Frequently Asked Questions

Furnace vs. heat pump: which one is right for my house?

A furnace is at less risk of breaking down than a heat pump, as it has fewer mechanical parts. It also typically requires less maintenance and has a longer lifespan. Heat pumps, however, are more efficient and usually cheaper to install. Heat pump systems are generally more cost-effective in mild climates because they source heat from outside air, while furnaces are more cost-effective for cold winters, as heating efficiency is not impacted by the outdoor temperature.

How often should my heat pump cycle on and off?

Depending on the temperature of your home, it is normal for your heat pump to cycle on and off. A typical on cycle should last for about 10 or 15 minutes before your unit turns back off again. If your heat pump is cycling too frequently, then there may be a problem.

Can my furnace catch fire or explode?

Although the occurrence is rare, gas furnaces can explode if there is a problem with the unit and it is not properly maintained. Gas furnaces are designed to automatically shut off to prevent overheating and pressure buildup if the device malfunctions.

When to consider zone control or ductless mini-split system services?

Zone control and ductless mini splits offer a lot of freedom and convenience. If one or more of the following apply to you, you could be a good candidate for zone control or ductless mini-split system services.
  • Your home has more than one story
  • Your home’s floor plan extends far beyond your central living space
  • Your foundation is concrete
  • Your home has large glass windows
  • Your basement or attic is finished
  • Your home has a room over the garage

Why does my outlet smell fishy or like burnt plastic?

Electrical wires and components in walls and outlets are coated with plastic and heat resistant chemicals. A fishy or burnt plastic smell probably means these contents are overheating, potentially signifying an electrical emergency.

Are surge protectors and surge suppressors the same?

Both surge protectors and surge suppressors limit excess voltage or sudden rises in voltage. Surge protectors prevent voltage spikes in electrical devices by detecting a surge and shutting units down. Surge suppressors regulate the voltage, maintaining a constant level of power should a surge occur.

Plumbing solutions are not always one-size-fits-all. If you need more answers to FAQs, call the experts at Sunset Heating & Cooling, Inc. today at 503-500-5866 for assistance!