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495 Main Street, Bunn NC 27508  |  phone: 919.340.0676  |  fax: 919.340.0670     ~    Our job is...   To make you comfortable!



Alford Mechanical, Inc. understands your air conditioning and heating system. We want you to understand as well. Keeping you informed and educated on the products and services we offer is an important part of our customer service and customer loyalty.

Frequently Asked Questions about HVAC

What do rating numbers mean?  The U.S. government requires an efficiency rating of all air conditioning and heating equipment. The rating reflects the percentage of energy used efficiently, with a high rating indicating high-efficiency.

What is a SEER?
There are special names for the efficiency rating of various types of equipment. Air conditioning equipment is rated by the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating or SEER. The higher the SEER rating is, the more efficient the unit will be.

How can I be sure my unit is the right size?
Clearly, an air conditioning unit that is too small will not keep your home sufficiently cool. What many don't realize is that an oversized system will cycle (turn off and on) more than necessary, wasting expensive energy and possibly putting undue strain on the compressor. Alford Mechanical, Inc. can determine the most favorable size for your home and/or business.

What does AFUE stand for?
There are special names for the efficiency ratings of various types of equipment. Gas furnaces are rated according to their Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency or AFUE. The higher the AFUE rating is, the more efficient the unit will be.

When should I replace my system?
  The average heating and air conditioning system has a life expectancy of about 12 - 15 years. System efficiency, performance and comfort has been significantly enhanced within the past few years. Systems that are ten years or older in all likelihood do not merit high repair costs. Before you are faced with the urgent need to replace or repair, contact Alford Mechanical, Inc. Our comfort specialist can assist you with a free in-home evaluation.

Can shrubs or flowers be planted around an outdoor unit?
Yes. However, we recommend that plants be no closer than 19 inches to the unit. This allows for plenty of room for air circulation in and out of the unit. Without this room for air circulation, the unit could overheat resulting in a premature need for service.

What is the difference between a split system and a package unit?
A split system uses indoor and outdoor components to provide a complete home comfort system (see illustration to the right). A package unit or self-contained unit requires no external coils, air handlers or heating units.

How often should I clean my furnace or heat pump filter?
Alford Mechanical, Inc. recommends monthly changing or cleaning of the filter in any heating and cooling system. This applies to electronic air cleaners too. Insufficient filter changes usually result in poor system performance, poor comfort, higher bills, more frequent repairs and premature system failure.

How often should my system require maintenance?
  Most systems should be cleaned and checked twice yearly; In the Spring for cooling, and Fall for heating.  A properly maintained system will cost 30% less to operate on average.      

Certain rooms in my house never get comfortable. How can I fix that?
If some of your rooms are comfortable and others are not, what you have is a ductwork problem. In many cases, ductwork can be easily modified to accommodate dampers, deflectors and other means of balancing uneven air flow.

What is the best temperature settings for my thermostat?
At the lowest (winter) or highest (summer) temperature at which your family is truly comfortable. There is no magic number. The highest purpose of a home comfort system is comfort. If you heat with a heat pump not equipped with a "smart" thermostat, or a programmable thermostat, you should find a comfortable temperature setting and leave it there. With any system, it is easiest to balance comfort and economy with the help of a programmable thermostat.

What is NATE?
North American Technician Excellence, Inc. (NATE) is the leading certification program for technicians in the heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration (HVAC/R) industry and is the only test supported by the entire industry. NATE represents professionalism, proficiency, and pride - qualities which lead to trust. When you need HVAC help, call a contractor who employs NATE-certified technicians. They are among the very best.

BBB NATE certified PHCC