the smaller particles from the air. This will help us breathe better and reduce sinus problems, headaches and colds. Many people miss fewer days from school and work and use less allergy medication. The air is filtered before entering the air conditioning and furnace. Biggs Air Conditioning has several different filters available and can show you the differences in efficiency and installation cost.


Should I have a new programmable thermostat installed with my new system?

Programmable thermostats allow you to raise and lower the temperature automatically, at specific times each day. They will reduce your energy bills and increase your comfort (i.e. get up to a “warm” bathroom during the winter). If your family follows a fairly regular schedule, a programmable thermostat may be a good investment.


Does Biggs Air Conditioning have experienced servicemen?

Absolutely! We have some of the best and most experienced servicemen anywhere. We constantly train our technicians in house as well as outside classes. Our technicians and installers must hold NATE Certification and attend a minimum of 40 hours per year of classroom time.


A cracked furnace is dangerous. How often should I have it checked?

If your furnace is over 5 years old, it should be inspected by qualified technicians every fall before the heating season begins. Any other time the furnace is not operating properly (ex. the pilot blows out) it should be checked too.


Why should I have my air conditioner checked in the spring and my furnace checked in the fall?

They should be checked, and cleaned, to be sure they are operating at their top efficiency, are operating properly and to be sure they are operating safely.