Your AC works hard to keep you comfortable during hot summer days. These tips will make your AC more efficient and keep your home feeling good all summer long (and here in Texas, you know we are talking through December).
1. Have a professional come out to do a spring maintenance check before it gets hot. This will ensure your AC system is tuned up and ready to perform wonders all summer long. Regular maintenance also helps to:
2. Program your thermostat. The less your air conditioner is in use, the less wear and tear it endures and the longer it can last! If you have a programmable thermostat, setting the temperature by day and time is a great way to reduce the unit’s overall usage. Some people think turning their unit off completely while away will result in more energy savings, but this is not true.
We recommend setting the temperature higher during the time you are away and lower during the time you are home. A few degrees higher than your desired indoor temperature is a good general temperature to set for most homes when you are away.
Don’t have a programmable thermostat? We highly recommend getting one! You’ll save money in the long run.
4. Change your air filters. Changing out your HVAC unit’s air filter is a simple process that many of us don’t do as often as we should. Around every 90 days you should replace your filter to help maintain good air flow and help keep particles and allergens out of the air you breathe.
If you have multiple pets in the home or your air conditioning unit is working harder, like in the summer, you may want to replace your filter sooner than 90 days.
5. Turn off exhaust fans. After cooking or bathing, turn off your exhaust fans once they have been running about 20 minutes. If you ever need to replace your exhaust fans consider installing high-efficiency, low-noise options. Never leave exhaust fans running for long periods of time as it can become a fire hazard.
5. Draw the curtains. During the hottest part of the day or times when the sun is shining in your home’s windows, keep your blinds closed and shades drawn. This will help keep your home’s interior temperature from rising and keep your AC from running harder than it needs to. Additionally, planting large shade trees or installing awnings on your home with also help to diffuse the sun’s intense heat.
6. Turn on a fan. If you feel the afternoon heat creeping in, don’t turn down the thermostat just yet. Try turning a ceiling fan on first. This will help to circulate the air and instantly cool you down without making your AC unit run harder.
7. Check your attic insulation. If you have an older home that is not energy efficient you may want to get your attic inspected to see if you need additional blown in attic insulation. The smaller particles of blown insulation fit tightly in all the nooks and crannies of your attic which provides a superior seal, preventing hot or cold air from entering your home.
8. Upgrade your AC unit. If you are looking to replace your AC unit, consider energy-efficient equipment for the best cost savings long term. Ask your HVAC professional about 2-stage or variable speed options.
If your AC unit still can’t keep up it might be time to get it professionally inspected. A Certified HVAC Technician can easily identify and often fix cooling problems on the spot.
Country Air provides 24/7 AC service. Give us a call at 281-356-8564 and let us earn your trust.
You probably don’t think about your trusty HVAC system often. It’s kind of like breathing, your lungs are always working to pull new air into your body but it’s not something you think about. Just like your HVAC system runs behind the scenes to keep you comfortable in your home. As long as you’re comfortable, it’s just not on your mind. But the minute dull, hot air wraps around you like a blanket while watching TV – you instantly think, “Uh oh, what’s wrong with the AC?”.
What to look for when your HVAC system starts to fail.
Luckily, you don’t have to wait until your HVAC system stops working on a 95-degree day when your friends and family are coming over in an hour to celebrate your Son’s Birthday (that’s always when it happens, right?)
Be on the lookout for signs that your HVAC system might be reaching the end of its life:
1. No cool air. Period.
If you keep turning down your thermostat lower and lower and no cool air comes out at all, it’s pretty much a dead giveaway something is wrong. It could be that you need a Freon refill or something more troublesome like a blown compressor.
2. Wacky thermostat.
One second your thermometer reads 72-degrees, the next it reads 80-degrees. If your thermostat is set to one temperature but you keep noticing a fluctuation throughout the day, it could mean your thermostat needs replacing or it could be signs of a larger problem to come.
3. Run Forest Run.
If your AC is running all day long and never stops it could mean a multitude of things – anything from a dirty air filter, to your unit being undersized, to your ducts being clogged, to your unit simply being old. Usually, it is a combination of any of these. Like a beloved dog, HVAC units have a life span of around 15 years. If your AC is running all day, it’s a good idea to have it checked to see what’s up.
4. This room’s hot – this room’s cold.
If you feel like Goldilocks going from room to room trying to find the temperature that is just right for you – your AC might be ready to call it quits. An AC that isn’t working efficiently might not be able to pump cool air to the parts of the home that are further away, resulting in rooms that are cold and rooms that are hot.
5. Something doesn’t smell right.
Did that pesky squirrel hit the dust in the attic or What. Is. That. Smell?! If you’re picking up something stinky it could mean your unit’s wiring has burned out or there could be a build up of mold and/or mildew in the duct work, AC unit or both. This growth can have negative health implications for your family so if something smells bad, it’s time to have a professional come inspect your HVAC system.
6. A decline in the quality of air.
Last summer the house felt crisp, brisk and comfortable all summer long, like taking in a breath of fresh mountain air. This summer, the air feels heavier, almost like taking a deep breath on an ozone warning day in downtown Houston. Somewhere along the way, you feel like the air quality in your home has declined. This could be due to your ducts needing a good cleaning or it could mean your compressor or capacitor is failing. Either way, it’s time to get your unit checked out.
7. That doesn’t sound right!
If you start hearing bangs, clanks, screeches, whistles, grinding or grating from your HVAC unit, something’s up – usually broken motor bearings, slipped belts, or the system just needs a good tune-up with lubrication.
8. Is that a damp spot?
Woah – that area is supposed to be dry! Maybe your refrigerant is leaking or your conduit that disposes of condensation is broken or blocked. Don’t let obvious signs of dampness go unchecked – it can lead to mildew and mold growth that will cause even more complications down the road.
9. Higher energy bill.
Ouch – that energy bill hurt to pay! If you notice your energy bills climbing at a rate that is not normal for the time of the year, it could be that your HVAC unit is not running as efficiently and needs to be inspected.
10. Multiple Breakdowns.
If your HVAC system is being maintained as it should twice a year by a professional – it shouldn’t be randomly breaking down as most common AC issues are caused by a lack of maintenance. If you notice multiple instances where you’ve had to get repairs on your unit, it’s probably a sign that your system will need replacing soon. Talking with your HVAC professional will help you determine if it’s better to replace your unit now or continue risking costly repairs in the future.
When it comes to replacing your unit – nothing goes in the same way it came out. There are always newer, more efficient units on the market and better options for your home. Our specialists at County Air will help fit a system to your home and budget’s needs so you can stay comfortable year round.
Give us a call at 281-356-8564 for any questions you may have. We are happy to provide free quotes and second opinions on HVAC system replacements.