Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning

Let AC Today take care of your Air Conditioning needs. Our professional technicians are highly trained to perform any Air Conditioning job that is needed. Call us today for a free estimate or second opinion. We will review any quotes you may have from another company and provide you with an honest quote.. More »

AC Todays Bradenton Location

AC Todays Bradenton Location

From residential customers to corporate companies, AC Today has provided services in Bradenton for several years now. Our technicians work hard to ensure that air conditioners all around the Bradenton area are functioning properly. Dont forget to schedule your maintenance check with us today. More »

24/7 Air Conditioning Services

24/7 Air Conditioning Services

We provide 24/7 Air Conditioning services for those unexpected times of emergency. No matter the time of day, our technicians are always available for your air conditioning needs. We dont want your family to suffer through the night with no cool air or heat. So call us right away for fast service. More »

Commercial Air Conditioning

Commercial Air Conditioning

Our certified technicians provide commercial air conditioning services for your business. From rooftop installations to commercial maintenance services, you are in good hands with AC Today. Call us today to schedule an appointment for your routine maintenance inspection. More »

 

Tag Archives: Air Conditioning Maintenance

Solutions to improve the Indoor Air Quality in your Home or Office

Solutions to improve the Indoor Air Quality in your Home or Office

The air you breathe should not be contaminated with odors, fumes, mold spores, and other harmful particles. AC Today has provided some Spring energy saving tips that can also help you with your indoor air quality. With the help of air filters, Spring maintenance, dehumidifiers and many other options, you can help eliminate the harmful pathogens living within the air of your home.

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Allergies are a serious problem, especially when you have other respiratory issues. We all associate seasonal allergies with Springtime. However, many people who live with year-long allergies, battle these issues on a daily basis. Prescriptions and over the counter medications can help relieve many symptoms. Unfortunately, many of these medications are only a temporary fix to a much bigger issue within your home.

At AC Today, our job is to provide you with the highest quality air provided by your properly maintained air conditioning system. There are products we recommend that can help anyone who deals with any type of respiratory problem or year-long allergies. The two highly recommended products are the REMO HALO air purification system and the Fresh Aire UV Light. Consult with your air conditioning specialist to discuss which product will benefit your home.

Spring Energy Saving Tips

Fresh Aire UV Lights
Imagine a product installed within your air conditioning system that can sanitize and eliminate microorganisms to create better air quality. Fresh Aire UV lighting was designed to eliminate organisms living inside your a/c system. The UV light is so strong it disinfects facilities such as hospitals, schools, laboratories, and surgical equipment. As air passes over the light, it kills all living organisms, creating a cleaner and healthier air quality. The Fresh Aire UV light is installed directly into your air conditioning system. Since the light is highly dangerous to your eyes and skin, a professional AC company will install and replace the item. There is a Product page dedicated to this product that will provide more information.

Dehumidifiers
A dehumidifier is a small appliance that removes humidity from a room. You may hear doctors advise you of getting one if you have allergies or respiratory issues. That is because this product removes the stuffiness in the form of condensation that may be in the air you are breathing. By eliminating those pollutants, your allergies and breathing can be controlled better. Indoor air quality can contain toxins, greater than the outside air. This is what triggers allergies and other respiratory issues. You can purchase a dehumidifier for personal use or whole-house systems, depending upon your personal preference.

Air Filters
HEPA filters are a great option for your home, especially during allergy season. This product will eliminate harmful pathogens causing allergies or asthma. Using a HEPA filter traps particles and debris through a fine mesh pattern. There are several types of air filters you can use. However, proper maintenance of these filters is what is most important. Changing your filter regularly will help you keep your indoor air quality under control. If your filter becomes dirty or clogged before you are due to change it, AC Today recommends that you call us for an inspection. This could be a potential issue our technician should look into.

House Cleaning
Spring time seems to be associated with house cleaning. That is because people are more susceptible to sickness and allergies. The term Spring cleaning is taking advantage of removing or trying to eliminate those issues. It is recommended that you should vacuum carpets and throw rugs, dust countertops and items on shelves. Dust and dander that accumulate on these items only add to the issue and create a more polluted indoor environment. Bedding is another household item to wash frequently. If you are affected by allergies, your dander covered sheets are probably not helping. By eliminating excessive clutter and doing your Spring cleaning, your indoor air quality should be well controlled.

Scented Items
As we all love candles and air fresheners, they are more harmful than helpful. The smell of warm apple pie or springtime flowers can perfume a home within a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, the residual chemicals from these common deodorizing products is what results in accidental poisonings. These harmful sprays have been scientifically proven to cause respiratory issues including fatigue, allergies, and even cancer, if inhaled over long periods of time. AC Today has numerous years of experience within the Air Conditioning filed and can first-hand explain to you the dangers of scented items. As small and senseless as it sounds, these items can cause "Black Soot Deposits", (look for this article coming soon).

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Activites That Pollute Your Home’s Indoor Air

Activites That Pollute Your Home’s Indoor Air

Did you know, there are several activities you do on a daily basis that cause air pollution inside your home? From hazardous chemical air fresheners to sweeping floors, it's easy to circulate unwanted air pollution. The Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), has quoted that air inside most residential homes are 2 to 5 times more contaminated than outdoor air on any given day.

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With the last several years, energy efficient appliances and technology have become more popular in the average home. Many appliances were created to help indoor air pollution for those who suffer from asthma, allergies and other respiratory issues. Your home is where you should feel safe to eat, live and breathe. So why let indoor air pollution take control? The good news is that you do not need to spend hundreds of dollars to clean your home. All you need are some fresh ideas and strategies to clear the air.

6 Things That Cause Indoor Air Pollution

Stop with the air fresheners! As pretty and fragrant as your air freshener may smell, it's causing you and your family to breathe in hazardous chemicals. AC Today previously wrote an article about "Why you should not use air fresheners". Covering up odors is not the best idea. Instead, we can provide you with alternative options and products that can eliminate the air pollution. The Fresh-Aire UV and REME HALO are two featured products that eliminate odors, gases, cigarette smoke, pet dander microbial growth and more. If you would like more information regarding these products, feel free to contact an AC Today technician.

Not using fans seem like you would save more money on energy. However, it is just the opposite. Fans are great for air circulation. When cooking in the kitchen, be sure to utilize the function of your exhaust to extract the hot, contaminated air from the kitchen. Not only will it cool the area down, but will also get rid of the air pollutants that will be introduced to your home's air while cooking. Many homeowners also have a fan in their bathroom. This exhaust fan is designed to remove humidity that is created from using the shower. Without a proper bathroom fan, mold and mildew growth can accumulate on cabinets, drawers and other materials.

Ever heard the expression "You're letting all the air out", when you open a window? Well, this is true. Air pollutions come from stale air that is not being circulated around the home. When your windows are shut for most of the time, it is good for energy efficiency, but not so good for the air quality. Try opening your windows every now and then to let the fresh air circulate. This will allow for clean air to enter and dilute the contaminated air inside your home. This can be done for about 10-15 minutes a day, or a few times a week.

Cleaning house is a daily chore for most homeowners. From washing dishes, folding clothes, sweeping floors and even dusting shelves, there are many activities in your home that create air pollution. Vacuuming is a large part when it comes to creating air pollution. Charles Gerba, PhD, is a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona. He stated that bacteria can multiple hundred of times within the bag of your vacuum. The faster you vacuum an area, the more dust, dander and debris gets pushed into the air. AC Today recommends when you are finished vacuuming, remove the bag outside your home. This will minimize the amount of bacteria floating in the air. Also, when releasing the bag from the machine, there may be a cloud of dust that is unwanted in your home.

The most forgotten items in your home are normally the air conditioning filters. These filters, if not changed regularly, will create plenty of air pollution. The point of an air filter is to block the debris and dirt from entering your home. However, if this item is neglected, you will be breathing polluted air the filter is not able to block. This could potentially cause issues with your air conditioning system as well. Just remember, if it is dirty or damaged, it probably won't work properly. Don't suffer with polluted indoor air. Instead, find a way to remind yourself of the routine schedule to change your air filter. We recommend using your utility bill as a reminder, we the bill is due, your filter is also due for a change.

Many homeowners paint and decorate inside the home. Painting a room or two may seem harmless. If you decide to paint a room or item in the home, try to provide an adequate amount of air circulation and personal protection while doing so. Breathing in hazardous chemicals is bad for your health and can lead to other health issues. You can experience headaches, nausea and dizziness if inhaled for certain amounts of time.

Options To Eliminate Indoor Air Pollution

REME HALO
This product eliminates 99% of mold, mildew, bacteria and other hazardous air pollutants. Taking care of your health is important and this product was designed with that in mind. In fact, the EPA has estimated that 90% of respiratory illnesses were caused by the air pollution from inside your home. The other 10% of illnesses were caused by outdoor air pollutants. This product has numerous award-winning aspects that can change the air you breathe inside your own home.

Fresh-Aire UV
UV lights have been a staple product in both commercial facilities and residential homes. This disinfectant product purifies the air as it passes over the light, providing clean fresh air to breathe in. Not only does it kill harmful bacteria and organisms, it also sanitizes and sterilizes. That is why many commercial facilities such as hospitals, schools, laboratories, and other factories are utilizing this equipment. With one light installed in your air conditioning system, you can breathe a little better knowing you have clean circulated air.

Plants
There are indoor plants that can help improve the air quality. Since stagnant environments are what allows the pollutants to build up, getting plants can help. So, how have houseplants really cleaned the air? The answer is simple. Plants will absorb most of the particles in the air, all while taking in carbon dioxide, which is then processed as oxygen through photosynthesis. Pretty simple. Plants can help you breathe better as the air is basically purified through a plant. Your local garden center or garden nursery may have suggestions as to what types of plants to obtain. On the bright side of it, this low cost option is great for those on a budget.

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5/5 stars from 8 readers.

Why We Recommend Hiring An HVAC Professional

Why We Recommend Hiring An HVAC Professional

When companies provide you with lower than normal prices, it may not always be a benefit to you. Hiring an experienced technician is the key. At AC Today, our technicians have the proper experience and training needed to complete any type of air conditioning job request. Your HVAC system is very important to your house and to us.

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By hiring a professional company, you are ensuring the job at hand will be completed in a timely and professional manner. Being an air conditioning technician can be tricky work at times, that's why, do it yourself projects are not recommended. A certified HVAC technician knows how to handle every situation that may occur.

There is an importance that comes with an expert opinion. Whether your HVAC system needs to be replaced or repaired, it should give you a peace of mind, knowing the diagnosis came from a professional company. AC Today believes in getting the job done right, the first time. Since there are many components in your system, any number of potential issues could arise. Handling hazardous materials and electrical components should not be taken lightly. These substances and mechanisms should not be in the hands of a unqualified person.

People To Not Have Fix Your HVAC System

Phone Contractors
When you suspect an issue with your HVAC system, we recommend you call a professional air conditioning company. After you explain your suspicious issue, that company should not respond with a price. Instead, schedule an appointment. Many air conditioning companies try to quess at a diagnosis or quote a price over the phone. An honest company would schedule a free estimate to inspect your system, only then would they discuss pricing and payment options. Never would we give you a firm quote without looking at your HVAC system prior. This is a red flag and should be cautioned, if this were to happen to you. Remember, if it is too good to be true, it probably is.

Your Next Door Neighbor
As knowledgeable as your neighbor may seem, your "handy" neighbor is not who to call when your a/c system is on the fritz, your HVAC system requires someone who is licensed and experienced. There are special tools to be used when doing certain repair jobs. We recommend leaving it for a professional company. Someone who is not certified may cause more damage or unknowingly cause the issues to escalate, if not handled properly. A friendly neighbor offer is always a nice gesture, however, if they are not specialized in this field, refer to your air conditioning company for assistance.

Upselling Contractors
No matter what the business is providing, there are always salesman who will try to upsell you on an item, that you may or may not need. For example, someone arrives at your home to inspect your HVAC system, they may have even cold called you and said they "have a man in the area". He then tells you that you need a brand new, super expensive system for your house, without even thoroughly inspecting the existing one. An honest company will do everything they can to repair or replace the damaged items on the system, before they try to sell you a new one. Trust in a professional technician that inspects every area of your home and every component of your HVAC system. Only then, should the discussion of replacement parts be the next topic.

Start-up Companies
When you hear of a new air conditioning company opening their doors with grand specials, you may want to hold off temporarily. Being a brand new company, whether in a new location or simply being brand new, has its pros and cons. It may seem nice to have the availability for instant service on your HVAC system, they may even be in a convenient location for you. However, an untested contractor may not be the best to try out when you are having a significant issue. Take caution and research the company name. You can find personal recommendations regarding their services or even read the company reviews online. AC Today believes you and your system should be in good hands with a well established company.

DIY Projects
Being a homeowner comes with projects and tasks to fix up things around the house. No matter the size, certain projects should be left to the professionals. You could watch several videos or read books about the project. However, you still may not be as qualified or experienced enough to handle the situation properly. That is why we recommend you call your HVAC company. There are many things a homeowner can do that is acceptable to fix, repair and replace. Your air conditioning system has many components and parts that could cause more harm than help. This is not only to you, but your system as well. Risking your personal protection in not worth saving a few dollars in the long run.

Finding a professional company is not difficult, when you have the proper tools. If you are not established with a company, here are a few tips we can recommend for you. Try researching the company. Get to know them better. Read the reviews that customers have left regarding their experience with the company. You can then form a personal opinion and decide if this company is right for you. It is always good to ask around. Talk with your friends and neighbors to see which company they use for their HVAC system. You may get a reference to a reputable company in your area. And last but not least, never leave a question unanswered. It is important to understand what is happening inside your home. Your HVAC contractor should fully explain or provide details as to what he is inspecting, looking for and his complete findings. If you are unsure, feel free to request a second opinion from another company.

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5/5 stars from 16 readers.

Salt Water Damage

Can Salt Water Damage My Air Conditioning Unit?

Living near the beaches is a dream come true for many people. However, if you are a local beach dweller, you may beg to differ. There are a few items you want to protect against saltwater damage. Your air conditioning system could be affected by numerous environmental factors in the area you live in. If you are located near coastal regions, you may already be aware of your surroundings. With excessive moisture and minerals in the air, it doesn't take long to notice that these minerals and particles settle on top of everything. Salt is a huge problem for AC units. Deposits left behind or go untreated, will only create damage and breakdown to your outside air conditioning unit.

Did you know that salt corrosion can decrease the life of your AC unit to as little as 3 years? This is a jaw-dropping fact. Seeing as though the average system should last at least 10 years, this is a tremendous difference. Just like the ocean erodes the coastline, it's essentially the same scenario for your A/C system. Saltwater damage is what causes your coils to eventually disintegrate over time.

Why Is Saltwater Damage Such A Problem?

Saltwater contains millions of particles of sodium chloride. With salt and moisture in the air, it can create a film or dust-like substance on all surfaces. The build up that settles from sodium chloride is what causes corrosion and deterioration. Did you know that sodium chloride can be blown up to five miles inland from shore? Protecting your outside air conditioning system is what will keep the saltwater damage at bay.

There are many parts of your AC system that can be affected by excessive moisture and sodium chloride deposits, caused by salt in the air. Your condenser coil, in the outside unit, is the most vulnerable part of the system. The aluminum fins of the coil are bound to copper tubes, the salt and moisture eventually get between the copper and aluminum and create formicary corrosion, which will eventually cause freon leaks. Especially under extreme weather or constant saltwater winds. Once the coils go bad, it prevents proper airflow and reduces heat transfer. This is what causes damage to other parts of your system. If you notice issues regarding poor cooling or circulation, your system freezing or failure of other parts, this could be due to saltwater damage. When replacing your A/C system, you should consider a Trane brand unit beacuse they are manufactured with all aluminium coils and are not affected by formicary corrosion.

Protecting Your AC Unit from Saltwater Damage

Preventative Maintenance
This is one of the best ways, no matter your geographical location, to protect your AC unit. During routine maintenance your technician will inspect your system and identify any potential problems. By having a routine check-up, you are minimizing the risks of preventable damage.

Remove Obstructions
There are many things we store on the outside of our homes. However, these objects could cause potential harm to your air conditioning unit. Be sure to remove debris, leaves and other items that could accumulate saltwater particles. It's these particles that cause saltwater damage and corrosion.

Clean The Coils
The coils are the most susceptible part of your unit to saltwater damage. It is recommended that you clean the coils on a regular basis by rinsing them with a hose. You could also use a no-rinse, non acid, foaming cleaner that will eliminate the particles. If you are not comfortable cleaning them yourself, be sure to contact AC Today to schedule appointment.

When you spend thousands of dollars on a large investment, you want to protect it at all times. Many people forget that half of their investment is sitting outside their home. How many times have you cleaned your outside air conditioning unit? If you had to think about it, it has probably been too long. Call AC Today to schedule your appointment or service call. It is never too late for protection, until you have a malfunction.

How Your Ductwork May Be Costing You Money

Ductwork

How Your Ductwork May Be Costing You Money

The ductwork installed in your home is specifically designed to deliver the proper amount of air to each room, to ensure uniform comfort. Ductwork is a grouping of large pipes and ductboard boxes that distributes the warm and cool air throughout your home. Since the ductwork is installed in unconditioned areas, the ducts can become a flimsy and breach over time, due to temperature differances and humidity. It is very important to have your air conditioning contractor perform routine maintenance inspections. This will allow for them to look over every aspect of your system to ensure proper functioning, including the ducts. If you've noticed any issues, like hot or cold spots, this would be a great time to do so. Eliminating or minimizing issues is what AC Today strives for when performing our maintenance inspections. The longer you wait to have one done, the longer issues have to progress. Did you know that of faulty air leaks in ductwork, could be responsible for up to 30 percent of wasted air? Air that is not being delivered to your home properly, equates to longer run times and higher utility bills.

Besides wasting money on air leaks, there are other potentially harmful issues that can occur with leaky exhaust ducts. Back-drafting is an issue that reduces your indoor air quality. Vented appliances such as clothes dryers, gas ranges and furnaces, are designed to force the hazardous fumes outside. If your leaky exhaust duct doesn't completely disperse all fumes outside and away from your home, it could be sucking the fumes back into the home instead. Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas that is very harmful to those who inhale it. It can build up inside your home and poison people as well as animals. That is why you should always have a professional air conditioning company install your ductwork exhaust ventilation and air conditioning system. For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning, feel free to contact your air conditioning specialist today to discuss this topic further.

5 Signs Of Ductwork Issues

Ductwork is known as the silent killer when it comes to the efficiency of your system. It can be rather difficult to know that you have leaky ductwork. However, there are a few telltale signs that could point to leaky ductwork. If you are experiencing any of these issues, feel free to contact us:

1. Your electric bills are larger than normal. Now, we are not talking about the higher bills in a Summer month. We are referring to the above average electric bills with the normal temperature weather.

2. Visible signs are golden proof that there is a leak in your ductwork. If you can visually see tangled, kinked or other odd shaped ductwork pipes, there is a problem. If you can visibly see crushed, broken or split ductwork or tape joints, you would need to notify your air conditioning technician asap.

3. The temperature is different throughout other rooms. If you notice that some rooms are cooler or warmer than others while your system is running. Differential temperatures from room to room is a problem that goes hand in hand with leaky ductwork. You could also check each air vent while the system is running to feel the temperature being dispersed in each room.

4. If you notice that your home is accumulating more dust. Many people notice dusty rooms when the system turns on. If you clean a room more often than others, that could be where the issue is compiled at Either way, it is a problem that needs to be addressed.

5. Poor air quality. Do you ever notice that your air feels stuffy sometimes? Even having an odor smell such as dust or mold-like odors are not a good thing. Now, this may be an issue with your air filter as well, but it could also be a sign from leaky ductwork. Inspect your air filters first to see if it needs to be changed. Otherwise, discuss these issues with your air conditioning specialist.

Leaky ductwork can become a real issue if left untreated. There are a few signs that would indicate there are issues involving your air conditioning system. That is why our technicians always explain the importance of a maintenance inspection. Routine inspections are what stops issues from escalating, when caught in time. Again, the longer you wait for an inspection, the longer complications have to escalate. Schedule your appointment today. It could save you time and money in the long and short term.

Why You Should Not DIY Air Conditioning Maintenance

With many homeowners trying to save money, there has been an increase in DIY maintenance projects around the home. With technology evolving, you can find a video that will instruct you with your DIY project. Whether you are fixing a leaky faucet or remodeling your home, there are instructional videos out there to guide you along the process. Even though it sounds like a fun and cost effective goal, it may not be a good idea. There are many reasons for having a professional perform the job instead of taking on the task for yourself. If saving money is your goal, search for a company that has the price range you are looking for. It is always better to hire a professional before creating larger problems for you to fix later down the road.

Working in the air conditioning business, our technicians work with many homeowners on a daily basis. We have seen many instances where people try to perform their own DIY Air Conditioning maintenance on their air conditioners. Not only could this backfire on the individual, it could also end up costing more money in the long run.

Here are a few reasons to avoid these types of projects:

1. Injury:
People are prone to injury with DIY maintenance projects. Injuries can happen at any given time. Many homeowners who attempt to pursue home DIY maintenance may not have the knowledge with the installation of many appliances or maintenance care. Those who attempt projects without the proper instructions or care, will most likely end with injuries to themselves or their property. This is why our technicians at AC Today, recommend letting us do all the difficult work for you and your family.

2. Damage to Your Property:
Oftentimes, the homeowners that are wanting to take on a DIY maintenance project are not physically capable of doing it. This will not only do harm to yourself, but also your property. If you are not experienced with the work that is being done, you should leave the job to a professional company. In many cases, you will be creating further damage. This will result in having to replace or repair the damage that was done before moving on with the DIY maintenance project.

3. Detecting Potential Problems:
Even if you are an avid DIY'er and love to tinker, there are many things about an a/c system that takes a trained technician to figure out. Even your local handyman may overlook issues that could potentially cause further damage or malfunction to an appliance or air conditioning equipment. There are many instances where a professional technician could have prevented issues and malfunctions if it were detected early and by a trained technician. Do not create more problems for yourself.

The Benefits of A Guarantee:
When hiring a reputable company, you are able to have peace and mind with our professional guarantee. At AC Today, we have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. It's a nice feature to have a company to call that actually backs their work with a promise. You don't have to repair or replace your system without piece of mind that it's going to be done right. At A/C Today we also have a 30 day call back guarantee, if your system goes down within 30 days of service we will come back and you will NOT be charged another service fee! For more information regarding the guarantees that we offer, feel free to contact us today. Our staff is able to explain to you the benefits of our professional guarantees.

Although you may believe that starting a DIY maintenance project is a great way to save you money, you may want to explore other options first. Save the headaches and let a professional company take over. You will be able to sit back and relax while we do all the work for you. While hiring a professional air conditioning company is the smarter choice, it is also the recommended choice. When you consider the experience and knowledge that our company has opposed to an untrained homeowner, there is a significant difference. We can take care of all the maintenance and repair needs that your air conditioner may need. It is our goal to ensure that you and your family have the proper comfort levels in your home.

If you have any questions or comments regarding our air conditioning services, please feel free to contact us. We would love to provide you with more information. We look forward to hearing from you.

Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning

Air Conditioning AC Today Sarasota Now that we are in the dog days of summer, there are a few things to consider to get the most out of your air conditioning system. Here in the Sarasota-Bradenton area we are finding out that there are many things that can be done to allow your air conditioning system to run more efficiently and keep you more comfortable.

When thinking about air conditioning, one often only thinks about the mechanical device itself, but when you break down the meaning of air conditioning, it is simply the conditioning of air. One thing that drastically affects the “condition” of your air is insulation. There seems to be a mindset that insulation is more important in cooler climates to keep the cold out, on the contrary, insulation is just as effective in the summer to keep the heat out. As the temperature soars, the heat penetrating your home can be quite intense; insulation essentially acts as a barrier to prevent that heat from getting in. We have recorded attic temperatures of 130-145 degrees, in some Florida homes. Without proper attic insulation you are essentially allowing that heat to radiate into your home through the ceiling, adversely affecting the condition of your air.

The air filter is by far the easiest thing that any home owner can do to help keep cooling costs down. Keeping a clean air filter, in your air conditioner, can reduce your energy usage by up to 15 percent. We recommend running a pleated type filter, as they provide adequate filtration without restricting airflow. Beware of the washable type filters; they tend to restrict airflow even with small amount of dirt on them.

It may seem strange, but something as simple as window treatments can also aid in the effectiveness of your air conditioning. An easy way to prevent heat gain in your home is to add blinds, drapes, awnings or some sort of window film. On hot days closed blinds or drapes can reduce heat gain by up to 45%. Blinds and drapes are most effective when they are made of lighter shade materials. Fixed or retractable awnings can be installed, which can reduce heat gain by between 65 and 75 percent. Window films or tint are available in a variety of beneficial shades and materials. 3M makes window film that can reject up to 71% of the heat coming through your windows.

Your air conditioning costs can be greatly reduced and your overall comfort can be increased by considering one or more of the above options.

Benefits of Routine Air Conditioner Maintenance

Benefits of Routine Air Conditioner Maintenance

Routine air conditioning maintenance has several benefits to you and your air conditioner. Some of these benefits are lower utility/energy bills, extended equipment life, untimely/unnecessary equipment failure and better indoor air quality. The old saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” couldn’t be any more accurate when referring to an a/c system.

One of the most commonly asked questions, concerning maintenance, is “how often should I have my a/c system checked.” All manufactures of air conditioning equipment require one routine maintenance/tune-up per year, to uphold any manufacture warranty. For most geographic locations a single maintenance is usually enough, unless you live in a hotter area of the country. If you live in a warmer climate, two maintenances (one in the spring and one in the fall) are recommended. Here in Florida we tend to use/abuse our a/c systems for much longer periods of time, some folks run there a/c systems all year round. Very similar to your vehicle needing routine oil changes, you’re a/c system needs routine maintenance to keep it running properly.

Hundreds of components are used to make an air conditioning system, but it only takes neglect of a few of these parts to make a system run poorly. The filters cleanliness, or lack thereof, is the simplest of things that needs to be maintained. Running a unit with a dirty filter, increases energy consumption and decreases your indoor air quality not to mention your comfort. Checking/Changing your filter is something you can do yourself and will be the first thing a good technician checks on a tune-up.

A clogged condensate drain line is another very simple thing, if neglected, can make your system stop running all together. Most drain lines are equipped with a float switch that will turn the entire unit off if the drain line becomes clogged. Flushing the drain line is always included in any routine maintenance call. **Helpful hint** flush your drain line with a cup of vinegar between maintenances; this will help reduce algae in the line and prevent clogs.

Air Conditioner Maintenance The Evaporator coil or cooling coil is an essential part of your system to keep clean. Even a small amount of dirt on your coil will reduce the effective cooling and efficiency of your unit, not to mention, contaminates the air inside your home. Say your coil is 25-50% clogged, this will put more strain on the compressor and may cause it to fail prematurely. Think of the compressor as the heart of an a/c system, you want to protect it, just like you would protect your own heart. (average compressor replacement costs between $1500-$2500)

Much like a dirty evaporator coil, a dirty condensing coil (the coil around the outside/condensing unit) will also make the compressor work harder, cost you more money and potentially fail, without proper maintenance.

Small parts, such as Contractors, Capacitors, hard start kits and circuit boards all need to be checked regularly. Contractors are essentially a switch that turns the condensing unit on or off. Contractors have contact points that can wear and prevent the proper amount of power to be delivered to the unit, potentially causing damage to any other component connected to it. Capacitors are passive two-terminal electrical components used to store energy in an electric field. (Kind of like a battery, without the long term storage capacity) Capacitors are one of the most common parts to weaken or fail in an a/c system. A weak capacitor can be detrimental to the motor/compressor that it is connected to. If a weak capacitor is detected during maintenance, it most definitely should be replaced. -Hard start kits are devices that give the compressor a boost of power on start up to help prevent internal compressor damage. These can also be tested to verify that they are giving the compressor the power it needs to operate. -Circuit boards control the sequence of operations of all the components. Circuit boards are very sensitive to moisture and can corrode to point of failure, in a very short time.

Most of the parts that are checked on a routine maintenance are pretty inexpensive, but if it goes unnoticed that one has weakened or failed it can cost you thousands! On average a routine maintenance/tune-up should cost between $49-$129, this is a small price to pay to have peace of mind that your system will keep you cool and comfortable, without breaking the bank.

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