Because the HVAC industry is constantly working to build better air conditioners, heaters and indoor air quality systems, it can be tough for home and business owners to keep up. We’ve accumulated plenty of heating and air conditioning information in our time in the industry, and we’re more than happy to share some of that insight with our friends and neighbors. By doing a little home maintenance and keeping a sharp eye out for emerging issues, you can make sure your HVAC systems will stay in good working order for years to come.
- Don’t forget to change or clean your filters frequently. Depending on the type of filter your air conditioner uses, this may be once per month or once every three months.
- After cleaning a reusable filter, let it air dry completely before putting it back in the air conditioner; manual drying can damage the filter. Don’t run the air conditioner while the filter is out.
- During the cooling season, find the highest comfortable temperature and keep your thermostat there; for most people, that’s somewhere between 76 and 79 degrees. Remember, every degree on the thermostat changes your energy usage by about 7 percent, so it pays to make even small adjustments.
- Turning your thermostat down by several degrees won’t cool your home any faster. Instead, your air conditioner will overshoot the actual target temperature, wasting energy.
- Outdoor units need to be kept clear for maximum cooling efficiency. Make sure any vegetation is at least two feet away from the system.
Common Air Conditioning Problems
- Freezing Up: This problem is often the result of a dirty air filter, which causes cold air to build up inside your air conditioner and lower the interior temperature. If you run your air conditioner overnight, the low outdoor temperatures after sunset may also cause freezing. Finally, freezing can be a sign of a refrigerant leak, which requires professional attention right away.
- Frequent Cycling: Your air conditioner should cycle on and off periodically throughout the day, but if it happens very often, there may be an issue with the power supply. Frequent cycling can also be a sign of an over-sized system.
- Leaking Water Inside: Sometimes, a window unit leaks just because it isn’t tilted outside as it should be. If adjusting the tilt doesn’t fix the problem, the drain may be blocked by debris. It’s also possible that the evaporator coil pan has rusted out.
- Thermostat Issues: On occasion, your thermostat may not hold your home at a consistent temperature. This is usually a result of improper calibration, which is a fairly simple repair, but it could also mean the thermostat is defective and needs to be replaced.
- Excessive Noise: If your air conditioner makes a squeaking sound during operation, there’s likely an issue with the air handler. If it rattles excessively, it may have been improperly installed. Either issue warrants a visit from a service professional.
For more heating and air conditioning information and energy-saving tips, check out our blogs and articles.