How to Properly Prepare for AC Installation

When you are expecting AC installation, there are a few things you can do to prepare so that when the technicians get there, they can quickly get to work. This helps to ensure that there are no delays with the process. It makes everything go far more efficiently so that you can start enjoying the cold air as quickly as possible.

 

Move Stuff Away From Where the Unit is Going

 

Where the unit is going, you want to make sure that there is nothing in the way obstructing the path of the technician. Move furniture and stored items and ensure that there is plenty of room for the unit and for the technicians to do all of the installation work. This will help to speed up the process and you will not have to worry about the technicians accidentally breaking something when they are clearing a path.

 

Ask About the Hours the Technicians Will Be There

 

You will likely need to be home, so you want to know when to expect the technicians. You have to be able to let them in your home and be there throughout the time they are at your home working. You can talk to the technician and get a timeframe in which you can expect them to arrive and do the work. It may take more than one day, so this is something you want to keep in mind and plan for.

 

Make Sure to Take the Proper Time Off of Work or School

 

Scheduling your installation in advance is ideal because you will likely need to take a few days off from work or school so that you can accommodate the schedule of the technicians. If you schedule your installation at least a month in advance, it is easier to request this time off and make the right alterations to your schedule.

 

Have Children or Animals Kept Away from the Work Area

 

This is something many people do not think about, but it can be dangerous for children or pets when technicians are there doing work. Doors might get left open as they go in and out and you do not want pets or kids being able to get out and start wandering. You can make arrangements for your pets and kids to be elsewhere when the installation is happening to ensure that everyone is safe and secure.

 

As you can see, with a little preparation, your AC installation can go smoothly and quickly. Make sure to talk to the company doing the installation to get some additional tips for how you can prepare to make the job of the technician faster and easier

 

The Importance of Air Conditioners

Why Are Air Conditioners Important?

Air conditioners serve a multitude of purposes, making them an extremely important appliance in the home or workplace. A qualified, professional air conditioning and heating repair specialist will allow a user to maintain a properly functioning HVAC system, but for those who do not already have a system installed, there are numerous benefits they must first understand.

Air Conditioners Manage Heat Produced by Appliances

As well as the heat produced by human bodies, air conditioning can reverse the heat produced by computer appliances and other machinery. Electrical equipment, even small appliances like coffee makers, gradually increase the temperature within a room. A small property will become warmer much more quickly, and large commercial properties will experience an increase in temperature simply as a result of the large amount of electrical appliances in use.

Using an air conditioning unit, a property owner can maintain a comfortable temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius, and excess moisture can be removed from the air to ensure that humidity lies at around 50%.

Air Conditioners Improve Air Quality

Air conditioning units not only maintain the right level of moisture and temperature, but they also improve air quality. Air conditioners circulate filtered, clean air into a property. This clean air is free from any dirt particles from outside, free from excess dust, and even free from bacteria that come in through the doors and windows.

This filtered air creates a healthier, cleaner environment, which is not only ideal for children and families, but also for commercial environments where large amounts of people are working together for many hours per day.

Improving Human Efficiency

Human efficiency can also be increased drastically. Studies show that the conditions of a working environment significantly change how efficient a worker can be. With air conditioning, more comfortable atmospheric conditions can be created with a view to making a person more comfortable and efficient.

In hot temperatures, a person becomes fatigued more quickly. The same is also true in warm and humid environments, which is why an air conditioning unit can be such a valuable tool for commercial property owners.

Ongoing Maintenance is Necessary

For HVAC system owners, ongoing air conditioning and heating repair and maintenance services are absolutely essential. Not only do these maintenance and repair services ensure that HVAC systems are working properly and are not posing a health and safety risk, they also ensure that they continue to provide the benefits outlined above.

For instance, when filters and vents are not properly maintained, an air conditioning unit is unable to properly filter the air that passes through it. A clogged or dirty filter will struggle to circulate enough air – and the air that does pass through will become contaminated with the bacteria, dirt and dust that has collected in the unmaintained unit.

Furthermore, without repair, an air conditioning system will become gradually less efficient, using more energy and costing the owner more. For commercial properties, there are benefits in the form of increased productivity and performance. For residential properties, benefits focus primarily around comfort and health.

Benefits of Residential Air Conditioning

How to Benefit from Residential Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is widely used in retail spaces, in work offices, and even in hotels – but not everyone utilizes this technology at home. Residential air conditioning is surprisingly affordable these days, and it can make a home life so much more comfortable in a variety of ways.

The Three Main Benefits of Home Air Conditioning

1. Air Filters Make Air Cleaner

A residential air conditioning system will use an air filter, which goes beyond maintaining a steady temperature and ensuring that the air being breathed contains minimal pollutants. The filters use special fibrous materials to get rid of solid particles in the air, which can include man-made chemicals and dirt, dust that collects in the home, and even pollen, bacteria, and mold from outdoors.

By removing these pollutants from the air, a user can avoid allergic reactions in their home and breathe easier at night. By regularly replacing the air filters in a home HVAC system, the user can maintain clean air at home, which is great for general health, and especially beneficial for people who already suffer from respiratory conditions.

2. Keep a Home Quiet and Peaceful

A home without an air conditioning system will need open windows to reduce the air temperature, which isn’t ideal for people who live in the city. It also leads back to the original point, in that open windows can let in a multitude of bacteria, pollutants, and pollen.

With a residential air conditioning unit, it’s possible to keep a home peaceful and quiet, as it will require the user to keep windows closed in order to properly ventilate the room and maintain a steady temperature.

In turn, this makes it easier to relax, and even improves sleep by stopping any unwanted noises from outdoors entering the home.

3. Improves Efficiency

One of the primary reasons why businesses use HVAC systems so regularly is not just for the benefits outlined above, but also because it helps improve productivity. This is perfect for home users, too, providing an extra energy boost that makes life more productive.

An HVAC system maintains a comfortable temperature in a home, reducing stress and discomfort caused by warm temperatures.

When a home temperature is too warm, the body gets tired more quickly, causing fatigue and reducing the ability to perform. With clean, temperature-controlled air, a user can ensure that they remain healthy, productive, and happy.

  1. Great for Large Families

An HVAC at home is particularly important for people with large families, who will be bringing in plenty of pollutants through the front door and on their clothes. The more people there are in a home, the stuffier and polluted the air can become. A home HVAC system removes the pollutants, maintains healthy air for all, and maintains a steady temperature that is comfortable for everybody.

Home air conditioning units can be surprisingly convenient for large families and residential spaces.

 

 

The Attributes of a Quality Commercial Air Conditioning Repair Company

An air conditioning is an essential component of any business. When a commercial system is well-maintained, it keeps occupants and visitors comfortable. Comfortable environments are known to improve productivity, workplace satisfaction, and a positive atmosphere. However, to maintain a system performing as it should, it must receive routine maintenance and repairs as needed.

The Benefits of Commercial Air Conditioning Maintenance

  • An efficient system costs less to run than a poorly maintained one.
  • A maintained HVAC system will last a company longer than a neglected one; meaning fewer capital improvements during the business’s operating years.
  • Regular maintenance identifies issues before they become costly repairs.

To get the benefits of quality maintenance or repairs, a business must hire a commercial air conditioning service professional that delivers quality services every time.

The Attributes of a Good Commercial Repair Company

  1. Licensing and Insurance

A commercial unit costs an extensive amount of money. If repairs are done incorrectly, or something goes wrong, a business owner needs reassurance that the commercial air conditioning repair company they hired is insured and properly licensed.

  1. After Hours Service

Not all companies operate from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. When a commercial heating or cooling component breaks, a company needs reassurance that their repair service can show up for after hours repairs and emergency calls.

Most companies today offer 24/7 response, but there are still some commercial providers that do not. So, if a business has odd operational hours or staff that work through the night, they will want a commercial air conditioning repair company that offers emergency and after-hours service.

  1. Expertise in Commercial Systems

Commercial systems are highly complex compared to residential ones. Their components are larger, they have different types of complications, and they require expert knowledge for diagnostics and repair. Some residential companies offer commercial services, but on a small scale.

When a company is looking for their new repair provider, they should look for a company that has extensive experience in commercial HVAC systems. The company should not only offer repairs but new installations. Typically, a company that offers new installations is more than qualified for repairs.

  1. Service Guarantee

A service guarantee shows a company’s competency, but also their confidence in their work. Some service ensures only last a few months, while other businesses offer a year or more on labor. This would offer a business owner peace of mind, especially if their system were to go down due to shoddy workmanship.

  1. Maintenance Packages

A company can avoid most repair issues when they properly maintain their HVAC system. Therefore, it may be wise for a business owner to partner with a repair company that offers maintenance packages. Under these maintenance packages, the company would come out and service the unit periodically (seasonally, bi-annually, monthly, or another combination of time) to keep it in working order. During the maintenance appointments, potential issues are often caught, helping the business avoid any HVAC downtime in the future.

HVAC Solutions for Tiny Homes

How Do I Heat & Cool My Tiny Home?

Tiny Homes HVAC OptionsIf you have been paying attention in the greater San Diego area, you may have noticed the uptake of a global trend: tiny homes. We love the tiny house trend and we’re happy to see tiny homes in San Diego because they’re energy efficient & sustainable and because they challenge the status quo and that’s what we’re all about. In their efforts to maintain a lifestyle that is both energy conscious and affordable, many tiny home owners and builders will find themselves with questions:

How can I cool my tiny home?
Which HVAC system is best on such a small scale?
What is the HVAC load calculation for my tiny house?

 

HVAC for small spaces is completely different than a typical home or commercial location. However, fear not – maintaining your thermal comfort index in a tiny home is easy, affordable, and eco-friendly. Here are the major tiny home HVAC solutions you have to consider:

 

Passive Cooling / Passive Heating

 

Passive cooling and passive heating refer to ventilation which is not motivated or generated by an electrical fixture, with ductwork and other technologies. Passive heating or cooling would not require a thermostat or other active controls. Tiny home builders in California may prefer this avenue because they may not be required to make modifications to suit the system, or the modifications will be minimal. For the homeowner, these solutions are often less expensive but can also be less effective. Here are a few examples:

 

  • Windows
    In a tiny home, you’re not cooling a massive space and you can probably achieve a decent cross-breeze just by opening cross-home windows and letting freshness in. The trouble starts when the heat or humidity – especially here in the hot San Diego weather – end up inside your home with no recourse for removal. Also, this doesn’t work as well to heat the home later in the winter.
  • Ceiling Fans
    Ceiling fans can manage to cool or somewhat “heat” your tiny house. While they do not generate their own temperature air, they do effectively circulate cool air and generate a breeze. In the winter, you can turn your ceiling fan in the opposite direction and it will push warm air that has risen to the rafters of your home downward into your living space for an effect of warmth. The drawbacks to ceiling fans include that they are a threat to air quality if not cleaned well and often, they do not generate temperate air so you’re still working, essentially, with the temperature given in the home, and they can sometimes make a small room feel smaller.
  • Floor Fans/Window Fans
    If you are willing to part with the space in your tiny home, a floor fan will make you feel cooler by drawing a draft across your skin. Whether you insert one in a window to draw warm air out from your home or stand one in the room and let it oscillate you will find an increase in comfort. However, these fans struggle to warm up a room and in the warmest of conditions, will struggle to cool it to comfortable levels also.
  • Roof Vents/Attic Fans
    These are a little pricier than the options listed above because they do require a hole to be cut in your roof. One potential drawback to this is that if the unit is not sealed well, moisture leakage can become imminent. That said, these units can warm or cool your tiny home and will provide an increase in ventilation which will increase your comfort. If the weather is hot and heavy, however, this solution will feel uncomfortable.

 Air Conditioner Options for Tiny Houses

Active Cooling / Active Heating

Simply put, when we refer to active cooling or active heating, we are referring to air conditioning units. These will require some type of controls, either by thermostat or on the unit itself. While all of the following examples would require some installation for your tiny house, they are all effective. There are many active air conditioning systems that are highly energy efficient as well. Here are a few examples:

 

  • Window AC Unit
    Say what you will about the aesthetic of a window air conditioner, this solution will work for your tiny home. Of the active cooling solutions here, this is the most affordable and the easiest to install yourself. That said, if your tiny home only has 1-3 windows, as most do, it may feel foreboding to eliminate one by stuffing it with one of these bad boys.

All of the following active cooling systems will require an HVAC technician for installation and maintenance.

  • PTAC
    The term PTAC, which stands for Packaged Terminal Air Conditioner, may not sound familiar but if you’ve stayed in an economy hotel room, you’ve likely used one. This will take up precious wall space in your home but it will effectually heat and cool your space with ease and in 2016, these come in highly energy efficient AC models.
  • RV-Style Roof Unit
    This is another solution, commonly used in RVs, which will both cool your tiny home and heat your tiny home. It is installed into your roof so it takes up less living space. However, if your roof operates at a slant greater than 15 degrees, you will find that this unit shuts down easily. Flat-roof tiny homes will love this option.
  • Mini Split System
    A common mini-me to the traditional air conditioning system, the Mini Split is such that your home will have an interior ventilation unit and an outdoor cooling unit, similar to your large home counterparts. The difference is in the size alone as the Mini system will use a compact air conditioner. To calculate your tiny home’s BTU, follow the same BTU calculation instructions as with a larger home, subbing in your actual square footage and accounting for any outlying factors such as multiple occupants, the probable use of a kitchen, and accounting for sun vs. shade.
    Shop Compact AC Units

 

{Builders: Are you curious about how to design and engineer an HVAC system in a tiny home from scratch? We’re happy to partner with you, too!}

 

If you’re looking to cut down on your tiny home costs and still heat and cool your space with ease, no worries! There are many passive and active HVAC solutions available for your tiny house. For more information or to request an estimate on HVAC services for your tiny home in San Diego or the surrounding area, contact Airmaxx today! We’re happy to help.

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How to Set Your Thermostat When You Go on Vacation

Thermostat Vacation

Thermostat Settings to Know for Your Upcoming Vacation

Summer is here and as the temperatures rise vacation plans are being set. On this much needed break, the last thing you want to worry about is your energy bill. Time for some thermostat 101 – On the top of the list of summer thermostat questions is, “Where should I set my thermostat when on vacation?” The answer may not be quite as simple as you think.

Where to set your thermostat when away

Conventional knowledge would say that if you are away from your house, that you should just shut your system off to save money. This is not always the case. Experts now agree that the ideal temperature for your thermostat settings for summer vacations is 4 degrees above your average settings, to help save some money while preventing your home from getting too hot. When you leave your system on, it avoids the inevitable cooling process that can end up costing you more money than you saved by shutting the system off. A buildup of heat and humidity can also cause serious damage to wood and wall compounds over time. Keeping your air on will also be much more comfortable for your pets or friends or neighbors that may stop by to help deliver mail or check on your home while you are away.

Here are a few thermostat in summer situations in which it is advantageous to leave your thermostat off while on vacation:

  • Your trip is at least one week or longer in duration (the longer the trip the more likely you are to save money by shutting off your system).
  • The local weather is going to be mild such that it would not drastically raise the temperature of your home.
  • Your home’s temperature efficiency is high enough that your home’s flux in temperature would not require a massive cool down process.

How to program your Nest thermostat when not home

It is recommended to program your Nest auto-away settings to the same 4 degree difference. However, for longer trips, you will want to utilize the manual away settings instead of the auto-away settings. The manual away setting will ensure that your system will not kick on until you manually say so. This will prevent the system from starting if it detects a neighbor or friend that is just bringing in your mail and checking on your house.

Airmaxx has your thermostat temperature summer solution

Whether you are looking to stay cool or save money, it’s all about making the smartest decisions with your thermostat. Nothing is smarter than the CARRIER COR Smart Thermostats that are designed to keep your family comfortable and your bank account full. With full Wi-Fi capabilities, you can control this thermostat from any mobile device through a convenient app, and best of all, it has its own vacation mode settings for optimal savings while you are away. Airmaxx also carries many programmable thermostats to help stretch your dollar and maximize your summer fun!

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Beat the Heat! 10 Tips for Staying Cool This Summer

Stay Cool in Summer

Happy Summer, San Diego! At Airmaxx, we are bona fide lovers of all things summer and we LOVE the heat. However, we are also the Experts of Cool and we know that in Southern California things can get pretty sweaty. For your relief, we have published a list of the best ways to stay cool in the summer. All of our solutions are meant to be easy, fun ways to cool off and stay safe this summer. Add your own in the comments!

  • Chill Out, Literally!
    The sun might be sweltering, but your body can and should regulate its own temperatures. Working up a reasonable amount of sweat will help your body to cool down. However, be careful not to overexert! When we get high heat index warnings, it might be better to stay inside and enjoy the AC!
  • Cozy Up to Cotton Sheets
    Silk and other fabrics can trap heat! Instead, choose cotton to stay cool while sleeping.
  • ‘Treat Yo Self’
    Make some DIY cool summer treats. Real Simple put out a phenomenal set of “Homemade Popsicles” recipes that will keep you cool as a cucumber, or a raspberry, or a peach…
  • Make a DIY Water Blob
    Have you seen these? Whether you’re a first-time homeowner who wants to party with your friends or parents looking for cool summer ideas for kids, a DIY Water Blob is exactly what you need. The instructions on this site are super easy to follow!
  • Take a Dip
    If you’re ready for more full-on contact with the water, don’t forget the obvious option – head to your local pool (or crash a friend’s), take the fam to the lake for the day, or if you’re in sunny San Diego like us, the beach can’t be beat! You can cool off this summer by dipping in the water any time!
  • Enjoy a Cool Cruise
    Hop in the car, roll down all of the windows (or run the air conditioning), and turn up your favorite tunes! We LOVE this set of perfect playlists for cruising.
  • Get Cookin’…
    …outside that is. Don’t heat the whole house by using the oven or stovetop. We love a good cookout here at Airmaxx Heating & Air Conditioning. If you’re ready to perfect your burgers and dogs this year, check out these Grilling Recipes from Bon Appetit! How to drink more water
  • Hydrate!
    Drink enough water. We can’t stress this enough. A body that is hydrated can regulate its own temperatures, not unlike your air conditioner.

  • Limit Your Sun
    A sunburn is the quickest way to ruin your summer fun! Be sure to take precautions with SPF but remember – time in the shade is necessary, too! Too much sun can harm your eyes and dry you out, even with SPF! Sometimes, it’s better to take a day off and enjoy the indoors!

  • Staycation
    Sometimes, let’s face it, the summer just gets too dang hot! On those days, stay at home, grab some movies, and enjoy your top performing, energy efficient air conditioner guilt-free. Does you need an AC tuneup? Contact Airmaxx to invite one of our expert HVAC contractors in San Diego or El Cajon to your home for a quick fix!

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Need A Better Understanding Of Your A/C? Here Are The Top 12 Things Everyone Should Know

People don’t tend to think much about their air conditioning system until something goes wrong. But, as with most things, preventative attention can go a long way. Of course, our Airmaxx technicians are happy to think about this stuff for you. We’re available 24 hours a day for emergency repairs if anything goes wrong with your HVAC systems. Still, a little basic knowledge can save you a lot of time and money.

The Top 12 Things Everyone Should Know About A/C:

1. A/C History 101

Man With Block Of IceFor many years, humans have been developing ways to avoid being hot and stuffy. Ancient Egyptians used to cool their indoor air by hanging wet mats on their doorways. Romans figured out how to run fresh water through their indoor pipes to cool their homes. Even Benjamin Franklin – the inventor whose kite experiment revealed much of what we now know about the nature of electricity – dabbled in the air conditioning world, working with colleagues to figure out how to manipulate liquids that have refrigerating properties. Despite these, and other, contributions, the invention of the first modern air conditioner in 1902 is credited by most to Willis Carrier, an American engineer.

If we fast forward over 100 years since Carrier’s invention, humans are more conscious of their comfort than ever.

2. A/C Anatomy

AC AnatomyIt’s helpful to know how the air conditioner works in the first place. This will help all other information to make sense, and will give you an enormous appreciation for the professionals whose job it is to keep you’re A/C in working order. The little things make a huge difference.

  • Inside your A/C, there is a set of pipes filled with refrigerant, which (just as it sounds) refrigerates – or cools – the air around it. The set of pipes is also called an evaporator coil.
  • Hot air from outside is pumped into your air conditioner by a blower (or fan), running the air over the cooling coils, and blowing it into your home.
  • The refrigerant in the evaporator coil changes from a liquid into a gas while absorbing heat from the air.
  • At the same time, the hot air inside your home is being pushed outside with another fan.
  • The refrigerant is pumped outside the house to another coil (called a condenser), releasing its heat and changing back (condensing) into a liquid.
  • The refrigerant is moved back and forth within the air conditioner by a pump called a compressor, which regulates the rate of movement so that the refrigeration and condensation happens within the right coil.
  • Your A/C also has a motor, which runs the compressor.

3. Set The Right Temperature

ThermostatAs a general rule, your air conditioner can keep indoor temperatures about 20 degrees cooler than outdoors. This means that on a 100-degree day, your A/C may struggle to cool your home below 80 degrees. Setting the thermostat any lower than that will strain your unit unnecessarily, and will probably result in it constantly running in a noble attempt to reach the cooler temperature. If the heat is unbearable, try using a ceiling, table, or other type of fan to keep the air moving.

If you have a central unit, you can purchase a thermostat with a timer that can be programmed to adjust to higher temperatures when you’re gone, and cooler temperature when you’re home. It’s not a good idea to turn your unit off completely unless you’re going on vacation. Turning it off will result in the unit needing to work extra hard to cool the home at a later time.

4. Change Your Filters

If you have a central or window unit, you need to change your filters about once a month during the cooling season. In-home filters have a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which is a number between 1 and 12. A higher MERV ranking means greater filtration, and it is generally recommended that you use filters of a 6 or higher.

Change Your FiltersIf you’re wondering why the filters are important, here’s a quick explanation. They have a dual purpose: 1) they keep particles from accumulating on the evaporator coil, which could eventually stop the unit from working, and 2) they prevent particles from being released into the air inside your home.

The longer you keep a filter, the more particles it catches. So if you wait too long to change it, then the filter itself becomes a pollutant because it can no longer hold the new dirt being blown around. Homes located around construction or dirt roads tend to need filter changes more frequently, as well as those with pets. Filter gunk (not a scientific term) will prevent the air from flowing freely, which will prevent you from maximizing your comfort. Change your filters to keep the breeze… and keep the peace.

5. Clean Your Outdoor Condenser

Your condenser has to survive a lot being exposed to the elements throughout the year. If you notice that your unit is not cooling as well, it may be because the condenser needs cleaning. Leaves, twigs, grass, and other debris can get caught in its fins, and this will obstruct its cooling ability.

Clean Your Outdoor CondenserBefore you get started with the cleaning, be sure to turn the condenser off. This can be done by pulling out a fuse block connecting the unit to your home, or moving the switch to the “off” position. Be sure that the temperature is at least 60 degrees outside so that you can test the air conditioner to be sure that it works.

Clean the fins by first using a soft brush attachment on your vacuum. Be careful, as the fins can bend easily if you’re too rough. If you discover that they are bent, try using a butter knife from your kitchen to push them back into shape. After vacuuming, use a hose to rinse the remainder of the debris. Remember to refer to your owner’s manual for instructions that are specific to your unit.

That takes care of the outside. Now let’s talk about the condenser’s insides.

 6. Check Your Coolant Levels

Check Your CoolantThe amount of refrigerant in your A/C unit is called its “charge.” If there’s a leak and the refrigerant charge goes down, you will have problems. A leak will lower your unit’s ability to work properly, and your home won’t get the cooling it needs.

Because of global warming, finding the right cooling gases to use in residential and commercial properties has been a pretty big deal. Some have been determined to be ozone-depleting substances by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and are therefore banned from being used in new units. Here’s a run-down of what’s ok and what’s not:

  • HCFC-22: This gas was banned in new equipment in 2010 by the EPA. It is only available for older model A/C units.
  • R-410A: This is one alternative to HCFC-22, and is being used in the United States. Although it has a high global warming effect, it causes no ozone depletion.
  • R-32: This gas is being evaluated by the EPA, and is known for being mildly flammable. Its global warming effect is moderate, and it causes no ozone depletion.
  • Hydrocarbons: These are being used in commercial refrigeration, but not yet in homes, unless systems have been redesigned. The global warming effect is low and there is no ozone depletion.

It’s not a great idea to attempt handling any of these coolants on your own, so contact your HVAC professional if you suspect that something is amiss with your coolant levels.

7. Maximize Your A/C’s Effectiveness

Maximize Your AC’s EffectivenessYour A/C could use some help, so there are ways for you to maximize its effectiveness. Keep your blinds closed to trap cool air inside during the day. If you have a fan, run it when your A/C is on so that the cool air can circulate more freely. You should also keep all doors in the home open so that air can flow freely. If you need privacy, try to keep the door cracked.

If you have to make home repairs, such as replacing your windows or your roof, make decisions with the knowledge that insulation is everything. A home that is not well insulated will result in air leaks… which force your air conditioner to work harder than it would normally need to. Proper insulation may cost more on the front end, but over time, the savings will be significant.

Some other tricks to maximizing your air conditioner’s effectiveness include:

  • Using your washer/dryer during cooler times of the day.
  • On cooler nights, opening windows so that the outdoor air can fill the home.
  • Making sure your ducts are sealed to prevent air leakages. You can seal them yourself with mastic – the thick, white, waterproof sealant that can be painted over them. Small ducts leaks can be sealed with foil tape.
  • Keep the blinds on the west side of your home closed on hotter days.

8. Pay Attention To Efficiency Rating

Pay Attention To Efficiency RatingAlong the lines of effectiveness, efficiency matters as well. If you have a central A/C unit, check the seasonal energy-efficiency ratio, or the SEER. In a window unit, it is called the energy-efficiency ratio (EER). Your SEER should be at least a 13, and your EER should be no lower than 8. The higher the number, the less costly and more efficient the unit.

Also, purchase a unit that is a good match for your climate. If you live in a humid area, find an A/C that also dehumidifies. If you live in a dry climate, find one that will operate optimally in hot, dry temperatures. Taking the time to tailor your purchase to your specific needs will save you a lot of money and heartache in the future.

9. Get An Air Conditioning Check-Up Annually

Just like our bodies and cars need check-ups, air conditioners benefit from them as well. Be sure your professional looks at the following:Get An Air Conditioning Check-Up Annually

  • Inspecting and cleaning coils,
  • Replacing fan belts if needed,
  • Checking refrigerant charge and pressures,
  • Cleaning or replacing filters if you’re unable to do it,
  • Lubricating motors and bearings,
  • Cleaning and checking blowers and fans,
  • Inspecting controls and safeties, and
  • Checking temperature controls.

10. Humidity Matters More Than Heat

Inspecting a Home Air Vent for MaintenanceHumidity, if not regulated, can lead to some serious problems. Not only does it make you feel worse about the heat, but it can support the growth of mold and other bacteria that can affect the health of those living in the space. If you’ve ever noticed the condensation that can accumulate around air conditioning vents, you are aware of the dehumidifying properties that most A/C units have. They literally pull the moisture out of the air.

So that your A/C does not have to do all the work alone, be sure to use your exhaust fans when bathing, showering, and cooking. You can also use a fan to help blow some of the air outdoors. If these options aren’t working as they should, purchase a separate dehumidifier to help things along. Sticky skin is the least of your concerns when considering the dangers of mold and damp environments. It can lead to upper respiratory tract problems, coughing, wheezing and inflammation of asthma symptoms.

11. Pick A Unit That Makes Sense For You

Pick A Unit That Makes SenseThe size of your air conditioner should be proportionate to the size of the space you want to cool off. If your A/C is too big, it may cool the space quickly, but it won’t effectively dehumidify the area. Energy Star offers a chart that will help you decide how much cooling capacity, measured in British thermal units (BTU), you will need per hour. This cooling capacity is also called “tons” – One ton of cooling equals 12,000 BTU/hour.

Another thing to consider is the perks that come along with your purchase. When negotiating prices, pay attention to whether or not the price includes a service plan, discounts on repairs, or a labor warranty. Purchasing is only he first step… maintenance soon follows.

12. Choose The Right HVAC Professional

Choose The Right HVAC ProfessionalWe are proud to have world-class HVAC professionals at Airmaxx. Your contractor should be certified by an organization like the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA). When you call us, be sure to have information on hand about the brand of your A/C as well as the level of cooling and comfort you’re aiming for. Many of our customers have recommended us based on their own experiences, and we value the customer relationships we have been able to build through word-of-mouth testimonials.

Our qualified technicians will make sure you understand what’s going on, and they will patiently answer your questions to assure you that your A/C is in good hands.

A little insider knowledge can go a long way. Share what you learn, and give us a call at (619) 655-3010 if you need us. We’re available 24 hours a day.

Avoid These Important Mistakes When Buying Your New AC or Furnace

When you’re in the market for a new AC or furnace for your home, you have two choices: take the first estimate that sounds decent or take a little time to learn from what others have done wrong. This is a major purchase that will impact your energy bills, your home’s efficiency, and your comfort every day. Don’t take the first offer. Do your homework starting by learning from these common mistakes.

Settling for a Deal that Sounds too Good to Be True

It’s a good general rule for all things in life: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If a contractor or installer offers you a fantastic deal on a new AC or furnace, read the fine print. Check on their references and reviews. A deep discount could signal shortcuts and shoddy workmanship.

Not Understanding what You Need for Your Home

Not all models are the same and not all AC and furnace units are right for your home. Make sure you understand, and that your installer double checks for you, that you have a unit that is the right size and type to heat or cool your home effectively and efficiently. Choosing the wrong size can lead to damage, higher energy bills, and even mold in your ducts.

Ignoring Efficiency Technology

A new unit that runs efficiently is probably going to cost more money, but don’t let this put you off. Check out the SEER (seasonal energy efficiency ratio) rating for any new unit before you buy it. The higher the number, the more efficient it is, and the more money you will save each month. The highest efficiency unit can save you up to half on your monthly energy bill.

Forgetting about Rebates

Another good reason choose the high-efficiency models? Many come with rebates that are worth significant cash back. Several states and manufacturers offer rebates to encourage consumers to buy energy-saving AC and furnace units. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to take advantage of these savings.

Not Checking out References and Reviews

We know that you have options when it comes to HVAC installers, which is why we strive to provide only the best service. You can’t count on this from everyone, which is why it is a mistake to not investigate before committing to an HVAC contractor. Ask us for references and read customer reviews to get an idea for the quality of service we offer.

Getting a new AC or furnace is a big deal and a big expense, so don’t rush the process. Avoid these mistakes, do your research, and you will be happy for years with your new unit.

Keep following the AirMaxx Heating and Air Conditioning blog for more information to help you make smart HVAC choices.