Tips & Tricks

The Homeowner’s AC Maintenance Checklist

With spring around the corner, it’ll not take too long until the weather gets warm again. Spring cleaning is not about dusting blinds or washing windows only. It’s also a perfect time for AC maintenance.

Your AC needs upkeep, so it doesn’t bail out on you, especially during summer.

However, the tasks at hand get too tedious if you don’t follow the right approach. Your AC could end up having emergency repairs when the temperature is at its highest.

Don’t fret. Here’s a checklist you can follow to make your AC home maintenance tasks more manageable.

Remove Leaves and Debris

For ductless mini-split AC, you need to clear the area around your outdoor unit. Remove all leaves and debris around the unit, keeping it clear for at least two feet from the base.

Check the Filters

A dirty or clogged filter lowers your air conditioner’s efficiency. Most AC repairs come from neglected air filters. Before you turn on your AC for the first time after winter, it’s best to clean the filters first.

Cleaning involves turning off your furnace and pulling out the filter. If it’s dirty or clogged, you need to replace it. Even if it’s not filthy with dirt, it’s best to replace it if you haven’t done so in the past 90 days.

Clean the Fins

Use a vacuum that comes with a soft-bristle brush to clean your AC unit’s fins. Take note that these are easy to bend or crush, though, so only do light brushing. You can also use an AC fin comb designed for gentle fin cleaning.

Realign the Fins

Sometimes fins get bent during cleaning. It would be best not to leave them at this stage, though, as they’ll end up blocking airflow. Use a dinner knife that’s less than a half-inch thick to realign them.

Check the Air Conditioner Pad

Over time, the concrete pads that support your air conditioner can start to sink. It’s not a cause for alarm if it stays dry or level.

However, you could notice it sinking at an angle or pulling the lines tight. In that case, you need to have a professional inspect and adjust it.

Inspect Vents and Registers

HVAC return vent covers are also known as registers. Keeping them clean helps prevent extra dust and dirt from clogging your filter. It will also ensure that there’s no hindrance with the airflow to your HVAC system.

Cleaning them is as easy as wiping the dust and spider webs away. The unrestricted airflow on registers can help you save on energy costs.

Look for Air Leaks

Thorough AC service and HVAC maintenance include detecting and sealing these leaks. Air leaks will not only affect your AC’s performance but will increase your monthly bills.

The best way to test for air leaks is to use a stick of incense. Light the incense and hold it near the duct connections. If the smoke gets blown around, a leak is present.

Follow This AC Maintenance Checklist This Spring

Use this checklist to guide you in performing your AC maintenance. Following these tips can help prevent emergency repairs during summer.

Don’t have the time to perform these maintenance tasks? Contact us, and we’ll help make sure your AC is ready to make your home cool and comfy.

Tips & Tricks

How Ceiling Fans are a Winter Winner

If you’ve looked up energy-saving tips for winter, you’ve probably seen the suggestion to turn down your thermostat. 

The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy suggests lowering yours to a cool 68 degrees — yes, even in winter — to boost home energy savings and protect the environment. 

If that sounds a bit too cold for you, there are other ways to stay warm in winter without lowering your thermostat and bundling up into spring, though. 

As it turns out, using ceiling fans in winter can keep your home cozy and save you in utility costs. It sounds crazy, but it works — here’s how. 

Why Would I Turn On Ceiling Fans in Winter? 

Most people rely on ceiling fans to keep them cool in the summertime. Having a ceiling fan turned on can circulate air-conditioned air very effectively. You can turn up your thermostat by four degrees and maintain your ideal summer temperature, so long as you have ceiling fans overhead and pushing air downward.  

With this information in mind, you still may be wondering, how would cool air from a fan help me stay warm? 

In the summertime, your fans run counter-clockwise, pushing air down into the room and keeping things breezy. If you reverse that flow, though, you change the direction of air flow.

Clockwise Air Flow is the Key

Setting your fans to twist clockwise pulls air up toward the ceiling, rather than pushing it down. This is great news if you think about what happens to hot air — it rises, while cool air stays closer to the ground. 

So, as your ceiling fan moves in reverse, it pulls that cold air up and away from your living space. As that comes up, it pushes the lingering warm air out and down toward the edges of the room. 

In other words, a reverse-motion ceiling fan pushes warmer air down, which helps you stay cozy and comfortable throughout the winter season. 

Will This Provide Home Energy Savings? 

There are so many ways to cut costs on heating. Having your unit serviced or replaced with a more efficient model can make heating cheaper.

But switching on ceiling fans to work in conjunction with your heater can work wonders, too. It ensures you feel more of the warm air. You won’t have to crank the heating to get your space comfortable — you’ll get the airflow you need. 

As such, some people see their monthly savings increase by up to 15 percent when they start to use their ceiling fans alongside a heater. That’s a great discount, especially now, when we’re spending more time at home — and with our utilities on. 

Stay Warm in Winter

Using ceiling fans in winter is just one way to stay warm this season. At the core of this tactic, though, is having a well-functioning heater in your home. 

If yours needs repair or replacement, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn your options — then, get ready to get cozy this winter and beyond.