Air Conditioning Tips
for Your Air
conditioning systems and filter replacements.
Summer can be tough on your system, which is why it’s important to start
the season off right.
“Air conditioning performance is a direct result of how well you take care
of the unit during the peak summer months,” said Paul Trotter, brand manager
for American Standard Heating and Air Conditioning. “With the proper upkeep,
you can expect your air conditioner to last for 10 years or more—and
consistently perform at its peak throughout its life.”
“One of the most important ways a homeowner can actively contribute to
extending the life of his or her air conditioner is to have a yearly
inspection prior to each cooling season. This will guarantee that the unit is
prepared to work properly and at maximum efficiency.”
Here are five tips to help you get the most out of your air conditioner:
- Before summer begins, have your home’s air conditioning system cleaned
and checked by a reputable dealer.
- Invest in a good quality, pleated air filter designed to capture more
dust and debris and clean it frequently, at least every 30 days. Air filters
can keep your furnace and Air conditioner in good shape by cleaning the air
you also keep your equipment in the best working order.
- Add insulation to your attic and weatherproof your house by covering all
exposed windows and by weather-stripping all doors and windows.
- Keep programmable thermostats at 78 degrees (F) or higher when not at
home (for each degree you raise the thermostat above 78 degrees, you save up
to five percent on cooling costs). If you don’t have a programmable
thermostat, consider purchasing one. It’s worth the investment.
- Dust or vacuum the vents in your home often to ensure the free flow of
Routinely replacing or cleaning the filters will help your air conditioner
operate smoothly. Clogged or dirty filters block normal airflow and can reduce
a system’s efficiency over time. In addition, take a walk around your yard. If
trees or other plants shade your home, make sure that leaves and sticks are
regularly cleared away from your air conditioner.
Winter Tips That Will Keep You Warm
For most regions of the country, fall means forgetting about heating and air
conditioning for a while. Crisp mornings and moderate temperatures during the
day create a comfortable existence with lower-than-average energy usage. Right
around the corner, however, is the first frost of winter and the promise of
higher energy bills. Is there anything you can do now to impact your energy
usage? “Absolutely,” says Paul Trotter, brand manager for American Standard
Heating and Air Conditioning. “The transition period between the beginning of
fall and the first days of cold weather is the perfect time to evaluate your
home’s energy efficiency and weather resiliency, and service your heating
system. All of these things, along with following a few other simple
recommendations, can impact your energy usage.”
Here are some tips for making your home as energy-efficient as possible:
- Install storm or thermal windows and doors.
- Caulk and weatherstrip all windows and doors.
- Ensure your fireplace has a tight-fitting damper.
- Tape and seal leaks in your duct system and coil enclosure. Consider
adding insulation to your duct system.
- For extremely cold climates, wrap your water heater with an insulated
water heater blanket.
- Seal gaps between heated and unheated spaces. This may be around pipes,
ducts, fans or vents.
- Consider installing ceiling fans with reversible motors. In the winter,
fans push warm air that collects at ceiling level back down into the room.
- If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider purchasing one;
programmable thermostats are a great way to control the temperature in your
home for maximum energy efficiency.
- Install adequate insulation. Recommended: R-30 in ceilings, R-13 in
exterior walls and R-11 in interior walls and floors.
- If you’re in the market for a new home comfort system, select a
high-efficiency, variable-speed heating and air conditioning system. The
Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency rating, or AFUE, indicates the efficiency
of a gas furnace. The higher the AFUE, the more efficient the furnace. If
your present furnace is ten years old or older, it’s probably in the 60 to
70 percent AFUE range. That means you’re wasting about 30 to 40 cents out of
every dollar you spend for heat. By replacing your old furnace with a new,
high-efficiency model with an AFUE of 80 or 90 percent, more of the fuel you
pay for is turned into heat.
We also recommend having your heating system serviced prior to the heating
season by the dealer who installed it. And here’s what you can do during the
heating season to impact your energy usage:
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Canada for filters
- Close shutters and drapes during winter nights.
- Set your thermostat at 68 degrees or lower during the day.
- When using your fireplace, turn your thermostat down.
- Keep the damper closed when your fireplace is not being used.
- Dust or vacuum the vents in your home to ensure the free flow of warm
- Clean or replace the filter in your furnace at least once every 30 days
during peak winter usage.