Heating, Air Conditioning & Indoor Air Quality FAQs

Indoor Air Quality Systems

What are the health benefits of clean air?

There are many benefits of having clean indoor air, some of the benefits are:

Clean indoor air reduces asthma attacks, respiratory problems, allergy flare-ups, dry eyes, nasal congestion, headaches, nausea and fatigue.

Clean indoor air also helps reduce odors from smoke and cooking as well as reduces dust mites, pet dander, bacteria and pollen from the home.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas that can result in serious injuries or death.

If you believe to have carbon monoxide poisoning, please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Dull headache
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision
  • Loss of consciousness

Please contact your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. If you believe it to be extreme please call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest hospital.

What are the benefits of installing a house humidifier?

There are many benefits for your health as well as for your home by installing a house humidifier, some of these benefits are:

Alleviate symptoms of dry eyes. itchy skin, chapped lips and nosebleeds.

Reduces chipping paint and plaster, splitting/cracked wood floors, and cracked trim/crown molding.

How much water does a humidifier use?

A house humidifier uses from 1.5 – 12 gallons of water per day. The size of your home as well as the model of humidifier dictate on what the minimum and maximum water usage is per day. If you would like specifics, please contact one of our technicians.

What are the benefits of a home dehumidifier?

Benefits of home dehumidifier:

  • Reduces nasal stuffiness
  • Reduces eye or skin irritation
  • Reduces sneezing or wheezing
  • Reduces wet stains on walls and ceilings
  • Eliminates the stuffy feeling in a room
  • Reduces rotting wood
  • Reduces condensation on windows
  • Reduces musty smells

Heating Systems

What is geothermal heating?

Geothermal Heating and Cooling pulls the temperature from below ground level to heat and cool your house. The ground below stays fairly consistent all year and doesn’t have climate changes as it does above. Geothermal systems are able to instal ground or earth loops to pull from the grounds free energy. This technology then allows us to pull the heat or cold to then regulate the temperature of your house.

What is a heat pump?

The heat pump constantly moves warm air from one place to another, to where its needed, depending on the season. Whether it is cold or warm outside, heat energy is always present. When it’s cold outside a heat pump extracts this outside heat and transfers it inside. When it’s warm outside, it reverses directions and acts like an air conditioner, removing heat from your home.

How do I know I am picking the right furnace?

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How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my heating system?

You can find the model and serial numbers for your furnace by removing the top-front service panel and looking to the left side of the interior cabinet or the top of the blower deck, depending on whether your system is an 80% or 90% AFUE unit. Also, the orientation (horizontal or vertical) and flow direction (down or up) of your furnace may impact the location of the information.

Cooling Systems

How do I know that I'm picking the right air conditioner?

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How does an air conditioner work?

An air conditioner is able to cool a building because it removes heat from the indoor air and transfers it outdoors. A chemical refrigerant in the system absorbs the unwanted heat and pumps it through a system of piping to the outside coil. The fan, located in the outside unit, blows outside air over the hot coil, transferring heat from the refrigerant to the outdoor air.

Care and Maintenance

Maintenance checklist for your heating and cooling appliances

Energy Star has created a checklist to help you stay on track with the proper maintenance for your heating and cooling appliances. To view, please go to the link below:


Should I cover my outdoor unit in the fall and winter?

There are pros and cons to covering your outdoor air conditioning unit during the winter.

Pros to covering your air conditioner:

  • Keeps your air conditioner coils a little cleaner so it may run a little more efficiently when you use it again.
  • Prevents heavy debris like sticks, branches and other yard waste from blowing into your AC unit.
  • Helps prevent water from directly resting on your coils and freezing, which could be damaging.

Cons to covering your air conditioner:

  • Covering an entire unit may actually trap moisture by creating a high humidity environment as the sun beats down on the cover.  Inside this moist environment is your electrical windings, wiring connections, and in some cases circuit boards.  None of these items do well in the moisture.
  • During the winter months the temperatures cause small animals to find a warm place to nest away from the elements.  Covers provide a very tempting spot for these animals to call home.  Small animals can be detrimental to your unit by chewing the wiring harness for their bedding.  This can lead to a very expensive fix for you in the spring.
  • Most AC manufacturers don’t specifically recommend covering the outside unit.

HVAC System Filters

Where is the air filter located?

The air filter is usually located in the return air duct or blower compartment before the return air reaches the air handler. This allows the filter to clean the air coming from your house before it enters the HVAC unit.

Common locations for air filters in HVAC units include:

  • On horizontal HVAC units with the return duct attached to the side of the air handler, the filter often fits in a slot on the return air (intake) side of the unit.
  • On vertical air handlers with the return air duct entering on the top of the air handler, the filter often slides into a slot above the HVAC unit.
  • On vertical air handlers with the return air duct entering below the air handler, the filter often fits in a slot located below the HVAC unit.
  • On other HVAC systems, the air filter may be located behind the return air grill on a wall in your home.
  • On HVAC systems with a return in each room, there may be an air filter behind each of the return grills.

When do I change my air filter?

Changing your air filter depends on several factors:

  • Type of air filter used
  • Overall air quality of home
  • Having pets
  • Smokers
  • Air pollution and construction around the home

All of these factors help gage on how often you should change your filters. In regards to a timeline here are some time frames to help know when to change your filter.

  • Single occupant home or a vacation home not regularly used without pets – 6-12 months
  • Average home with every day use without pets – Every 3 months
  • Average home with every day use with pets – Every 2 months
  • Average home with more than one pet or allergies – Every 30-45 days

If you have further questions, please call a tech at Shanklin today.

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