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Heating FAQs | Questions About Furnaces & Boilers | Useful Information for Homeowners

Q: What cities does Beyond HVAC serve?

A: We serve many cities and towns in southeast Wisconsin and northeast Illinois.

Wisconsin: Burlington, Racine, Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waterford and Lake Geneva

Illinois: Antioch, Richmond, Hebron, Lawrence and Harvard

Other areas we serve include: Pleasant Prairie WI, Paddock Lake WI, Whitewater WI, Elkhorn WI, Twin Lakes WI, Beloit WI, Janesville WI, Waukesha WI, Oak Creek WI, East Troy WI and Delavan WI.

Q: Which is better – a furnace or a boiler?

A: The answer to this question depends on how you prefer to receive your heat.  Furnaces and boilers are both excellent choices for heating a home, with boilers, based on the nature of their mechanics, usually operating at slightly lower efficiencies.  Aside from that, the main difference between the two is the way heat is delivered.  Boilers use hot water that is sent to radiators or baseboard heating units.  Furnaces blow hot air through a home’s air duct system.

Q: How does a furnace help with excess summer humidity?

A: Furnaces such as the Carrier Infinity 98 Gas Furnace with Greenspeed Intelligence are able to work in conjunction with certain air conditioning systems to improve their efficiency and keep humidity levels comfortable and consistent throughout the summer months.

Q: I’d like to convert my oil boiler to gas.  Is that feasible?  Or do I have to buy a whole new unit?

A: You don’t have to buy a new unit.  We regularly perform oil-to gas conversions for our customers who prefer natural gas instead of oil as their heating fuel.

Q: I have my furnace owner’s manual.  Is there anything else I need to make repairs to my appliance?

A: Yes – you need a lot of knowledge and experience.  An owner’s manual can direct you in making very minor repairs or component replacements (such as air filters), but for more extensive repair work, you should always hire a trained professional.

Q: I’ve heard about NATE certification.  What is it?

A: NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence.  This is the largest certifying body of its kind in the U.S.  A NATE certification ensures that the technician has demonstrated extensive knowledge of HVAC systems and has the expertise to perform repairs and installations in accord with the highest industry standards.

Q: What does an “AFUE” rating mean?

Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a rating you see on home-heating appliances like boilers and furnaces.  In simple terms, it tells you how much heat an appliance will produce vs. the amount of energy used to run the appliance.  For example, an AFUE of 90% means that 90% of a system’s energy usage goes to producing actual heat you will feel in your home.

Q: What is an air handler?

The air handler is the component within your furnace that sends air throughout your home’s ductwork.  When a furnace unexpectedly begins producing less heat than usual, the air handler is one of the first places we look to find the problem.

Q: Will carbon monoxide be an issue with my new gas furnace?

A: Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, invisible and highly toxic gas that is produced when natural gas or propane burns without sufficient air.  CO shouldn’t be a problem with a new, properly installed furnace.  With older units, a working CO monitor and regular inspections can prevent dangers from excess carbon monoxide.

Q: When should I replace my home-heating system?

There are many “rules of thumb” on when to replace (rather than repair) an older furnace or boiler.  One rule says that when a needed repair will cost 25% or more of the cost of a new unit, you’re better off replacing.  Another sign that it might be time for a new appliance is when multiple components are beginning to wear out and heat production is dropping.  Before deciding between more repairs and replacing your unit, you should schedule a thorough inspection with an HVAC professional, during which we’ll assess the performance and integrity of your current system and recommend the wisest course of action.