SUMMER HVAC TIPS
As the New Jersey temperatures flirt with the 90s, we can expect our AC units to start working harder and longer as we plunge into July. TempControl wants to remind its customers not to neglect some simple things to ensure you stay cool and enjoy comfortable conditions as well as keep costs under control.
FILTERS AND VENTS
This sounds like a broken record sometimes, but changing filters regularly as suggested by the filter manufacturer is the single most important–and easiest–way to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. Remember, the filters not only trap contaminants so you don’t breathe them, but the filters also play a role in the airflow. If they are clogged with debris or if you are using the wrong kind of filter, you could be stressing your system. This can make it work harder and sometimes even seize the condenser.
Also, it’s tempting to close vents (air registers) in an unused room or rooms in a forced-air system. We recommend against this. The HVAC technicians who outfitted your home designed the system with airflow for the existing space using specific calculations for room size, square footage, and HVAC equipment installed. Closing vents can put undue pressure on the blower, the ducts, and even the compressor. This can damage the HVAC system and certainly force it to work harder, thereby increasing your energy bill.
Be sure to check the condenser unit fan. Most fan units are located on ground level. Occasionally some are located on roofs or platforms. If you’re not comfortable with heights or reaching your unit, please call a professional. But most condenser fan units are easily accessible and need to be maintained as seasons change. They should be free of debris. If there are plants or other objects that could potentially get caught in the cage or the spinning blades, they need to be moved or removed.
While outside, do a cursory check of any wiring, hoses, or other parts leading from the condenser fan unit into the house. Check for any obvious damage like bent hoses, tears in insulation, or poor connections. While some damage is easily recognized, a trusted repairman can quickly spot other problem areas if you have concerns.
After you’ve checked the filters and walked around your condenser unit, it’s time to think about your thermostat. Check to see if your thermostat needs batteries. Summer is the ideal time to replace them as part of scheduled maintenance so you don’t get a surprise when the heat ramps up.
If you haven’t yet upgraded to a smart thermostat, you might give that some consideration. They can be programmed and operated from your smartphone to give you optimal control in terms of comfort and cost savings.
But whether or not you’re using a smart thermostat, it’s important to remember that you want to keep your house comfortable while you’re home. But conditioning the air while no one is home is a complicated balance. A lot of people are tempted to turn their system completely off or turn the thermostat way up to prevent it from kicking on during the day.l.
We recommend setting the thermostat four to five degrees higher than normal when no one is home. Otherwise, the energy spent bringing the home back to comfort levels can actually cost more in energy usage than leaving the unit running at somewhat higher thermostat settings.
If you haven’t seen your trusted HVAC technician since last year, this is an ideal time to call in the professionals from TempControl. We can clean the coils, do a complete HVAC check, and look at the overall health of your system. Lots of the HVAC maintenance relies on doing the simple tasks mentioned earlier. However, if your system is older or hasn’t been seen by a professional technician in a while, the beginning of summer is the ideal time to get in front of any potential problems and let us ensure your summer is only hot on the outside.