I know something important:
I know how expensive your central air conditioning system was. I know how much the average homeowner is spending on energy bills to cool their home.
And I think you are paying too much money.
I also think you should make your air conditioning system last as long as possible to offset that expense.
With the enormous price tag central air carries at installation, you should do everything you can to make the system last – and make your Orlando AC repair company help.
That’s why we’re here, after all.
So, to keep it brief …
I’ve got a few tips and tricks to help you out – and these are backed up by proper scientific research and guaranteed to work. If you employ a little time, attention, and energy, your air conditioning system could even outlive the warranty.
So … if I have your attention …
Read on to find out more.
1 – KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR LITTLE WARNING SIGNS
Your air conditioner will usually be pretty great at telling you that something is fishy. If you know what to watch for, you’ll be more likely to catch problems early – before they get out of hand and cost you a fortune.
Catching problems early also prevents them from damaging other components in your air conditioner and shortening its lifespan.
HVAC repair axioms and pearls of wisdom are usually accurate. One of my favorites is straight from Ben Franklin, and even though he wasn’t talking about air conditioners back in 1736 (he was talking about fires, if you were curious), it certainly applies.
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Basically, if you catch a problem while it’s small, it won’t cost you nearly as much to fix, and it won’t create a cascading mess of other problems for you, either. So here are a few warning signs to watch for.
If you spot any impending disasters, shoot a call or email over to your Orlando AC repair professionals and ask for a preemptive air conditioning service.
2: CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTERS REGULARLY
If you were to ask me for JUST ONE piece of advice for caring for your AC system, this might be it. At every job in AC repair near me – and an enormous percentage of the air conditioning services we perform – can be traced back to blockages and airflow issues.
Dirty filters lead to a whole host of other problems, including:
3: CHOOSE THE RIGHT FILTER
Speaking of filters:
You have options. The one that came with your system isn’t the only compatible filter. Not every Orlando AC repair technician agrees on which type of filter you should use. Some will advise pleated, disposable filters.
Some will recommend electrostatic washable filters. You may, if you have allergies, choose HEPA filters. However, some higher-resistance filters exact a toll on your system’s efficiency because your air handler has to work harder to circulate air through them.
Striking a balance between performance (how well it traps particulates) and resistance (how easily air passes through) is key to getting the maximum life out of your air conditioner.
4: ADD CEILING FANS TO YOUR HOME
Ceiling fans don’t get enough love, in my opinion.
They’re relatively cheap and simple to install, and they have a staggeringly positive impact on your home. The problem seems to be that many people think of ceiling fans, box fans, and standing fans as a replacement for air conditioning systems, when in reality they are meant to work in conjunction with your HVAC.
A ceiling fan works in the simplest way imaginable: it moves a lot of air around, quite slowly. You don’t have to have them turned to maximum speed to achieve their cooling effect.
A room with a ceiling fan will feel about 4-5 degrees cooler than it actually is, which allows you the luxury of setting your thermostat an equivalent number of degrees higher.
Setting your thermostat higher gives your air conditioner less work to do, which reduces the duration of the “ON” cycle, which saves you money.
But how much money does it really save you?
A lot. Depending on your usage, you’ll see a substantial net savings. A ceiling fan typically costs around one cent ($0.01) each hour to run. An air conditioner is over 40 times more expensive than that.
Here’s the kicker:
The ceiling fan reduces your air conditioner costs by up to $0.17 per hour. Over a month of usage, that could drop your energy bills by $30 or more.
That sure sounds like a winner to me.
5: ADD A MODERN WI-FI CAPABLE, PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
Your thermostat is the brains of the HVAC operation, and it pays to have the best brain around. A thermostat will dramatically increase efficiency, which – as I’ve said – will lengthen the lifespan of your air conditioning. It will also reduce the incidence of needing AC repair.
Even if you have a programmable thermostat, you should speak to your air conditioning service provider and discover whether recent advances in the technology could outstrip the capabilities of your current stat.
What kind of feats can modern thermostats accomplish?
Glad you asked. Modern thermostats can be controlled from your phone or tablet, which means you can turn the system on mid-commute, rather than leaving your home at a cooler temperature all day or trying to predict your schedule as closely as possible.
For people with varying or unpredictable schedules, it isn’t feasible to program a weekly routine into your thermostat – and wi-fi control solves that problem quite neatly.
Thermostats with modern technology can also help to create cooling zones in your home – so that your money only goes to cooling down rooms that will be occupied.
If you’ve got a guest room that you know isn’t being used, or don’t feel like cooling off your dining room when there are no dinner parties happening, zones will be a big help.
6: CLEAN OFF YOUR OUTDOOR CONDENSER UNIT REGULARLY
Your outside unit works hard, and depending on where your home is located, it probably lives hard as well. Whether your climate woes are humidity, snow, dry heat, high winds, or something else entirely, there’s no way living outdoors year-round is going to be problem-free.
However, your condenser has to be kept clean to effectively perform the task for which it was designed. The coils and fins enable your system to gather heat from within your home and expel it into the Great Outdoors.
Keeping your condenser unit free of debris is simple. Just make sure all plants and bushes are trimmed a few feet back, and give it a once-over every few month or so. Make sure that the fins are straight and clean and that nothing is caught in there.
Leaves, grass clippings, trash, dirt, weeds, and the like will clog your condenser and stop it from dissipating heat. When that happens, your equipment suffers.
One method I’ve found helpful is this:
When you’re watering your lawn or garden, hose off the condenser unit as well!
7: SHADE YOUR CONDENSER UNIT
Shading your condenser can improve its performance by up to 10%, and that means savings AND a healthier system. There are a couple of ways to do this:
8: TALK TO US ABOUT SCHEDULING AN ANNUAL OR BIANNUAL TUNE-UP
When the spring rolls around and you’re getting ready to shake the dust off of your air conditioner for the warmer seasons, you should schedule a tune-up. You may also choose to have the system gone over at the end of the season to make as certain as you can that the spring tune-up won’t turn up any unpleasant surprises.
I bet you’re wondering:
What’s a tune-up, and why should you pay for one?
It isn’t a hustle, I promise. It’s one of the smartest ways to spend money on Orlando HVAC repair, and it’s actually a pretty inexpensive process.
Think of it the way you would a car: every few thousand miles, you want to change the oil, rotate the tires, check the brakes, and so on. Well, in a year, your air conditioner is doing an amount of work nearly the equivalent of a car driving 170,000 miles.
A tune-up doesn’t sound so unreasonable now, does it?
As for what a tune-up is, that’s easy to explain.
Those are the basic steps of a tune-up, and if they turn up anything worrisome, your air conditioning service professionals will advise you on what steps to take next.
9: CLEAN YOUR RETURN GRILLS AND VENTS
This works on a principle similar to your air filters. If those grills are blocked or obstructed, the air conditioner has to work that much harder to get things done. It is such a simple job that including it in the checklist of Owner Maintenance Tasks should be a no-brainer.
A few things to keep in mind, though:
10: UV LIGHTS – THE BACTERIA-FREE WAVE OF THE FUTURE
A slightly more recent innovation, ultraviolet light bulbs can be strategically installed over coils or inside ducts to effectively destroy mold and bacteria. This will take some of the strain off your filters and allow your system to work more efficiently, and as added value, it will also increase the air quality.
They are particularly helpful for those suffering from allergies, asthma, or pulmonary disease.
While UV lights have recently become a very affordable option as far as AC repair near me is concerned, they are a viable and proven method of controlling bacteria and mold, which are often a particularly serious problem in the humid climate we experience here in Orlando.
It’s up to you to decide what that’s worth, but we are more than happy to answer your questions.
11: ASK YOUR HVAC REPAIR SERVICE PROVIDER FOR A DUCT INSPECTION
Your home is probably losing 20% (or more!) of its cooling energy to imperfect ductwork.
In recent years, HVAC repair specialists have gained a far more sophisticated understanding of how the ventilation apparatus we call ductwork impacts your central air’s performance.
Here’s a clue: it’s a really important factor.
Ductwork that is outdated, poorly installed, or improperly laid out can lead to a money-devouring energy loss problem. If you suspect that might be the case, you should ask for a duct inspection to be included at your next air conditioning service appointment.
Call us with questions or concerns at 407-499-8942
Michael Haines is a veteran A/C contractor and founder of the largest and oldest e-commerce site in the heating and air conditioning industry. His HVAC websites have served 10's of thousands of customers.