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Having an Efficient Air Conditioner

 

 

Energy efficiency is something that you definitely want to consider when you are updating your cooling system or purchasing one for the first time. This can go a long way to saving you money, as well as helping you to use less energy, which is more environmentally friendly. Solar heating and cooling systems, geothermal heating and cooling systems, heat pumps, and hybrid systems are just a few of the choices that you have in energy efficient heating and cooling systems. By comparing and contrasting the different systems, you can determine which one is right for you level of environmental friendliness.

 

If you or a member of your family has asthma or is very susceptible to allergens, you will want to consider adding indoor air cleaners to your home. Whether you choose to add a specialized filter to your existing heating and cooling unit or you get ultraviolet air cleaners or other types of air cleaners, you will find that they can help to remove the allergens and contaminants from the air to aid in indoor air quality. This can keep you and your family healthy.

 

If you are a homeowner, you will want to be sure that you have an energy efficient cooling system that works for you and your needs. Air cleaners, cooling systems, and more are available to keep your home comfortable and your indoor air quality at a high level. If there is an issue with the air conditioner, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the HVAC unit for you. This can help you to have a reliable air conditioner when you need it this summer.

Knowing how to Set the Thermostat in your Home

 

For optimal cooling and energy efficiency, the coolest you should keep your house is 78° F and that’s only when you’re at home and awake. A programmable thermostat makes it easy to match your cooling needs to your schedule but you can make the adjustments manually if you don’t have one.

  • 78° F when you’re home.
    • 85° F when you’re at work or away.
    • 82° F when you’re sleeping.

    If you are more tolerant to heat, you can experiment with the temperature, raising it one degree at a time to see how it affects your comfort and your budget. You’ll save 3 percent on your air conditioning costs for every degree you raise the temperature. If you aren’t comfortable at 78° F, lower the temperature a degree at a time. A ceiling or box fan causes a wind chill effect that enhances cooling, helping you feel comfortable at a higher temperature as long as the humidity isn’t too high.

Of course, if you live in an area with more moderate temperatures, you may not need your air conditioner running all day and night. If so, you can take advantage of cooler night temperatures by keeping your windows open overnight. Close them on hot days and keep your shades and curtains drawn when it’s sunny outside. If you need the AC when you get home, you can program it to go on before you arrive or turn it on with a smartphone app.

It is more difficult to reach the perfect temperature when you have a window air conditioner. Because the thermostat is in the unit itself, it registers the temperature in that part of the room and may not provide a consistent temperature throughout the space you want to cool, depending how big and open it is. That means getting the right comfort level is more trial and error. Start with it set at 78 degrees and see how you feel. If you have a window unit in your bedroom, turn it on 30 minutes or so before you go to bed so you’re not cooling an empty room.
No matter what type of air conditioning you have, it’s easier to keep the temperature at a comfortable level if you can prevent heat from getting into your home. The three main sources of unwanted heat are heat that seeps in from the outdoors, waste heat given off by appliances and incandescent lightbulbs, and heat from sunlight shining through the windows. During a heat wave, avoid using your washer, dryer, and dishwasher during the heat of the day and make sure you use the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom when you’re cooking or taking a shower. Cook outside on your grill.

If you notice an issue with your air conditioner, or the comfort of your home, make sure to contact us. We can inspect the HVAC unit to ensure that it is working efficiently for you and your home.

 

The Benefits a Dehumidifier Provide your Home

 

Dehumidifiers take away excess humidity in your home, leaving you with drier air. This helps to reduce damp and the associated problems like mold growth and peeling wallpaper.

 

Molds need moisture to grow. They love the humid conditions found in most homes during this time of year. When the central heating is cranked up and ventilation is compromised by keeping windows closed, molds thrive. Dehumidifiers take away the essential humidity that mold needs in which to grow.

 

People living in homes with damp and mold are more likely to develop breathing problems, infections and allergies. Damp and mold is also linked with effects on the immune system. They recommend that particularly sensitive groups like the elderly and the very young, the immune-compromised and those with breathing problems like asthma should not be exposed to damp and mold. Molds are a widely underestimated allergy trigger. Mold allergy is a reaction to mold, which is associated with a whole host of unpleasant symptoms. Allergic people have reported panic attacks, wheezing, a runny nose and depression as a result of exposure to mold.

 

Dust mites are extremely common and are again a little-understood allergy trigger for many people. Even the cleanest homes harbor dust mites, which tend to lurk in mattresses, upholstery and carpets. These tiny creatures are microscopic; they don’t bite, but they can cause allergy symptoms in certain people. They love the warm, humid conditions that domestic environments provide. They need food (such as keratin broken down by fungi) and moisture to survive. They’re prolific in humid environments, so taking away excess moisture can really help to reduce the dust mite population in your home. Remember that you’ll need to combine this with thorough cleaning and dust mite-proofing measures to have a significant effect.

 

Condensation is a widespread problem. Cooking, showers and baths can all cause condensation, which in turn can contribute to damp and mold growth. A dehumidifier can help to reduce the effects of this in other rooms of the house.

 

Excess moisture can cause furniture and upholstery to harbor mildew. They can develop that characteristic ‘musty’ smell and feel slightly damp to the touch. A dehumidifier can help to prevent this. Remember if you have antique furniture or woodwork, be careful not to let the air get too dry. Air that’s too dry can cause woodwork to warp and crack. If you do notice something out of the norm with your HVAC system or air in your home, make sure to contact us so we can inspect it for you.

 

Having your Air Conditioner Ready for Summer

 

 

An air conditioner’s filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.

Check the Filter

The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. With normal airflow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%. For central air conditioners, filters are generally located somewhere along the return duct’s length. Common filter locations are in walls, ceilings, furnaces, or in the air conditioner itself. Room air conditioners have a filter mounted in the grill that faces into the room. Some types of filters are reusable; others must be replaced. They are available in a variety of types and efficiencies. Clean or replace your air conditioning system’s filter or filters every month or two during the cooling season. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions, or you have fur-bearing pets in the house.

Air Conditioner Coils

The air conditioner’s evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their months and years of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from soiling quickly. In time, however, the evaporator coil will still collect dirt. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. To avoid this problem, check your evaporator coil every year and clean it as necessary. Outdoor condenser coils can also become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if dirt is collecting on its fins. You should minimize dirt and debris near the condenser unit. Your dryer vents, falling leaves, and lawn mower are all potential sources of dirt and debris. Cleaning the area around the coil, removing any debris, and trimming foliage back at least 2 feet allows for adequate airflow around the condenser.

Coil Fins

The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils are easily bent and can block airflow through the coil. Air conditioning wholesalers sell a tool called a “fin comb” that will comb these fins back into nearly original condition. If you ever notice anything out of the norm, make sure to contact us so we can inspect it.

Why the Placement of the Thermostat is Important

 

 

 

 

Your thermostat plays a crucial role in your home. It controls the heating and cooling system to adjust the temperature of your home to ensure comfort. You may have never considered that the actual placement of the thermostat could significantly affect the efficiency of the HVAC system. If your thermostat is located somewhere in your home that is affecting temperature readings, you may be experiencing problems with accuracy at the expense of your comfort and your electricity bill. Proper placement of your thermostat makes a huge difference in accurate heating and cooling of your home.

If you are experiencing high energy bills or hot and cold spots throughout your home, these are signs that your thermostat placement may be off. Another sign is your HVAC system turns on and off frequently without doing its job completely.

3 Frequent Errors of Thermostat Placement

There are some areas of your home that your thermostat should stay clear of. Wrongful thermostat placement can have negative effects in your home, and here are the places to avoid.

Thermostat is in direct sunlight

If your thermostat is placed in direct sunlight, chances are it is reading a much higher temperature than the actual air temperature in your home. In this case, you may notice your cooling system working much harder in the summer and find that your home is very cold during the winter.

Thermostat is too close to air vents

Placing a thermostat too close to air vents can give the thermostat false readings on the temperature of your home. For instance, if you start up your cooling system and your thermostat is next to your air vents, cool air will blow from your air vents onto your thermostat, and will yield a false reading that your home is cool, causing the system to turn off.

Thermostat is not centralized

The best place for your thermostat for an accurate temperature reading is towards the center of your home. This allows the thermostat to read the average temperature of your home, maximizing the system’s accuracy in making your home comfortable. In contract, a thermostat placed on one side of your home may read differently from the temperature of the rest of your home, and cause your heating or cooling to be inaccurate.

The ideal spot for your thermostat is in a hallway in the center of your home, away from direct sunlight and air vents. If you are unsure about where to place your thermostat or think you may need to have it moved, make sure to contact us.

Maintain the Air Conditioner now to help keep your Home Cool

 

Filter maintenance is the quickest, easiest way to ensure your air conditioner works at its maximum efficiency. Whether you’re using a window, central or portable air conditioner, a clogged filtration system can be just as detrimental to your unit as it is to your air quality. It’s important to check and change your filters on a regular basis, but it’s especially important to change them before the spring and summer seasons.

Once a filter becomes too full to function, the dust and other airborne particulates your unit pulls in begin to cling to interior components and obstruct vent openings. All of the extra strain will eventually cause your compressor to work harder and less efficiently.

Find a temperature that you’re comfortable with and stick to it. The lower the temperature setting, the harder your unit will have to work. Installing a programmable thermostat will go a long way in making sure that your home is always comfortable. Remember, if your home is sweltering, don’t set the thermostat to the lowest setting in order to cool things down as quickly as possible. All this does is put unnecessary stress on your unit. Simply put the air conditioner on its normal temperature.

The same advice goes for portable and window units, especially if it’s your sole cooling source. Don’t wait until it is 100 degrees outside to set the unit to 65 degrees. Find a mild temperature that works for you and set the unit to that temperature before the heat of the day. That way, your unit will have the area already cool when the heat sets in and won’t have to work as hard to keep it cool.

Shrubs, debris and plants can lead to unnecessary buildup around the outdoor condenser unit during the summer, which can hamper the flow of air. Make sure that you keep the area around the condenser unit clean and clear in order to help it operate at peak efficiency. Window units should also be cleared of any obstructions to ensure an uninterrupted flow of air. Remove any screens on your window when using a window air conditioner, as well. You can also contact us, and we can inspect the air conditioner for you.

 

Remember to Change the Air Filter this Spring

 

Replacing the air filter each month is something that’s very important for the overall efficiency of an air conditioning system. And now that spring is here, this home maintenance task should move to the top of the list. Changing the filter does more than just keep you feeling healthy. It also stops the larger particles in the air that could damage the HVAC system.

 

If you do not change the air filter in a timely manner, the dirt and debris can take its toll on your air conditioning system. It will not be able to draw in much air due to all the extra resistance, which can stop your air conditioner from functioning properly. Breakdowns become more and more likely, and efficiency levels go down. That’s why it’s so vital that you change it every few months, at most.

 

Changing the air filter in the spring is one great way to help your air conditioning system perform better into the summer, but it’s not all you should do as far as spring maintenance is concerned. The components of your air conditioner may have worn down quite a bit in the last season. And this means that you’re less likely to notice poorer performance going into spring and summer if you don’t schedule a professional maintenance visit before it gets too warm.

 

Regular maintenance inspections can help to improve the performance and efficiency of your air conditioner because it leaves the system in better shape than it was before. You get a tune-up and adjustment of some of the components, including tasks like tightening electrical connections. The outside coil gets cleaned, and the entire unit gets a thorough inspection. Some of the benefits of this service include better energy efficiency, noticeable home comfort, and a longer lifespan for your air conditioning system.

Proper Maintenance for your Air Conditioner

 

 

An air conditioner’s filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for the unit to function effectively and efficiently throughout its years of service. Neglecting necessary maintenance ensures a steady decline in air conditioning performance while energy use steadily increases.

 

Air Conditioner Filters

The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean its filters. Clogged, dirty filters block normal airflow and reduce a system’s efficiency significantly. With normal airflow obstructed, air that bypasses the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Clean or replace your air conditioning system’s filter or filters every month or two during the cooling season. Filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions, or you have pets in the house.

The Coils

The air conditioner’s evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over their months and years of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from soiling quickly. Over time, however, the evaporator coil will still collect dirt. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. To avoid this problem, check your evaporator coil every year and clean it as necessary. Outdoor condenser coils can also become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the condenser coil and notice if dirt is collecting on its fins. You should minimize dirt and debris near the condenser unit. Your dryer vents, leaves, and lawn mower are all potential sources of dirt and debris. Cleaning the area around the coil, removing any debris, and trimming foliage back at least 2 feet allow for adequate airflow around the condenser.

Make sure to contact us if you notice anything out of the norm with your HVAC system. By noticing an issue at the first sign, you can help to save time, money, and stress in the long run.

Making Sure the Air Quality is the Best it can Be in your Home

 

 

One way to have to improve the air in your home is to invest in an air filtration system. This will help to remove the allergens and pollutants that are in the air of your home. The indoor air will usually contain debris and particles of pollen, mold spores, and other allergens. Some particles can be easily seen and cleaned up, like household dust. Other particles carry viruses, odors, bacteria, and are microscopic. It is important to use an air filter or air purifier in any room to reduce the amount of these airborne particles. This will also reduce the chance of you and your family becoming ill from the harm these particles carry with them.

 

 

When you have an air filtration system, the air will run through the filtering system in order to remove the impurities in it. The filters that are used can range from ones that are used in your home, to ones that are used in biological research facilities. The filters can help capture the dirt, dust, and pollen that can be in the air of your home. When the air in your home is clean, you can reduce the chance of asthma or allergy symptoms for you or your family. If you are not sure what type of air filtration system to invest in, make sure to contact us and we can recommend the one right for your home.

 
Remember to maintain the system regularly, as this can help prevent further issues from forming. If there is anything out of the norm, you should contact us so the issue does not become more problematic in the long run.

Inspect the Air Conditioner this Spring

 

Your HVAC system is like any other machine, so it needs consistent care to work well. There are several simple things you can do to keep your HVAC system healthy this spring, like keeping the equipment clean and scheduling HVAC maintenance.

 

 

 

Keep Your Filter Clean

Your filter is often the first line of defense in keeping your HVAC system protected. When a filter becomes clogged with dirt and other debris collected in the filtering process, it creates an effective block to the airflow of the system. This can then cause new problems to form, such as an overworked motor or diminished air quality. Replace your filter regularly and buy high-efficiency options that can capture and deactivate even the tiniest pollutants.

 

There are several areas in your HVAC system that can create a series of problems if they are not kept clean. Clean your condenser drains and clear off any pollen, leaves, grass, or twigs that have gathered on your outdoor unit. If you have grass growing near the unit, make sure there is a two-foot clearance all the way around.

 

Also make sure to inspect the ductwork system in your home. Over time dirt, dust, and debris can form in there. This will clog the flow of the air resulting in poor efficiency. The system will also have to work harder in order to have the air move through. If you notice any issues, make sure to contact us so we can inspect the system for you.

K&S has been your trusted Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical partner since 1988.

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