4 HVAC Maintenance Habits to Stop Doing Immediately
4 HVAC Maintenance You Need Our Help With
Air conditioning has become an essential part of summer life. Our health, comfort, and safety are not dependent on outside temperatures; we can wake up well-rested and refreshed every morning. Inside is a relief from the summer heat outside. However, we often develop bad habits that make our air conditioners work harder and eventually less efficiently. Here are some reminders to develop better habits to keep air conditioners running strong all summer long.
Changing the Air Filters
How often do you hear this reminder? Air filters are constantly removing airborne particles from the air. Even when the air filter is completely covered, it will continue to catch dust and dander. A clogged filter reduces airflow, preventing the cool air from entering your home. This puts extra stress on the air conditioner system and can lead to a major failure. For this reason, the filter needs to be changed at least every three months.
The solution—schedule a prompt to remind you to change the filter. Use the seasons or holidays as reminders. Purchase filters in advance to have them available when needed.
Cleaning the Condenser
The outdoor condenser unit also works as a filter and needs to be cleaned. What appears to be a solid cabinet is actually a network of tubes, surrounded by very thin fins. Air must pass through this network to cool the hot gas inside; a fan aggressively pulls air through the network. As it does, dust, pollen, and grass clippings collect on the outside of the network, preventing good airflow. If this gas does not cool properly, the hot gas will overheat the compressor and cause major damage.
The solution—with a garden hose, the dirt, and clippings should be washed away at least once or twice annually. This essential cleaning takes about ten minutes and reduces tremendous stress on the system. Schedule a prompt to remind you to clean the condenser, perhaps at the beginning and the end of the cooling season.
Each room has at least one supply air vent and each floor has at least one return air plenum. During the day-to-day activity, it is easy to move furniture or accessories to accidentally cover these openings. Some homeowners close vents to unused rooms, hoping to save money, but this is an ineffective effort. Each air conditioner system is customized for the home before it is installed and it will seek to cool rooms, even rooms that are closed off.
The solution—make a quick check to make sure vents and returns are clear from obstacles.
Turning the Thermostat Way Down
What is a normal thermostat setting? First, an air conditioner functions efficiently when the inside and outside temperatures are within 200 F of each other. Second, the recommended range for the thermostat setting is between 720 and 780 F. There is plenty of room for comfort in this range. Turning the thermostat below 720 is asking the air conditioner system to accomplish an impossible task. Turning the thermostat down is not the same as opening the faucet wider; it will not cool faster with a lower setting. This only makes it work harder than necessary and keeps occupants only as comfortable as with a normal setting.
The solution—trust the thermostat to call for cooling as needed for a normal comfort setting.
Neglecting Routine Maintenance. The importance of routine maintenance cannot be overstated. Maintenance includes thorough cleaning and inspection of electrical controls, capacitors, and sensors. The pressure level of the refrigerant gas is essential for proper functioning and handling of this environmentally sensitive gas must be completed by licensed professionals. These checks uncover small problems before they become big problems.
The solution—schedule a calendar prompt to remind you to call your HVAC technician for a PM visit.
Need an HVAC Maintenance Contractor? We can help!
Contact our HVAC Maintenance team at Doctor Cool & Professor Heat today at 281-338-8751 or email Doctor Cool and let our professional Residential AC Repair technicians assist with all of your HVAC Maintenance services.