Why does the air conditioner always seem to break down on both the hottest day and the coldest day of the year? If you’ve been in this situation, you may have learned the ins and outs of your particular air conditioner. Having a working heating and cooling unit is the best way to ensure that summertime business goes very smoothly.
Tip #1: Change the Air Filter
The air filter becomes clogged over time as dust builds up in the filters. The air filter will be filled with debris, dust, and other particulates that you should clean out. A daily buildup of these particles can lead to your air conditioner working much harder, which will also increase the rate of energy consumption at your house and may lead to further energy bills to pay. When you regularly replace or clean the air filter, you lower the HVAC unit’s power consumption and can save a significant amount of money.
As a general rule of thumb, you should clean your home’s heating and cooling system at least once every 2 weeks. If you live in a particularly dusty environment, then you should clean it even more often.
Tip #2: Wipe away the Dust from Around the Unit
The leaves, the grass, the dirt and the branches can infiltrate your furnace causing a costly increase in the level of heat going into your furnace. If you are engaging in landscaping activities in a unit, you should flush everything that is found in the unit and clean the unit thoroughly every two weeks. In addition, after your area has experienced strong winds, you may want to check the unit.
Tip #3: Leave the Air Vents Open
The pressure of your air conditioning and heating unit is not equal to the pressure that the components of that unit are chocked up against, and this increased pressure is very harmful to those components. If you want to keep your air conditioner warm at all times, you need to have all the vents open and as many free openings as possible.
The biggest problem with the closing of the air vent is that the home owner is actually making it extremely expensive to operate the air conditioner. This damages the ductwork and the air conditioner. This could cause a charge to be placed on your phone if you try to cut down on your usage to prevent this from happening. Some of the things that you could potentially do to reduce your energy bill.
- Install a zone control system.
- Keep your heating and air conditioning unit well maintained.
- Close the blinds and shades.
- Use fans on the days where it’s needed.
Tip #4: Have a Maintenance Tune-up
You’d be surprised how a timely and efficient HVAC system can lower your heating and cooling bill. It could really help you out on your heating and cooling expenses in the long run. Heating and air-conditioning service can keep you from losing your air conditioning unit and can even keep your AC unit running at a lower cost.
Tip #5: Set HVAC Unit at the Optimal Temperature
While the temperature that you set on the thermostat will largely depend on personal comfort, some systems may be capable of using a higher temperature than others, in order to save energy. To avoid fluctuating the HVAC system too often, it is often best to set the temperature in the service technician’s control panel to keep the system running and to never run it higher than the desired temperature.
Tip #6: Seal your home from incoming drafts
The average individual thinks of cooling the house at the beginning of the summer season, but they don’t give much thought to the maintenance of the house during the winter months. You should also make sure that all windows and doors are well sealed and that you have a good weather seal on the windows and doors. You may want to upgrade to newer and more energy-efficient windows in order to keep from losing cooling and heating through them. The most common places for drafts in the home include:
- Attics and basements
- Electrical outlets
Tip #7: Check the Ducts
One of the main ways to check the air ducts is to check and repair any leaks that may have occurred and then remove any dirt that may have accumulated. In fact, according to Energy Star, leaky pipes could cost you as much as 30 percent more, not only for your monthly bill, but also you will be paying 30 cents more for every dollar you pay as well.
Where do you need to check to ensure everything in your home heating and cooling unit is running smoothly? First, you will need a few supplies:
- Grease pencil
- Smoke pencil
- Painter’s tape
- Plastic sheets
- Foil-backed fiberglass insulation
- Fog machine
These devices which you will use to cool your home during storms can cause serious damage to your heating system. You will feel for air in your hand. With a large leak you are sure to notice an area on the floor where the water has spread. Look where smoke hangs away, but watch where this comes from. Keep an eye out for the smoke coming in from the sides of the ductwork being used. Also, mark the ductwork that has a leak from sidings.
To create the best effect, you’ll want to block off the room vent with plastic sheets and painter’s tape. The fog machine should be placed near the blower intake and pointing at the fan. Once the machine is turned on, look for any place where the fog is leaking and mark it with a grease pencil. After you have identified the ductwork leaks, you will need to conduct some HVAC maintenance. This will involve wrapping the ductwork with foil-faced tape and applying mastic. Another option is to call in HVAC services to have the professionals take care of the problem. If you see insulation debris blowing through your ventilation system, it’s a sign that you have a tear in your air duct. This can be a serious problem, as it can lead to increased energy bills and decreased comfort in your home.
Tip #8: Keep Clearance Around the Unit
Believe it or not, maintenance doesn’t just stop at the inside of the unit – it also involves the outside. If there are shrubs or trees near the unit, you should cut away the limbs to keep the unit clear. It’s generally recommended that you keep a safe clearance of around 12 inches around your air conditioning unit. This can help to ensure the longevity of your unit and prevent other issues from arising.
Tip #9: Clean the Condensate Drain Line
Your HVAC unit’s condensate drain line is responsible for draining away any condensation that forms. If this line becomes clogged, it can cause the unit to freeze up and fail. Therefore, it’s important to keep the line clean and clear. Cleaning this line is a quick and easy way to help maintain your HVAC system. To do this, simply detach the line and pour in a cup of vinegar or bleach. This will clean away any sediment, mold or algae that may have built up inside.How often you’ll have to clean the drain line largely depends on the maintenance of the rest of your unit. For instance, if you regularly replace your air filter and have a high-efficiency air filter, you won’t have to clean the drain line as often.
Tip #10: Keep the Condenser and the Evaporator Coils Clean
If you want to maintain your HVAC unit properly, you need to keep the coils clean and clear of debris. This will help the unit to run smoothly and prevent any blockages. One of the signs that you have a blocked coil is when the unit won’t even turn on. Cleaning the coils is a quick maintenance hack that can save you a lot of money in the long run. Make sure to carefully follow the instructions when cleaning the coils, as you don’t want to damage them. Replacing a damaged coil can be very expensive, costing anywhere from $400 to $1200. The price of a new HVAC system will depend on the brand and model that you choose. Additionally, more expensive units will have more expensive parts that will need to be replaced eventually.
Another problem with HVAC coils is that they can be difficult to order, depending on the make and model of your system. This can be a particular issue if you have an older system that is no longer in production. The cost of labor is only one thing you must consider when you are thinking about HVAC services. Although it may be expensive, it is important to maintain your HVAC system to avoid even higher costs in the future.
Tip #11: Check the Flame
When you’re checking the flame on your furnace, you want to see a crisp blue color. If it isn’t blue, then you should call an HVAC specialist because it could be indicative of a problem with the furnace. If you notice your furnace has long streaks of yellow or orange, it’s an indication that you need to get a technician to come out and take a look.