Posts Tagged ‘ac’
A central air conditioning system can provide years of satisfactory cooling with relatively little maintenance. However, a seasonal start-up check and periodic maintenance is recommended.
The amount of do-it-yourself air conditioning maintenance a homeowner can do is limited. However, there are a few steps that can help the system operate trouble-free and minimize the potential for consequential damage. Ensuring adequate airflow is perhaps the most important homeowner responsibility.
Homeowners can (following manufacturer instructions):
- Clean or replace the filter(s) regularly.
- Keep leaves and other debris off the condensing (outdoor) unit.
- Keep the condensing coils clean by carefully brushing and hosing them.
- Keep shrubs and other plant growth that might obstruct airflow at least 18 inches away from the condenser.
- Maintain insulation on ductwork in attics and other unconditioned areas.
- Check the condensate drain for any sign of blockage or leakage. Water should be dripping from the end of this drain line when the unit is running. If no dripping is noted, check at the indoor unit for any signs of leakage.
- Keep room input and return registers clear of furniture or other obstructions.
Selecting Trained Professionals
If your air conditioner needs more than the regular maintenance described here, consult a qualified air conditioning technician. A well-trained professional can provide a thorough pre-season or maintenance evaluation and servicing as needed. Insufficiently trained service technicians forsake proper diagnostic procedures and often only perform stop-gap measures to keep a unit going. Such short-sightedness can have a drastic effect on other components leading to consequential failure of the entire system.
At a minimum, a technician should:
- Check that the system contains the correct amount of refrigerant.
- Test for refrigerant leaks.
- Check for and seal duct leakage.
- Clean the blower components.
- Measure airflow through the evaporator coil.
- Verify the correct electric control sequence.
- Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections.
- Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear.
- Check the condensate system for backup or leakage.
- Check operating temperatures and pressures.
- Check the accuracy of the thermostat.
(c) DBR Franchising, LLC
They say that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, which has proven itself true this year, as April is upon us. Warmer temperatures are taking the country by storm and the dreaded first air conditioned day of the year is quickly approaching. There is no doubt that comfort has its prices, and increasing energy costs add up. Here are some tips from the air conditioning experts at Air System Services, on how to save money on your AC bill this summer.
74 degrees is the magic number between cool and warm. When transitioning from heating to ac, maintaining a 74 degree home will help adjust quickly and keep energy costs to a minimum. This is known as the “ideal” temperature for both heating and cooling.
Listen to your air conditioner. AC units are designed to cycle off when it reaches the desired and programmed temperature. Although the unit may appear to always be on, this is usually just the fan running, but paying attention to the AC cycle can help control costs. Typically, the acu unit should only run about 30% of the time, or about 20 minutes of every hour, and this pattern of cycling off helps save a lot of money on cooling bills. To get a better idea of whether or not your unit is cycling off, listen to the compressor in the outdoor unit.
Cool Off at Night
When running your ac system over night, set the temp a few degrees higher in cooling mode. Your body temperature lowers at night, and less movement requires less cooling.
Understand Your AC
Understand how your AC unit functions. Basically, the ac unit is either on, or off. During cooling, the lower the temperature, the longer the ac unit stays on. The most common misconception is that the lower you set the temperature, the faster the home will cool off, but this is not the case. The unit will cool the home at the same speed whether it is set to 74 degrees or 65 degrees.
This one is common sense, but set the temperature of your home to the most moderate temperature you can handle for the season. In the summer, the warmer the temperature, the more money you will save and it goes the opposite in the winter. Adjust the temperature in small increments until you first reach a comfortable level, and you will save a lot of money every month.
These tips will help you save a significant amount on your power bills. This will help you lower your monthly expenses as well as extending the lifespan of your air conditioner.
If your central air system is several years old or hasn’t been serviced in a while, it’s a good idea to have an inspection before the summer temps hit high.
Have a qualified heating and cooling contractor clean and service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels… when it really counts.
Be sure you change your interior filters on a regular basis as well.