Why should I replace my condensing unit when my air handler is the problem right now?
If your system is more than 5 years old, technological advances, especially in SEER ratings make it important for your split system to match. Units older than 5 years were not rated. New equipment today must be at least 10 SEER. With mismatched equipment, the benefits of energy efficient units would not be realized.
Should I buy a higher SEER system?
Let your pocketbook and the EERE energy guide on this site be your guide.(go to links, click on EERE site) In many areas, the local electrical utility offers rebates for installation of higher SEER A/C equipment, further reducing your cost.
Should I have an electrostatic or electronic air cleaner installed?
Allergies, dust, pollen, animal hair; if any of these things are a concern to you, definitely upgrade your A/C filtration. You should consult Donny’s HVAC, for the filtration system and other indoor air quality issues that affect your lifestyle needs.
The most common reasons for icing up in the cooling mode are:
- Dirty Filters
- Allowing unit to run when outside temperature is below 70 degrees.
- Low Refrigerant charge
**These 3 problems account for at least 90% of all “icing up” situations. Should I have a humidistat put on my A/C system**
When you are comfortable you are happy!
- Replace your furnace or air handler filters on a regular basis. Lack of regular filter changes and maintenance is the Number 1 cause of system breakdowns and costly repair bills.
- Keep the thermostat constant. Continuously adjusting the thermostat can be very inefficient. You can, however, raise the thermostat 2-3 degrees during the day while you're away to save money. For every degree you raise the setting, you can expect to cut energy consumption by up to 3-5%.
- Keep the shades and curtains drawn to reduce the radiant heat of the sun.
- Install awnings or plant trees that will shade southern facing windows. This keeps the hottest rays of the sun from shining directly into the house.
- Replace older windows with more efficient low-E glass. These windows help to reduce the effect of the suns warming rays.
**The above 3 tips will reduce the heat load gain on your home which means your air conditioner doesn't have to work as hard to keep the home at a comfortable temperature. This saves money and
extends the life of the system. **
- Install an attic fan to help ventilate some of the hot air out of the attic. Attics can reach temperatures of 140 - 150 degrees and this build of warm air can make the upstairs of a home warmer than it needs to be. This makes the air conditioner work harder to do its job. It costs you more to cool your home and the life of the system can be decreased.
- Run a dehumidifier in the basement if the basement is humid. A damp basement can add moisture to
- the whole house. With the humidity levels as high as they are around here on their own, you don't need that! A dehumidifier in the basement will help to reduce the humidity levels in the home, making it more comfortable throughout in the hot summer months. Whole house dehumidification is also available.
- Clear or cut back shrubs and bushes from the outdoor unit. The sides of the unit require at least 12-18 inches of clearance for proper performance.
- Keep fallen leaves, grass clippings, foliage and other dirt and debris away from your outdoor unit. And keep the A/C coils clean, following manufacturers' instructions.
- Don't block vents or ducts inside the house to assure air flow in the home.
- Caulk and install weather stripping around windows and doors (especially the attic) to close air gaps.\
- Avoid using the oven during the day. Run the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer in the evening, when electricity rates may be lower and heat from those appliances won't increase A/C demands.
- Turn off lamps, TV and other appliances when not in use.
- Consider use of a programmable thermostat to automatically increase or decrease temperatures during day and night to suit a family's lifestyle and reduce energy cost.
- Use shades, blinds or curtains to keep sunlight out of the house.
- Keep windows and doors closed when the A/C is on.
- Set the Thermostat - The most economical operation of your system comes from setting the thermostat properly. Set the thermostat at the highest summer setting or the lowest
- winter setting at which you are comfortable. Typical settings are 78 degrees for summer cooling and 68 degrees for winter heating. When cooling, your operating costs increase from 3% to 8% for each degree your thermostat is lowered. When heating, your operating costs increase similarly for each degree your thermostat is raised.
- Keep the Air Filter Clean - The easiest way to ensure your system operates efficiently and economically is by keeping the air filter clean. There are several types of air filters and several possible locations for the air filter. Ask your service technician the next time he's out at your home to show you where your air filter is located and which type of filter to use. If you have allergies, you should look at a pleated allergy filter or a media or electronic style air cleaner.
- Keep Doors and Windows Closed - Close all doors and windows to the outside. This will reduce the heating load in winter and the cooling load in summer. Your system will operate more economically as a result.
- Keep Vents and Grilles Unobstructed - Arrange your furniture and drapes so that all output vents and intake grilles are free from obstruction. This will reduce the cooling and heating load on your system for more economical operation.
- Avoid Excess Use of Exhaust Fans - Excessive use of kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans will make your system work harder. This will increase energy consumption and costs. Keep costs in check by making wise use of exhaust fans.
- Control Direct Sunlight - Let the sun in during the winter. In winter, direct sunlight reduces the load on your heating system. Open window shades and awnings to increase direct sunlight and lower the heating load.
- Keep Heat Away from the Thermostat - Make sure no heat-generating appliances are near your thermostat. These include lamps, TV's, stereo and computer equipment.
- Keep an Air Tight House - Ensure maximum retention of heated or cooled air by adding insulation to outside walls and to the attic. Seal cracks and use storm doors and/or insulated doors to prevent air leaks.
- Fireplaces - When you cozy up next to a crackling fire on a cold winter day, you probably don't realize that your wood-burning brick or masonry fireplace is one of the most inefficient heat sources you can possibly use. It literally sends your energy dollars
- right up the chimney along with volumes of warm air. A roaring fire can exhaust as much as 24,000 cubic feet of air per hour to the outside, which must be replaced by cold air coming into the house from the outside. Your heating system must warm up this air, which is then exhausted through your chimney. If you use your conventional fireplace while your central heating system is on, these tips can help reduce energy losses.
- Weatherization - Warm air leaking into your home during the summer and out of your home during the winter can waste a substantial portion of your energy dollars. One of the quickest dollar-saving tasks you can do is caulk, seal and weather-strips all seams, cracks and openings to the outside. You can save 10% or more on your energy bill by reducing the air leaks in your home.