Winter is a season you either love or hate. Whether you smile or roll your eyes when the forecast includes snow, we all appreciate opening the door to our warm and cozy homes. What temperature on your thermostat is warm and cozy? That answer is influenced by several elements. Outside temperature, inside humidity, your comfort level, and your desire to save money all factor into the best temperature for your heater in winter. The experts at Mode Comfort & Air Quality offers great advice to determine your ideal home temperature in winter.

Energy Star, a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy to promote energy efficiency, recommends a setting of 68 degrees Fahrenheit as the best temperature to set your heater in winter. That may sound a bit chilly to some, but there is reasoning behind the number. Forcing your furnace to keep a high interior temperature with freezing temperatures outside makes your furnace work overtime. A furnace that keeps running means your bills keep going up, too. A more modest temperature of 68 degrees provides just thefh right combination of warmth and savings while increasing the life of your HVAC system. If money savings is a big priority, consider layering your clothing while leaving your thermostat on 68. If you prefer your surroundings a bit toastier, consider a setting of 72 degrees while you are awake and active at home. It will result in a slightly higher energy bill, but it will keep you comfortable when you forgo the hoodie inside

When it comes to the best temperature for your furnace in the winter at night, it is time to turn that thermostat down. As a general rule, the recommended heater temperature at night is between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit. A thermostat setting of around 65 degrees is actually better for your health. When you sleep, your body’s temperature setpoint is lowered, and that makes it easier to adjust to a lower temperature setting on your thermostat. If it is too hot or too cold at night, it can throw off your internal temperature and result in poor sleep quality. Everyone has a different body temperature, so you may have to experiment with your nighttime thermostat temperature to find the right balance.

If you vacation during the winter months, you will also want to lower the temperature on your thermostat. While you are away, the best setting for a furnace in winter is around 60 degrees. You may think that turning off your HVAC system entirely will save money, but it will cost more to get your house back up to the right temperature when you return. You will also increase the chance of freezing pipes if you shut down your furnace or heat pump. If you will be leaving plants and/or pets at home, keep your furnace thermostat set to a minimum of 64 to keep your green leaves and furry friends comfortable and safe.

Even if you are staying put for the winter and can’t wait for the first freeze, the lowest temperature you should set your furnace at is 50 to 55 degrees. This minimum temperature will keep your appliances and pipes in operable condition. Consider this for any vacation properties or unoccupied structures you own. Keep the heat flowing through the house to protect it from potential property damage.

You might have a heat pump instead of a traditional furnace. There are other items to consider when determining the best temperature for a heat pump in winter. Traditional natural gas-powered furnaces generate heat and push it through the ducts of your home via the blower. A heat pump uses ducts, also, but constantly moves air rather than periodically blasting air. Heat pumps take heat from the outside and direct it to your home. When outdoor temperatures fall below freezing, the heat pump utilizes its backup element. Therefore, the best temperature for heat pumps in winter is 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Your heat pump will run efficiently when your home is occupied, and you will be comfortable.

If you have a furnace humidifier, it should be adjusted according to outside temperatures. When temperatures fall between 20 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, keep the humidity level at 40 percent or below. If temperatures drop below 20 degrees, indoor humidity can be lowered to 25 to 30 percent. Just remember this rule of thumb- the lower the outside temperature, the lower the humidity level inside should be.

Where you place the thermostat in your home is a critical element in energy efficiency. The ideal thermostat placement is on an interior wall in the center of your home. Avoid locating your thermostat in direct sunlight, above air vents, next to a heating source such as your oven or fireplace, or by doors or windows. Consider placing your thermostat in a room you use frequently. Free flow of air around the sensors of your thermostat means it can read temperatures accurately and engage your heating or cooling system as necessary.

What are some other ways to keep your money in your pocket instead of the energy company? First, maintain your furnace annually. Call Mode Comfort & Air Quality to schedule your furnace maintenance visit today. A properly maintained HVAC system catches potential issues before they affect your family’s comfort, and also helps to keep your family safe from possible dangers such as carbon monoxide or natural gas leaks. If your existing system is more than a decade old, consider upgrading to a new energy-efficient HVAC system. Advanced technology means up to 20% more efficiency. That is good for the environment and your wallet. Finally, investigate if multi-zone heating and cooling would be a good fit for your home and budget. They are more expensive than traditional HVAC systems, but they do provide more control over temperatures in various areas of your home providing the ultimate in comfort. Keep in mind this solution will not work in every home.

In the greater Richmond, Virginia area, the only HVAC company you need is Mode Comfort & Air Quality. When you need to schedule preventative maintenance to prepare for the changing seasons, our expert technicians will make it super simple to keep your HVAC system running efficiently. If you find that heating repair is in order, call Mode Comfort & Air Quality to provide quick and reasonably priced service to keep your family warm. Considering a furnace or heat pump upgrade? Mode Comfort & Air Quality has amazing energy-efficient systems ready to install. You can also call us for a humidity control system that adds to the comfort of your home.

The best temperature for a heater in winter is about 68 degrees. The best HVAC company in Richmond, Virginia is Mode Comfort & Air Quality. Call us today at 804-481-6633.

If you’ve gotten to know your Mode Comfort & Air Quality technician on a first name basis, you
might want to think about a new air conditioner, heat pump, or furnace. You know we appreciate your business, but sending us invites to your summer barbecue might indicate we are fixing your old HVAC system too often. If parts keep giving out on your old air conditioner or if your furnace was installed in the last century, it is likely time for Mode to install a new one. But, please keep the barbeque invites coming.

Our professionals consider the size of your home and your budget while addressing your concerns about efficiency and sustainability. With your new quality A/C, you are going to save money on your utility bills and enjoy the cooling and relaxing respite from that summer heat. After you receive that exciting call that Mode Comfort & Air Quality experts are on the way to install your new HVAC system, what comes next?

Here are some important helpful steps you can take to help prepare for your new HVAC

1. Start Clean and Fresh.

If needed, strongly consider having your air ducts cleaned before your installation. Your air quality will be improved, and your new system can work more efficiently without having to blow around those unwanted contaminants. Your Mode technician can let you know if your ducts would benefit from a good cleaning and can suggest a company to take care of that for you.

2.Make Certain our Technicians have the room to work.

This includes moving furniture away from the work area both inside and outside your home. Installers need direct
access to your existing HVAC system and electrical panel. A clear and easy path goes a
long way to making the process as efficient as possible. This often requires the homeowner to clear a path in the attic, if the indoor unit is housed there.

3.Make Certain the outside area is also free of obstruction.

The outside unit works best when it is unobstructed and in some shade. Try to clear the yard at least three or four
feet around where the unit will be placed. Once installed, don’t plant anything too close
to the condenser for optimum performance.

4.Make Certain your furry friends are somewhere else.

While we know your hundred-pound boxer, Mr. Fuzzy Pants, is eager to learn the HVAC trade, it will help our
technicians if he is safely away locked in another room or off the premises completely.
The same goes for Oscar the tuxedo cat who just wants to watch. Mode Comfort & Air
Quality is there to complete a high-quality job, and we really appreciate the opportunity
to do so without stepping over your bearded dragon, Wanda. But, we are happy to play with any and all critters once we are finished with the installation.

5.Make Certain to Schedule your installation

when you can be home without a lot of distraction. If you have young children, schedule your A/C installation when they are at School or out of the house for the day. Most A/C installations are completed within one day, and we work diligently to make the process as stress free as possible.

When our awesome installers are onsite and ready to work, here is a quick look at how the process works:

Your existing air conditioning system will be disassembled and removed. Any existing duct system is inspected and new ducts are added or replaced if deemed necessary (if ductwork was included in your estimate).Installation site is prepared to support your new A/C unit. Every Mode installation includes a
new equipment pad underneath your new unit.

Full installation of your new air conditioner happens next. Inside and outside of your home,electrical connections, coolant lines, condensers and coils are all put into place with precision. Our professional installers handle the installation process flawlessly, and the entire process is efficient, environmentally conscious, and comprehensive. We even include new thermostat. Don’t worry, you can keep your old one if you are attached to it.

Once connections are made, we test the unit to make sure the air flow and temperature are just what they are supposed to be. We clean up and we leave you to enjoy your new system. All old equipment from the jobsite is recycled and may be picked up by a refuse procurement specialist for handling. This service is included in your estimate.

Now you know how to get ready for your new A/C installation and what to expect when Mode Comfort & Air Quality arrives at your home or business to complete the installation process. Our overriding goal is to provide you amazing service before, during and after the HVAC installation process, and continue to provide this same quality of service for maintenance and repair for years to come. You don’t have to take our word for it. We encourage our customers to get two or three bids for HVAC replacement, so you understand all of your options. We know you will choose Mode Comfort & Air Quality. Here’s why:

Mode Comfort & Air Quality has fully licensed and insured technicians. It is important to know that the workers you let into your home know their business and respect you enough toprotect your safety as well as their own. Mode owner, G. Todd Rice, is a recognized Master tradesman including Master HVAC, Master Gasfitter, Master Natural Gas, and Master Liquid Propane. He even holds a Class A contractor’s license. The entire Mode team represents the best in the business, and you deserve nothing less.

Mode Comfort & Air Quality is locally owned and operated, not part of an impersonal chain. We are involved in our community and are proud to serve the HVAC needs of Richmond, Powhatan, Midlothian, Chesterfield, Moseley and surrounding areas.

Mode Comfort & Air Quality has award-winning service and repair for your HVAC needs.Style Weekly has recognized us as a “Best of Richmond” winner for many years; we have placed in the top for the The Richmond-Times Dispatch’s “The Best” awards several times; and we’ve also won the NextDoor Neighborhood Favorite status multiple times. We’ve earned an A+ rating with the BBB and the trust of many repeat customers. Just check our Google reviews. When you need an air conditioner contractor, Mode Comfort & Air Quality is the one to call.

For the best A/C services in the greater Richmond area, Mode Comfort & Air Quality fills every
need from basic HVAC maintenance to complex A/C repairs and total system replacement. We
are your source for your indoor comfort and air quality. Don’t get hot over a broken A/C, call or text Mode Comfort & Air Quality today at (804) 481-6633.

Everything is going up these days, and that includes the temperature. Especially during sweltering summer months, our air conditioners are essential to keeping cool. Many factors contribute to how well your air conditioner functions including size, age, and maintenance history. Mode Comfort & Air Quality offers these suggestions for identifying an underperforming system and improving air conditioner efficiency while saving you money.

Signs Your Air Conditioner is Not at Peak Performance


  • Increasing energy bills. If you’ve noticed an unexpected jump in your electric bill, it might be because your air conditioner is trying harder to cool your home. With age and improper maintenance, your air conditioner has to run more often to maintain the same temperature.
  • Frequent cycling. Have you noticed your cooling system turning on and off more often than normal? This is another sign of AC malfunction. The thermostat may be to blame, as debris and usage wear on the internal parts. It also may result from problems with your compressor.
  • Ice build-up. If you have noticed ice building up on your air conditioning unit, it could be from a leak in the coolant line or damaged coils. It also may result from a dirty filter. Ice is a definite sign that your air conditioner is misbehaving.
  • Sounds out of the ordinary. Over time, you become accustomed to the sounds your HVAC makes. The first time you notice an unusual sound from the air conditioner, turn it off. This will prevent any further damage from occurring. Then contact the HVAC experts at Mode Comfort & Air Quality to get your system humming again.

When your air conditioner is not working at its best, it is very important to have professionals inspect and repair your air conditioner. In Midlothian, Mode Comfort & Air Quality is the only company you need to know. We have the experience to fix it right the first time. Just check out our reviews to see how our service is second to none. Once your air conditioner is back in tip-top shape, there are steps you can take to keep it operating well.

Tips to Keep Cool, Save Money and Keep Your AC Humming


  • Change the filter.A dirty filter is the most common reason air conditioners lose efficiency. When you forget to change your filter, dirt and debris clog the filter adding resistance and reducing airflow. It is an inexpensive and easy way to extend the life of your AC.
  • Check your vents.Make sure your vents are open and unblocked to maximize airflow. Vacuum them and consider professional vent cleaning if you have high traffic, pets or if you have allergy concerns.
  • Close your windows and doors to the outside.You can lose a lot of energy with an open window or door. Almost 70% of your energy costs during the summer months come from your air conditioner. Don’t crack the window and forget about it. Let the AC do its job well by keeping those doors and windows closed.
  • Close the blinds.Keeping the sun out of your home is an obvious way to lower the inside temperature. When the sun streams through your windows, keep the curtains or blinds closed on that side. You will have a measurable difference in your comfort and bills with this one simple tip.
  • Consider opening interior doors.Cooling your entire house is easier when airflow is unobstructed. You might find one room very cold and the rest of the house a bit warmer if you obstruct airflow.
  • Seal air leaks.Air can leak out of your home around windows and doors, and also through the attic or crawl space. Take steps to seal areas where you know your air is getting out.
  • Check the location of your thermostat.This is an overlooked factor in heating and cooling your home. If the sun shines directly on it, your system will work overtime to cool your home. Keep heat-producing appliances like your oven or dryer away from your thermostat also.
  • Set the temperature on your thermostat higher.We may really want the house to be a cool 68 degrees, but that is likely not possible on days where outside temperatures are over 100. Your air conditioner can probably cool about 15-20 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature outdoors. The US Department of Energy says the sweet spot for most air conditioners is 78 degrees.
  • Pay attention to the condenser unit outside.Clean around it to make sure it is free and clear of any debris. Keep it shaded also so it won’t have to work harder to lower the temperature in your home.
  • Pay attention to the mechanisms inside.In addition to changing the filter, keep the drain line clear, too. When the drain line becomes blocked, it can cause serious efficiency issues.
  • Schedule regular preventative maintenance.This is the most important part of saving money and extending the life of your entire HVAC system. It prevents major problems from occurring and keeps your family cool and safe no matter the season.


Mode Comfort & Air Quality wants to be your source for HVAC system repair and replacement. We offer convenient appointments. Save money, save stress, and save your comfort! Call Mode Comfort & Air Quality today at (804) 481-6633 to keep cool all summer long.

HVAC system

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. That concept keeps the service industry in business, but you likely integrate preventative maintenance into your everyday life without thinking about it. You get the oil changed on your car to keep it running. You go to the doctor for annual physicals to stay healthy. You put on a coat to prevent being cold in the winter weather. Preventative maintenance also benefits your HVAC system.

Your heating and cooling system is an expensive and vital part of your home. It is a complex system of electrical components, ducts and moving parts that operate 24/7. There are real consequences to long periods of neglect in your HVAC system as components get dirty, worn and out of alignment. At Mode Comfort & Air Quality, we understand your HVAC system directly affects your quality of life. We’ve compiled this list of seven reasons that regular service to your HVAC system is not only important, it is essential.

You may be forcing your equipment to work harder than it was designed to do.

Your HVAC system is designed to heat and cool your home efficiently. Over time, dust and debris coats coils and fins and makes your system work harder to maintain a comfortable home. This increased workload can also create more wear and tear and shorten the life of your equipment. Home and business owners can help keep their HVAC system running well by changing filters and scheduling regular service with Mode Comfort & Air Quality. During a scheduled maintenance visit, our expert technicians make sure that your unit is clean and working properly.. During preventative maintenance visits, we can also take care of minor problems before they become major ones.

You’re creating increased friction and poor airflow.

Friction is generated when air is forced to push against itself reducing forward momentum. Your system must work harder when the flow of air is impeded. This can be caused by improperly aligned ducts, closed registers and vents and clogged filters. A broken or malfunctioning fan can also reduce airflow.

Inspection and lubrication of moving parts is an important part of preventative HVAC maintenance. This will help prevent wear and tear on your system resulting from reduced airflow. Extend the life of your HVAC system and keep it going strong today with professional maintenance that keeps the air flowing.

You could be invalidating the manufacturer’s warranty.

The manufacturer of your HVAC system provides a maintenance schedule for your equipment. If you are unsure of what is required of your system, Mode Comfort & Air Quality can help. The warranty on your HVAC system relies on regular maintenance of its parts. Any major neglect of routine maintenance could invalidate the unit’s warranty. Make certain that you keep your unit maintained.

You may be paying more for energy than you need to.

Even top of the line energy efficient HVAC systems won’t save you money if you don’t keep them maintained. If your system has to work harder, you will be using more gas or electric to keep the temperature in your home comfortable. More usage means less money in your wallet. HVAC maintenance impacts both your energy bills and your comfort level. You need to make sure that you keep the unit cleaned, aligned, lubricated, and repaired for it to perform at its peak energy efficiency.

You might reduce the comfort level in your home.

The sole reason for you to have an HVAC system is comfort. You want to be warm and cozy in winter months and cool in sticky summer months. An ill-maintained HVAC system will begin to lose its capacity to perform. You might notice that you need to adjust the temperature more often. You might notice your system is working harder. Don’t let a struggling furnace or air conditioner suck up power in an effort to function well. Simple maintenance tasks will get your HVAC system back in peak performance mode and get you as comfortable as the day it was installed.

You might increase indoor air pollution.

Changing your filters is only a part of maintaining air quality in your home or business.  A dirty system can bring dust, mold, and allergens into the rooms of your home. This aggravates allergies and can be bad for people with compromised immune systems. One simple way to enjoy clean air and better health is to keep your HVAC system properly maintained.

You are at risk for more expensive emergency calls.

When you skip the recommended maintenance of your HVAC system, chances are good that you will be calling for emergency service at inopportune times. Wouldn’t you rather prevent the need for more expensive emergency calls? It is definitely less expensive to call us for scheduled maintenance throughout the year than emergency service.

Schedule HVAC Maintenance at Your Convenience

Our preventative maintenance is comprehensive. During inspections, our technicians can check refrigerant levels and inspect for leaks, clean condenser coils to ensure proper air flow, check gas connections for leaks, tighten all electrical connections, lubricate all moving parts, test thermostat to make sure it’s cycling the system on and off properly and more. Schedule your appointment at your convenience. You will save money and stress.

If you are a fan of preventative maintenance, please consider joining our Fan Club! Membership includes two preventative maintenance visits per year plus additional savings on all service calls. Read more about our Fan Club program here:

Ready for an inspection? Call Mode Comfort & Air Quality today at (804) 481-6633 to get your HVAC system checked.

Autumn is coming to an end here in Virginia, and old man winter is already knocking on the door. As you are pulling out your heavy coats and cozy sweaters, don’t forget that your HVAC system also needs to be ready for colder temperatures.

Here are some HVAC maintenance tips to get your system winter ready and keep those utility bills in check.

  1. Change your air filter. Of all HVAC maintenance tips, this one is the easiest and most vital. The air filter plays an important role in keeping your home clean and comfortable. It keeps dust and debris out of your HVAC unit. It also filters the air in your home. Clogged filters decrease the efficiency of your unit, too. Follow the instructions for your system and replace the air filter on a regular basis. For a standard 1” air filter, this is at minimum quarterly, but can even be monthly depending on the environment. Some air filters are intended to last 6 months or more. If you are not sure how often your specific air filter needs to be changed, please give us a call at 804-481-6633. Replacing the air filter is easy and extends the life of your HVAC system.
  1. Update your thermostat. The thermostat is the one part of the system you interact with on a regular basis. It is also the one part of the system that can severely alter your heating and cooling capabilities if it is out of date. It is not always a good idea to rely on old mercury thermostats. Use a digital thermometer or download an app on your smartphone that can gauge the temperature of the air coming from your system. Does that number reflect the temperature set on your thermostat? If not, you may want to consider upgrading to a digital programmable thermostat.Even if you have previously hesitated about the purchase of a programmable thermostat, it’s not too late to jump on the technology bandwagon.  Installation is a cinch, and the benefits are numerous. Energy bills are on the rise, and for every degree you raise or lower the temperature in your home, you may save up to two 2 percent on your utility bill. Program your new thermostat to raise or lower the temperature when you are away. You can have the temperature in your home follow your family routine. You can also control your HVAC unit with an app on your phone. You don’t even have to get out of bed to adjust the temperature. Give us a call if you are interested in upgrading your thermostat. Thermostats are not “one size fits all” and Mode can advise you on the best thermostat for your needs.
  1. Clean your air ducts. When you turn on your furnace or heat pump, air cycles through the duct system and out your vents. If your ducts are partially clogged with dust and debris, the HVAC system has to work harder to force the air through the ducts. You can lose up to 20% of the air that moves through your home’s duct system due to leaks or duct issues. Getting your air ducts cleaned before the winter season keeps efficiency high and bills low. While Mode does not provide duct cleaning, we strongly suggest Southeast Clean Air Solutions to our customers.
  1. Make certain your insulation is up to par. A well-insulated home is comfortable and efficient. Inspect your home for areas of deteriorating insulation, as well as weather stripping on doors and windows. Cold can enter the house through a drafty window or door. Make sure to check at the bottom of the door where cold air enters first. Upgrading your structure’s insulation and weather stripping is a small investment with a big payout.
  1. Schedule inspections and preventative maintenance. Mode Comfort & Air Quality is your first call for scheduling HVAC preventative maintenance. The HVAC system is responsible for up to half of your home’s energy expense. Making sure your HVAC is running in top shape will save you energy and money. Your regular maintenance expenses can pay for themselves in the savings you get from lower energy usage. Don’t forget that an HVAC tune up extends the life of your HVAC system. During a preventative maintenance inspection, the experts at Mode Comfort & Air Quality can often spot problems before they become bigger. You don’t want to be without heat on the coldest day of the year. Let our HVAC professionals help prevent that from happening. Of course, even if it does, we’ll be there. Join our Fan Club today!
  1. Consider an upgrade to your HVAC system. Have you crossed your fingers and hoped your HVAC would last just one more season? This may be the season to replace it. The average lifespan of a heat pump is 12-15 years and the average lifespan of a furnace is 15-20 years, but advances in technology mean a system even ten years old may need an upgrade. A new HVAC system can reduce your annual energy bill up to 40%. Due to quickly rising equipment costs, if you are thinking about replacing your system, now is the time to do it,


These HVAC system tips will get you well on the way to a warm and comfortable winter season. You’ll want call in the experts for scheduled maintenance, repairs or replacement. Mode Comfort & Air Quality is the right company to provide the best HVAC service at the best price. We know you have many HVAC companies to choose from. At Mode Comfort & Air Quality, we’ve built our business on responding quickly, performing expertly, and giving the best personal service to each of our customers. For reliable HVAC service in Midlothian, Powhatan and Richmond, Virginia, call Mode Comfort & Air Quality today at 804-481-6633.

If you search the internet or go to a big box home store, you might believe that changing a thermostat is something very easy that you should absolutely attempt yourself, like, say, hanging a picture or unclogging the shower drain. But, in fact, changing a thermostat can be very complicated and potentially dangerous.

We can’t tell you how many times we have been called to a home where the customer had attempted to install a thermostat and couldn’t get it to work. Sometimes homeowners just choose the wrong thermostat to install (they are not one-size-fits-all) and sometimes they just find themselves in over their head when the wires don’t match up. Thermostats have evolved a great deal over the years, so if you are replacing a very old thermostat, it may look like things don’t match up at all. This is definitely a situation when you should have a professional do your thermostat installation.

Of course, if you have some electrical knowledge and a good understanding of thermostats and how they work, you can save some money by replacing your thermostat yourself.

If you do not have this knowledge and choose to replace a thermostat by yourself, you could risk:

  • An electrical shock (not deadly, but can be very painful)
  • Blowing a circuit breaker or otherwise damaging the electrical system
  • Ruining the thermostat
  • Possibly having the thermostat’s warranty voided because it was not installed by an HVAC professional
  • Damaging your system’s low voltage circuits and/or mechanical systems (which could be very costly)
  • Losing energy efficiency and performance from your unit due to a poor configuration
  • Higher heating and cooling bills

Mode installs all makes and models of thermostats. We can even install a customer-purchased thermostat (as long as it is the right one for your system). If you don’t know what type of thermostat would work best for you, give us a call at 804-481-6633 and we can schedule a free in-home visit to best determine your options.

If you have a sunroom in your home, or have recently added one, you may have discovered it is not as comfortable year ‘round as you expected.

There a few options you can consider to make your space more enjoyable 365 days a year:

  • Temporary solutions such as space heaters and free-standing cooling units.
  • Expanding the existing ductwork in the home to the sunroom. You may have to increase your existing system (such as from a 2-ton unit to a 2 ½-ton).
  • Adding a ductless heating and cooling system (also know as a mini split).

To give you all of your options, we would need to see the space and existing system, but we find that more often than not, ductless heating and cooling systems are the best solution for rooms that always seem to be too hot or too cold. These compact systems come in a variety of styles and sizes that provide personalized comfort control.

Your sunroom is likely also your sanctuary, and you can rest assured that a ductless system operates efficiently and quietly.

Some of the benefits of choosing a mini split system include:

  • Flexibility: just add the ductless system where you need it (such as your sunroom)
  • Efficiency: mini split systems have high Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratios (“SEER”)
  • Individual temperature control for each space
  • No need to add costly ducts where none exist
  • Less chance of leakage
  • Better air quality, due to the top-notch air filtration systems that are included
  • Low maintenance. There is no annual check-up needed on a ductless air conditioner. You will want to have it cleaned when it gets dirty and change your filters regularly, but that’s it as far as maintenance requirements.

How Mini Split (Ductless) Systems Work

In a ductless air conditioner, there are two main components: an outdoor compressor or condenser and an indoor air handling unit, typically connected by a conduit that includes a drain line, refrigerant tubing, suction tubing, and a condensate drain.

The compressor or condenser is installed outside the home or structure and the conduit is run from the outdoor unit to individual rooms where a controlled temperature is desired. Wall-mounted interior units are then placed in the spaces you want to cool or warm (such as your sunroom), which is accomplished by refrigerant flowing between the outdoor and indoor units through copper tubing in the conduit.

Mini split systems can control anywhere from one to nine zones. So, if you plan to add a ductless system to your sunroom, you may want to consider if any other rooms in your home require additional heating and/or cooling. We have put air handlers in a variety of spaces: basements, bedrooms, additions, garages, home offices, etc.

You may be worried that your sunroom is all windows and there is nowhere to put the mini split. Air handlers come in a variety of mounting options:

  • Wall mount (this is the preferred method)
  • Floor mount
  • Ceiling mount
  • Multi-positional

Interested in a Mini Split Installation for Your Sunroom and/or Another Room?

Contact Mode at or 804-481-6633 to schedule a free in-home estimate. The technician will take into account:

  • How many rooms you want to heat or cool
  • The square footage of each room
  • The ceiling height of each room
  • How many windows are in each room
  • The size and type of the windows
  • Sun exposure of the home or space
  • Type of insulation
  • Type of roof
  • Type of foundation (crawl space, slab, etc.)
  • Doorways and openings to the rooms

This information will help him work up a quote for your ductless system installation and get you on the right track to make your sunroom an all-season room.


Have you joined Mode’s Fan Club yet? The Fan Club is our VIP program that comes with several benefits. Most notably, membership includes TWO preventative maintenance checks per year.
For those of you who like math:
Let’s say you have one HVAC unit in your home. To join the Fan Club would cost $19.95 per month (or $239.40 annually). This amount includes two preventative maintenance visits per year.
Preventative maintenance visits cost $156 each ($69 service call fee plus $87 inspection fee). Two per year would total $312. So, if you are person who likes your spring and fall system checks, the Mode Fan Club more than pays for itself with just this benefit alone.
Since math is fun, let’s see what happens if you have two systems in your home. The Fan Club for two systems is $29.90 per month (or $358.80 annually). Preventative maintenance visits for two systems cost $243 each ($69 service call fee plus $87 inspection fee per unit). Two maintenance visits per year would be $486. We don’t completely get the “new math” being taught today, but we’re pretty sure that $486 is still more than $358.80.
In addition to saving on your preventative maintenance visits, you will receive other perks and discounts. Please visit our Fan Club page to learn more and sign up. Even if you don’t like math, you will like the cool Fan Club membership card that we will send you after you join.

Many of our service calls are very simple: a blown capacitor. This is good for our customers because capacitors are comparatively inexpensive and quick to replace.

The part that is bad for homeowners is the simple fact that capacitors are a little bit like light bulbs. It might last 3 days. It might last 3 months. It might last 3 years. And there is absolutely no way to tell.

What Does a Capacitor Do?

Start capacitors give a jolt to the system to get the compressor and fan motor going. Run capacitors provide the oomph to keep the system running. They might be little, but without them, your unit is essentially dead.

Why Do So Many Capacitors Fail?

Capacitors blow for several reasons:

  • They become overheated by the sun (rooftop units are particularly susceptible to this)
  • They become overheated by the unit running too long and hard (this happens a lot during the summer months)
  • Power surges (including slight fluctuations in the electrical grid)
  • Lightning strikes
  • They wear out due to age and use

If you think your capacitor may be failing, it is imperative it is caught and replaced early. Running your unit with a failing capacitor can cause major (and expensive) damage. A dead capacitor can take out a motor or compressor with it, and possibly even cause the unit to fail entirely.

But How Do I Know if My Capacitor is Failing?

You probably won’t know, but we will! Preventative maintenance is the key to getting ahead of potential issues. Mode’s Fan Club is only $19.95 per month (for one unit) and that includes two preventative maintenance visits per year. One inspection can cost $150-$200…you can do the math. During these check-ups, we will inspect all aspects of your comfort system, including your capacitors.

There are a few signs of possible capacitor failure that homeowners can look for in between check-ups to (although there can certainly be other causes to the below):

  • The compressor struggles to start and then shuts off quickly
  • The unit starts and stops over and over
  • The AC is not blowing cold air
  • A humming noise
  • A clicking noise
  • Your system is performing differently than it previously had been

If a Capacitor is Such a Simple Part, Can I Replace it Myself?

We do not suggest that homeowners ever attempt to replace a capacitor themselves. The capacitor stores an electrical charge and contains hazardous oil. This is one piece of equipment best left to the HVAC professionals.

As always, if you have any questions about any part of your HVAC system, do not hesitate to contact Mode Comfort & Air Quality at 804-481-6633 or

Every homeowner knows that they are “supposed” to change their air filters every month. It seems like such a simple thing to do, but it is also a very easy thing to forget to do.

If air filters are not changed regularly, your system will not be working to capacity, and with this crazy central Virginia weather, we all need our ACs to work at 100%.


What Do Air Filters Do?

Well, for starters, they filter the air…but you probably suspected that.

Additional benefits include:

  • filtering out allergens, such as pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust
  • protecting your home from damage from larger objects that may come loose within your system
  • improved indoor air quality
  • lowering fire risk
  • improved efficiency of your HVAC system
  • lower energy bills
  • less wear and tear on your HVAC system
  • better airflow in your home, with more even cooling throughout the rooms


What Happens if You Don’t Change Your Air Filters Regularly?

  • extra strain on the fan motor (air filters are WAY cheaper than a new fan motor…I promise)
  • less efficient airflow
  • increased risk of your system overheating or freezing up
  • higher energy bills
  • increased risk of growing mold or bacteria
  • possible dirty ducts

For the sake of your health (and/or wallet), you want to avoid any of the above.


Do I Really Have to Change My Air Filters Every Month?

This simple answer is: Yes. At Mode Comfort & Air Quality, we suggest monthly filter changes especially for those with pets or those living in high pollen areas (that’s all of us here in central Virginia). Filters are inexpensive and easy to change. In fact, we discourage the use of expensive “high-end” filters, except in certain circumstances.

I can’t tell you how many times we have been dispatched to a service call, only to discover the air filter had not been changed for six months. The customer could have avoided the service call by simply changing the air filter regularly. We love our customers, and we really don’t want to charge you $69 to tell you your filters are dirty.

If you have any questions about how often you should change your filters, or what type of filters you should use, please contact Mode at 804-481-6633 or for expert guidance. We are always happy to help.