Preparing Your Home For Air Conditioning Season
Save Money This Season With These Energy-Saving Guidelines
Winter has passed and now it’s time to start cranking up the air conditioning. Usually, our Atlanta weather is fairly mild in the spring, but a few humid days remind us that warm weather is only a few weeks away. Your A/C system works harder than ever between the months of May and August, and those expensive energy bills are just around the corner.
Before you’re hit with your first big bill from your energy provider, follow these 12 steps to ensure that your home or business is getting the most out of our central air conditioning system.
- Make sure your outdoor air conditioning unit can breathe! Your unit should always have clear access to open air, so cut back any shrubs or branches or that might be in the way. We recommend at least 18” of clear space in all directions of the unit.
- Never let vines grow into your A/C unit. Not only can these pesky plants block airflow, but they can cause interior damage to the unit and cost you big money.
- Do not allow grass clipping to blow into the unit while it is running. We also suggest never dumping grass clippings in close proximity to the air conditioning unit. These clippings can increase energy costs, reduce the life cycle of your appliance, and even cause a system breakdown.
- Keep the filters clean. If you are unable to clean your A/C filters, always call a professional.
- Check for any indoor water leakage. For indoor air conditioning units, pooling water can be a sign of damage, so you should call a local HVAC company to check it out. On the other hand, it is normal for outdoor units to leak small amounts of water.
- Do not close indoor or outdoor vents unless you have specifically discussed doing so with a service professional. Proper airflow is critical to thermostat control and efficient HVAC use.
- Have you noticed a trail of ants moving into or around your air conditioning unit? If so, you need to call an exterminator or take care of the problem yourself. As ants begin to reappear in the springtime, they might begin to call your HVAC unit home, which can cause major damage to the air conditioner.
- Most air conditioning systems use drainage pipes or pumps to transport water outside. During your next tune-up, ask your service professional to locate that area and make sure it remains clear at all times.
- Should you cover the outdoor unit? No! Air conditioner covers from the winter trap moisture inside the unit – failing to remove the cover before use can cause serious A/C problems, which might include full unit failure.
- How cold should the air be coming out of the vents in my home? This answer varies depending on the type of HVAC system you’re using, but we generally recommend that blowing air should be about 20 degrees cooler than the interior space to meet your thermostat setting.
- Is it bad to open windows during cool evenings or nights? Everyone loves fresh air and a nice breeze, but from an energy-efficiency standpoint, open windows force moisture-rich air into your home. The following day, your HVAC unit will have to work exceptionally hard to balance temperatures and moisture levels.
- On a 95-degree afternoon, how cool should the interior of my house be? While most people will want a cool temperature in the low 70’s, it is usually best for your residential thermostat to be set somewhere around 78 degrees. For most residential HVAC units, your system will be able to hold this temperature reliably without breaking the bank or taking on too much humidity. For two-stage A/C units or larger commercial sizes, this same rule may not apply, but in any case, it’s always best to speak with an indoor air comfort specialist.
Follow these 12 tips and tricks to stay cool this summer and spring, ensure a long-lasting HVAC system, and save money on monthly energy bills. Have other questions about cost-saving features in your air conditioner? Contact Empire Heating & Air Conditioning today to learn how you can save big.