Air Conditioner Maintenance and Cleaning Essentials During Winter

Air Conditioner Maintenance and Cleaning Essentials During Winter

Your air conditioning units at home bring comfort and convenience all year-round. Maintaining them is essential, especially during the winter. Doing so can ensure their long lifespan at your home. You may be rather surprised hearing about winter tips, especially when you live in Florida. However, the reality is that no matter how mild the weather is in the winter season, many people in Florida still need heating and experience lower winter type temperatures.

Proper maintenance can help you to you reap the benefits of an HVAC system without buying and installing a new one.

Mark Mendell, a scientist from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Indoor Environment Group states how air-conditioners can be a breeding ground for diseases. He explained that bacteria and microorganisms can thrive in air-conditioning units that are badly maintained. In this COVID threat, it is more important than ever to keep your system maintained.

According to Mendell, people who are exposed to these microorganisms in the air are exposed to a greater risk of asthma and allergic problems.

Some people are more prone to diseases when the temperatures get humid. You need to do maintenance checks on your air-conditioner to prevent these problems.

Here are ways on how to maintain your air-conditioner during the winter season.

Install a thermostat in your home

Use a thermostat to control the temperature in your home. This comes very handy during winter. A thermostat is a huge help in maintaining a cool temperature, as there are times when you tend to forget to adjust the settings. Thermostats do all the work for you – especially the newer smart thermostats.

Use a programmable thermostat so you can easily adjust settings. The ones sold in the market are mostly programmable, so it’s easy for you to find one that can fit your budget and preferences.

There are mobile apps available that allow you to control your thermostat remotely. These apps allow you to monitor the air temperature even when you’re not at home.

Check the exterior sections of your unit

Your air-conditioning unit has parts that aren’t inside your home. It uses a complicated system that uses a drain line, a condenser, and a compressor among other parts.

To ensure that your unit can run smoothly, you need to check the exterior parts that are located outside your house. During winter season, ensure that these parts aren’t left frozen in the cold. Frozen parts can affect the overall performance of your HVAC system.

Clean the outdoor space for your system’s exterior parts

Plants and branches can block the exterior parts of your HVAC system. Try to get rid of them to improve your air conditioner’s performance. You can do this even during summer before the colder weather arrives.

To ensure that no dirt can damage these parts, clean the area using a hose. The drain line might have excess moisture leaking from the condenser, so you need to check the condenser and next the drain line.

Clean the drain line by mixing a small amount of bleach and at least one cup of water. Flush the mixture along the drain line to prevent a buildup of molds and algae.

Check for pests such as termites, ants and others within your air conditioning unit and around it. You might be shocked to find that pests such as termites can cause a lot of damage to your system.

An Easy Air Conditioner Maintenance Tip: Change your air filters frequently!

The filters in your air-conditioner act as a barrier against pollutants that can damage your system. Such pollutants include dust and particles that can accumulate in your unit.

The filters get filthy as time passes by. It is important to change them from time to time. otherwise, your unit will suffer from icing, thus reducing system performance.

Too much ice on your system makes your air-conditioning unit to work more than necessary. Leaving air filters unchanged triggers ice and this can contribute to higher energy bills. Yes you can have frozen parts in Florida.

A good minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating for air-conditioners is a scale of 1-12. A high MERV rating is good. Nonetheless, experts say that in the long run, your unit gets a shorter lifespan. High MERV ratings mean that you get reduced airflow.

Hire an air-conditioning professional to do a maintenance check

air conditioner maintenance

A professional who specializes in checking and cleaning air-conditioning units has a lot of services to offer. Such services include the following:

  • · To check refrigerants
  • · To clean coils
  • · To grease bearings
  • · To replace air filters
  • · To check blowers

Ideally, a maintenance check is done twice a year to make sure your air-conditioning unit can have a long lifespan. Scheduling a maintenance check before the cold and summer months can be a good decision. Book a system tune up now.

Armstrong Air and Heating ensures that your air conditioner works great even in winter season. This leaves you with a unit that is at its optimum health and also with lower energy bills. Schedule an appointment with Armstrong Air today.

Should I Get An HVAC Maintenance Plan?

Should I Get An HVAC Maintenance Plan?

Getting a maintenance plan for an HVAC installation can be quite the investment. While most residential installations only need an annual check, this is not necessarily the case for commercial installations that need a more comprehensive plan. A maintenance plan for residential installations is definitely a long term investment in your home because it could save you money, in the long run, should anything happen to your HVAC System. Here are some of the reasons that should convince you to create a maintenance plan.

Avoid Expensive Problems That Could Be Avoided

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One of the main reasons to get a maintenance plan is to avoid the problems you might get in the future. After all, a lack of maintenance can cause some of the most horrible HVAC problems, costing your money on repairs. The reality is that even if you have a warranty, you can still get issues from the environment or of course any other problems that may not be covered. Having the maintenance agreement will undoubtedly save you money and is insurance for your HVAC system.

Fortunately, most problems with your HVAC system can be avoided with proper maintenance. Let’s take the example of a blocked air duct. If dust, pet hairs, and other debris gets lodged into your system, your HVAC system becomes less effective. In extreme circumstances, it could even damage components, leading to costly repair. So, why not stick to a maintenance plan instead and avoid such repair costs completely.

Of course, to avoid the most common HVAC problems, you should get professional maintenance at least once a year. If you are a business that depends heavily on the HVAC system, you may want to schedule additional professional maintenance, this is especially applicable to businesses such as restaurants, who need proper extraction and filtering in the kitchen. Of course, since oils and greases are prominent in these areas, the HVAC system will need more maintenance than the average residential system.

Increase Your System’s Lifespan

Getting a maintenance plan for your HVAC system does not only prevent common air conditioning problems and prevent hefty repair bills on an annual basis. In fact, it can dramatically increase the overall lifespan of your system. This means that you will not have the cost of repairing or replacing an ineffective system due to the poor maintenance.

Manufacturers create products with the overall assumption that consumers will keep their HVAC systems maintained. Of course, when this does not happen, it can cause lots of problems along the way. Over time, it may even make your system less effective, which means you may have to upgrade or invest in a new system completely. A good maintenance plan can prevent this, and save you heaps in the process.

Save Money On HVAC Operation

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When a system is not properly maintained, it needs to work harder to execute its normal function. Of course, when a system needs to work harder, it also means it needs more energy. So, as your system lacks maintenance, you may notice your utility bill increases. This is obviously one of the bigger reasons why you should get a maintenance plan for your system since it can save you a lot of expenses over the years and not just in repairs. No one wants to see an increase in your power bills.

Contact Armstrong and Sign Up Now For Your Maintenance Plan

Are you looking to create a maintenance plan for your HVAC system? Or do you need some advice on HVAC maintenance? Or do you need to book a professional annual maintenance for your residential or commercial HVAC system? Contact Armstrong Air for all your HVAC maintenance, installation, and even repair needs!

4 Easy Ways to Lower Your Electricity Bill This Year

4 Easy Ways to Lower Your Electricity Bill This Year

Why Homeowners You Need To  Lower Your Electricity Bill

Electricity makes up the majority of a homeowner’s utility bills, and if electricity is not managed properly, the electricity bill will be extremely expensive; a problem that many homeowners face every month. However, lowering your electricity bill can be simple and easy, but unfortunately, many people don’t know how to do so without making drastic changes to their lifestyles. This post will give you some easy and helpful ways that you can lower your electricity bill over the next year.

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Photographer: Anthony Indraus | Source: Unsplash

How to Lower Your Electricity Bill

Lowering your electricity bill is crucial in saving money as a homeowner; and in addition to saving money, cutting electricity bills will also have a positive impact on the environment. Here are some ways to cut down on electricity this year for you to consider.

Use a Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are an innovative technology to consider installing into your home. These thermostats will cut down on electricity bills while also conserving energy, making your home an eco-friendly environment.

Smart thermostats work the same way that standard thermostats do, however, instead of working on a timer or having to be manually turned up or down on the thermostat itself, smart thermostats can be manipulated from an app on your mobile device. Smart thermostats give homeowners the opportunity to control the temperature of their homes from remote locations, meaning they can turn heat and air conditioning up and down while driving home or while they are at work.

For example, homeowners can turn down their thermostats when they leave for work in the morning, conserving energy and money since there is no need to run the heat if nobody is home. Once the homeowner is on his or her way home from work, he or she can sign onto their smart thermostat app and turn the heat back up so their home is warm by the time they get home. Smart thermostats will save homeowners money and energy bills down significantly.

Clean HVAC Filters

This is one of the easiest ways to lower your electricity bill, and often a way that people never seem to think about. An HVAC serviceman that specializes in a/c repair in Sicklerville pointed out, “Cleaning HVAC filters frequently will save homeowners money because there will be no blockages preventing warm or cold air from entering your home.” Since warm and cool air will be able to enter your home easily, you will not be running your HVAC systems extra to warm up or cool down, thus cutting down your electricity bill.

Likewise, consider getting a seasonal HVAC checkup on your systems to make sure that they are running properly will ensure that you aren’t overusing your systems when you don’t have to.

Install LED Light Bulbs

LED light bulbs will cut electricity bills down almost immediately. LED lights have a plethora of benefits but the energy-saving costs are one of the biggest. LED lights produce the same amount of light while requiring less wattage than fluorescent bulbs. With that being said, less energy is being used to light a space; therefore less money will be spent to power a home.

Install Solar Panels

Solar panels are a fantastic way to save money and hence helps you to lower your electricity bill. Though solar panels are a bit of an investment, they will be worth your while in the long run. Solar panels convert the sun’s heat into electricity, rather than using man-made electricity to power a home. Solar panels could ultimately eliminate the use of man-made electricity in your home.

Without the need to rely on any other kind of energy to produce electricity in your home, your electricity bills could be potentially next to nothing if you install solar panels this year.

Start Saving Money Now

Saving money on your electricity bills doesn’t have to be complicated, in fact, it can be extremely simple as long as you make the effort to look into how to do so. Keep these ideas in mind as you look for ways to save money on electricity this year; not only will you save money, you will also be making a positive impact on the environment.

Top Tips To Increase Your HVAC Efficiency

Top Tips To Increase Your HVAC Efficiency

A good AC system can make all the difference inside your home. Even though you may have an excellent AC system already, there are always things you can do to increase the HVAC efficiency. Of course, those with an older AC system could benefit from tips like that too. So, without further ado, let us take a look at how you can make your AC system more efficient and functional.

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Make Your HVAC System More Efficient

1. Keep The Outdoor Condenser Unit Free

One of the most common problems that can make your air conditioning less efficient is a dirty or unkempt outdoor condenser unit. As this unit is placed outside, it is quite easy for dirt and debris to pile up around it. For example, leaves falling from the trees could start to gather around the unit and block some of the airflows. To ensure your indoor unit remains efficient, always make sure that the outdoor condenser unit is completely free of dirt and debris. Clear any fallen leaves or any shrubbery that could reduce the efficiency of your unit as soon as possible to avoid problems.

2. Keep Your Indoor Vents Maintained

Dust is always present in our home, even if you are very meticulous about cleanliness inside your home. Over time, dust can accumulate on the exterior of your air conditioning vents, and then eventually clog the inside of the system. To avoid this, always make sure you wipe down the vents and keep them free of dust and debris before it can make its way to the inside of your system.

3. Check Your Thermostat Settings

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Photographer: Dan LeFebvre | Source: Unsplash

When you put your thermostat on a setting that is too low, you will make your AC work incredibly hard. While there is not anything wrong with that, it can cost you a lot more on the utility bill. As your system will also work a lot harder, it can start to show signs of wear and tear a lot earlier. So, by putting your thermostat a couple of degrees higher, you can spare your AC system a little.

4. Check The Area Where Your Thermostat Is In

The area where your thermostat is kept can have an influence on the efficiency of your air conditioning system. For example, if there are many appliances that radiate heat near your thermostat, then your air conditioning system will turn on more often than it actually has too. As a result, you will end up with some rooms that feel too cold and others that are still too warm. Therefore, always consider the installation location of your thermostat carefully.

5. Use Your Curtains

Many households solely rely on the thermostat and the AC system to keep their home cool, even during times of the year where temperatures are soaring. In doing so, they often forget about other useful methods they could use to keep the temperature down and save a little money on their AC operation in the process. One of the ways to keep some of the heat outsides is by closing your curtains when temperatures get considerably warmer. By closing the curtains, you block some of the heat from getting in and subsequently make your AC system work less.

6. Check Your Drain Lines

A blocked drain line can cause havoc on any AC system. Flushing your drain lines at least once a year or having them cleaned by a professional will, therefore, maintain the efficiency of your AC system. Also, if you believe you have a blocked drain line, do not run your AC until the problem has been fixed by a professional. Doing so could cause irreparable damage to your system.

7. Invest In A Dehumidifier

When temperatures get extremely warm, it is not uncommon for people to experience high humidity in their home. In fact, this humidity can often be more disturbing than the heat itself. While the first reaction would be to turn the air conditioning up, it can be more efficient to invest in a decent dehumidifier. Dehumidifying the air will not only make your home more comfortable, but it also eliminates the need for turning the air conditioning up.

8. Place The Condenser In A Shady Spot

We already mentioned the importance of keeping your outdoor condenser free of dirt and debris. However, the actual location of the condenser is important too. If the condenser is placed in a sunny location, it could actually reduce its efficiency. So, always make sure the installation of your condenser happens in a shaded spot.

9. Replace The Filter

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HVAC Efficiency

Filters can easily get clogged with dirt and debris over time. In turn, this can seriously reduce the airflow and make your AC a lot less efficient. Now, you can replace the filter yourself, or make sure that the filter is being replaced every year during your AC’s annual maintenance appointment.

10. Consider A Zoning System

It is not uncommon for certain rooms to be warmer than others, even with an efficient air conditioning system. Evidently, turning up the AC for a single room is not very cost-efficient. Fortunately, there is a solution in the form of an AC zoning system. The zoning system divides your AC according to various rooms and areas, ensuring they all have the right temperature without wasting energy on rooms that do not need it.

Conclusion

When you want to make your AC more efficient, the tips we mentioned above will become extremely useful. However, we do need to mention that a check by a professional AC Technician can bring many solutions too. So, if your AC is still less than efficient despite implementing these tips, be sure to contact a professional at Armstrong Air for some solutions.

HVAC Maintenance : 5 Steps To Prepare Your AC For Spring

HVAC Maintenance : 5 Steps To Prepare Your AC For Spring

Most people get lax in maintaining and caring for their air conditioning units in the winter months. It’s a habit that allows AC units to break and need HVAC maintenance all throughout the warmer months of the year. With spring well on the way and summer soon to follow, there are a few steps that you can take to care for your air conditioning unit and keep your home nice and cool for the warmer months.

Clean Off All Dirt and Debris

Many people get lax with their lawn care during the winter, allowing leaves and branches to lay where they fall until the spring. This usually affects AC units as well and they build up dirt and leafy debris as a result.

Your first step in treating your unit is to clean your unit from superficial dust and dirt.  All the clutter can force your unit to work harder to cool your home, expending more energy – than you’ll be paying for in your bills – and opening itself up to damage. After clearing away the larger debris, vacuuming the fins of your unit works well to remove the smaller particles.

Give your Unit a Trial Run

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If you’ve not been using your AC unit at all during the winter, giving it a trial run for inspection is a good idea. After cleaning your unit, give it 30 minutes to an hour to run and examine how it’s functioning both inside and outside the house. Does anything look or sound amiss?

A trial run gives you the opportunity to notice anything abnormal about your unit before it can become a larger issue.

Clean the Air Ducts

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Your AC unit circulates the air in your home but also recycles air from your air ducts. If your air ducts contain dust and debris, your AC unit will move that air throughout your home.

It’s another way that an AC unit can work inefficiently and a duct cleaning will make your unit run much more smoothly. It’s also a way to increase the air quality in your home and provide relief from spring’s allergens.

Change Your Filter

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Regularly changing your AC filter is vital in the South; a worn filter allows particles into the air of your home. This can wreak havoc on any family members who suffer from allergies and it can also damage your AC unit. The spring is a perfect time to replace your filter just as you’re getting ready to begin using your unit in earnest.

If you haven’t done so already, then spring is an excellent time to change your filter. Changing out your filter will not only improve your air quality, but it will also help your unit to run efficiently.

Schedule a Preventative HVAC Maintenance Session

The most significant fear of most homeowners is that their HVAC unit won’t function at the peak of the summer. Scheduling a preventative HVAC maintenance session with a professional is the best way to prevent any sort of summertime issue.

A trained HVAC technician can identify the first signs of potential issues and treat your unit before they ever become noticeable. During this inspection, they will locate any refrigerant leaks or other problems that can cause your unit to fail.

Your HVAC unit is one of the most expensive and necessary systems in your home. By treating it early in the spring, you can prevent any issues and allow yourself to enjoy the warmer months of the year.

 

 

Fall Is A Great Time To Replace Your Ac System

Fall Is A Great Time To Replace Your Ac System

Fall may be the best time to inspect and replace your AC system

Do you need to replace your ac system? There are several obvious reasons why you need to inspect and replace your AC system in fall. Today we will discuss not only all those reasons but will also focus on the advantages that come along with this decision. It has been discovered that during the spring, or the early fall, when temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold you get the chance to get the job done properly and can make a decision based on what you need and not out of desperation.

However, it’s also important to keep in mind that if your heating and/or air conditioning system is struggling, you really shouldn’t wait for the proper season to replace it, importance should be placed upon the need. Nevertheless, fall time is a great time to work on getting that new AC system that you need. So the time is really the moment you have an issue to replace your ac system.

Fall Can Save you Money When You Replace Your AC System

So, the first reason why fall is the best time for HVAC system update is that it saves you money. Fall replacements are beneficial especially when you want to get time to search for the best system or take time to determine what is better for you in terms of cost, efficiency, and value. Doing it in the hot months will often make you act in haste. Furthermore, it is easier in cooler months to do the installation.

Taking into consideration the fact that contractors are in between the cooling and heating seasons, they will be much more available to help you tune up and repair your current system if that is what you need. It’s the best time to plan ideal investments in new HVAC system due to being able to plan it properly without acting on desperation because of the weather.

You Can Get The AC System You Need

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A lot can change during a year and you can be offered a number of new air conditioning systems with much more evolved features and specifications. Choose fall for such decisions. Give that time to do some research and make your final choice between the systems that provide superior nighttime comfort and humidity reductions, as well as come with less noisy features both inside and outside of your home. Controls, communications, and programmable thermostats are other important features to take into account before buying one.

Energy Savings to Get from High-Efficiency AC Systems

According to the latest results, 88% of the respondents are “satisfied” with their HVAC systems compared with other high-efficiency system alternatives. On the other hand, just 67 % of users are “dissatisfied” even if they did not end up buying the high-efficiency models. In case your system is getting older or you have had some problems recently, it would be better taking some time in the fall to do your research and talk to us about the best options for your home HVAC investments.

High-efficiency systems are not only much more developed but they also save energy and money. Also, pay attention to the size of the AC system you choose as it matters and a lot depends on the size of the item. For example, if it is too small, it will not keep up on the hottest days and if it is too large, it will cycle too much and cause wide swings in your indoor temperature. Check the humidity levels and pick the right one according to the place you live in.

Contact us to discuss your options and how we can help you to get the best ac system at the best investment for you.

Follow these Top Tips To Prepare Your System For The Fall

Tips for winter and fall to keep warm: Prepare the HVAC for the unfriendly season

What comes to your mind whenever the winter season draws closer? Chilly nights! Well, while in summer you enjoy an opportunity of saving HVAC costs, winter demands to turn on your air conditioning system. Undoubtedly, the HVAC makes chilly nights bearable making it the dearest equipment in the house at such a time. Imagine a situation where your HVAC is running poorly yet you badly need it. How would you switch from cooling to heating in the house? Winter is fast approaching, and it is the perfect time to maintain your air conditioning system.

Check the air filters

The efficiency and longevity of the HVAC system heavily depend on the state of its air filters. The air filters play a significant role in filtering dust and other contaminants before it gets to the HVAC system. Dirty filters block the flow of air and should, therefore, be made clean regularly. Check to see if the air filters are clogged, if yes; replace them once in 30 days to allow free flow of air. Make sure to have plenty of back-ups, so you don’t have to run to the store every time replacement is needed.

Check the thermostat

Transitioning from summer to fall or the winter means that you are moving from cooling to heating. While making a transition, it is essential to reprogram the thermostat and to make it easier you should consider purchasing a programmable thermostat and set it correctly. A programmable thermostat automatically lowers the heat any time you are away or even as you sleep.

Professional Inspection

Regular servicing is crucial for your HVAC system, which means that you should look for a qualified professional for service. Regular servicing ensures that the system is running correctly and makes it highly efficient in terms of energy consumption and functionality. You have the system inspected at least twice in a year, one for the winter and the other during summer. To prepare adequately for the winter season inspection is crucial since it can help identify defects and potential problems.

Closing Remarks

Demand for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system increase as the winter draws near.  Taking the tips and techniques discussed into action will make your system ready for the winter season

 

 

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