Cooling System Checklist

Carbon Clean Merv 16 filter

Carbon Clean Merv 16 filter

Here is a DIY checklist to make sure your cooling system will save you money on your electric bill this spring and summer.

  • Have the cooling system maintained and inspected yearly, by a qualified contractor like us.
  • Set the thermostat at 78°F.  Each degree higher saves approximately 6% on air conditioning costs.
  • Don’t turn the thermostat lower than the desired setting.  The house will not cool off any faster and can overshoot the desired temperature – wasting energy.
  • Install a ceiling fan to create air movement.  The air movement can keep you cool at a higher temperature, allowing you to avoid using your air conditioner, or letting you set the air conditioner at a higher temperature.
  • Cut back plants, bushes, and trees that may restrict air flow to the outdoor unit.
  • Keep the outdoor coils free of dirt, debris, and leaves.
  • Keep windows shut when closing up the house for the day or when running the air conditioner.
  • Make sure your clothes dryer is vented outdoors.  You don’t need the heat or humidity inside the house.
  • Close your drapes on hot days.  If there is some way to shade your windows from the outside, this will keep out even more heat.
  • Use kitchen and bath vents to rid the house of excess heat and moisture.  Turn off the gas furnace pilot light in the summer.
  • Change the furnace filter.  They need to be changed anywhere from every 30-270 days.

Staying Powered for Fall/Winter

Just because the leaves have dropped and snow has fallen, depending on where you live, doesn’t mean it’s time for your HVAC unit to go into hibernation like a bear.  Most people think it’s okay to turn off their units once the weather cools down, but doing so could be costly in the long run.  Here are three reasons you should not power down your units during the fall/winter season:

  1. Year-round results: HVAC units don’t just cool and heat; they also circulate air and act as dehumidifiers when the cool fall air makes things damp.
  2. Cost-efficient: Constantly turning units off and on is not the ideal way to save.  It’s inexpensive to simply keep the units on, as long as homeowners adjust their thermostat to the home’s desired comfort level so they’re not needlessly cooling or heating.
  3. Fall maintenance: Keeping the units on gives dealers the chance to perform fall/winter maintenance and discover any problem areas before the units are needed for severe weather.Maintenance Agreement/J & R Heating

Home Efficiency Checklist

IMG_1225

Weather stripping around doors.

Here are a number of simple and inexpensive DIY projects that will reduce your heating cost this winter and cooling costs next summer.  These projects will also make your home a healthier and more comfortable place to live.

  • Weather-strip the attic access door.
  • Seal the holes between the heated space and the attic.
  • Check weather-stripping on windows and doors inside and outside of the house.
  • Caulk along baseboards with a clear sealant.
  • Replace your old leaky windows.  When unable to replace an inefficient window, install plastic over the inside of the window.  If you desire something more permanent than plastic, install an interior storm window.
  • Replace broken glass and any loose caulking.
  • Replace an old warped entry door with a new insulated door.
  • Keep dryer vent screens lint free.
  • Seal any holes in the foundation wall with caulk for foam sealant.
  • If you have a crawl space, place a layer of plastic on the dirt floor.
Window

Make sure your windows are sealed.

8 Things to Check Before Calling for A/C Service

1. Have you checked the filter? – Dirt is the number one cause of system failure.

Filters

2. Is the gas meter turned on with your local utility provider?

3. Have you made sure the electrical power to the house is on? 

4. Are there batteries in the thermostat? – If the thermostat display doesn’t light up, change the batteries.

5. Did the circuit breaker get tripped? – Reset the breaker, if the breaker to your HVAC unit has been tripped.  Keep in mind that circuit breakers trip for safety reasons and if the breaker trips again, a certified electrician should look into the problem. Many times, the breaker isn’t the problem, it’s something in the wiring pulling more electricity than it should.

6. Check the condensation pump and/or A/C drain line? – If it is full or plugged empty the pan and flush the drain line.  An HVAC technician IS recommended for this.

7.  Have you made sure the thermostat is set to cool or heat?  

8.  Is the outdoor unit dirty and/or filled with cotton or debris?

Please note that articles from other places may mention more or different things to check, however, they most likely are not safe to check yourself.  I just read an article where an HVAC technician died by touching the filter cabinet.  They died just by trying to change the filter.  Change a filter is normally a safe thing to do.  If you ever question your safety when checking your HVAC equipment, call an certified and licensed HVAC company.

HVAC Cabinet