Feb 192016
 

Not all homeowners are expert HVAC specialists. This can be problematic when issues arise. Thankfully, this article will show you the ropes.

If the outside of your home has condenser units, ensure they are constantly cleaned. You never know when things can pile up, especially after a windy or rainy storm, and that can throw a wrench in your system. It can also cause it to overheat.

When the leaves start to fall, the HVAC equipment can be harmed. During this time of year, check and clear off the fan grill on your unit on a regular basis. The fan should have a clear path for air to come in. If it is blocked, your system will suffer.

Know what you need before you hire a contractor. A contractor cannot give an accurate estimate without looking at your system. Being unable to explain what has been already done will make it even harder. Make an effort to gather all information you need before making the phone call.

You must keep your HVAC systems oil ports lubricated annually. You will notice these ports have a rubber or metal cap covering them. Get an oil that is SAE 20 and put about 10 drops into each port, but don’t overfill it.

Turn off any outdoor condensers you have when the weather gets cold. If you get into temperatures that are less than 60 degrees you need the unit to be shut off so it doesn’t get damaged. This helps the system last much longer and will have to be repaired less often.

Double Pane

Cleaning the blades and coils will help the system run better. The power to the unit should be removed before you begin any maintenance, even cleaning. Additionally, remove leaves and any other debris from the outside condenser unit.

If the house is yours or you’re permitted to, replace the windows that are single pane with windows that are double pane. Good double pane windows keep cool air in during the summer and minimize your utility expenses. Your home will also stay warmer in the winter.

One great way to save some cash when you’re working on keeping a home cool is to install a thermostat that’s programmable. It may save you as much as 10 percent of your overall utility bill if you turn your thermostat down by 10-15 degrees for a portion of the day. Some newer programmable thermostats have computerized controls you can access from your personal computer, laptop or mobile media device.

In order to keep energy costs down, make sure heating and cooling systems are services at least once per year. During service the technician will check the motor and refill the system fluids. This will help your system run better.

Clean the fan blades and coils on the condenser fan every spring. Before you get started, cut the power. Then, pop off its grills, pull the blades out, and begin cleaning the unit and them gently.

Make sure that your AC is turned off when you are not using it. By raising the temperature from, for example 78 to 80, your house will be warmer, but only up to 80 before your AC kicks in. If you decide to set the temperature to 82 or 83 or so on, your AC won’t go on until it reaches that temperature. Leaving your heating or cooling running full blast while you are away is a waste of money and energy.

Never allow your home to get dangerously hot inside. Air conditioners cannot sufficiently cool down unreasonably high temps. If your home happens to get near 100 degrees Fahrenheit, then you will only be able to reasonably cool to around 80. With high humidity, this is an unsafe temperature even for sleeping.

In order to select an HVAC contractor that you can trust, it pays to invest some time researching a few prospective companies and checking their reputations. A good start would be the BBB to see if there are any complaints, then search online for review sites where you can see what actual customers had to say about their experience. These simple steps will help make a better decision.

Lubricate your condenser yearly if it has oil ports. They generally have a rubber or metal cap on them. You should select an SAE 20 oil since it is lightweight and does not contain detergent. Be sure to use just 10 drops or so, or your system may overfill.

Some air conditioners can ice up. You may even mistake the frozen drains as an issue for a plumber. Try switching to fan-mode and disabling your compressor to test whether the water is a leak or melting ice. You should still call a professional to help regardless.

Speak with someone close to you to see if they can recommend someone good to service their HVAC unit. People that have gotten great work done in the past generally love to share the information they know about it. It’s also important to do this to learn which companies should not be contracted for work.

You shouldn’t rely on a single quote from one contractor to gauge the cost, because different specialists set their own price. You can save a lot of cash simply by doing your homework. Call around to find out what the rates are.

When everyone is gone, turn your AC off. When it’s off the house will get hot, but only by a certain amount. However, leaving it on increases your electric bill and wear and tear on the system.

For greater efficiency, put a radiant barrier in your attic. This will block the heat that comes in. You might even be able to start living in your attic.

Do you need a new HVAC unit? There are many things to consider. These machines are categorized according to the space they are able to efficiently heat and cool. Getting a unit that’s a little larger than you need will be better than getting one that’s smaller.

Your doors and windows need to be as efficient as the HVAC system you use. They should be able to seal tightly without letting air seep in or out. You can hire a professional to test them all for you and often this testing is free.

Your home should never reach a dangerous temperature. An air conditioner can only cool your home by 20ºF quickly. So, if you house heats up to about 95, you won’t see the temperature go below 75 for a while. Depending on the levels of humidity, that is not a safe temperature when it comes to sleeping or escaping from the heat of summer.

Square Footage

Measure the area that requires air conditioning. You will need about 20 BTU per square footage of the room. If the unit will be cooling several rooms, combine their square footage in your calculations.

The one thing you should always do on a monthly basis is change the air filter on your HVAC system. It is the easiest and cheapest way you can take care of it. Filters are cheap, and changing them regularly adds up to long term savings.

Spend some time on researching for reliable HVAC companies to ensure that they have a good reputation. Look at review sites and check with the BBB. In this way, you can be more sure of getting a good HVAC company.

Think about the air flow coming out of the air conditioner and where you want to place it for maximum comfort. If you can only put the unit in the corner, get a unit that lets you direct air flow away from any walls.

Always get some references prior to hiring any contractor. Ask these references if the job was what they expected, if it was done in a timely manner and on budget. Also, it will prevent you from getting robbed.

Having an HVAC break is something nobody wants to have happen. That said, a bit of knowledge goes a long way. Use the information given here to handle any future HVAC situation with ease.

Did you know an AC unit can freeze? The drain line may also freeze up. Use the fan-only setting to allow the system time to thaw. You should call a pro to fix this problem, even if switching it to its fan setting starts making the ice melt.

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