1. Homeowner Care
  2. Heating & Air Conditioning

About your Alturas Home heating and air conditioning units

All the questions you might ask regarding your new home's HVAC system.

We know there are a lot of questions yada yada yada. What is answered in this article.


  • Make sure the thermostat is set to a temperature higher than the room air and the unit has power.
  • Determine that the furnace door is closed and latched properly.
  • Make sure the circuit breaker is in the on position and that the gas service is on.
  • Finally, check to see that the gas valve is in the on position and that the pilot light or intermittent sparking device is working. If you are unable to isolate the problem, call the HVAC contractor customer service department phone number located on the furnace for assistance.


  • Make sure the thermostat is set to a temperature that is cooler than the room air. Turn the air conditioner off at the thermostat and inspect the circuit breaker. If the breaker is tripped, reset it, and restore power to the unit. If it does not restart, check the air conditioner fuse to make sure it is usable and properly installed. This fuse is in the outside fuse box located near the compressor unit.


  • Check the outside air temperature. Set your thermostat to no more than 20 degrees below peak outside air temperature.
  • On particularly hot days, it may run continually. Your air conditioning system is designed to cool your house no more than 17 degrees when the outside temperature
    is above 95 degrees.
  • Unit sizes are determined by square footage of your house, as well as geographical requirements per energy regulations. It is imperative that you change your filter
    every 30 days to ensure the maximum efficiency of your unit and to prevent your condensate lines from becoming clogged.
  • Dirty filters and continuous operation can cause the air conditioning coil to freeze up. If the coil freezes up, shut off the system and allow the ice on the coil completely melt before restarting the system.


  • Your air conditioner must be left on constantly during warm months as it is not designed to cool your home quickly if you turn it on and off.
  • Choose a comfortable setting for your thermostat and give the unit ample time to reach the desired temperature. In very warm weather this may take a considerable amount of time.

Homeowner Use and Maintenance Guidelines

Air conditioning can greatly enhance the comfort of your home, but if it is used improperly or inefficiently, wasted energy and frustration will result. These suggestions are provided to help you maximize your air conditioning system.

  • Your air conditioning system is a whole-house system. The air conditioning unit is the mechanism that produces cooler air. The air conditioning system involves everything inside your home including, for example, such things as drapes, blinds, and windows.
  • Your home air conditioning is a closed system, which means that the interior air is continually recycled and cooled until the desired air temperature is reached. Warm outside air disrupts the system and makes cooling impossible. Therefore, you should keep all windows closed.
  • The heat from the sun shining through windows with open drapes can be intense enough to overcome the cooling effect of the air conditioning unit. For best results, close the drapes on these windows.
  • Time is very important in your expectations of an air conditioning system. Unlike a light bulb, which reacts instantly when you turn on a switch, the air conditioning unit only begins a process when you set the thermostat.
    • For example, if you come home at 6 pm when the temperature has reached 90 degrees F and set your thermostat to 75 degrees, the air conditioning unit will begin cooling, but will take some time to reach the desired temperature. During the whole day, the sun has been heating not only the air in the house, but the walls, carpet, and furniture as well. At 6 pm the air conditioning unit starts cooling the air, but the walls, carpet, and furniture release heat and nullify this cooling. By the time the air conditioning has cooled the walls, carpet, and furniture, you may well have lost patience. 
    • If evening cooling is your primary goal, set the thermostat at a modest temperature in the morning while the house is cooler, allowing the system to maintain the cooler temperature. The temperature setting may then be lowered slightly when you arrive home, with better results. Once the system is operating, setting the thermostat at 60 degrees will not cool the home any faster and can result in the unit freezing up and not performing at all. Extended use under these conditions can damage the unit.

Adjust Vents
Maximize air flow to occupied parts of your home by adjusting the vents. Likewise, when the
seasons change, readjust them for comfortable heating.

Compressor Level
Maintain the air conditioning compressor in a level position to prevent inefficient operation and damage to the equipment. See also Grading and Drainage.

If a humidifier is installed on the furnace system, turn it off when you use the air conditioning; otherwise, the additional moisture can cause a freeze-up of the cooling system.

Manufacturer’s Instructions
Since the air conditioning system is combined with the heating system, follow the maintenance instructions for your furnace. The manufacturer’s manual specifies maintenance for the condenser. Review and follow these points carefully.

Temperature Variations
Temperatures may vary from room to room by several degrees Fahrenheit. This is due to such variables as floor plan, orientation of the home on the lot, type and use of window coverings, and traffic through the home.

Alturas Homes Limited Warranty Guidelines

The air conditioning system should maintain a temperature of 78 degrees F or a differential of 17 degrees from the outside temperature, measured in the center of each room at a height of five feet above the floor. Lower temperature settings are often possible, but neither the manufacturer nor Alturas Homes guarantee this.

The air conditioning compressor must be in a level position to operate correctly. If it settles during the warranty period, Alturas Homes will correct.

The outside temperature must be 70 degrees F or higher for the contractor to add coolant to the system. If your home was completed during winter months, this charging of the system is unlikely to be complete and will need to be performed in the spring. Although we check and document this at New Home Orientation, your call to remind us is welcome in the spring.

Lack of air conditioning service is not considered an emergency. Heating and air conditioning contractors in our region respond to air conditioning service requests in the order received.