Heating & Cooling

A:

BTU is an abbreviation for British Thermal Unit, which is the international measure of energy. An air conditioner's BTU must be matched to the size of the room for adequate cooling. BTU tables estimate different energy requirements.

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  • How much electricity does a ceiling fan use?

    Q: How much electricity does a ceiling fan use?

    A: A typical ceiling fan uses 60 to 75 watts of energy per hour even when running on high. This makes ceiling fans a very efficient alternative to a typical central air conditioning unit, which uses 3,500 watts.
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  • Why won't my central heating work?

    Q: Why won't my central heating work?

    A: Several different issues cause a central heating system to stop working. For instance, when the power is out, most systems no longer provide heat. Even though a forced air system uses natural gas as fuel, it may require electricity to operate the blower. If too many lights and electronics are on in the house, power overload can trip the electrical circuit breakers and affect the central heating system.
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  • What are common uses of kerosene?

    Q: What are common uses of kerosene?

    A: Kerosene is a type of flammable fuel commonly burned as an energy source for stoves, lanterns, jet fuels and furnaces. It is also used as a main ingredient in solutions of insecticides and various greases. Kerosene is derived primarily from petroleum, but at one time, it was also made from coal tar and shale oils. It can appear colorless or pale yellow and has a unique odor.
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  • What are the advantages of alternative energy use?

    Q: What are the advantages of alternative energy use?

    A: Conserving non-renewable fossil fuels by utilizing the earth's natural, renewable resources is one of the major advantages of alternative energy use. Using renewable energy sources is cost effective as well as environmentally friendly.
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  • How long does a furnace last?

    Q: How long does a furnace last?

    A: The average furnace lasts 15 to 20 years. This life span is typical of a furnace with a stainless or aluminized steel heat exchanger. In contrast, old furnaces with heavy metal heat exchangers last for 30 to 40 years, but they are less efficient than newer models, prompting many homeowners to replace them even if they still work.
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  • How do I know if my hot water heater is bad?

    Q: How do I know if my hot water heater is bad?

    A: A water heater is bad if, after a few troubleshooting checks, it does not heat water anymore. Residential water heaters usually have to be replaced due to age or significant hard water build-up.
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  • How does a thermostat work?

    Q: How does a thermostat work?

    A: Generally speaking, thermostats work by using a mercury switch that is in contact with a thermometer wire to trigger a temperature-adjustment lever in response to the expansion or contraction of the wires as they are heated or cooled. The expansion and contraction of these wires triggers switch relays that control heating and cooling by triggering either a circulation fan and heater or air conditioner.
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  • Why does my pilot light keep going out?

    Q: Why does my pilot light keep going out?

    A: A pilot light flame stops burning if the thermocouple is damaged or misaligned. The thermocouple is a piece of wire placed near the pilot light flame that detects heat. If no heat is detected, the pilot closes the gas valve to prevent unburned fuel from entering the home.
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  • How do you repair the cord on a window air conditioner unit?

    Q: How do you repair the cord on a window air conditioner unit?

    A: Depending on the level of damage found, removing and replacing the air conditioner cord plug head is the best way to repair the cord on an AC window unit. Power cords with multiple tears and cuts in the rubber casing or damaged electrical wires should be replaced instead of repaired.
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  • What is needed to convert CFM to BTU to determine HVAC system size?

    Q: What is needed to convert CFM to BTU to determine HVAC system size?

    A: The formula for calculating BTU loss or gain in converting CFM to BTU is temperature difference times actual CFM leakage times 1.08 equals BTU loss or gain. CFM is the actual cubic feet of air volume per minute pushed through the HVAC unit. BTU is the British thermal unit of heat removed from the room by the HVAC unit.
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  • What are some examples of heat energy?

    Q: What are some examples of heat energy?

    A: Examples of heat energy include electrical stoves, hairdryers, a just-sharpened pencil and sun rays. Heat, or thermal energy, is typically converted from mechanical, electrical or chemical energy.
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  • How do you reset a Honeywell thermostat?

    Q: How do you reset a Honeywell thermostat?

    A: Reset procedures vary widely depending on the model of the Honeywell thermostat, but they include pressing System to reconfigure the settings or temporarily inserting the batteries backwards. Call the Honeywell technical support line or refer to the thermostat's manual for exact reset instruction for a particular model.
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  • How can you cut down on your electric bill?

    Q: How can you cut down on your electric bill?

    A: According to the U.S. government's Energy Star website, about half a home's energy bill goes to heating and cooling, so one way to cut down on electric bills is to ensure heating and cooling equipment work efficiently and to seal the house to avoid temperature leakage. Other ways to cut down on electricity include using hot water sparingly, upgrading to energy-efficient appliances and turning off lights when not in use.
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  • What should I set my thermostat at in the summer?

    Q: What should I set my thermostat at in the summer?

    A: A good temperature to set the thermostat to during the summertime is 78 degrees Fahrenheit. It is recommended that electricity consumers set the thermostat temperature to 85 degrees when they are away from home.
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  • What parts of a furnace can be replaced?

    Q: What parts of a furnace can be replaced?

    A: The igniter, flame sensor and high-limit switch are the parts of a furnace that can be replaced. Other replaceable furnace parts include the mounting bracket, fan blade, control board, capacitor and drain pan.
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  • How do you use a wood stove?

    Q: How do you use a wood stove?

    A: Using a wood stove requires proper ash management, placement of wood and circulation of air. In order to get started, all you need is wood, source of ignition, a shovel and metal bucket.
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  • How do you repair air conditioners?

    Q: How do you repair air conditioners?

    A: Troubleshooting an air conditioner starts with making sure the thermostat is powered on and connected by setting the system to cooling mode and turning the fan on. If this fails, the power cable and circuit breaker should be inspected.
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  • How do you repair an evaporative cooler?

    Q: How do you repair an evaporative cooler?

    A: Repair a swamp cooler by replacing defective parts, such as blower motors, floats, pumps and evaporative pads. In areas where swamp coolers are common, most home improvement stores carry these parts. Swamp coolers are simple cooling devices and most owners can make repairs easily.
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  • How do you repair a gas furnace that won't start?

    Q: How do you repair a gas furnace that won't start?

    A: A gas furnace that does not start sometimes requires relighting the pilot light. After waiting a few minutes for fumes to clear the area, the owner can turn the dial to pilot, press the red button, and light the pilot. Holding the button down for 30 seconds warms the thermocouple.
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  • How do I know if my air conditioner needs Freon?

    Q: How do I know if my air conditioner needs Freon?

    A: If an air conditioner is not cooling as well as it once was, it may need Freon. Some signs of this include the air conditioner being turned up to the highest setting, but barely producing any cold air, or cold air not coming out at all. Another sign is if large amounts of water are leaking from the air conditioner's air handler.
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  • What is the difference between kerosene and diesel?

    Q: What is the difference between kerosene and diesel?

    A: Kerosene and diesel are made up of long, flammable hydrocarbon molecules derived from crude oil, which is also known as petroleum. Kerosene is made up of a mixture of carbon chains with between six and 16 carbon atoms per chain. Diesel fuels are heavier, with anywhere from eight to 21 carbon atoms per chain. Both are liquid at room temperature, but diesel fuel has a higher boiling point.
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