It’s summer! And it’s a hot one! We bet everyone has had their a/c on pretty continuously so far this summer. We thought we’d cover a few tips on how to keep your air conditioner running smoothly, efficiently, and effectively in order to avoid needing Ocean County air conditioner repair. There are some pretty easy things you can do at home to help keep your home cool while not putting any extra strain on your appliance. Of course, if there are any issues with your HVAC system, give us a call to come take a look. If you are noticing any strange sounds, smells, or if it feels like your a/c isn’t able to actually cool your home or maintain a temperature, we should inspect it to make sure there is no major damage or soon-to-be issues to take care of. The sooner a problem is identified, the easier (and less expensive!) it is to fix!
From general maintenance to strategic planning, here’s some tips on how to help your a/c function better.
Take a walk around your house. Take a look at your vents and registers. Are they blocked by furniture? Do they look like they are clogged with dust and pet hair? One super easy thing to do that allows your air conditioner to run effectively is making sure all vents are unblocked and clean of debris. This not only allows clear air flow, it’s better for you and your family too.
If you’ve heard the myth that closing off vents in rooms you don’t use will save you money, don’t believe it. It is in fact false. Your HVAC system was installed as an entire unit. Meaning it’s meant to function as it was installed. It was designed to function most efficiently with all vents and registers open. When you close off certain air routes, your system is still working as if they are open. So, by closing or blocking vents and registers, you are causing unnecessary strain on your unit. Blockages lead to increased pressure which can lead to leaks and breakdowns. That means higher energy bills and a visit from one of our highly-trained Ocean County air conditioner repair technicians. Not that we don’t enjoy visiting our customers, but we’re sure you only want to see us for your regularly scheduled maintenance visits!
First, we highly recommend having a programmable or smart thermostat installed. This allows you to set your thermostat to come on and turn off during certain periods of the day depending on your schedule. Turning the temperature up while you’re not home gives the appliance a break. Plus, you save on energy bills by not cooling your house when no one is home. Then, you can set it to come on a little bit before you arrive home so your home is cool on your return. You can do the same in winter with your heat.
Secondly, consider moving the setting a few degrees higher than what you normally set it at. As long as you and your family are still comfortable, a slight change in degrees (down in winter and up in summer) allow you to save money and protect your HVAC system from excessive use.
Lastly, make sure there is no heat-producing appliances installed near your thermostat. Having anything that produces its own heat near your thermostat will cause it to run when it is not necessary. If the air around the thermostat is warmer than the rest of your home, you’re a/c will think it needs to keep running when it does not. Extended running time causes unnecessary wear and tear on your entire system leading to early repairs and premature system failure.
Keep it Clean
No, this isn’t a moral request. We’re talking about both the indoor portion of your unit as well at the outdoor condenser. When it comes to indoors, other than keeping vents clear and clean, make sure the area around your air handler is clean as well. Ensure there is plenty of room for airflow surrounding the unit. Making sure there is not a build-up of dirt and grime at the base of the unit and that there’s nothing stored close to or surrounding it.
As far as taking care of the condenser outdoors, don’t plant bushes, trees, or large flowers close to the unit. It should have a clear flow of air around the entire machine. A good rule is to keep a full 24 inches of space surrounding your unit. If you think your condenser needs a good cleaning, you can give us a call anytime. You can also read this for some surface, non-invasive cleaning tips for your condenser. Just make sure you turn off the power to the unit at your fuse box. Remove any obvious dirt, grime, and debris and rinse the unit well with your hose.
Besides cleaning the individual portions of your air conditioner, make sure the filter in the air handler is changed at least every 3 months. If you have a reusable filter, clean it often. A clogged filter will restrict air flow reducing the efficiency of your unit. Additionally, we should be inspecting your unit annually. By having a qualified professional come in and thoroughly check your HVAC system, any small problems can be identified and fixed before they become major, expensive issues.
If you need your unit inspected, or if you are noticing anything strange about the function of you’re a/c, give us a call today! When it comes to Ocean County air conditioner repair, look no further than Toms River Heating and Air Conditioning.