Keystone Heating & AC has answers to common HVAC questions asked throughout the communities of Racine and Kenosha. These FAQ's provide quick information, but any issue or topic can be answered in further detail by calling 262-554-1080.

How much should I budget for a new furnace and air conditioner?

As no two homes or businesses are the same, contact Keystone Heating & AC at 262-554-1080 to get a comprehensive, individualized quote on new HVAC equipment.

Why should I get my new HVAC system from Keystone?

Keystone Heating & AC is well-known throughout the Racine and Kenosha area offering reliable service and innovative, high-quality HVAC products. We are dedicated to providing customers exceptional service assisting them in the installation of proper heating or cooling solutions.

How do I determine what size equipment I should purchase?

There are a handful of ways to determine what size heating and cooling system will best suit a home, but the most reliable way to size a system is by having a Keystone Heating & AC technician perform a load calculation. This calculation considers a home's: square footage, insulation value, amount of insulation, and a handful of other factors.

What type of technology comes with the HVAC systems that Keystone carries?

Keystone Heating & AC offers an assortment of HVAC brands and models that are more efficient than ever making it easier to find the correct solution for any home. There are innovative HVAC systems that make heating or cooling automated, functioning similar to cruise control, implementing adjustments to meet desired comfort and institute energy efficiency. Call Keystone at 262-554-1080 to learn more about the latest in HVAC technology.

How can I confirm the model and serial numbers for my cooling unit?

These numbers are located on a nameplate or sticker that is near a system's service panel. The sticker is white with black letters and have both of these numbers located around the top of the sticker. M/N signifies “model number” while S/N indicates “serial number”.

Why does my HVAC system need regular maintenance?

Just like taking a car for a tune-up, HVAC systems need regular attention as well. Scheduled maintenance by a skilled technician provides various benefits for HVAC equipment helping these systems work efficiently and deter costly breakdowns.

When replacing the outdoor unit, should the indoor unit also be replaced?

It is advised that the indoor unit also be replaced. Listed are reasons why:

  • All outdoor cooling systems have a matching indoor unit to ensure efficient performance. When they are not paired as a whole system, efficiency may be diminished.
  • Advancements in HVAC systems include greater heating and cooling efficiency, but also include improved air handling, filtering, and noise pollution reduction.
  • Heating and cooling systems that are more than 10-15 years old typically need to be replaced. Not only do they feature outdated technology, but are also less efficient than today's models. Buying a new indoor unit at the same time ensures a matched system to provide optimal home heating and cooling.

Will my new furnace work differently than my old one?

Depending on how old the previous furnace was, a variety of differences may be seen. Furnaces today are developed to provide even and efficient heating compared to prior models. Modern furnaces also better regulate temperature and air flow, moving more air over the heat exchanger.

Additionally, new furnaces are created to integrate with other high-efficiency HVAC products, such as air conditioners. Air conditioner blowers give heating systems an extra boost so it can deliver regulated air throughout a home efficiently. Special features, like variable speed motors, will also help reduce noise associated with HVAC equipment while in use and help meet the airflow needs of a home.

What is a heat pump?

Heat pumps actually cover both heating and cooling needs year-round. When it's hot outside, it operates like an air conditioner by removing heat from a home, but when it cools off, the process gets reversed and it collects heat from outside and brings it inside. Heat pumps are also very efficient and can produce up to two or three times more heat than the energy it uses.

What is two-stage heating?

Two-stage heating enables a furnace to heat at two levels of output: high for cold winter days and low for mild days. Approximately 80 percent of the time, a home's heating requirements can be met when the furnace is kept on a low setting, enabling two-stage units to operate for longer periods of time. Two-stage units also provide better heat distribution, fewer temperature swings, quiet operation, increased air filtration, and energy efficiency.

What is two-stage cooling?

Two-stage cooling refers to a cooling unit with two levels of operation. When summer is at its warmest, the high setting is used, and when it's cooler, it operates on the low setting. Usually, the lower setting accommodates all cooling needs, but even when the high setting kicks in, it may not be realized because it can generate even temperatures based on desired settings. This also means a quieter cooling system, greater efficiency, and better humidity control.

How does an air conditioner work?

Most homeowners believe that air conditioners make a home cooler, but it actually removes heat moving the hot air outside. That hot air flows across an indoor coil where refrigerant in the lines sends the heat to the coil in your outdoor unit, releasing the heat outside. This process continues until the indoor temperature reaches the temperature set by a thermostat.

Can frost, dirt or other debris keep the outdoor unit of an HVAC system from operating effectively?

The short answer is “yes”. Dirt and other debris can hinder an HVAC system's ability to work efficiently. For heat pumps, it is common to have frost or ice on them during the winter, but they also feature defrost controls to ensure they work efficiently in those types of conditions.

Why is my cooling unit freezing up?

When a cooling unit freezes up, there are a variety of reasons why it could be doing so. The most typical reasons include: dirty filters, low refrigerant, a dirty evaporative coil, or a faulty blower motor or relay. A dirty filter is something that can be remedied as a homeowner, but the other issues need to be fixed by a professional.

What is the minimum energy efficiency standard for air conditioners in my state?

Due to the high amount of energy used by heating and cooling systems, the Department of Energy (DOE) raised the minimum efficiency levels for air conditioners, heat pumps, and packaged units manufactured after January 1, 2023. These levels are determined by region and carry varying requirements based on location. Keystone Heating & AC can help answer any questions regarding these minimum requirements and advise as to which choices are available when considering a replacement HVAC system.

How can I reduce my energy costs?

Keystone Heating & AC carries a number of HVAC products with high-efficiency ratings, which can help reduce the amount of energy they require to operate. Aside from picking products that have received Energy Star® certification or achieved a high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating for air conditioners or AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings for furnaces, the following can be considered:

  • Making certain an HVAC system receives routine maintenance by a trained professional.
  • Zoning systems enable heating and cooling of specified areas vs. the entire home.
  • A programmable thermostat allows for setting temperatures within a home around a set schedule. They can be programmed to increase or decrease temperatures while home or away, saving on energy costs.

How can I control my energy bills?

Heating and cooling can make up a large part of a utility bill. The innovative and high-efficiency heating and air conditioning products available from Keystone Heating & AC can help lower these costs. If shopping for a new heating or cooling system, look for products with high SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) ratings for air conditioners and AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) ratings for furnaces. SEER and AFUE are a measure of system efficiency - the higher the number, the more efficient the product. Besides purchasing a new home comfort system, think about these additional factors:

  1. Is the system consistently maintained? Whether it's a furnace or air conditioner, HVAC systems will operate more efficiently after regular maintenance checks.
  2. Would a zoning system be beneficial? If there are rooms within a home that are rarely used, a zoning system will allow for the heating and cooling of the rooms most commonly used.
  3. Has a programmable or smart thermostat been installed? According to the U.S. Department of Energy, programmable thermostats may reduce heating costs up to 35 percent and cooling costs up to 25 percent.

How can I improve my home's indoor air quality?

Improving a home's air quality starts with four basic strategies:

  • Poor indoor air quality leaves a home filled with air pollutants. To improve indoor air quality, the first step is to get rid of as many pollutants as possible. This can be achieved through weekly cleaning and vacuuming, frequently washing linens, and storing cleaning products safely.
  • Proper insulation is great for keeping a home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, but it also makes it difficult for airborne pollutants to escape. Keystone offers products that help swap stale air for fresh, filtered outside air.
  • Good ventilation and ongoing cleaning are a start, but air filters, germicidal lights, and purification systems take indoor air quality to the next level by capturing microscopic particles, killing germs, and removing particles while destroying chemical vapors.
  • Programmable thermostats will help control the humidity levels and temperature to help stop particles and germs from building up.

How do I know which indoor air quality product will work best for my home?

Meet with the professionals at Keystone Heating & AC for a home assessment and overview of current indoor comfort systems. We will recommend which equipment will be best suited to meet your needs.

What is the best thermostat to use for my cooling system?

Identifying the best thermostat for your cooling system takes much to consider. Be it a programmable or non-programmable thermostat or more advanced, smart home model, there are various thermostats to choose from. The use of some thermostats will depend on what type of heating and cooling systems are in place, but Keystone Heating & AC will be able to help determine what options meet a homeowner's needs and budget.

What is the best thermostat for my home comfort system?

The right thermostat depends on the heating and cooling equipment. Keystone Heating & AC offers programmable and non-programmable thermostats that can help increase the efficiency of most HVAC systems.

What are the benefits of zoning systems?

Zoning systems provide the opportunity to divide areas of a home and control the air differently in each room. Zoning equipment is good for parts of a home that are seldom used or when certain rooms need variable temperatures. Zoning systems are quiet and efficient, providing more control over the comfort of a home.