5 Ways to Keep Your Air-Conditioning Running Strong
To help consumers add years to the life of their air conditioning system, Daily AC Inc, a home cooling and energy efficiency expert in Rheem a leading manufacturer of heating and cooling products – suggests the following Air Conditioning Consumer Tips for keeping you cool this summer:
Three Signs That You May Need to Replace Your Air Conditioner
– System runs continually, resulting in high energy bills
– System requires frequent repairs
– System is more than 12 years old
1. Change the Filter – Dirty air filters are the No. 1 preventable cause of a system breakdown. When the air filter becomes clogged by dirt and other particles, the unit can’t produce enough airflow, which results in a lower volume of air and the system having to work harder. According to Cunningham, clean filters allow the system to run more effectively and can help save energy by reducing operating costs.
2. Call for an Annual Check-up – To help ensure proper and efficient operation, the system should be serviced by a qualified service technician at the beginning of each cooling season. While this service generally includes a check of all major system components and equipment operation, it also allows the technician to identify and eliminate any concerns, should they exist, thereby helping to prevent more costly repairs if those concerns are left uncorrected.
3. Keep the Unit Clean and Clear – Another important thing a homeowner can do for the health of a unit is keep the outside air conditioning unit clear of debris. Make a habit out of keeping the condensing unit clear of weeds and plants. Allow proper clearance around all sides of the unit including the top to make sure it can breathe properly.
4. Set it and Forget It – Programmable thermostats help ensure the air conditioner operates only when necessary to maintain a steady, even temperature, which prevents it from running constantly and helps conserve energy. Many new thermostats also have service reminders that alert the homeowner when routine maintenance is required. In the long run, these state-of-the-art features can help prolong the life of a system.
5. Replace a System That’s Past its Prime – While a routine annual maintenance check-up by a licensed professional can extend the life of an air conditioner and help save on major repairs and energy costs, if the system is already 12 to 15 years old, it’s time to consider replacing the system. Maintenance and repairs on older systems can be more expensive and they don’t operate as efficiently, whereas a new system will be much more energy efficient and will save hundreds of dollars on energy bills.
Overview: Often air conditioning system failures are caused by bad thermostats, defective contactors or tripped circuit breakers. If your air conditioning fails to start.
Check these before calling us for quality air conditioning repair:
1) Check that the thermostat is set to “cool” and below the current temperature.
2) Your air conditioner should be on it’s own 240-volt circuit; check your homes main electrical panel and secondary circuit panels for tripped breakers or blown fuses. If you find the problem here, reset the breaker or replace the fuse. If the circuit blows again, something is wrong and you need a qualified air conditioning repair technician.
3) Make sure the furnace power is turned on and the outdoor condenser’s power switch, (on or near the outdoor unit is on). Check that the 240-volt disconnect next to the compressor (in a metal box, usually mounted on the house wall) is on too. If the air conditioning still fails to start call us for quality air conditioning repair.
What does a technician look for when an air conditioning systems needs repair?
First check the filters. If the filters are dirty and restricting air flow the air conditioning will not work well. Additionally the entire system is being overworked, especially the compressor. A good rule to keep your air conditioning running efficiently and reduce repairs is to change your filters often.
That will save you energy and repairs. Plus they are inexpensive. A dirty air conditioning system will never work as well, be energy efficient nor last as long as a clean well maintained one will. If your’s needs work, give us a call. Our section on preventive maintenance is well worth reading.
If you have cats or dogs.
Their fur will often collect on filters and on your air conditioners evaporator coil. We frequently see badly plugged AC coils because of pets. You may need to have the evaporator coil cleaned to remove pet hair and other accumulated dirt. FACT.
A dirty evaporator coil will cause your air conditioning to be far less effective and efficient. Pet owners will need to change AC filters even more frequently. A plugged evapoator coil is something that we can check for you on a service call. It is usually not very easy for you to check yourself because you need to look up under the evaporator coil, which is often blocked by the furnace. Our section on heating and air conditioning basic knowledge EVERY home or business owner should know is well worth your reading.
Air Conditioning Tip
Is your air conditioners outdoor coil dirty or closely surrounded by plants or bushes?
If your condenser is dirty it’s efficiency can easily be reduced by just a small amount of dirt covering the cooling fins. According to the EPA a build-up of .042 inches of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease in efficiency of 21%. We recommend to all our customers a yearly cleaning. We use a special solution for this that is specifically designed to clean AC coils. We use the same solution for commercial HVAC coil cleaning.
If your AC condenser has not been cleaned this year, get it done and save energy, gain back lost efficiency and have better comfort. Plus your AC system will last longer and require fewer repairs. Give us a call! PS. plants and bushes should be a minimum of 12 inches away from your condensor!
Air Conditioning Tip
Do you see frost or ice build-up on the air conditioners condenser or at the evaporator coil?
This is an indication that your refrigerant level (freon) needs to be corrected. It is also an indication that the air conditioning side of your system may have developed a refrigerant leak or a plugged filter.
If you see allot of frost or any ice. Turn your system off to prevent further AC damage and give us a call.
Air Conditioning Tip
There are a number of other issues that may be wrong with your AC system.
These are best evaluated and then repaired by a well experienced AC repair technician. Experience is a big asset and you should only hire a reputable, well experienced Heating and air conditioning repair company such as ours. You can count on Kelly’s for proper HVAC advice.
Our job is to provide you with accurate information on your air conditioning system health and the suspected reasons for the current failure. Then provide a set price to do the repairs or service required to bring your air conditioning up to energy efficient, safe operating condition.
Heating and air conditioning facts you should know.
How heating and air conditioning systems achieve lowest operating, repair costs, & maximum comfort. What happens when something goes wrong?
What problems do the average air conditioning and heating system have?
What repairs save the most money?
Daily A/C is truly a superior choice for your air conditioning, heater, repair, service, Preventive maintenance, or change out. Contact us today for any residential or commercial HVAC service, repair or replacement you may have You will be glad you did! What makes HVAC efficient and effective
Efficient air conditioning / heating only happens when .. the condenser, evaporator coil, furnace & line set …. Are all matched, properly sized for your home & installed correctly! PERIOD.
Heating and air conditioning equipment is very tightly engineered. Each piece will only operate efficiently at set parameters. To explain: Every inside coil (evaporator coil) is engineered for a specific air flow and BTU. This means the heater (furnace) must blow the air flow needed by the evaporator coil. No more and no less. But that also means the condenser must also deliver the amount of BTU’s the evaporator coils is designed for too. This also means the line set must match. Plus the ducting must be able to handle the air flows too. When it all matches the whole system works at it’s most efficient rate and it lasts longer. Everything everyone should know about HVAC systems is right here and it’s accurate.
When air flow across the evaporator coil is too high?
What happens when the air flow across the evaporator coil is too high for the air conditioning system? Answer: your house will not be comfortable. The system cannot remove excess humidity and your home becomes cool but muggy. The air conditioning runs more often for shorter cycles, consumes more electricity, increases repair costs and wears out faster. Electricity bills can easily increase $200.00 to $600.00 per season
When air flow across the evaporator coil is too low?
When the air flow is too low as required by the air conditioning system your house will not cool well. The unit ices up, leading to early compressor failure. Valves wear out quickly. The whole system runs harder.It consumes more electricity, increases repairs and wears out faster.
What happens when the line set is 1 size too small?
If the line set is too small your air conditioning energy efficiency is reduced approximately 2 seer rating points. This translates to about $256.00 in extra electricity per season.
* based on 12 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity and living in an area where air conditioning is required often. The compressor works harder and needs repair or replacement earlier.
What happens when the line set is too big?
A dirty system keeps on costing you money, lots of it!
Dirty inside coils (the evaporator) from dust, hair, grease and pet fur just to name a few increase energy costs greatly. Dirty outside coils (the condenser) from dust and oxidization cost extra electricity. Dirt build-up and oxidization, cannot be prevented and must be removed.
A dirty non maintained system costs a minimum of 20% and more often 30% extra electricity, adding many thousands of dollars of extra cost over the systems lifespan. A dirty non maintained system usually costs a minimum of $500.00 in extra repair costs over a maintained air conditioning system in the first 5 years. Extra repair costs escalate greatly with each passing year as do extra energy costs. Add the two up and it’s big dollars you’re spending needlessly.
Common HVAC system problems.
Problems effecting air conditioning efficiency and comfort. These are the actual HVAC problems found in southern California homes today.
Leaky ducts cost big money all year long. Leaky ducts cost about 18% extra electric costs for air conditioning. Plus a bigger system is needed! You spend more capital money on both air conditioning and heating equipment. Your heating bills are higher too! Because the system runs longer repair cost goes up too.
BOTTOM LINE Have your ducts sealed or replaced once and enjoy the energy and capital savings for good. Freon overcharge and undercharge cost energy and reduces system lifespan. Low air flow kills systems and costs you much more energy. Study results: Data is from appliance doctor study commissioned.
Money (energy) saved based on these 4 repair types.
Actual savings based on repair type. Source appliance doctor study As you can see substantial money can be saved thru the four repairs. Additionally your equipment will last longer and require fewer additional repairs!
What makes air conditioning comfortable?
In 1923 research identified the proper indoor comfort zone. Tolerance to heat is affected by the amount of humidity in the air. At higher temperatures humidity must be held lower to ensure comfort. Air conditioning can easily bring the temperature into the comfort range. In fact, bigger air conditioners virtually ensure that the temperature inside can be as low as we want it.
But, cold alone is not comfortable. In fact, it is distinctly uncomfortable. To maintain comfort moisture levels must also be controlled.
This is best achieved by smaller, not larger air conditioners. An air conditioners ability to remove moisture increases when it runs for longer periods of time. At the beginning of every cycle the air conditioner puts moisture into the house as water evaporates from the inside coil. Once its run for 3 minutes, it begins to remove moisture.
Since a smaller air conditioner runs longer to keep the house at the temperature desired, it removes significantly more moisture than a larger unit. When compared against a 5 ton unit a 2.5 ton unit removes 21% more humidity, while still maintaining the set temperature! Plus you enjoy lower electricity costs and capital costs for your air conditioning and heating system!
The bottom line!
Kept clean, properly sized, properly installed air conditioning and heating systems cut energy costs, cut repair costs, cut capital and replacement costs.
Fact: your total costs including capital costs can be cut by many thousands of dollars over a ten year period! $12,000 to $24,000 is not out of the question*. *average varies by house type, size, air usage habits, system age, repairs needed, quality of installation and other variables.
Big dollars under all circumstances. It should also be clear that EFFICIENT and EFFECTIVE Heating and air conditioning is only attained through an experienced, quality orientated air conditioning contractor.
More reasons to keep HVAC systems clean!
Fact: 9 out of 10 system failures are caused by dirt and dust.Service. Fact: Clean systems restore capacity and lessen running time. Translation: Savings on heating/cooling bills, repairs and replacement costs. Fact: A buildup of .042 inches of dirt on a heating or cooling coil can result in a decrease in efficiency of 21%. (EPA) Environmental Protection Agency.
Fact: Most commercially purchased fiberglass filters are only 7% efficient in stopping dirt, dust, pollen, etc. from passing through it. (ASHRAE) Keep your Heating and air conditioning system clean and you save on power, repair costs and premature replacement costs!