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Frequently Asked Questions
.: Frequently Asked Questions

System Information
  1. What is a hot surface igniter?
  2. What are the differences in Trane's single stage, 2 - stage and variable-speed gas furnaces?
  3. What is an air handler?
  4. What is the difference between Refrigerant types (R22 and R410A)?
  5. Can I use anti-freeze to protect my boiler and piping?

What is a hot surface igniter?
Unlike older-model gas furnaces that used a standing pilot light to ignite the burners on the furnace, many of today's models use an electronic ignition system. This includes a Hot Surface Igniter, sometimes referred to as a glow plug or glow stick. When there is a call for heat, the igniter receives electrical current in order to heat its surface and ignite the burners in the furnace.

Some hot surface igniters are fairly fragile and can be damaged during transit or installation. Trane's Silicon Nitride Igniter, used on the Trane XV/XL/XR models, appears to be more durable.

Cracks in a hot surface igniter are not necessarily visible. After installation, the glow pattern should be checked by your local independent dealer for inconsistencies, and replaced if necessary. Cracks will not necessarily prevent the igniter from working, but will shorten its life.

It is important that the correct original equipment manufacturer's igniter be used when replacing an igniter. There are many igniters on the market. However, many do not have the correct voltage or warm-up time as the original design.

What are the differences in Trane's single stage, 2 - stage and variable-speed gas furnaces?
A single stage furnace will deliver the same amount of heat and airflow no matter what the temperature is outside. A 2-stage furnace with a 2-stage thermostat will begin in first stage (low burner, low airflow) and only go to second stage if the indoor temperature drops during first stage. This makes the furnace run longer, providing greater air circulation, temperature distribution, and air filtration. This also provides a more consistent indoor environment. The second stage will only come on when the need is there and then it will be able to run longer and maintain the comfort level. The more your system starts and stops, the less control you will have of your home's environment - and the less efficiently it works, partly due to duct heat loss. The advantage of Trane's 2-stage, variable-speed furnace is it has Comfort-RTM Enhanced mode. This allows the coil to cool quickly and the blower to slowly ramp up and ramp down or operate at 50 percent of the cooling air speed in the FAN ON position. This provides greater humidity control, quieter operation, and maximum air circulation, temperature distribution, and air filtration.

What is an air handler?
The major components enclosed in an air handler's cabinetry are the blower and motor, controls, heater compartment, and an evaporator coil. This is why it is also sometimes referred to as a fan coil. A standard air handler, like the single stage furnace, delivers the same amount of airflow no matter what the temperature inside. Trane's variable-speed air handler has Comfort-RTM Enhanced mode, like the Trane variable-speed gas furnace, allowing the coil to cool down quickly and the blower to slowly ramp up and ramp down or to operate at 50 percent of the cooling air speed in the FAN ON position. Many HVAC industry experts feel this provides greater humidity control, quieter operation, maximum air circulation, temperature distribution, and air filtration for greater control of your home's indoor environment.

What is the difference between Refrigerant types (R22 and R410A)?
Residential Air Conditioning equipment is available in several refrigerant types (R22 and R410a). Our installing contractors generally offer both and have had excellent success with each. Trane's residential line provides a full spectrum of equipment for both refrigerants. R22 has an Ozone Depletion Potential rating of 0.05, while R410a has an ODP rating of zero. Under current EPA guidelines R22 will be available until 2020, after which it may no longer be reclaimed or recycled. Neither refrigerant has any pronounced advantage for service (in either theory or practice).

Should the type of refrigerant be a priority, please advise the installing contractor of your preference during his/her site inspection visit.

Can I use anti-freeze to protect my boiler and piping?
Anti-freeze can be used with most boilers. We recommend using an anti-freeze designed for hydronic systems, formulated with inhibited propylene glycol, a non-toxic antifreeze. A solution of up to 50% can be used. No compounds containing petroleum should ever be used in your heating system. Do not use automotive anti-freeze.

    
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Last Modified: 10/26/15