Does Unique offer a Maintenance Agreement?
Yes, Unique offers Maintenance Agreements to cover your heating and air conditioning systems. Our agreements cover annual cleanings on your heating and air conditioning equipment. If the equipment fails, 100% of parts and labor are covered.* (This means you pay nothing!!) Maintenance customers receive priority service all year round including holidays.
Is it better to replace my furnace and air conditioner at the same time?
If you replace your furnace and air conditioner at the same time, you will save on installation and efficiency costs. The evaporator coil (tubing that contains the freon to cool the air) is located above the furnace in the duct system. The duct system has to be opened to replace the furnace, and the evaporator coil is easily accessible when the furnace is replaced. In order to replace the evaporator coil, the freon has to be removed from the air conditioner. By replacing all components at the same time, the equipment meets current efficiency standards, thereby reducing future operational costs.
Should I have my duct work cleaned?
Most new homes do not need to have their ducts cleaned, unless during construction, the vents were left open allowing debris to enter the system.
Older homes will benefit having the duct system cleaned. The cleaning of the duct work removes the build up of dust mites, mold spores, pollen, bacteria, and mildew which can cause allergies and respiratory problems.
Unique does not clean duct systems but we can refer you to a company that uses the best equipment to ensure your system will be clean. Call us at 847-362-1910 for a duct cleaner today.
What are some ways to lower my utility bills?
There are many ways to lower your utility bills. Setting your thermostat to a lower temperature in the winter, or a higher temperature in the summer is a start. Fixing or replacing old windows that let the wind blow through is another big energy saver. Replacing an old air conditioner or furnace with a new, more efficient model can also save you money on your utility bills.
What is carbon monoxide? How do I know if I have carbon monoxide in my home?
Carbon Monoxide is an invisible and odorless gas produced by incomplete burning of natural gas, propane, gasoline, charcoal or wood. Carbon monoxide may result from your heating unit, stove or water heater working improperly.
When your furnace is running, the fuel that is burned produces carbon dioxide. But if the resulting carbon dioxide is burned a second time, carbon monoxide is then produced. A crack in your heat exchanger creates a greater chance for the carbon dioxide to mix with the air, burn, and produces carbon monoxide.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include drowsiness, dizziness, headaches, blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, and in extreme cases, loss of consciousness. Infants and young children will be affected first.
Homeowners should have their heating equipment and water heaters checked annually by a qualified technician. Blocked vent pipes and malfunctioning equipment are common causes for carbon monoxide.
Homeowners should have a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. (Do not put a detector in the basement or kitchen or false readings will occur.) When buying a carbon monoxide detector, make sure it has a digital read out and a self cleaning sensor to reduce the chance of false alarms. If the alarm goes off, open the windows and call us to have your home checked. If individuals in the household are feeling ill, leave the house and call the fire department.
Do I need to clean my furnace and air conditioner every year?
Yes, by having your furnace and air conditioner cleaned annually, the systems will operate more efficiently and the chance of untimely breakdowns will decrease. It is most important to have your heating system checked annually to make sure all the safety controls are operating to keep your family safe.
What can I check if my air conditioner is not working?
Check to see if the outdoor unit is running.
A. If the unit is not running, turn the thermostat to the off position. Go to your circuit panel and turn the breaker for the air conditioner off, then back on. Go to the thermostat and turn the system back to cool. If the system does not come on, you need a service call.
B. If the unit is running, check to see if you have the thermostat turned to the desired temperature. Check to make sure the air filter and the outdoor coil is free of debris. If all of these are clean, then you will probably need a service call.
What can I check if my heat is not working?
Verify if the blower fan in the furnace is running.
A. If the fan is not running, turn the thermostat fan to the 'on' position. If the fan turns on you will require a service call. This can indicate a problem with the thermostat or fan center.
B. If the fan does not turn on, check if the blower door on the furnace is properly closed. Door must be tightly sealed in order to make contact with the blower switch.
If the door is not ajar, you will find a safety switch (toggle switch) on the side of the furnace. Turn the switch off, then back on. If the fan comes on, the heat should work. If the fan does not come on then you will require a service call.
Check and see if the pilot is lit. If the pilot is not lit, call Unique for a service call.
Do I need to line my chimney?
If your chimney is adjacent to an exterior wall when replacing your old furnace, you will need to line your chimney. Due to the new efficiencies of furnaces, the flue temperature is lower than the older systems. When the new furnaces shut off, the excess heat no longer leaves through the chimney, therefore, the chimney becomes cold. When the furnace starts again, the flue gases condense in the cold chimney and deteriorate mortar and the clay tile liner. This eventually causes the brick to flake and the mortar to erode. In severe cases of decay, the chimney may collapse.
If your chimney runs up the center of the house, you are not required to line the chimney unless the clay tile liner is oversized or deteriorated. But, by lining your chimney you can protect it against further deterioration.
If you install a 90% furnace, you still need to line the chimney for the water heater. Water heaters do not produce enough heat to maintain the temperature in the chimney, therefore it is necessary to prevent the condensation of the flue gases with the chimney liner.
For more information on furnace efficiencies check out our furnaces page.
How do I know I'm using a reputable company?
When choosing a company, there are several deciding factors that you should evaluate.
Verify the company is established and has an actual building, not working out of their home. This will help to ensure they will be there when you need future services.
Check if the company is licensed, carries liability and workman's compensation, and obtains the required permits. They must be able to cover any damages or accidents that can occur.
Ask them for references and call the references. If you want to learn about a company, the best way is to ask others who have worked with them.
Be sure you receive a written proposal with full details of installation, equipment information, and the agreed upon price. With a written contract, you know exactly what services the company will be performing and at what cost.
*Excluded items: heat exchanger; compressor; coils; flues; duct system; boiler piping; air purging; leak repairs; obsolete equipment