The hot and humid days have officially arrived, and with that comes the use of our air conditioning units. We spoke with Adam Saunders, Retail Sales Manager at Martino HVAC, about energy saving tips and best practices for maintaining your HVAC system for the sticky summer ahead.
When we spoke with Saunders, we were curious how people should care for their AC system throughout the summer to save themselves some money. Saunders explains, “The best thing to do is have an AC tune up by a technician. People should make sure bushes around their AC [units] are trimmed so there is 12″ clearance around all sides and as much clearance as possible above the [unit] – ideally 5 feet.” He goes on further to explain that by changing the furnace filter and hosing down the outdoor unit, you can keep your AC in tip-top condition.
A big portion of homeowners believe that you can save money on your energy bill by closing dampers in rooms that they may not use as frequently and we wanted to see if this theory was true. Saunders explains, “[By closing the dampers] it can help, as it will force the air to where you are spending most of your time. That being said it’s not good to close too many dampers, as it increases the pressure in the ductwork and can put added stress on the furnace components.”
If you’re in the market for a new AC unit, keep in mind that a bigger unit doesn’t always perform better. Saunders explains, “Larger air conditioners DO NOT perform better. A larger air conditioner will cool the house faster, but it will not run long enough to remove a good amount of humidity. Therefore you have a chilly damp feeling rather than a nice cool dehumidified feeling.”
He continues, “An air conditioner can only reduce the temperature inside the home about 10-15 degrees colder than outside, regardless of the size. An air conditioner is sized for the warmest day of the year. This is the size that should be installed. Going larger than this will cause the unit to short cycle for 90% of the year when it is not 35+ degrees.”
“An air conditioner uses the most electricity when it turns on rather than when it’s running and running for a longer period of time. Therefore when it’s too large, it cools the house quickly then it warms up and then it turns back on and so on. This will increase [the cost of] energy bills, reduce the humidity removal and cause more wear and tear on the unit resulting in premature failure.”
At the end of the day, you’ll want to listen to an expert at Martino HVAC and go with their recommended size of HVAC system for you and your home.
Turning it On
You may have already turned on your air conditioner once or twice this season but Saunders shared some tips if you haven’t yet. He says, “If [the homeowner uses] an AC cover, make sure it is taken off. Next, change the furnace filter and make sure when it’s running that it sounds normal. Make sure water is draining into the drain and not leaking out of the ductwork. [The homeowner may want to] walk down to the furnace and to the outdoor unit and make sure there is no frost build up anywhere on the unit or the lines.” Saunders also let us know that homeowners should ensure they are cleaning their AC units and vents at least once a season. While the entire duct system should be cleaned once every 5 years or more often if you suffer from allergies or asthma.
Right now Martino HVAC is offering a special 12-month, equal payment, no interest plan for a new air conditioner. Combined with rebates of over $3,000 from organizations such as the SaveONenergy program, Enbridge, and the manufacturer themselves. As for service, they are offering a $99 AC tune up, regularly $135.
Learn more about Martino HVAC and their other prices and promotions by visiting http://martinohvac.com/
Featured image source: Energy.gov