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How to prevent damaging your ac unit?

How to prevent damaging your ac unit?

Ok, let’s face it.  We have all at one time or another abused the ac system in our homes.  We didn’t mean to do that, but we did!  If we continue to do these things, we could cause damage that may cost a significant amount of money in repair fees or it could mean the replacement of the entire ac system.

Keep reading to find out how you can implement changes that will help prolong the life and increase the efficiency of your ac system.

  1. inexpensive air filterReplace the air filters on a regular basis – The air filter is an extremely important part of the entire ac system. These filters help keep contaminants out of your ac system.  Things such as dust, dirt, animal fur and dander are kept from collecting inside the duct work, air conditioner and/or furnace. When the air filter is clogged, it reduces the air flow.  This reduced air flow makes your air conditioner less efficient, work harder, and your unit become more susceptible to breaking down.
  2. Schedule a precision tune-up (aka preventive maintenance, winter/summer start up) – Your a/c should be considered the engine of your home. Just like you would take your car in for an oil change, your a/c system should be tuned up at least once a year (we recommend twice…. once before winter, and once before summer). Our techs will test your system for potential problems, and can replace worn/broken parts. The life of your home’s engine can be dramatically reduced by allowing dirty or damaged parts to cause further problems.
  3. Deal with problems upfront – No one wants to replace their a/c unit. If you are having trouble with your a/c unit, address the problem head-on and as soon as possible. If you ignore the problem, it could cause more widespread damage to your unit. In addition, it could cost more on your electric bill also (ouch!). Certain problems, if not dealt with, could cause permanent damage to your a/c unit. Like I mentioned before, no one want to replace their a/c unit. A new unit can run from $4,000 – $12,000.
  4. honeywell thermostatProper thermostat use – What does the thermostat do?  It controls the temperature inside your home, right?  Yes.  You are correct, but it also does more than that! The thermostat plays an important part in protecting your HVAC system. With a digital thermostat, a 3 minute delay can be set to protect your compressor.  If you a/c doesn’t seem to be cooling, lowering the thermostat will not help. Call Arctic Air (843-821-0937). If you are continually “adjusting” your thermostat while your unit is on, you cause the system to not run properly. Set your thermostat to a comfortable setting, and leave it set there.
  5. Make duct work repairs – The a/c is a two part system.  You have the equipment, then you have the duct work. The duct work is a MAJOR component of the entire system. If there are leaks in the duct work, this can lead to extreme inefficiencies. Not only do you loose the cool air that you just paid to get the right temperature, but it could also cause problems with the equipment. You definitely don’t want to cool unused areas of your home; ie, your attic, the basement, crawl spaces or walls.

Having a tune-up done on your a/c unit is not very expensive.  I would say it is the best deal in the HVAC industry.  Give us a call to schedule yours!  $79/per unit.  Keep your a/c in tip-top shape!

Tips to Help Save Money on AC / Electric Bill

I wanted to give everyone some tips on how to save money on ac / electric bills for this summer.

This is the new Goodman we installed yesterday at a Summerville Customers home.

This is the new Goodman we installed yesterday at a Summerville Customer’s home.

  1.  Have your air conditioning system tuned up for the summer months ahead. This will  allow your ac system to run at its peak efficiency. When your system is running at its peak efficiency, it doesn’t have to work as hard to do its job.
  2. Replace your filters on a regular basis. Did you know that the #1 cause of air conditioner failures are from lack of filter changes and maintenance.
  3. Try to keep your thermostat settings constant.  Changing the thermostat setting continuously will make your system very inefficient.  If you are not home during the day, it is wise to set it 2-3 degrees warmer than when you are at home. It is reported that you can save between 3-5% for every degree that you raise the setting.
  4. Put your fan in “fan on” mode on the thermostat when your are trying to cool your home.  This will allow the air to circulate and even out the temperature.  This is especially effective when you have hot or cold spots in your home.
  5. Reduce the radiant heat of the sun by closing your shades and keeping your curtain drawn. This will keep the hottest rays of the sun from directly entering your home.
  6. Go Green by planting trees (or installing awnings) that will shade windows facing the south.
  7. Replace old windows with low-E glass.
  8. Check your insulation in the attic.  If it has lost most of its “fluff”, it may be time to consider replacing it.
  9. Be sure your air conditioner has 12-18 inches of clearance from all sides. Cut back trees or shrubs that are within this range.
  10. Severely clogged coils!

    Severely clogged coils!

    Keep the coils clean (those are aluminum fins that surround the outside unit). Do this by keeping grass clippings, leaves, dirt or other debris away from the outdoor unit.

  11. To assure proper air flow in your home, don’t block vents or ducts. In addition, keep doors open, even those rooms that are not being used.
  12. Be sure to caulk and install weather stripping around doors (especially attic doors) and windows.
  13. Consider purchasing a programmable thermostat. By adding this at my home, I was able to save $50 on my last electric bill.

I have two other tips that don’t deal with the air conditioner.

The first is to try not to use the oven during the day.  Additionally, run your dishwasher, dryer and washing machine at night when the ac doesn’t have to work as hard.

The second tip is to turn off tv’s, video games, lamps and other appliances when they are not in use.

I hope this helps tame your electric bill over the next few months.  One thing is for sure, I am ready for some warmer weather!

Mike