Frequently asked questions.

We have compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions about service on equipment and new equipment installation — to help you better understand your heating and cooling system. The service questions are meant to help you troubleshoot or better maintain your system to ensure it is operating at peak efficiency. However, if you have a problem, don’t hesitate to Ring the Bell to have one of our trained service technicians come out and inspect your system.

Air Conditioners

How long does it take to install a furnace and air conditioner?

A typical residential install takes one working day (about eight hours).

Why is my air conditioner running but not cooling the house?

It could be a lot of reasons. To narrow it down, check these things first:

  • The cooling system is turned on at the thermostat; it’s easy to turn on the heat when you mean to turn on the AC
  • The temperature is set correctly
  • The main fan of the HVAC system is running
  • The furnace/AC filter isn’t dirty
  • The tube that drains condensation from the AC isn’t plugged
  • The breaker in the house’s electrical box that serves your furnace hasn’t popped off

If all those things are OK and there’s still warm air coming out of the vents, here are the three most likely problems, all of which require a technician to repair:

  • The system has a refrigerant gas leak so the compressor cannot create cold air
  • An electronic component is not telling the compressor to turn on
  • The compressor itself isn’t working properly
As with all things mechanical, the sooner you get the AC professionally evaluated, the better the chance you can limit repair costs.

How often should air conditioning units be serviced?

Once a year, ideally in early spring. You should also get your furnace serviced in the early fall. Annual maintenance is a smart investment in maximizing both performance and lifespan of your furnace and AC.

What is air conditioner maintenance?

Air conditioner maintenance is a set of steps that involves cleaning, checking and recalibrating (if needed) the systems of a furnace or air conditioner. Regular maintenance minimizes the chances of breakdown, can catch issues when they are smaller and less expensive to repair, and ensures the unit’s safe operation.

How much does it cost to get air conditioner maintenance?

There are various levels of maintenance offered. Bell Brothers’ basic annual AC or furnace tune-up is $94.95, plus tax. All Bell Brothers’ maintenance options come with our Expert Promise: If we service your furnace or AC and it breaks down during the season, we’ll refund the maintenance fee. Check the full line of Bell Brothers maintenance offerings.

How many years does an air conditioner last?

The typical lifespan is about 12 to 15 years. The best ways to increase an AC’s useful lifespan is:

  • Having the right size system for your house — too big and too small can both cut lifespan
  • Not stressing your system to keep your house overly cool (should be between 72 and 74 degrees)
  • Getting regular annual maintenance

What brands do you service?

Bell Brothers services all brands of furnaces and air conditioners.


Why is my furnace not working?

There could be many reasons your furnace is not functioning, from a blown fuse in your house to a major mechanical issue. A few things to check before you call us for help:

  • Thermostat says the furnace is on; it’s easy for it to get switched off accidentally
  • The breaker in the house’s electrical box that serves your furnace hasn’t popped off
  • The filter is relatively clean; furnaces will shut themselves down if the filter is clogged
If it’s still not running right after checking all of that, give us a call.

Why is my furnace not blowing air?

A big fan inside the furnace circulates the warm air around your house. If it’s not blowing, most likely either the fan motor is broken or the systems that tell it to come on are malfunctioning. Be sure the fan is set to “On” or “Auto” on your thermostat before calling for help.

Why won't my furnace shut off?

Here are a few common reasons:

  • It can’t keep up with the cold and just runs all the time
  • The electronic system (including the thermostat) that tells it to shut off isn’t functioning
  • The furnace is off, but the fan continues to run (be sure your fan setting on your thermostat is set to “Auto”; if it’s set to “ON”, the fan will run all the time)

Are furnace maintenance plans worth it?

Yes. Furnace maintenance plans have been shown to maximize performance and life span while minimizing the chances for an expensive repair later. Properly maintained furnaces:

  • Deliver up to 40% savings on heating and cooling costs compared to unmaintained systems
  • Reduce your carbon footprint by 30%
  • Help ensure proper indoor humidity levels
  • Operate safely and at peak performance
  • Minimize the chances of being inconvenienced and stressed by needing emergency service

Water Heaters

What would cause a water heater to stop working?

Conventional water heaters use a heat source, often a gas burner, and a thermostat to keep a tank of water at the desired temperature. If your water heater isn’t heating, the thermostat and/or the heat source is usually the culprit. Make sure the thermostat on the side of your water heater hasn’t gotten accidentally turned down before calling for help.

What is the average life of a water heater?

8 to 12 years depending on a few variables, like location, design of the unit, water quality, installation quality and maintenance.

Do water heaters need maintenance?

Yes. Modern water heaters have an inlet air screen that can become clogged, which can prevent them from functioning properly. It’s also a good practice to have the burners cleaned and the unit’s pressure safety device checked periodically.

Air Purifiers

What are the best purifiers for allergies?

Whole-house air purifiers like the iWave or Air Scrubber by Aerus are best for removing allergens from the air in your entire home, not just one room. A whole house air purifier works with your home’s furnace and air conditioning system to remove house dust, mold spores, pollen, dust mites, pet dander and more.

What are the benefits of air purifiers?

Air purifiers can remove:

  • Dust, pollen, mold, pet dander and other allergens
  • Cigarette and cigar smoke
  • Odors of all kinds
  • Viruses and airborne carcinomas like asbestos particles and radon gas
  • Carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds (VOC)
Fresh air is essential for the respiratory health of all people and pets in your home and can improve mood and reduces stress.

Do air purifiers help with allergies, asthma and dust?

Yes. Quality air purifiers clean the air of dust and other things that can trigger allergies and asthma.


A legacy of 60+ years.
Learn more
Awards, Memberships, Certifications
Our commitment to excellence.
Learn more