FAQs – HVAC & Plumbing Information Lufkin, TX

What is the SEER Rating?

The SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) is how the efficiency of your heating and cooling equipment is measured. The SEER is the amount of cooling your system will deliver per dollar spent on electricity, as compared to other systems. For example, a 3-ton unit may have a SEER efficiency rating of 13, 14, or 15. The higher the SEER the more efficient the system will be. The SEER rating of any given unit can range anywhere from 13 to 17.

Why is the SEER rating on the Energy Guide different than what my dealer quoted?

Each split system cooling unit has a nominal SEER rating. This rating can be increased with the upgrade of the same series indoor unit. The SEER rating of a system is derived based on the combination of equipment installed in the home. The outdoor equipment (heat pump or air conditioner), as well as the indoor equipment (evaporator coil and furnace, or air handler), play a vital role in the total rating.

Why should I have regular (or preventative) maintenance? And how often should I have it performed?

Your heating and cooling systems work incredibly hard to perform their functions for your home everyday. The constant stopping, starting and continual operation can wear down any machine if the proper care and maintenance is delayed. However, by performing regular maintenance, you can maximize the lifecycle of your heating or cooling unit and guard against many common equipment failures. Preventive maintenance inspections performed on a regular basis can uncover leaks, rust, rot, soot, frayed wires and corroded electrical contacts that the naked eye may not notice. You should have maintenance done on your system regularly to ensure maximum efficiency and allow prevent possible problems that may occur in the near future.

What equipment requires regular (or preventative) maintenance?

At least once a year heat pumps and air conditioners require a professional tune-up. Because gas-fired equipment functions with greater efficiency, they only need to be serviced every other year. Inspections on boiler and furnace systems should include ductwork, pipes, dampers, valves, the chimney, registers, radiators, pumps, blowers, fuel lines, the gas meter, oil tank and every part of the actual furnace and boiler. Meanwhile, heat pump and air conditioning unit inspections should also include inspections of the fan, compressor, indoor coils, outdoor coils, line kits and refrigerant lines.

I need help troubleshooting a problem with my equipment.

McWilliams Heating, Cooling and Plumbing is your troubleshooting expert, and is glad to help you. Should we encounter a situation that requires additional factory help, we will contact our factory supported Service Manager(s) for assistance.

What are the advantages of a programmable thermostat?

Since they are electronic, programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. With programmable thermostats you can control the temperature in your home at different times of day without ever touching your thermostat. Because everything is automatic, you will never forget to change the setting on your own.

Why can’t I find the correct size furnace filter at my local home improvement store for my HVAC Equipment?

The filter shipped with your HVAC unit is made from higher-quality materials than those of the disposable filters found in retail stores. For that reason, replacement filters can only be purchased through the manufacturer. However, keep in mind that some filters are reusable, and can be washed by hand in cold water.

Where can I get parts for my HVAC equipment?

As a Carrier dealer, McWilliams & Son Heating and Air Conditioning is the best resource for identifying and supplying the correct, current parts for your system, as well as pricing and availability.

Which HVAC equipment will best fit my home?

There are many factors that affect the sizing and specifications of your system, including square footage, insulation, window surface and configuration, geographic location of your home, duct sizing and arrangement, and many others. McWilliams Heating, Cooling and Plumbing can perform an in-home load analysis to determine which equipment combinations will perfectly suit your home and your family’s needs. Depending upon the construction of your home, one (1) ton of air conditioning can cool anywhere from 300 to 800 square feet of home. The only way to ensure the size of the system you purchase will be large enough to cool your home, but not any larger than you need, is to have your home’s individual heating and cooling needs evaluated by a licensed professional.

What does my warranty cover?

Under the standard factory warranty, the manufacturer may cover parts that fail during the warranty period due to defect in the part. The warranty does not cover labor. A warranty certificate was included with your homeowner information packet, and is specific to the model numbers, serial numbers and installation dates of your products. If you cannot find your warranty certificate, McWilliams Heating, Cooling and Plumbing will also be able to provide you with the information.

What is the life expectancy of my unit?

Dependable HVAC products are among the longest lasting heating and cooling products available. For your specific equipment, there are many variables that affect life expectancy, and of course, the regularity of routine maintenance.

Standard filters work to keep your system and its ductwork clean, but they don’t really improve indoor air quality. To do that you need a media filter. The media filter rests between the main return duct and the blower cabinet and will improve dust and particle removal by seven times that of a standard filter. However, upgrading to a pleated media filter will remove everything from insecticide dust to airborne viruses from the filtered air. Always choose a filter that matches your blower’s capacity. For optimum efficiency and filtration, McWilliams Heating, Cooling and Plumbing recommends that you replace your disposable filters at least once a month. If you have washable filters, they should be cleaned once a month.

Common Plumbing Questions

What Do I Do When I Have a Leak?

Shutting off the water when you have a leak should be the first step. You should also find out where the leak is coming from and fix it immediately. Clean up the water as soon as you can. You should follow the drip to the source of the leak. If you cannot identify the source of the leak, you will need to call a plumber who can find it.

How Do I Avoid Water Damage?

There is no one size fits all approach for preventing water damage on your property. You have to be constantly vigilant about looking for signs of water damage. Inspect areas that are in constant contact with water or have a great chance of water damage. Fixing leaks and burst water pipes as soon as possible is the best way to avoid water damage.

What Do I Do When my Toilet Overflows?

The first thing you should do is to stop the rushing water. Use towels and strong fabric to do so. You should then press the flapper valve inside the toilet to release the water, lift the float and stop the tank from filling. Allow the water in the bowl to return to normal. If it still overflows, hold the float and shut the water supply. Contact for plumbing repair services if the overflow does not stop.

What Do I Do When There is Leaking in My Shower/Bath

Nine out of ten times, a bad grout or shower pan is the cause of leaking in the shower or bathroom. First, determine if the leaking is an irregular spout or a constant stream of flowing water. If it is constant, chances are that it is from the pressurized pipes. If the leak is periodic, you will have to conduct several tests to confirm it. A visual inspection will confirm if the grout is damaged. However, plumbing repair is necessary for a more comprehensive inspection.

I Have a Clogged Pipe. What Should I Do?

There are many reasons why you may have a clogged pipe in your home. Clogged pipes will also affect different parts of your home. The location of the clogged pipe will often influence the course of action you should take. If you clog the toilet, a plunger will often do a great job.

In the kitchen, pouring hot water or Draino may solve a clogged pipe which is often caused by solidified fat. Bathroom pipes may be clogged by hair which can be addressed in the same way as the kitchen sink.

For clogging of larger pipes, a plumber’s snake or a plunger may not be enough. You will need to use Draino but the amount will matter significantly as too much will damage your pipes.

Should I Get Copper or Plastic Water Pipes

For most plumbers, copper pipes have an advantage over plastic water pipes. Plastic is not only hard to repair but also hard to maintain.

Copper on the other hand is strong and quick to solder for repairs. You can also make metal connections to a copper pipe as when plastic is melted to metal, the connection tends to be weak.

When Should I Get My Plumbing Repaired?

There are several main situations that should necessitate an inspection for plumbing repairs. One of them is when your water bills get too high with no substantial increase in water usage.

Another situation when you should get your plumbing repaired is when you have frequent water pressure drops in your property. The same goes for when your water heater is not working as expected.

If your grass or a portion of your property appears greener than the rest, you should check the plumbing. It is an indication of leaking on your property.

If you have stains and damp areas on the ceilings and walls, you can have a leak in the roof or walls. Leaks and cracks only lead to bigger leaks and cracks which means you need plumbing services.