Air conditioner maintenance is more than just blowing hot air. Two out of every 3 homes in the America have an air conditioning unit. We spend over $11,000,000,000 every year to power these units. So how can we put a little bit of that money back in your pockets and ensure a cool summer? Thanks to the department of energy and our own Fred Roberts we have tips for lowering your cooling costs and helping you choose the right unit for you. Or, if you’re like me, understanding what kind of air conditioner is in your house now.
Now that you know what’s in your house, what do you do if….
Your unit isn’t cooling properly:
· Your refrigerant could be low or leaking. Call a trained technician to repair the leak and recharge the system
· If you have a window unit, the thermostat sensor could be knocked out of position. Carefully bend the wire holding it in place to the proper position. Not sure if you want to mess with wires? Call a trained technician
· Check your thermostat to make sure it is set properly and is reading the correct temperature. Have a difference of opinion on who controls the temperature? Get a new wifi thermostat., you can control and lock your thermostat from your Smartphone device!
· If the unit isn’t draining properly, check for clogs. Not sure how to locate the drain? Call a trained technician
· Check your filters. A clogged filter restricts airflow through the unit, decreasing it efficiency and reducing its ability to effectively cool the air. Most filters should be replaced quarterly.
Your unit isn’t turning on:
· Check the batteries in your thermostat, time for a new thermostat…great time to look into a new Ecobee wifi unit!
· Your compressor and fan control could be worn out from having the system turn off and on too frequently. Contact a professional to check the unit’s electrical connections.
Your unit has limited airflow:
· Your ducts could be leaking air or clogged. Call a trained technician to clean and air seal your ducts
· A clogged filter restricts airflow through the unit, decreasing efficiency and reducing its ability to effectively cool the air. Filters should be changed quarterly. Did you know Drake’s is your go to for filters? Even the hard to find sizes!
Maintenance is the keep to a long, healthy life for your unit!
· Replace or clean your air filters every 3 months-it can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5-15%
· Check your evaporator coil every year and clean as necessary. Not sure what an evaporator coil is? Call a trained technician
· If you have a split system, be sure to clean debris and leaves from the fan, compressor and condenser.
· For window air conditioners, inspect the window seals to keep cool air from escaping
· Hire a (you guessed it) a trained technician when your unit needs more than basic maintenance. Or, when you just want the peace of mind of knowing it’s taken care of by a reputable professional.
But wait there’s more…easy tricks to lowering your cooling costs. If you’re already doing these, give yourself a pat on the back, you conservationist you!
· Install and set a programmable thermostat—it could save you up to 10% on heating and cooling costs every year. Spend a lot of time outdoors? A wifi thermostat lets you increase the temperature while you’re gone and right back to comfortable before you walk through the front door.
· Don’t heat your home with appliances. On hot days, consider using an outdoor grill instead of your oven. Need a gas line run to your new outdoor kitchen? We can help with that too!!
· Install energy efficient window coverings that let natural light in and prevent solar heat gain.
· Insulate your attic and walls, seal cracks and openings to prevent warm air from leaking into your home.
· Insulate and seal ducts- air loss through ducts accounts for about 30% of a cooling systems energy consumption
· Use a bathroom fan when taking a shower or bath and a range hood when cooking this helps remove heat and humidity from your home.
· Buy an energy stat qualified AC unit, on average they’re up to 15% more efficient than standard models.