Top Heating & Cooling FAQs Answered

Everyone wants to feel comfortable at home—but it’s not always that simple. When Fond du Lac area homeowners are looking for tips, tricks, and home comfort best practices, they turn to the Air Tech Heating experts. Our professional technicians are always willing to share their insight and answers to top thermostat, heating, and cooling FAQs. Read through the questions below and reach out to us if you don’t find what you’re looking for. We’re here to help—just call our Fond du Lac location at 920-924-6742 or our Ripon location at 920-239-4307, or message us online.

Heating FAQs

How often should I replace my air filter?

It depends on which type of air filter you’re using, but standard one-inch filters should be replaced every few months, or more often if they are dirty, someone in your house smokes or has allergies, or you have pets. If you use a media or HEPA filter, you can go six months to a year without replacing or cleaning them. Still not sure? Ask our pros for a recommendation.

How often does my furnace or boiler need maintenance?

Whether you have a furnace or boiler, it needs maintenance every year to run safely and reliably. Each year you skip service, your system can lose as much as 10 percent of its efficiency. It’s also much more likely to break down and need frequent repairs if it’s not being cleaned or inspected. This small investment now can help you save on energy bills, avoid a premature failure in the future, and keep your manufacturer warranty valid. Ask about our maintenance agreement to ensure you never miss service.

How can I save on my winter heating bill?

Winter heating bills can rise in a hurry—here are a few ways you can save:

  • Schedule routine maintenance to keep your system clean and running efficiently.
  • Turn your thermostat down one to two degrees and bundle up—wear extra layers to stay warm.
  • Adjust your ceiling fan to rotate in a clockwise direction—this pushes warm air that rises back down towards you.
  • Make sure all vents are open and not blocked by boxes, curtains, or furniture—this ensures warm air is circulating properly.
  • Open curtains on sunny days to let the sun’s natural heat warm your home.

When should I replace my furnace?

There isn’t a set schedule for when to replace your furnace—most last 15 to 20 years—but there are a few signs you can watch for. Uneven heating, high energy bills, and strange odors or noises are all signs your furnace could be failing and need replacement soon. To be sure, schedule a professional diagnosis—and don’t wait too long because failing systems can be dangerous. If it’s time for replacement, our experts can provide you with a free estimate.

Which is better—a furnace or boiler?

Furnaces and boilers are both great heating options, each with their own pros and cons. If your home has existing ductwork or hydronic piping, a professional will likely recommend that you stick with the system type that’s already in place as retrofitting can be expensive. In new construction installations, it’s much easier to simply pick the system you prefer. Trust a professional technician to make a recommendation that’s right for your home and family’s comfort needs.

Cooling FAQs

What should I do if my air conditioner freezes up?

Air conditioners typically freeze up when airflow is blocked, they’re low on refrigerant, or there’s a mechanical failure. If your AC has ice on it, turn it off right away and let it defrost completely. Then turn on your thermostat to fan only to help dry the coils. Wait a little while before turning the cooling setting back on and seeing if your system is working again. You should also check to see if your air filter is dirty or if your outdoor unit is covered with debris. If not, call a professional for help.

How do I know if I need to replace my air conditioner?

Your air conditioner may need to be replaced soon if it:

  • Is 15 or more years old
  • Is running inefficiently and your energy bills keep rising
  • Is breaking down often and needs frequent repairs
  • Isn’t keeping your home as comfortable as it used to
  • Uses R-22 refrigerant—this refrigerant isn’t being manufactured anymore, so an affordable recharge may now cost you up to 10 times more and not be worth the price

My AC isn’t cooling—do I need more refrigerant?

If your air conditioner isn’t cooling, it’s possible that it needs refrigerant. But it’s more likely that it has a mechanical failure that requires professional repair. Call our team at Air Tech the moment you notice an AC failure. We’ll be able to diagnose the problem and recommend a repair before starting any work, or let you know if it’s time for a new system.

Does my AC really need maintenance every year?

Yes—no ifs, ands, or buts. Maintenance is the only way to keep your system running safely and efficiently, year after year. It gives our experts a chance to inspect and clean your system, as well as find and fix any existing issues before they get worse. Additionally, annual maintenance can lower energy bills and help your system last its full lifespan—or longer!

How long do air conditioners last?

The average lifespan of an air conditioner is roughly 15 years. But with routine professional maintenance, some can run safely and reliably for 20 years or longer.

Thermostat FAQs

Do programmable thermostats really save money?

Yes! It’s been proven that you can save much as 10 percent a year on energy bills simply by scheduling your thermostat to adjust seven to 10 degrees. Try setting your programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature when you’re asleep or away—then you aren’t paying for heating and cooling comfort when no one’s there to enjoy it.

What temperature should I set my thermostat at?

During summer, the recommended setting is 72-75 degrees, or higher if you still feel comfortable. In the winter, try 68-72 degrees to stay warm, or lower if that’s what’s comfortable for you. Remember, these are just recommendations—it’s important to pick a temperature that is right for your family.

Why is my thermostat screen blank?

If your thermostat screen is blank, its batteries might be dead. Try replacing them and if that doesn’t work, check to see if your circuit breaker is tripped. When in doubt, call a professional like Air Tech for help. It’s possible that your thermostat is broken or your system has malfunctioned and needs repair.

How often should I change the batteries in my thermostat?

You should replace your thermostat batteries at least once a year to ensure they don’t die and shut your heating or cooling system off when you need it most—especially if you’re going to be away for an extended period of time.

My thermostat isn’t working—who do I call?

If your thermostat isn’t working and you’ve tried the above troubleshooting tips, you need professional help. Homeowners with a Connex thermostat can call 800-428-4326 for assistance. Homeowners with a Honeywell thermostat should visit this page. If you have a different brand of thermostat or need additional help, call our pros.