Indoor Air Quality
- Priority Savings Plan
Spring 2014 Newsletter
Tune–up your AC unit and get ready for the heat
When your air conditioner is fully operational, it can keep you comfortable during the hottest days of the year. It’s imperative, therefore, that you maintain your AC unit throughout its lifetime. Spring is a great time to think about how you might tune–up your AC.
To tune–up your AC means inspecting, cleaning, repairing, and, if necessary, replacing parts of your system. To be done properly, much of this work requires the expertise of an air conditioning professional. A properly installed and serviced AC unit will maximize your energy–efficiency, and will help to save you money.
The first step is to call a professional. An expert technician will be able to assess any issues in the compressor, coils, refrigerant levels, electrical supply and thermostat. Attempting to do so yourself may be dangerous and could prove costly. Here a few maintenance tune–ups even the most efficient air conditioners could benefit from:
- Clean or replace the air filter. Your air filter is one of the most important parts of your AC unit. It promotes airflow and prevents the passage of dust and other allergens from entering your ductwork or home. If you are highly–sensitive to allergens, particularly those that come about in the spring time, then this is an absolute must. Air filters also keep the parts of your AC unit working properly by preventing the accumulation of dust and other materials on the internal structure. Check your air filter monthly.
- Insulate the ductwork. Your ducts are the structural skeleton of your indoor air system. They make the measured and even distribution of cool air possible, but they depend upon a closed system. As well as repairing or sealing any duct leaks and testing that the system is efficient, insulating ductwork tends to significantly reduce heating and cooling loss, sometimes up to 30%. By sealing air leaks, your cooling professional may be able to save you serious money this spring and summer.
- Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to customize your home temperature for specific times of the day and days of the week. Not only will adjusting your temperature automatically cut costs, but it is also takes care of your home comfort for you.
Remember that only a professional AC technician can tune–up your system for this upcoming cooling season. Call one today.
What you can do to save energy
As summer approaches, most homeowners are thinking of ways to save energy this cooling season. Air conditioning your home accounts for a substantial portion of your utility bills every year, but there are numerous ways you can save some money during the spring and summer months.
- Install energy–efficient shower heads. This is a great way to save money in the long–term. Installing an efficient shower head can save you from paying for thousands of gallons of water during the lifetime of your home.
- Replace light bulbs with CFLs. CFL stands for Compact Fluorescent Light bulb. It is an energy–efficient alternative to conventional incandescent bulbs, which lose most of their energy by rapid heat dispersion. In CFLs, electricity powers argon and mercury vapors, which makes a phosphor coating glow inside the bulb, with very low heat loss. Although they cost more to purchase than standard bulbs, they use less about 75% less energy and last up to 10 times longer.
- Dress appropriately. Wearing cool, breathable clothing during the hot summer months can help prevent your body from overheating during the cooling season. It may also help you to depend less on the low temperature of your home. Dress the season.
- Schedule a maintenance program. Comprehensive maintenance plans are an excellent way to save energy this cooling season. Your local cooling and heating technician will perform a full inspection of your various systems and consult with you about any necessary repairs. Replacing air filters, cleaning the internal mechanism of your AC unit as well as the ductwork can significantly improve the rate and quantity of airflow, and also keep your system in top shape.
- Install a programmable thermostat. A thermostat communicates with your central air system to adjust the temperature to your specification. A programmable thermostat offers you to customize your indoor climate: you can set the temperature for times of the day and days of the week according to your specifications and then sit back and watch your system follow the instructions. Not only does it save you time and give you peace of mind, but it also means less rapid adjustments to the temperature, which can result in increased energy costs.
- Upgrade to a more efficient air conditioner unit. This is obviously a much larger step, but it may help you save money in the long–run, particularly if your unit is over 10 years old or if it requires frequent repairs.