Orlando AC Repair: 3 Easy Tips To Get Improved Performance From Your Air Conditioning or Heat Pump System
Who doesn’t love Pro Tips, right? I don’t know about you, but anytime I get a chance to learn a professional’s secrets, I get excited. That’s why I’m excited to share these little tips and tricks with you.
Years of Orlando AC repair have taught me how to maximize the performance and extend the useful life of heat pumps and air conditioning systems. If your cooling system is underperforming your expectations, read on.
A note on AC repair near me: humidity and high heat present different challenges than other climates. These tips and tricks, however, aren’t unique to the Orlando area climate, and will work just as well if you’re in Philadelphia, Des Moines, or Seattle.
So how do you help your heat pump or AC reach its full potential?
Insulation, insulation, insulation. A home’s thermal envelope is a critical performance factor. In case you’re wondering what a thermal envelope is, it means the structural elements of your home that hold warm or cool air inside, where you want it to be.
Your doors, windows, walls, and ceilings are all part of your thermal envelope. That’s why Energy Star recommends high-efficiency windows, as a for instance. But in this case, we’re talking:
Attics. Inadequate insulation at the top of your home means heat loss in the winter and heat penetration in the summer. A well-insulated attic will immediately help your AC perform better.
Doors and windows – An intrepid homeowner who has read Orlando AC Repairs collection of tips and tricks could easily find and repair leak points that are causing your system to work harder. Many Orlando homes are losing as much as 40% of their thermal energy to leaks. Check windows and doors and seal any leaks with caulk and weather stripping.
Ductwork. Many homeowners forget that ducts should also be insulated, particularly when they run through uninsulated spaces such as garages or attics. You also want to seal leaks between your attic and living space, and seal all of your HVAC vents.
Spray-in foam can be a big help here. It’s all about making sure the energy goes where you want it to go. If you aren’t sure how to handle this, duct repair is one of the many heating air conditioning services we offer.
Keep it clean. We often stress the importance of preventive maintenance, and we’re about to do it again. Like Ben Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If you put that in HVAC terms, it means that doing simple maintenance tasks can help stave off nightmarishly expensive repairs. When we’re talking about preventive maintenance, we mean:
Air filters. Keep these clean, and they’ll return the favor by keeping your air free of allergens, pollen, mold, dust, and mildew. However, if you forget to clean them or replace them at least once a month, you’re risking the integrity of your system.
The first thing that will happen is a loss of efficiency, as your system has to work hard to compensate for the restrictions in airflow. Left unchecked, that can lead to far worse than performance problems, however – like a slugged compressor and an AC repair bill that will definitely make you sweat.
Intake registers and air vents. Even if you’re one of those people who always remember to change the filter, you might be forgetting to clean the registers and vents. It also helps to keep them open and clear.
It’s a misconception that closing vents off to rooms you aren’t using will save you money – your heat pump or air conditioner will deliver the same output regardless, all you’re doing is changing the balance of airflow and increasing air pressure.
This could actually impact the performance negatively. In short, keep your intake registers and air vents as clean as your filters, and don’t close them. It is also advisable to keep curtains, furnishings, and such from covering your vents and registers, for the same reason.
Anything that makes your system work harder lowers its efficiency – the exact opposite of our goal.
Clean the outdoor unit. Out of sight, out of mind. Since most of us put some effort into hiding the condenser unit (we’ve seen privacy fences, strategically placed bushes, and more) it’s easy to forget to keep it clean.
However, over time, lawn clippings, pollen, dust, dirt, and anything else the wind and weather can kick up can build up on the fins, fans, and chassis of your exposed outdoor unit. One quick way to improve performance is to clean the outdoor unit – we recommend twice a year.
Do it gently, with a garden hose, and make sure that no weeds or grass are growing within two or three feet of the unit.
Upgrade your thermostat. The EPA makes a very big deal about programmable thermostats, because they can save you up to $150 a year, on average.
If you’ve got a decent grip on your schedule and a programmable thermostat, you can improve the performance of your system by making sure it turns on precisely when it is most needed, and runs for appropriately timed super-efficient cycles.
Many modern thermostats are also Wi-Fi capable and come with apps that allow you to track efficiency and performance from your phone. I’ve found that it can become kind of a game, to see what little tricks there are to pull the absolute maximum efficiency and performance from your air conditioner or heat pump.
Remember – Orlando AC Repair is always here to advise you. Next time you get the urge to hop on your phone and search “ac repair near me,” just give us a call, instead. We’ll steer you in the right direction.
Call 407-499-8942 today with questions or to schedule a service call and save $25!
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.