In hot, humid Columbus, Ohio, you count on your air conditioner for comfort day and night. Unfortunately, it always seems like problems arise right when you need your AC the most. Many issues start small, but if ignored, they can develop into something more serious. For instance, a clogged air filter can impair home comfort and raise your energy bills; a clogged condensate drain can cause water to back up into your home, and a fraying fan belt can snap and damage other components around it. Avoid cooling issues – and the costly repairs that often accompany them – with these tips. Change the Air Filter Regularly Make a habit of checking the air filter once a month, and change it after no more than three months or as recommended by the manufacturer. A clogged AC filter slows airflow through the system, making your air conditioner work harder than necessary to circulate air. This puts more pressure on various system components and makes them wear out sooner. Extend the life of your AC and avoid costly repairs this summer by completing this simple maintenance task. Clean the Outdoor Condensing Unit The exterior portion of your air conditioner, known as the condensing unit, is exposed to the elements. When dirt, cobwebs, grass clippings and leaves collect in the fins, the unit struggles to run properly. Hose it down at least once a year to clean off layers of dirt and debris. Trim back vegetation as well to ensure adequate airflow. The goal is to keep at least one to two feet of clearance on all sides of the condensing unit. Check the Condensate Pan Frequently A condensate pan located beneath the evaporator coil collects water dripping from the coils as the AC unit extracts heat and moisture from the indoor air. Under normal circumstances, this water drains away through the condensate line. However, if the drain becomes clogged with algae or other debris, the pan may fill to the brim. This creates one of two problems – either the AC stops running because of a system failsafe, or the pan overflows and causes water damage. Fortunately, there’s an easy fix: simply check the condensate pan on occasion to ensure it’s draining properly. Slime-preventing tablets are available to help keep clog-prone condensate lines clear. Schedule AC Maintenance Once a Year On top of these things you can do yourself, you should also schedule professional AC maintenance annually to help avoid costly AC repairs. The purpose of such an inspection is to clean vital components, lubricate moving parts, tighten electrical connections and make sure everything is working right. If the tech finds a frayed fan belt, it’s easy to replace it before it snaps and causes more damage. In this way, annual AC maintenance not only keeps your cooling system up and running, but it also lowers your utility bills and prolongs the life of your equipment. To schedule an air conditioning tune-up in Columbus, OH, please contact CJS Heating and Air. ]]>
When things start to heat up outside, you stay comfortable by hunkering down in your nice, air-conditioned home. Unfortunately, central air is notorious for generating excessively high electricity bills. Use these tips to lower your summer cooling costs without losing your cool.
- Set the temperature as high as possible: If you dress in long sleeves and long pants and keep the thermostat at 74 degrees, you’re wasting energy and money. Dress for the season and turn up the temperature as high as you can without feeling uncomfortable. 78 degrees is a reasonable goal.
- Run the ceiling fan: If 78 degrees feels a bit warm, turn on a fan to create a “wind chill effect.” This makes the room feel 4 degrees cooler while consuming about 98 percent less electricity than the air conditioner.
- Install a programmable thermostat: Do you spend all day at work? There’s no need to cool a vacant house. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, install one and set it to 82 degrees while you’re gone all day to save 5 to 10 percent on your cooling bills. The automatic recovery feature restores a comfortable 78 degrees before you get home, allowing you to maximize energy savings without sacrificing comfort.
- Block the sun: Solar heat gain is a major contributor to high cooling costs. Keep the sun out by blocking the windows. Drapes and blinds prevent direct sunlight from shining in, while window films reflect heat before it transmits through the glass. You can also plant trees or install awnings to shade south- and west-facing windows during the heat of the afternoon.
- Seal up air leaks: Hot summer air wafting into your home is enough to raise your cooling bills significantly. Air sealing keeps conditioned air inside where it belongs for improved comfort and lower energy costs.
- Decrease interior heat gain: Your air conditioner must also counteract any heat generated within your home, so refrain from using the stove, oven, dishwasher, clothes dryer and other heat-generating appliances at the hottest times of the day.
- Replace the AC filter: A clogged filter restricts airflow, forcing your AC to work harder and increasing your cooling costs. Replace the filter every month (or as recommended by the manufacturer) to keep the air flowing and your utility bills under control.
- Tune up your air conditioner: The same way a car requires oil changes to get the best gas mileage, your AC needs routine maintenance to run at peak performance. Tune up your air conditioner every year to prepare it for an efficient summer.
- Upgrade to a high-efficiency cooling system: When the time comes to replace your AC, choose one that has earned the Energy Star rating. This ensures more efficient performance that will reduce your utility bills for many seasons to come.