5 things homeowners must know about their air conditioning and heating systems
Just like any mechanical equipment that you have at home, air conditioners require some care and maintenance.
Air conditioners are very important in our homes for they help us keep cool during the hot season and warm during a cold season. However, just like any mechanical equipment that you have at home, air conditioners require some care and maintenance. Below, Furnace USA Heating & Air Conditioning shares with us some of the best care and maintenance tips for both the central and the window unit.
Clean or change the filters
Filters are very important in air conditioning units for they trap dust and other particles in the air before entering your house. However, as the air filter is catching more and more particles, it gets clogged up with dirt and debris and this significantly reduces its efficiency. Therefore, it is important to either do a filter clean up or replacement from time to time. The efficiency of the air filter is rated from 1 to 12. The higher the number, the more efficient the filter becomes. However, the more efficient filters require higher energy to draw in air. As a result, you need to strike a balance between your filtration needs and energy consumption.
Check and fix leaks
Air conditioner ducts lose up to 30% of air while in operation and on the other hand, window seals are very hard to stick down completely. To test whether your ducts have a leak, you can use the smoke method. Here, you Hold a burning candle under the joints and allow the smoke to circle around the pipe. If the smoke blows around, the system has a leak. You can seal off smaller leaks using a foil tape but when it comes to bigger leaks, using duct mastic is more recommended. However, for AC window units, stuff some foam before securing it with a tape.
Time the central unit
As you maintain your air conditioning unit, it is advisable to install a programmable thermostat that lets you set higher temperature when you are not at home and cooler temp when you get home. The good news is that, newer units come with an adjustable timer. But if you have an older version installed in your home, you can get an automatic timer for between $10 and $20. However, you need to ensure that the timer comes with the same voltage as the unit. Also, it is advisable not to shut off the system completely when going to work as the compressor will have to overwork when you need to use the system again.
Service the condenser and compressor
Most AC companies install both the condenser and compressor outside of the house. The units work best when put near the foundation. However, you need to ensure that there are no shrubs, bush or grass that would interfere with the normal operation of the system. You can extend the life of the unit by installing blinds to shield it from strong rays of the sun. An exposure to the sun would reduce their efficiency by as much as 10%.
Keep the unit cooler
You can increase the life of your air conditioner by installing shades and blinds to protect the ducts attached to the windows. This is to ensure that they are not hit by strong sunlight. Most air conditioner ducts are made of plastic and if they are exposed to strong sunlight, they are going to wear out or crack. Therefore, it is advisable to cover these surfaces up. Also, to make the air conditioner more efficient, it is advisable to combine it with an ordinary ceiling fan. This is to enable proper recirculation of air in your home.
As much as air conditioners provide our homes
with a comfortable environment during hot and
cold weather, they consume a lot of energy.
Therefore, it is advisable to take cost saving
measures to reduce electricity consumption in
your home. First, if you will be leaving for
along time, it is advisable to shut off the air
conditioner completely. This is to prevent it
from consuming power while no one is at home.
During the cold season, you should consider
closing your windows and doors to ensure that
the warm air in your house does not escape into
the outside. Then, set the air condition to low
to consume minimum power and that will
significantly lower your power bill. The idea
here is to use the AC efficiently.