(801) 572-1900 High-Efficiency Experts / Service & Installation

DOE HVAC Standards: Basics, Regions and SEER Rating

While many are not aware of it, did you realize that the area where you live in the United States has a direct impact on the HVAC products available to you? This is just one of several impacts of the US Department of Energy’s minimum energy efficiency standards that have been introduced and updated over the last several years, standards that have saved homeowners billions of dollars in energy.At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to provide numerous HVAC services specifically related to energy efficiency, from precision tune-ups of your entire system to new installation of energy-efficient furnaces, air conditioners and other products. This two-part blog series will go over the DOE’s standards for energy efficiency based on where you’re located in the country, plus will go into minimum standards in various areas plus some other developments from the DOE that are relevant to homeowners.

DOE Standard Basics

While the basic DOE standards for air conditioners and heaters were meant to be published over a decade ago, there were delays here and this process didn’t actually take place until 2017. There are a number of specifics that go into these standards, but the most important area is this: For major home appliances and equipment, including both HVAC areas like air conditioners and also washers, dryers, refrigerators and more, there are minimum energy standards required – and these standards vary depending on the region of the country you’re located in. These standards are designed specifically for their region, helping maintain efficient energy usage among people.

Regions and SEER Rating

Why do regions matter here? Well, because their climates vary across a large country like the United States, and climate differences lead to changes in how HVAC components are used. Those living in the southern-most climates of the country use their air conditioners more often, for instance, and may require more efficient systems.The metric used for these DOE standards is known as SEER Rating, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. It refers to the ratio of the cooling output of an air conditioner over a typical cooling season, divided by the energy used in watt-hours. There will be different SEER minimum requirements based on your region.

Regional Breakdown by State

Here’s how the DOE breaks down regions for these energy standards:
  • Southwest: Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico
  • Southeast: Alabama Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, the District of Columbia, and the US territories
  • North: The rest of the country not named above, including our clients in Utah (while Utahns are well aware it gets hot in the summer, it also gets much colder in the winter than most other southern states named here)
In part two of our series, we’ll go over the minimum standards for these regions plus some other important DOE HVAC standards, including what the future promises to look like in this area.For more on US Department of Energy efficiency standards, or to learn about any of our heating or cooling services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
cold weather HVAC service

Common Cold Weather HVAC Service Call Needs | Airtime Heating & Cooling

During any season of the year, heating and air needs within the home are something of a give-and-take between homeowners and HVAC professionals. There are certain basic HVAC issues, such as a filter change, that can and should be performed by homeowners – but there are also other potential issues, such as duct issues, furnace components concerns or others, that should be left to professionals only.At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to assist our clients in a variety of ways for all their HVAC needs. These range from basic inspections and tune-ups for minor or moderate issues all the way up to furnace or AC replacement needs. During the winter season we’re currently going through, what are the most common reasons our HVAC technicians are called out to homes for service calls? Here are a few of the most frequent.

Thermostat Concerns

One of the single most common service call types we get during the winter is for a malfunctioning thermostat, and the reasons here are understandable. Firstly, thermostats are often handling a larger load during the winter than other seasons; secondly, the colder air makes them slightly more susceptible to internal issues like wiring problems, condensation and more.In certain cases, thermostat issues are simple enough for you to handle as a homeowner – such as if the batteries have worn down and just need replacing, for instance. In other cases, however, our team will need to come out and attend to more significant issues that you should not be attempting fixes on, such as wiring problems or others.

Leak Issues

We mentioned condensate above, and it can be an issue in several areas of the heating system during the winter as temperatures inside pipes vary significantly from those outside them. Especially in cases where leaks or cracks have formed in pipes or other areas, condensate may begin to drip out – not only will this lead to water damage concerns, it will make the system less efficient and compromise its ability to function optimally. Our team will locate leaks and find the most cost-effective solution for you.


Finally, another area that typically isn’t solvable for homeowners on their own is the presence of strange noises coming from the heating system. You may hear banging, squealing or rattling noises, and these usually mean a component has come loose within the system that needs repair or replacement. In other cases, a component may be clogged with debris or dust. In either case, our technicians will get to the root of the issue and find out whether it’s a need for replacement or just a simple temporary concern.For more on the most common reasons for HVAC service calls during the winter, or to learn about any of our heating and air services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
furnace red flags air quality

Furnace Red Flags: Short Cycling, Air Quality and More

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on common indicators that your home’s furnace is experiencing problems. While there are a few such problems that might take place during the upcoming winter season, luckily nearly all of them can be fairly easily detected by homeowners with a careful eye.At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re here to help with numerous heater repair and replacement services, including for any issues your furnace might be having. What are some of the other top signs that your furnace is wearing down or has experienced damage, and what should you be doing if you notice any of these red flags? Here’s a brief look at several additional themes to keep in mind.

Short Cycling

Have you noticed that instead of the longer, sustained cycles you’re used to, your furnace has begun turning on and off rapidly, over and over again? This is known as short-cycling, and it can happen with both the furnace and the air conditioner.The most common cause of short-cycling: A system that was installed poorly, or is too big for the space it’s serving. This will cause the unit to misinterpret how often and how long it needs to run for, creating issues where it uses exponentially more energy – and still doesn’t create ideal heating or cooling despite costing you more. Our pros will provide simple solutions to short cycling.

Pilot Light

In the case of a healthy system, your pilot light will appear blue in most cases (your model will note otherwise if this is the case). If the light has become a different color, however, especially if it’s yellow, this signals a potential ventilation issue that’s causing issues. Various gases may not be dispersing as they should be, which can lead to a combination of furnace issues (including combustion in severe cases) and health concerns. If this is the case, call our team for solutions.

Air Quality Concerns

One of these potential health concerns stems from poor air quality, which is directly impacted by your HVAC system. In some cases, you may simply notice that your air quality has gotten poorer due to increased quantities of dust, or due to increased allergy or other respiratory symptoms from yourself or someone else in your home.The most common culprit here is the furnace filter, which must be changed regularly throughout the year. If you have recently changed or cleaned the filter and this is not the issue, however, it’s time to call our HVAC technicians for assistance.

CO2 Detector

A major air quality issue that deserves its own section is carbon monoxide, which can leak from cracks or other furnace problems and present major health issues. It’s vital to ensure your home’s C02 detector is always in working order, for starters, plus that if it is ever tripped, you immediately turn the furnace off and open your windows to begin ventilating the gas out. After this, contact both your gas company and our HVAC technicians for assistance.For more on how to recognize and remedy furnace concerns this winter, or to learn about any of our HVAC services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
red flags furnace issues

Red Flags Indicating Home Furnace Issues, Part 1

As we move through the fall and quickly approach the colder Utah winter, homeowners around the state are paying a little more attention to their furnaces. In charge of providing heat throughout the winter, your furnace is one of the most important single HVAC components in your home.At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to provide a variety of furnace services, including furnace repair and replacement for any home where your furnace is having issues leading into this season. As the fall offers a great chance to observe your furnace in action, what are some  of the common signs that the furnace might be having problems our pros will need to address? This two-part blog will dig into a number of red flags to keep an eye on.

Cold Spots

One of the first available signs of a defective furnace will be cold spots or uneven heating found in various areas of the home. Certain rooms do just fine, or even perhaps get hotter than needed, while others remain far too cool.In many cases, you’ll notice that the cool rooms are those furthest from the actual furnace. In these cases, you might actually be dealing with duct issues that are preventing air from reaching every area of the home. In either case, call our pros for basic remedies.

Strange Odors

In other situations, your first sign of a furnace problem will actually be detected by your nose. One smell that might become noticeable is fuel, especially if you utilize a gas-powered furnace. You might also smell a burning odor or some other kind of poor smell that doesn’t go away for days or weeks at a time and clearly originates from the furnace.This may signal several issues, from dust concerns to gas leaks and more. Our team can easily assess the problem.

Spiking Energy Bill

Even if you don’t notice specific comfort signs of a failing furnace, you might pick it up on your energy bill. In particular, have you noticed fall months like October and November showing far higher heating bills than previous years? This is often a sign that something inefficient is taking place in the furnace.

Weird Sounds

Has your heating system begun making loud noises you aren’t familiar with while in use? Some of the most common here are clanging, banging, hissing or clicking, but there also might be others that don’t quite meet any of these descriptions. In all such cases, contact our HVAC pros right away to determine the source of the sound and repair any issues.


If your furnace is 18 years old or older, you’ll definitely want it inspected for safety against carbon monoxide leaks. Airtime can inspect the furnace heat exchanger via camera to seek out potential carbon monoxide hazards.For more on how to spot potential signs of furnace issues, or to learn about any of our heating or cooling services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
duct tape HVAC air

Why Duct Tape Isn’t Actually for HVAC Air Ducts

There are a few items out there that are extremely curiously named, and one great example within the home improvement area is duct tape. While this sort of tape is highly useful and should be kept around by all homeowners, it isn’t actually meant for use within HVAC air ducts – and can cause significant issues if it is used in these areas.At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to offer a wide range of HVAC services, from precision tune-ups to furnace or air conditioner repair and replacement. We’re also happy to provide tips and expertise on any related area here – such as why duct tape, while useful in many other areas, should not be used for air duct leaks or other similar concerns. Here’s a quick primer on this realm.

Duct Tape Discovery and History

You can trace the history of duct tape back to World War I, around which time it was created with the original purpose of sealing ammunition boxes. Its original name was “duck” tape, likely because it was backed with duck cloth in its first iterations.Sometime in the 1950s, though, the name shifted to duct – largely due to the mistaken assumption that this tape was used for ductwork sealing. However, this was never the case, and this product was never meant for this purpose. Modern tests have repeatedly shown that duct tape reacts poorly to heat and various fluctuations in temperature, making it unfit for any kind of use in your HVAC system.

Legal Status for Ducts

Beyond the simple impracticality of using duct tape in HVAC areas, there are many states where this practice is outright illegal based on building code. Such codes generally prohibit using duct tape for any holes, cracks or gaps in air ducts, both due to problems with performance and the fact that duct tape is flammable and may be impacted poorly by dirt.

Mess and Durability

In addition, duct tape adhesive – which regularly gets stuck to areas of your system – is no fun to deal with. It can be baked in by the high temperatures and glom up several areas.Duct tape also doesn’t create a solid seal, perhaps the single largest reason not to use it in these situations. This is due to both material quality and commonly poor application.

Professional Duct Sealing

For these reasons and more, it’s important to call on professionals when there are issues with your air ducts. Our team will recommend the ideal cost-effective repairs, plus offer you tips on how to avoid these concerns moving forward.For more on why you should not use duct tape for air duct leaks or related HVAC areas, or to learn about any of our HVAC repairs or other services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
common AC misconceptions addressed

Common AC Misconceptions Addressed, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the unfortunate myths out there surrounding air conditioners. There are sadly a number of such misconceptions out there, largely born of misinformation that’s spread around over the years in an area that’s commonly discussed, including by non-expertsAt Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re here to not only provide air conditioning repair, air conditioning installation and various other HVAC services, but also proper information and expertise on any such systems, including your air conditioner. Today’s part two of our series will go through a few more of the common AC myths out there today, plus set you straight with proper information and how to approach the situations discussed herein.

AC Maintenance Isn’t Worth It

There are some who, for some strange reason, seem to only believe they should spend money on their AC or HVAC system if something is visibly wrong. If they can’t see any problems, why spend money?This is the wrong way to look at these systems. Many of the most common issues in AC or HVAC systems begin as small, easily-remedied concerns – but if they’re left until you actually notice them, they’ll be much worse by that point. Regular HVAC maintenance, however, helps you spot these issues well in advance, which in turn allows you to avoid them growing too large. By spending a very small sum on a yearly or bi-yearly HVAC inspection, you’ll be saving yourself much larger amounts down the line.

Bigger Always Means Better

For those who are looking to upgrade or replace their AC, or those building a new construction home from the ground up, there’s an unfortunate tendency to assume size is the only relevant factor for a new AC unit. The bigger the unit, the better it will be, as the thinking goes.Not so fast. There are many AC units that will simply be too large for a given home, using way too much power and causing major cycling issues. You certainly don’t want an AC that’s too small, but one that’s too large can be just as detrimental.

Closing Vents Helps

Some figure they’ll be saving themselves some money and air by closing the vents in rooms where they don’t spend much time. Rather, however, this messes with the air distribution balance in the home, often leading to cycling issues or creating problems with the vents themselves. You should leave vents open even in areas that aren’t frequently occupied.For more on avoiding common air conditioning myths this summer, or to learn about any of our HVAC services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
common AC misconceptions addressed

Common AC Misconceptions Addressed, Part 1

It’s the dead of the Utah summer, and home and building owners throughout the state require quality cooling solutions this time of year. There are several themes homeowners can pursue when it comes to ensuring air conditioner and HVAC quality during the summer, but also a number of myths out there regarding some of these themes – including several that not only won’t help, but also might even hurt your system in the short- and long-term.At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to provide a wide range of AC services, from precision tune-ups to air conditioner repair and replacement. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over a number of these air conditioner misconceptions and set the record straight so you know the proper information on several areas of AC upkeep and operation this summer.

Lower Setting = Faster Cooling

For those looking to cool their home or a given space as quickly as possible, there’s a tendency to try and turn the AC down as low as possible to speed this process up. However, you should know that this method doesn’t actually work – and actually might hurt your system.The HVAC system can only blow so much air at once, and this doesn’t change even if you drop the temperature even further. Forcing it to an even lower number might cause it to work harder just to achieve the same level of cooling, and will not speed things up at all.

Constant Running Saves You Money

We’re all looking for ways to save on HVAC costs, but anyone who tells you that running your AC constantly will help in this realm doesn’t know what they’re talking about. The thought here appears to be that constant running saves the energy of turning the system on and off regularly – but this is a misconception, and the opposite is true. Allowing the system to turn on and off as needed is a big part of what keeps its operational strain low, limiting your energy bill.

Thermostat Placement is Unimportant

For those designing a new home or replacing their thermostat in an existing one, you may not think the placement of this item matters all that much. In reality, though, it does: If it’s placed too close to vents or other cooling areas it may think the home is cooler than it really is, or the opposite effect could take place if the thermostat is in a sun spot, near the oven or in another area that’s hotter than the rest of the home. The thermostat should be located in a neutral area that represents as close as possible to average home temperature.For more on debunking common myths regarding your air conditioner, or to learn about any of our heating and air services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
common causes home dust

Remedying Common Causes of Home Dust Accumulation

Have you begun to notice your home is increasingly dusty in recent days, weeks or months? Not only might this be an annoyance and a frustration, it may also speak to a greater quantity of contaminants and other hazards in your air that need to be removed.At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re here to help with a variety of HVAC services, ranging from AC and furnace repair and replacement to several solutions for indoor air quality – including homes dealing with high levels of dust and related concerns. Here are several of the primary causes of dust increases within the home, plus what you can do about each of them to limit these risks moving forward.

Filter Issues

The first area to look at if you’re experiencing dust issues is your HVAC filter. Filters should be changed at least once every few months, and sometimes more often depending on the filter type you used – for washable filters, these should be cleaned regularly as well.Failure to do this will result in filters accumulating dust and other materials over time. When they build up too much, they become ineffective and allow dust to spread throughout the home, including in your ducts and vents plus within any room where air is pushed to.

Humidity Levels

While this is less common in a dry state like Utah, high humidity levels within the home or a certain part of the home are still easily possible. These often lead to dust building up, plus to the formation of mold and mildew. If you’re concerned this is the cause of your dust, purchase a basic hygrometer to test for humidity levels, plus consider a whole-home humidifier or dehumidifier.

Air Duct Leaks

In some cases, your filters will be clean and working well – but dust will still make its way around because it was already present in your ducts. This often is due to leaks that cause dirty air from your attic or other spots to enter your standard air supply, including within ducts that are supposed to be supplying recently-filtered air.

Window Cracks

Another of the most common causes of dust in the home is major gaps to the outdoors, and maybe the most frequent situation here is a crack or gap around a window area. You might be surprised how much dust will be prevented simply by re-caulking any small crack or gap areas in windows.


Finally, one of the simplest dust causes in some homes is dust being tracked in by occupants, especially in homes with several people living in them. This is simply avoided by requiring shoes be taken off before entering the house.For more on the common causes of dust in your home, or to learn about any of our indoor air quality solutions or other HVAC services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
spring air conditioner allergy

Limiting Spring Air Conditioner Allergy Risks

Homeowners across Utah have moved firmly into air conditioner season, and for those who suffer from seasonal allergies, this spring transition period is often the toughest of the year. Spring allergies are known to be the most significant out there for many people, and there are certain situations where they may be exacerbated by an AC setup that’s not conducive to preventing allergens and similar risks from spreading into your air.At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re proud to assist with numerous areas of air conditioner repair and upkeep services, including several important air quality themes that will help you limit even minor allergen risks in your home and protect those who suffer from seasonal allergies. Today’s blog will focus on how allergens and other particles enter the home through a faulty AC system, plus the importance of your air filters and additional measures you can take to ensure allergens are not a heightened risk due to your air conditioner this spring.

How Particles Enter Through the AC System

In some cases, the mode of entrance for allergens and various related particles into your air supply is based on cracks or other seal issues with your air conditioner, ducts or related components. When these issues are present, air that has not yet passed through your filter system will be able to make its way into breathing areas, meaning contaminants like allergens and others have not been removed.In addition, however, it’s important to note that having a proper exhaust system for your HVAC system is also vital. This allows various contaminants or particles that have not been caught by the filters to exit the home properly – these particles will be present no matter how good your filters are.

Filter Factors

Speaking of filters, you should be sure that the filters installed in your HVAC system trap allergens – most do, but some on the cheaper end do not. Also be sure areas like pet dander, which may carry allergens, are caught as well.As we noted above, however, not all the air in your home necessarily makes it to the air filter before reaching your lungs. For this reason, those homes with significant allergy sufferers may want to consider additional measures.

Other Measures

Here are a few such options available for both allergen prevention and other areas of indoor air quality:
  • Whole home filtration: We offer the “Clean Effects” filter system from Trane, arguably the top home air filtration system in the world, which will remove all pollutants, allergens, bacteria and viruses within the entire space.
  • UV lights: There are also UV air cleaner options that attack mold, mildew and other bacteria within your air ducts, common collection locations for these contaminants.
  • Electronic purifier: A different purifier system that charges particulates in the air and forces them to stick to metal surfaces, which can be easily cleaned.
For more on preventing allergens and other air risks in your home this spring, or to learn about any of our air quality or other HVAC services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.

Why Spring is Often Ideal for Heater Replacement

We’re firmly finished with winter and onto the warmer parts of the year in Utah, and some homeowners assume they can simply stop thinking about their furnace or heater until fall comes. And while heating is indeed less of a concern during the spring and summer, did you know that spring is often an ideal time to consider replacing a furnace or heater that’s nearing the end of its lifespan?At Airtime Heating & Cooling, we’re happy to offer heater replacement service to our clients at any time of year, along with basic AC and furnace repair services to cover your entire HVAC system no matter which season we’re in. Why is spring often a sneaky-good time to consider such a replacement, and what are some signs your system might be giving you that now is the time for this decision? Here are some general tips to be aware of.

Time and Money Savings

For starters, you’d be surprised how much time and money you can save by arranging furnace replacement in spring. For one, furnace replacement schedules tend to be far less filled at this time of year, meaning you’re more likely to get your ideal appointment time range within a few days of calling for an appointment. You also might be able to get good deals on installation or even sales, as some manufacturers offer discounts on furnaces during their slower season.Additionally, choosing the spring offers you more time flexibility on your end. If you decide to wait on signs that replacement is needed, you could suddenly be staring at a late-fall cold front – and all of a sudden, furnace replacement appointments are much harder to get. Taking the time to cover this area now allows you a full range of product choices, plus ensures you aren’t chasing the game.

Maintaining Comfort

Another benefit of replacing the heater during spring is the comfort retention the process offers. We’re mostly past the point where homes need to have their heaters on to keep the temperature comfortable – this means it’s no big deal if our pros have to turn your heating system off for a few hours while we replace the system. If you wait on replacement, however, this process might take place during a cooler period where things won’t be so convenient.

Signs It’s Time

Some general signs your furnace or heating system is giving you that it’s time for replacement:
  • Common repairs: If you’re making the same kinds of repairs over and over again, this is a sign that the heater has worn down and needs to be replaced.
  • Age: Any furnace or heater that reaches above 15 years of age should at least see replacement considered.
  • Lost efficiency: If you notice your HVAC costs rising compared to previous years, or if you can’t seem to get the proper heating levels, this could mean the furnace is worn down and needs a replacement.
  • Noises: Finally, some malfunctioning furnaces make loud noises like rattling, clanging or electrical humming, all of which may signal replacement needs.
For more on why spring is often an ideal season for heater replacement, or to learn about any of our HVAC services, speak to the staff at Airtime Heating & Cooling today.
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High-Efficiency Experts / Service & Installation
(801) 572-1900 High-Efficiency Experts / Service & Installation