Central air conditioning systems in Salt Lake City can last a long time, but eventually will need replaced. Is your A/C working as efficiently as it used to? Is it running at all? If you are having issues with your central air conditioning system, it is a good time to consider whether you should replace it or repair it.
Your current system is 10 years or older. Energy efficiency standards have improved over the past decade. Even a system installed a decade ago will not be as efficient as one purchased today.
Your cooling bills keep going up. As an A/C system ages, it can start requiring more energy to do the same job it did when it was first installed. This means your energy bills go up every cooling season.
You want to make your home more energy efficient. A brand new, energy efficient central air conditioning system is a greener choice, especially if your old system is highly inefficient.
The ductwork in your home was installed when it was built. Ducts installed even 10 years ago are likely to have leaks and gaps. This makes them inefficient and will drive up your costs.
You have rooms in your home that never get comfortable. The cool air never seems to reach those rooms. It may be due to a struggling A/C system or major issues in the ductwork.
You have high levels of humidity in your home. Air conditioning systems pull humidity out of the air while simultaneously cooling it. If your A/C is not running efficiently, you may be having humidity problems.
You may have a malfunctioning thermostat. Older thermostats are not as accurate as they were when they were first installed. The temperature on the thermostat may not be what the temperature of the air is.
The hot summer months are definitely here. Your air conditioning is going to be working overtime. You need to keep your HVAC in good working order to keep your home cool in this heat. You can use the best summer HVAC maintenance tips to help your system keep up with the worst summer can bring.
Summer HVAC Tips to Use
If you haven’t already done basic maintenance on your HVAC system, now is the time to start. Here are five tips to get you going:
Make sure supply and return vents are not blocked. Your HVAC works by moving air out of and into the system. During summer, the warm air comes in, gets cooled, then gets expelled out to cool the house. If you have furniture or other items in front of the vents, the air flow is blocked, which means it takes longer to cool your home.
Vacuum dust and pet hair from vents. Over time, dust will accumulate in the fins of your vents. As the dust accumulates, it starts attracting larger debris and slowly cutting off air flow. If you want your HVAC to be as efficient as possible, keep those vents clean.
Rinse the outside unit with a hose. The outside part of your HVAC system gets dirty over time. In summer, grass clippings can accumulate. In the autumn, leaf debris is the main culprit. Spring brings plenty of pollen. All of this can decrease the system’s energy efficiency.
Change air filters monthly. Air filters help remove the minute particulates that can decrease the HVAC system’s efficiency. They also help improve the air quality in the house.
Have an annual service visit. Your HVAC system needs regular maintenance to work at its best. Having an HVAC professional make a visit and do a tune-up will keep the system running efficiently. It also prolongs the system’s life and keeps repair needs to a minimum.
Your A/C is going to be working overtime this summer. You do not want it to overheat and break down. The best way to prevent problems is getting the equipment in good working order and keeping it that way. Learning how to keep your AC system from overheating is not difficult and does not take much time.
Keep Your A/C in Good Working Order
Use these tips to maintain your air conditioning system and keep it from overheating:
Change the filters regularly. Filters help keep the insides of the A/C and the ductwork clear of dust and debris. They also play a role in keeping your indoor air quality good.
Hose off the outdoor condenser. The fins on the condenser unit can get dirty, which decreases its efficiency. Use a gentle spray of water to clear it away.
Cut back bushes and plants. The outdoor condenser needs a steady flow of air to work efficiently. Overgrown grass, weeds, and bushes can block that air flow. Keep the area around the condenser trimmed.
Have a professional HVAC maintenance visit once a year. Your A/C needs regular maintenance to run efficiently. An annual visit from an HVAC professional will keep it running throughout the summer.
Check ducts and hoses for leaks. If your ducts have leaks, you are losing cool air to your attic or crawlspace. If the hoses are leaking, the system cannot cool efficiently.
Use ceiling fans. Fans do not cool rooms, but they make people in the rooms feel cooler. Turning on the fans allows you to turn the A/C temp up.
Block the sun with drapes. UV rays coming through the windows heats up your indoor space. Insulated drapes help block that heat and keep the inside cool.
Use a programmable thermostat. You can program it to keep the house cool when people are at home and go into energy saving mode when everyone is gone.
Your A/C is one of your main defenses against the heat of the Massachusetts summer. To keep your air conditioning unit working efficiently throughout the summer, you need to keep it in good working order. You can use these home air conditioner maintenance tips to keep the cool air flowing all summer long.
A/C Maintenance Tips
Here are five tips to help you maintain your A/C system:
Change the air filters. The air filter in your A/C captures dust and fine particulates. It keeps the interior of the equipment clean, which promotes efficient operation. It also helps clean the air, promoting good indoor air quality. If a filter gets clogged, it can cause the A/C to run harder. Clean or change the air filters at least once a month.
Clean the supply and return vents. Even with a good air filter, dust can get into your ducts and the A/C system. One way to keep this to a minimum is to clean the return air vents. You can use a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner or use a brush to remove the dust. You should also clean the supply vents. If you find excessive dust in those vents, you may need a duct cleaning.
Clean the condenser coil. Dirt and debris can clog the fins on the condenser unit. This decreases its efficiency. You can use a vacuum or a gentle spray of water to clear these fins.
Clear away any blockages around the condenser. The condenser needs a clear air flow to run smoothly. You need to make sure there are no weeds, dirt, or leaves blocking the air flow.
Schedule a maintenance visit. To remain efficient, your A/C needs a regular tune-up and inspection. This should be done by a licensed HVAC technician once a year. He will do routine maintenance, check fluid levels, and electrical connections, among many other things.
Your air conditioning is running full blast this summer. If you haven’t already thought about maintaining your A/C, you need to start thinking about it right now. AC maintenance is critical for keeping your cooling costs down, repair needs to a minimum, and system life to the max.
Important Things to Know About Maintaining Your A/C
Here is a list of things you need to do to keep your A/C running this summer:
Change your air filters every month. Air conditioning units require a steady flow of air to run efficiently. The air filters help keep that air clear of dust and debris. But a clogged filter makes the A/C struggle. Simply changing the filter once a month will enhance efficiency and improve your indoor air quality at the same time.
Clear weeds and debris away from the outside unit. Like the inside air blower, the outdoor compressor unit needs clear air flow to do its job efficiently. Weeds and debris block the flow of air. When mowing the lawn or weeding the garden, take time to clear things away from the outside unit.
Clean your home’s air supply and return vents. Over time, dust will accumulate in the vents’ fins. You want nothing to impede air flow in and out of the cooling system. At least once a season, use a vacuum hose to clear away dust and debris. Make sure furniture is not blocking the air either.
Have an annual service performed by a licensed HVAC technician. Like most mechanical systems, A/Cs need tune-ups and service to run efficiently. The technician will check refrigerant levels and make sure the system is tuned properly.
Update the programming on your thermostat. If your schedule has changed since you last used the thermostat with your A/C, update its programming. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, get one installed.
Do you need to add air conditioning to a new addition or to a part of your home not previously cooled? You may find that your old A/C can’t handle the new space or that it is impossible to run new ductwork to this new space. The advantages of split air conditioning systems make them a viable option for almost any cooling need you might have.
Advantages to Consider
Here are four advantages homeowners get when they install split A/C systems:
Easy installation is possible in almost any situation. There is no ductwork involved with a split system. The inside unit can hang from the ceiling or on the wall. The outdoor unit can sit up to 100 feet from the inside unit. A small hole in the wall for the refrigerant pipe and wiring is all that is required.
Quiet operation makes it an option for any room in the home, including the bedroom. The indoor units operate with only a quiet hum. The outside units can be placed where its noise causes minimal disturbance.
More cost-effective than one central A/C unit is. Each room the split system cools has its own thermostat, which can be programmed individually for the occupant(s) of that space. That means the room is only cooled when it’s needed. The inside units use smaller fans which use less energy than a central A/C blower. Units often run at different times, which keeps energy use even lower.
Heating capacity is built-in with these split systems. Most split air conditioning systems are actually heat pumps. This makes it possible to heat and cool the space year-round. If you are adding the system to a basement, attic, or garage space, this can extend the usability of the space to all four seasons.
If you are a home owner with an electrical problem, you may be asking “Why should I hire a professional electrician?” DIY electrical videos on YouTube make it look so easy. In reality, most electrical issues are best left to the professionals.
Why Hire a Professional?
Here are five reasons why you should hire a Rodenhiser electrician when you have an electrical problem or installation:
It will cost less. Electricians do not make the mistakes that many inexperienced homeowners make. That means there is no extra cost for doing the work over. Electricians work to current code specifications so there is no costly issues with meeting permit requirements. Plus, they guarantee their work if something fails in the future.
Safer than DIY. Handling electricity can be dangerous. There is the immediate harm of electrocution. In the long run, a misplaced wire can be an electrical hazard that causes fires or causes damage to your HVAC equipment.
Licensing and permits. If you have an electrical project, it is in your best interests to have a professional do the work. The electrician must meet codes and pull permits. That ensures that there are no issues when the homeowner goes to sell the house.
Experience with all sorts of electrical issues. Rewiring a lamp is fairly straightforward. Adding a new 220 circuit for your air conditioning system is something else. An electrician can handle both the simple and complex. They can tell you if you need to upgrade your service panel or add a new circuit.
Quicker. Electricians have the tools and experience to do the work quickly and efficiently. If you don’t want to take the next month to add that new circuit or upgrade the electrical for your new water heater, hiring a professional is the answer.
The answer to “Why should I hire a professional electrician?” is because it is safer, quicker, and more cost-effective than trying to do it yourself. Contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning if you have any electrical issues that need addressed.
Summer heat is upon us here in Massachusetts. The air conditioning is running constantly, driving up your energy costs. You may even be dreading opening up your next electric bill. Use these energy-saving tips for air conditioning systems to keep your bills down this summer.
Keep Those Cooling Costs Down
These tips will help you keep your electric bills reasonable during the hot summer.
An annual service visit will keep the A/C running efficiently and smoothly. The HVAC technician will service and tune the system while inspecting it for any necessary repairs. Regular service prolongs the life of the system and also cuts down on repair costs.
Air filters keep dust and debris out of the inside of the air conditioner. If the air filters get clogged, the A/C will have to work harder to keep your home cool. That is why it is important to change the air filters at least once a month during the cooling season.
A programmable thermostat will maximize the efficiency of your A/C. You set the thermostat to cool down when you are home. When you are not home, the thermostat will allow the house to warm up a few degrees. This helps lower your cooling bills without you needing to remember to turn the thermostat up or down.
Use window treatments to block direct sunlight. The heat that comes from the sun causes your home to warm up. If you use insulated drapes or shades, that heat is blocked from entering your home. The A/C doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable.
Use ceiling fans to move the air around. Ceiling fans do not decrease the actual temperature in the room. However, they do make the room feel cooler to a person standing in it. This allows you to turn your A/C to a higher temperature and cut your energy use.
A window air conditioning unit is a good choice for keeping part of your home comfortable during the hot Massachusetts summer. However, like other kinds of mechanical equipment, it needs routine maintenance and care to perform efficiently. What window air conditioning unit tips can you use to keep your system running smoothly?
Tips to Keep Things Smooth and Cool
Try these tips to keep your window air conditioning unit performing in top condition:
Isolate the area being cooled by the window unit. Window units are not made to cool an entire home. It is usually meant to cool only one or two rooms. For efficient operations, it is good practice to isolate those spaces from the rest of the house. Closing doors and sealing window leaks will usually do the trick.
Make sure your window unit is properly sized. Don’t make the mistake of trying to use an undersized unit to cool too large a space. The unit will never shut off, driving your energy consumption through the roof. Plus, the space will never reach a comfortable temperature. The right-sized unit will do the job efficiently.
Do not run heat-generating equipment when the A/C is running. If you run a stove, dryer, or other heat-generating appliance, the A/C is going to have to fight that heat to keep the space cool. Avoid using them when the A/C is on. Otherwise, you may find your electric bill going sky high.
Use window treatments to keep windows shaded. If any of the windows in the space you are trying to cool gets direct sunlight, you need to block it to prevent heat gain. Blinds, curtains, or shutters will do the trick.
Have routine maintenance performed once a year. This is true for any kind of air conditioning equipment. It will keep the system running efficiently, reduce repair needs, and extend the life of the equipment.
If you follow these window air conditioning unit tips, your space will stay cool without driving your electric bills too high. For more information on air conditioning solutions, contact us here at Rodenhiser Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning.
Ready to install a new air conditioning system? A ductless air conditioning system is an option to consider. It is a flexible, affordable alternative to ducted central A/C or window units. The benefits of ductless air conditioning show why it is a serious contender for keeping your space cool.
Some Essential Benefits of Ductless A/C
Let’s look at some benefits you get from going ductless:
Easy installation – This happens because there are no ducts to run. Using a two-man crew, a typical central A/C system can take up to a week to install. All the ductwork needs to be run, the air handler installed in the attic or closet, and the outside compressor set. A ductless mini-split usually takes a day or less for complete installation.
Small footprint – The external compressor for a ductless mini-split is only a fraction of the size of the compressor for central A/C. The interior unit is even more petite. A regular central air system requires a large air handler installed into the attic or a closet. A ductless system uses air handlers that hang on the wall.
Very efficient – A ductless mini-split typically uses far less energy than a typical central air system. Plus, because there are air handlers in individual rooms, it is possible to control temperatures in each room, making the system even more efficient.
Remote control operation – Every air handler has its own remote control. This makes it possible to control the exact temperature within a room without running out to the central thermostat all the time. The room’s occupants can control the temperature from the bed, the couch, or even the water closet.
Very quiet – Many A/C systems make a ton of noise while keeping your home cool. A ductless system is built for residential quiet. At most, the occupants hear a low hum.