Air Conditioner Efficiency for your Home

Efficiency

Keeping your air conditioner clean is important in the summer. Dirt, in the form of grass clippings, pet hair or mud will block the air flow. When this happens, you will notice a decrease in performance. Condenser coils need to be cleaned because they are exposed to the out door elements. You can maintain condenser coil efficiency by simply washing the unit. Turn off any electrical power first to your system. The evaporator coils are harder to get at. The visual check is not as simple as the condenser coils. But they are in need of maintenance as well. Since the evaporator coil is continuously exposed to airflow circulated by the blower, it’s susceptible to buildup of dust or dirt. When airborne particles form a layer on coil surfaces, efficiency of the heat transfer from the air to the refrigerant is diminished.

Thermostat Problems

If your system seems to never shut off, there may be an issue with your thermostat. It may be that your home has reached the correct temperature, but the thermostat is not registering the conditions in the home. In this case, your air conditioner unit will continue running. One way to check the thermostat is to place another thermometer near the location of the thermostat. After an hour or two, check the reading. If it is at or near your desired home temperature, there may be a problem with your thermostat. Make sure to contact us so we can inspect the thermostat for you.

Air Leaks

Poor sealing or insufficient insulation is another common culprit, which can cause your unit to run constantly and inefficiently. If your home is not closed up tight while your air conditioning system is in use, you may be losing cool air that you need during the summer through small holes or non-insulated walls or roof. If there are air leaks in your basement, the air is forced out. This can negatively impact your summer cooling bills.

Benefits of Variable Speed Air Conditioners

Variable Speed

While standard air conditioners can only turn either completely on or off, a variable-speed air conditioner can run at different speeds depending on the cooling needs of your home. This helps to make variable-speed air conditioners much more energy efficient. Variable speed air conditioners adjust to the needs of your home. This way the air conditioner can run at a low setting most of the summer, saving you money in the long run.

How they Work

The main component of an air conditioner is the compressor. New variable-speed air conditioners have compressors that can run at different speeds to cool your home at different rates. The compressor is responsible for pumping refrigerant to and from your indoor unit’s coils. When it is extremely hot out, the compressor will speed up and pump cool refrigerant to your home’s air handler more quickly. Your blower will also run at a higher speed. When the weather is more mild, the compressor slows down and cools your home more slowly. The air conditioner runs for longer periods, but at a lower, more efficient setting.

Benefits

The air conditioner can also save you more money. An air conditioner uses a spike of energy to start up each time. So the fewer times the air conditioner turns on, the more it saves. Also remember to adjust the setting. When the air conditioner does run, it’s usually at a lower, more energy efficient setting.

Even Temperatures

The longer run time of variable-speed air conditioners helps distribute the cool air more evenly throughout your home. That means fewer hot and cold spots. Since it runs at lower speeds, it’s also much quieter. You may hardly know the variable-speed air conditioner is there. Since variable-speed air conditioners run longer at slower speeds, they remove more humidity than their standard counterparts. That level of humidity control is especially comforting during the muggy summers. If you are looking to invest in a new air conditioner, make sure to contact us.

 

The Air Conditioning Filter for your Home

air conditioning filter

 

Knowing when to change the filter for your air conditioner in your home is important. Several factors determine when your filters need to be changed. The main thing to remember is if it looks dirty, change it immediately. You shouldn’t wait until the filter is completely filthy though, because that means your cooling system is not running at its full potential.

Type of Filter

One of the primary influences of how often you need to change the filter in your home is what type of filter you buy.  Filters vary from each other in several ways. This is based on what materials they’re made with, if they are pleated or panel, the thickness, and other variations. When you purchase a filter, it should have a recommended time when it’ll need to be replaced. Some need to be changed monthly, while others can last up to six months. If you are not sure how often to change it, contact us, and we can advise you on the correct schedule.

Those in your Home

Another main factor in how often you should change the filter is based on who is living in the home. If you have anyone who suffers from allergies, you should be changing the filters more often than recommended. This will help remove more of the allergens from the air in your home. If the filter is full and dirty, it won’t be able to trap them.

Do you have Pets?

Another occupant to consider when deciding how soon filters need to be changed is any pets that you have in your home. The majority of cats and dogs shed, and their hair gets everywhere. That includes your filters, which will alter the performance of your cooling system. So if you have a pet or multiple pets in your home, you’ll most likely need to change the filter more often. The best way to know how often is to check it. Also, depending on the seasons, you may need to change the filter at different intervals. Animals shed more in hotter months, so keep that in mind when it comes to checking your filters.

Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 10 percent. Not only will it save you money on your energy bills, but it also can save you money on your cooling system. A dirty filter will restrict your air flow, causing your system to work harder. This will cause wear and can create issues that possibly require repairs. Also continuous wear on your system will lower the lifespan of your system.

Air Conditioning Maintenance is Important

air conditioning maintenance

The air conditioning is important to keeping your home cool and comfortable. There are several parts you should inspect for the HVAC system as well. The ductwork that runs through your walls and ceilings carries the cooled air from the air conditioner throughout your space. However, if there are holes or breaks in the ducts, that expensive cooled air will be wasted. This also causes your air conditioner to work harder and drive up your energy bills.

Thermostat

Make sure to check the thermostat. Especially if you still have the old dial-type thermostats, they could be incorrectly calibrated. Your air conditioner is not getting the right instructions from the control system. This problem is fairly easy to fix by replacing or re-calibrating your thermostats. If you have new programmable thermostats, sometimes these are difficult to program and they may be set incorrectly. If you still have the manual, check the instructions to make sure your thermostat’s settings are correct. You can also contact us and we can inspect the thermostat for you.

All the moisture that your air conditioner removes from the air has to go somewhere. It’s supposed to be removed from the space through a drain line, into a pan and finally down a drain. If the line or drain gets clogged or the pan gets full, the water can back up and damage your system. You can also wind up with water leaks that damage your walls, ceilings, and furnishings. If you don’t see it right away, you will eventually have mold growth. Having it inspected can help ensure that it is working efficiently.

Replace the Filter

You should also replace the air filters for your HVAC system. Airflow problems that lead to coils freezing are often caused by clogged air filters. If you are not sure how often to check the filter, make sure to contact us. We will advise you on the schedule to ensure the filter is clean and free of debris.

Check the ductwork

Also inspect the ductwork. You will want to repair it if there are any holes. If it seems like there’s not enough air coming from the registers, or your energy bills keep going up, have us look at the condition of your ductwork.

Make sure to take time and brush the debris away from around the unit that is outside. If the condenser or fan gets clogged with leaves, it will not work efficiently. It should also be cleaned of trash, dirt, and other debris. If the unit is clogged, it cannot get rid of the heat as effectively as it could otherwise. Noticing an issue early can help prevent time, money, and stress in the long run.

Spring HVAC Tune-Ups

spring

 

The spring season is the best time to have your air conditioner inspected. An early start is needed to help ensure the air conditioner will work efficiently. HVAC maintenance should be an annual priority. There are three reasons to place air conditioning at a high priority for the season.

Improve Air Quality

If you are sensitive to mold, dust or other airborne materials, you will want the best air quality. You may be surprised to discover that there can be some in your HVAC system. Your air filter plays a minor role in trapping these materials. Particles still make their way past it though. As they settle on the coils in your air handling unit, they combine with moisture in the area. A layer of grime can develop. Sometimes this can be difficult to get rid of. It is an ideal spot for molt and bacteria to form. If you are not sure when to change the filter, make sure to contact us.

Clean the Ductwork

Some airborne particles continue along to your ducts. If you have never had duct cleaning performed on your system, now is an ideal time. Ductwork can provide a home to insects, dust mites and rodents when your HVAC system is not in use.

Spring Tuneups

Regular spring tune-ups can also help save you money. The layer on your indoor coils and dirt on your outside coils can represent approximately 30 percent of a cooling bill in an extreme case. Blockages and leaks in your ducts can add 20 percent or more to your energy usage. Low refrigerant may result in another 20 percent or more in cooling energy required keeping your home comfortable.

You will want to make sure your air conditioner is ready to run when you flip the switch. Preventative care allows issues to be diagnosed before they become serious. While you will not avoid all potential breakdowns, you can reduce your potential for a malfunction. Make sure to contact us, so we can inspect the HVAC system for you this spring.

Why Preventative Maintenance is Needed

preventative maintenance

 

Preventative maintenance for your air conditioner is important. You will want to make sure you contact us so we can inspect it. If you are not sure how often the system should be tuned up, contact us. We can advise you on a regular schedule so your HVAC system is working efficiently. Annual preventative maintenance enables your system to use energy more efficiently. System maintenance includes cleaning the cooling coils, blades and other components. Clean cooling coils generate cool air more efficiently. The system uses less energy to produce cool air, costing you less to operate the unit.

Extending the System’s Life

Regular maintenance will keep your system running well over its entire lifecycle. One of the main reasons that HVAC systems fail before the end of their estimated lifecycle is because of lack of maintenance. Maintain your system each year and your system will maintain your comfort for years to come.

Improves Air Quality

As you use your air conditioning system over the season, dirt and debris collect inside the cages and components of the unit. These can be released into the air inside your home, decreasing the quality of the indoor air. When you have routine maintenance performed, the technician cleans the dirt and debris so that the particulates do not pollute the indoor air.

Less Repairs

When you have your heating system and air conditioner regularly maintained, you reduce the chances that you will face a costly emergency repair in the future. We can check for damaged or worn parts and will notify you of any need for a part replacement. You can replace the part to prevent further damage and avoid a possible emergency call. Also cleaning and maintenance will also extend the life of your compressor. The compressor is a major component of the system and can be a very costly repair. With heavy use, dirt and film collect on the cleaning coils. Dirty cleaning coils cause the compressor to work harder to compress the refrigerant. By having the coils cleaned during annual air conditioner maintenance, you can reduce the demand on the compressor and avoid a major repair.

 

HVAC System Care is Important

HVAC

For your HVAC system, now is the perfect time of the year to make ensure it is working efficiently. The weather is uncertain, mixing from snow to rain. March is the perfect time to inspect the filters for your furnace. It is also a great time to get on the list for the upcoming air conditioning season. You will want to make sure your air conditioner is ready to operate when you will need it this summer. Since late spring is a busy time for specialists, get ready now. To get on the waiting list, you can ensure the air conditioner will be ready when you need it to be.

Service now

Proper HVAC services now will not only help maintain comfort, but they also prepare your air conditioning. This is especially important for the coming summer and help the heating system close out the season on a strong note. If you have any questions with your system, make sure to contact us.

Spring maintenance is essential to ensure that an air conditioner will work in top condition during the coming hot weather and will not unnecessarily drain power. Maintenance has a long term benefit as well. This helps the air conditioner improve the longevity of it.

Noticing signs

No matter what warning signs you see from your furnace, heat pump, or other heating system, we advise that you call us. If you allow the problem to continue, it will worsen into a more expensive repair. This could cause extensive damage to the system. Sometimes a full replacement may be needed if you ignore the warning signs. Even if you think the problem is small, it is best to have it looked at. This can save time, money, and stress in the long run.

Knowing the age of your air conditioner is important. You will want to notice if it has shown signs that it’s wearing down. If it’s over 15 years old , it may no longer be efficient. Now is a perfect time to arrange to have a new system installed. If you have any questions, make sure to contact us. We can advise you on the perfect air conditioner for your home.

Why Regular Inspections are Needed

 

The exterior condenser unit is the large box located on the side of the building that is designed to push heat from the inside of the building to the outdoors. Inside of the box are coils of pipe that are surrounded by thousands of thin metal “fins” that allow the coils more surface area to exchange heat.

  • Remove any leaves, spider webs and other debris from the unit’s exterior. Trim foliage back several feet from the unit to ensure proper air flow.
  • Remove the cover grille to clean any debris from the unit’s interior. A garden hose can be helpful for this task.
  • Straighten any bent fins with a tool called a fin comb.
  • Clean the evaporator coil and condenser coil at least once a year.  When they collect dirt, they may not function properly.

Condensate drain lines collect condensed water and drain it away from the unit.  They are located on the side of the inside fan unit.

  • Inspect the drain line for obstructions, such as algae and debris. If the line becomes blocked, water will back up into the drain pan and overflow, potentially causing a safety hazard or water damage to your home.
  • Make sure the hoses are secured and fit properly.

 

Air filters remove pollen, dust and other particles that would otherwise circulate indoors. Most filters are typically rectangular in shape and about 20 inches by 16 inches, and about 1 inch thick. They slide into the main ductwork near the inside fan unit. The filter should be periodically washed or replaced, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. A dirty air filter will not only degrade indoor air quality, but it will also strain the motor to work harder to move air through it, increasing energy costs and reducing energy efficiency. The filter should be replaced monthly during heavy use during the cooling seasons. You may need to change the filter more often if the air conditioner is in constant use, if building occupants have respiratory problems, if  you have pets with fur, or if dusty conditions are present.

 

 

 

Keeping your Home Cool and Comfortable

 

HVAC units are not all about the cold or warm air that is pumped into your home. Whether you need air conditioning repairs or you want to install a new system, you want to be sure that you understand more about HVAC units and their options to be sure that you will get maximum value from the money that you are spending. From indoor air cleaners to solar heating and cooling to hybrid systems and more, you want to do your research to ensure that you will get what you want and what you are paying for. If you are considering purchasing a new HVAC unit or are thinking about repairing your own, you want to understand more about the systems in general. This can go a long way to allowing you to get the most value from the system that you choose, as well as get the system that you will be most comfortable with.

 

Ductwork is the foundation of any HVAC unit, unless you have a ductless air conditioning system, as it is the conduit in which your air travels from the unit into your home or business. Having the ducts in the right location in your rooms can make the difference between keeping your home cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Duct cleaning can keep these ducts efficient for your use and make sure that you have the best chance possible at keeping your home or business in a comfortable temperature zone.

 

The energy that your HVAC unit will run on is another decision maker that you will have to consider. Whether you choose energy-efficient boilers, a geothermal heating and cooling system, or a solar heating and cooling system, you will want to be sure that you consider your needs as your wants as far as energy usage. Whether you choose a system that will work entirely on alternative energy or you choose one of the many hybrid systems, you will find one that will work great for you.

 

Some optional things that you will want to consider in an HVAC unit are indoor air cleaners, in-floor heating, comfort zone finder, and more. While you may think that these are not necessary options, you may be surprised by how much that they can add to your home. Keeping the air clean can help to keep everyone healthier, while having a comfort zone finder can help you to save money on your electrical costs. If you are tired of your feet being cold when you walk around during the winter, in-floor heating may be something you want to consider. By thinking about your family and your life, you will be able to determine which optional features you want to include.

Why the Filter is Important for your Air Conditioner

 

 

During the inspection of the air conditioning system, all parts should be checked to ensure it is working efficiently. The inspection should include examining the outdoor cabinet, refrigerant lines, the indoor unit, and ductwork.
Examine the compressor/condenser unit. Note the presence of an electrical disconnect, clearances around the unit, the condition of the cabinet and fan blade, whether the cabinet is level, whether the refrigerant lines are kinked or damaged, and the insulation on the lines.

Go outside once more to check the outdoor unit. Check fan operation and feel for warm air blowing out of the unit. Also, feel the refrigerant lines for an indication of any problems. The larger line should feel cold and be insulated and the smaller line warm.

Allow the cooling system to continue operating while you listen to the indoor evaporator unit. Check the temperature of air before and after the coil for appropriate differential (14-22 degrees).  Note any excessive vibrations, fan motor problems, condensate leaking, or any other issues.

Finally, turn of the system by turning the thermostat back up to either whatever the seller had it set at, or if it was off, turn it back off. Then inspect the indoor unit more closely, checking the condition of the air handler for rusting and corrosion, the presence and condition of the air filter, and the condition of the condensate tray and lines.

If you notice anything out of the norm with your air conditioner, make sure to contact us. We can inspect the system to ensure it is working properly and efficiently for you this summer.