The weather is changing, and that means it’s also time to make some changes to your HVAC maintenance strategy. Due to shifting temperatures, each new season requires its own steps for homeowners to get their heating and cooling system ready. Below is a great beginner’s checklist for prepping your HVAC for winter.
- Change the filters. You’ll be running the system a lot in the winter, and clean filters will maximize performance while keeping your energy bills at a minimum.
- Test the thermostat. It’s a good idea to make sure your thermostat is in good working order before the cold sets in.
- Test the ignitor switch. No ignitor switch, no heat. Test yours every year whether it’s a pilot light or an electronic ignitor.
- Run the heat a couple of times before the cold weather sets in. Don’t wait until it’s too late to learn that your heat isn’t working properly.
- Clear any leaves or other debris from your outdoor unit. Falling leaves and twigs can accumulate around your unit in the fall, leading to a performance lag in winter.
Schedule Your Winter Check-up
The best thing you can do to get your HVAC ready for winter is to schedule a preventive maintenance check-up from professionals like the team at Wilmington Air. Preventive HVAC maintenance is key to long-lasting performance and long-term savings. Our expert technicians will conduct a 15-point inspection to identify any problems before the cold weather sets in and you need the system the most.
Wilmington Air is your source for HVAC repair and maintenance near Wilmington, NC. Schedule your tune-up today to stay warm this winter.
It’s typically recommended to change the air filters in your home once every 90 days or so. But why is it important to change your filters so frequently and what are the benefits of doing so?
Below are five benefits of frequently changing your air filters.
1. Improved Air Quality
The air in your home is only as clean as the filters in your HVAC system. The filter’s job is to trap pollen, dust, mold spores, animal hair, and various other particles that affect air quality. The more particles that are trapped by the filter, the more clogged up the filter becomes and the less efficient it becomes at cleaning the air.
2. Lower Energy Bills
When an air filter accumulates a lot of particles and debris, airflow becomes more restricted. That in turn forces the system to work harder to blow the treated air through the clogged filter, which results in a higher energy bill at the end of the month. According to the Department of Energy, you can reduce your energy consumption by up to 15% just by keeping your air filters clean.
An air filter only costs a few bucks at your local hardware store or major retailers like Walmart. Spending a few bucks every three months for a fresh filter more than outweighs the energy savings you will get in return with a more efficient system.
3. Longer Lifespan
When an HVAC is forced to work harder to move air through clogged filters, it places additional strain on the system. This additional strain can shorten the overall life of the system. An HVAC can be a costly purchase, so frequently changing your air filters can pay dividends down the road by helping you get more years out of your HVAC.
4. Fewer Repairs
Just as an overworked HVAC system can experience a shorter lifespan, it can also encounter more trouble along the way. Dirty or worn air filters can lead to a number of problems, many of which can be costly and all of which can be avoided by simply changing the air filter on a more frequent basis.
5. Better Performance
Clean air filters help your HVAC system more efficiently treat and circulate higher quality air which in turn helps you better achieve your preferred air temperature throughout your home. That’s the purpose of any HVAC system, and frequently changed air filters help make it possible.
Change Your Filter and Reap the Benefits
Changing your air filter is quite easy. Start by opening the grille to check which size filter you need. The size will be printed on the edge of the filter. Before removing the filter, take note of which direction it’s facing as each side of the filter is different. Many filters will have arrows on the edges indicating which direction faces out.
Once you have the correct size, simply remove the old filter, position the new one in place and close up the grille.
Schedule an appointment with Wilmington Air to get the most out of your HVAC system. Our preventative maintenance services include a 15-point inspection each spring and fall to identify problems before they arise and optimize the performance of your unit. Wilmington Air is your solution for A/C maintenance in Wilmington, NC.
It’s usually pretty obvious when your air conditioning unit stops working, especially when it happens on a hot summer afternoon. However, you don’t have to wait until you’re covered in sweat to recognize that your system could use some repairs. Below are five warning signs of a failing AC unit to look out for so you can schedule a tuneup before having to change your shirt.
AC Failure Warning Signs
Keep your eye out for any of the following warning signs of an AC failure.
Warm or weak airflow
It sounds like a no-brainer, but it can be easy not to notice that the air coming out of your vents is not cooled. Thankfully, this may be indicative of a simple problem with an easy fix, such as a clogged filter or low levels of refrigerant.
Sometimes the air coming from the vents may be cold, but the flow is very weak. Poor airflow is usually a sign of a leak or a buildup of debris in your filter or vents. Whatever the culprit, you may have a hard time cooling your living space until it’s addressed.
A well-working AC unit should be mostly quiet. If you hear scraping or squealing noises coming from your AC unit, one of its parts may be knocked out of place or in need of lubrication. Even if you can tolerate the noise, the AC unit should still be serviced as an untreated issue could lead to more costly repairs down the road.
A musty smell coming from your AC unit can indicate mold or fungus growth and presents a health hazard to anyone in the home. A burning smell can mean a wiring or insulation problem and pose a fire hazard. It’s also not uncommon for a deceased animal to turn up in a duct. Any odd smells coming from your vents or unit should be inspected by a professional immediately.
If you notice any moisture leaking around your AC system, it should be looked at right away. Refrigerant is a hazardous substance and any exposure can be extremely dangerous. Even if the moisture turns out to just be water, it still indicates a problem with the unit that needs repairing.
One sure sign of a failing AC unit is a sudden increase in your electricity bills with no increase in use. This indicates that your system is now working harder than it should to achieve the same results and is often due to a leak or clog.
Schedule Your AC Appointment
If you notice any of the above warning signs with your AC unit, schedule an appointment with our team to get your AC maintenance done today. Our highly-skilled technicians have served Wilmington and the surrounding communities with our HVAC repairs for more than 10 years and will provide you with an easy-to-understand proposal and get your system running like new again.
Don’t wait until it’s too late. If you’re in need of AC repair in Wilmington, beat the heat with Wilmington Air.
Did you know that air conditioning accounts for about 12% of the average home energy bill? And that number could be even higher in Wilmington, NC, thanks to the particularly hot and humid summers.
But there are some ways to keep your electric bill down without the temperature going up. Below are 5 ways to save money on your air conditioning expenses this summer.
5 Steps to Lowering Your A/C Costs
1. Cover your windows
It’s nice to let some natural light into the room, but it also lets the heat in at the same time. Keep your windows covered with curtains or blinds during the hottest part of the day, especially any windows on the sun-side of your house.
2. Plant some trees
Heat creeps into the house through the roof and walls. But planting some tall trees or shrubs near the house can shade the areas where the sun is normally shining. Planting trees may require more of an investment upfront but will pay dividends once those trees are providing enough shade to cool your house naturally and allow you to turn down the air conditioner.
3. Install ceiling fans
The cost to run a ceiling fan at full speed is minimal in comparison to an air conditioner. Moving air helps evaporate sweat from the skin and is cooler than stagnant air. Installing and running numerous ceiling fans throughout the house will allow you to take it easier on the air conditioner.
4. Get a smart thermostat
A lot of money is lost when homeowners run the air conditioner when they aren’t home. Nobody likes coming home to a sweltering house, but keeping the unit running when nobody is there is not exactly efficient.
A smart thermostat can save you a significant amount of money on your air conditioning bill by programming it to only turn on at certain times of the day when you expect to be on your way home, and many can even be controlled remotely with your smartphone.
5. Place your thermostat on the correct wall
A thermostat located on an exterior wall or near a window can register higher temperatures and therefore kick on the air conditioning prematurely or more frequently. Your thermostat should be positioned on an interior wall away from any outside doors or windows. Don’t place it anywhere that receives direct sunlight in order to read the indoor air temperature accurately.
Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced
The above tips are all helpful ways to save on air conditioning this summer. But the single biggest culprit of large air conditioning expenses is an inefficient unit. When an air conditioner is not working properly, it’s forced to work harder. And the harder it has to work, the higher your electric bill ends up being.
A great way to save money on air conditioning every summer is to have your system inspected and tuned up every spring. Our HVAC repair and maintenance includes a 15-point inspection to make sure your system is working efficiently and minimizing your energy output.
Schedule an appointment with Wilmington Air today to get your air conditioner — and your wallet — primed for summer.
Today’s preparation means a cooler, more comfortable tomorrow in Wilmington, North Carolina. We’re talking about AC repair, and we’ve got a few things in mind to help you get ready for summertime.
Ready to beat the summer heat? Continue reading to learn more.
How To Prep Your AC Unit for Summer
Clean and check the filters
Once you’ve successfully disconnected the power to the condenser, take a look at the filters. These filters not only act as the first line of defense against indoor pollutants, but they also directly impact the efficiency and longevity of your AC unit.
If a filter appears salvageable, use a vacuum hose to remove as much dust and debris as you can. Then, take the filters to the sink and gently wash them using one part water and one part white vinegar before rinsing with clean water and laying them in the sun to dry.
If there is visible damage to the filter, then it will need to be replaced. This process is fairly simple: Just follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Clean the coils and fan
Most AC units are located outside. Often, these units are covered during the winter, in which case very little maintenance will be required. If not, however, the open grates on the sides of the unit will allow dust and debris to build up on the fan as well as the condenser coils.
Using a soft brush vacuum attachment, gently clean the coils and fan taking special care not to bend anything out of place. If you see any debris at the base of the condenser, be sure to remove it and check that the drain (if applicable) is clear of any obstruction. If there is grime on the blades of the fan, simply wipe them down using a damp cloth.
Inspect the insulation
Coolant lines run from the air handler to the condenser and should be covered with a layer of insulation to combat against extreme temperature changes. Typically a foam coolant line insulation sleeve and insulation tape are used to protect these lines.
Take a look at these lines and replace any insulation that appears damaged or missing as soon as possible to protect the lines from unwanted exposure.
Give the AC a test run
The most important step to ensure your AC unit is ready for summer is to power it up and make sure everything works as expected.
Once the AC unit dries off and the air filters have been replaced, switch the power breaker back on and switch the thermostat to cool to ensure there are no surprises.
Schedule an HVAC Inspection in Wilmington, NC
Of course, not everyone is the DIY type. Remove the guesswork from the equation by scheduling a 15-point HVAC inspection with Wilmington Air. We provide top rated HVAC services in Wilmington, NC. Schedule your service appointment today.