Handy Tips

AC Maintenance Can Save You a Lot of Money

Air Conditioning: Can You Really Set It and Forget It?

Although air conditioners are sturdy units which are built for long-term use, they do require regular maintenance. Maintaining your air conditioning unit is the key to efficiency and the overall life expectancy for cooling your home. You wouldn’t buy a vehicle and never have it tuned up or maintained because if you did you would find that your gas mileage would drop considerably and the performance would become sluggish. The same goes for your air conditioning unit. With proper tune-ups, cleaning, and maintenance it can perform at optimal efficiency. Now, when I talk to you about having your air conditioner maintained, I’m talking about having it done BEFORE the cooling season begins.

Here is what happens if you put your air conditioning maintenance on the back burner. You will experience a higher loss of efficiency which leads to higher electricity bills, higher repair costs, and premature replacement parts.

Did you know that for each year that you neglect to maintain your air conditioning unit you will lose 5% of its efficiency?

Now, if you have put your air conditioning unit maintenance off for a while, the good news is, you can bring in a professional heating and air conditioning technician which will bring your air conditioning unit back to an efficiency level to start saving you money once again on your electric bills, while making your home cooler and more comfortable. Remember this saying? “An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.” This couldn’t be a truer statement, in my opinion.

Here is some minor maintenance you can do yourself:

1. Turn off power to the air conditioner.
2. Inspect the outdoor condenser (looks like a car radiator). Remove any obstructions and debris. Trim back any vegetation, debris, and objects such as leaves, papers, toys and tools.

What the Professional Service Will Do For You:

1. If you feel uncomfortable doing the above maintenance yourself, the professional service will do this for you.
2. They will check the freon coolant levels (low levels=higher operating costs).
3. They will check for any freon leaks (It is the law to have leaky systems fixed before adding any freon).
4. They will check the compress amp draw.
5. They will perform belt adjustments.
6. They will do a thorough check on the operating pressures and temperatures.
7. Finally, they will check for any air conditioning blockages.

Now that you know, I want to mention one more thing. I can’t express enough to you about not waiting until the last minute to do your air conditioning maintenance. I must say this with clear urgency, “Don’t wait for the warm weather before getting this much-needed maintenance done”. Take care of your air conditioning unit before you really need it. (Tip: Call Denmark Heating And Cooling early before it gets too busy.)

The bottom line is, a good air conditioning unit is the best strategy for long-term savings, the reliability in quality operation and comfort.

Clean your filter frequently. We recommend checking it at least every 4 weeks in our dusty climate.

Do not set your thermostat lower in the cooling mode than is comfortable. The average resident is comfortable at a setting of 78 to 80 degrees. For every degree that you lower your thermostat below 78 degrees, you increase your electric consumption by 2% to 5%.

In the summer, setting the fan to the “on” position will allow the indoor fan to run continuous, thus providing continuous circulation of air between cycles. This continuous circulation can allow many users to set their thermostat a degree or 2 higher while still remaining comfortable.

Use fans to circulate air and make you feel cooler at a higher temperature setting (ceiling fans are great for this). Be sure to turn the fan off when the room will be unoccupied.

If you have a routine schedule each day, consider a programmable thermostat. It can save you money by not holding a comfortable temperature in the house when the home is vacant.

Do not turn off your air conditioner during the day when you are away. It is much more cost effective to raise the temperature to 82 or 83 degrees. This will use less energy and still allow for the air conditioner to recover when you lower the thermostat to your desired comfort level when you return home in the evening. Keep all windows and doors closed. Close draperies on the sunny side of the house to block the sun’s summer rays. Do moisture-producing chores in the early morning or at night when it’s cooler (washing clothes or dishes, mopping floors, watering plants, etc. Plan hot work (washing and drying clothes, baking, cooking) for cooler morning and evening hours.

Have your attic insulation level evaluated. If it is low, increasing the insulation can be an economical way of reducing your electric bill while increasing the overall comfort of your home.

Verify that your attic space is well ventilated to decrease the heat build up.

Wash the outside coil of your air conditioner with a garden hose once a year in order to keep it at top performance. Clean away debris, leaves, and shrubbery for a free flow of air through the coil fins.

Do not close off more than 20% of the registers in the home. This can cause high resistance in the ductwork system. The result may be unnecessary heat build up in the furnace in the winter. In the summer the reduction in airflow can cause icing up of the cooling coil, higher humidity levels, and can lead to possible compressor damage.

In the cooling season, don’t run kitchen and bath exhaust fans longer than necessary.

Do not place lamps, TV sets or other heat-producing devices beneath a wall-mounted thermostat. Rising heat from the equipment may cause the air conditioning system to over-cool your house, thinking that it is warmer than it actually is.

Never store anything combustible near your gas furnace.

If you have a gas furnace, make sure that flue connections and venting are always unobstructed.

If you smell natural gas call us or the local gas company at once.

If you have a power outage or brownout, turn off your air conditioner immediately. This may save the components from damage.

If your system is 10 years or older, consider the benefits of replacing it . with a more efficient system that consumes less electricity