Maintenance Tips For Your HVAC System
It’s springtime! It’s been nice so far, but we all know summer is coming. Summer in Texas puts a big strain on our air conditioning systems. You want to make sure that your system is functioning well before summer hits—it’s no fun when your air conditioner goes out and it’s 100 degrees outside!
We get a lot of homeowners who ask us what they can do to maintain their air conditioning systems. Three things come to mind:
- Check your air filters! Pull your air filters out and inspect them. Typically you need to change them every 60-90 days for a one-inch filter, or every six months for a four-inch filter. If your filters are dirty, change them! This will definitely help with your airflow and your cooling.
- Wash the condenser. The second thing you should do is to wash off your outside condenser. Get all the dust and dirt off the inside of your coils. This will help maintain your system and help it operate more efficiently, which makes it work less during the summer and saves you money!
- Treat your drain lines. In your attic, or in the closet, you’ll find some PVC pipe that comes off of your unit’s evaporator coil. If you can treat the inside of that line with a little bit of bleach, it will help removed any mildew or growth inside there that traps dust particles and creates clogs.
If you do these things, they will help your system run more efficiently, and hopefully, help prevent any service calls during the summer!
But if you do need any help with your system, give us a call. We’ll take care of everything for you! We’ll check your system for any issues. We’ll check your Freon, and do whatever it takes to get your system running well and your house cool for the summer!
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How Often You Should Change Your Filter
Let’s talk about filters.
You know you’re supposed to change the filter for your air conditioner. But do you know how often to do it?
4 Inch Filter
It really depends on what kind of filter you have, and how you operate your system. Filters come in different depths. For instance, some units take filters that are 4 inches deep. These filters usually have deep pleats in them, and they can go for several months before you need to change them out. If you keep your house fan switched to “on” all the time, you will probably need to change a 4-inch pleated filter every 6 months. If you keep your house fan on “auto,” so that it’s not running all the time, you might be able to make a 4-inch filter last for a whole year.
With this kind of filter, we can just change it out for you whenever we do our twice-yearly service on your air conditioning/heating unit. If you run your fan all the time, we’ll change the heater out at each service. If you run your fan only part of the time, we may only need to change that filter for you once a year.
1 Inch Filter
Other systems take filters that are only 1 inch deep. These need to be changed every 1 to 3 months, depending on how much you run your system. Right now the temperature has been running right around 70 degrees, so you’re probably not running your air conditioning much and your filter can last longer. During times when you don’t have to run your AC much, you might be able to change a 1-inch filter every three months. But when it gets hot and you start needing your air conditioner to run all the time, you will have to change it more often.
There are many different kinds of filters. We’d love to talk to you about which ones are best for you and your system, and how often to change them so that you get the best efficiency, to keep you comfortable and keep your electric bill low! We also have filters in our office if you need to swing by to replace yours.
How to Program a Thermostat
Let’s talk about thermostats and how to set them for this time of year, when it’s cold at night but hot in the daytime, and you have to have heating and cooling all in one day.
On a typical thermostat, you have three different settings for the system: off, cool, heat or auto. This time of year when it’s likely to be hot during the day but cold at night you want to use the “auto” setting. That way you don’t have to keep going back and forth turning on the heater or the air conditioner.
The “Auto” Setting
On a typical thermostat when you use the “auto” setting you turn it on and set your cooling temperature. Let’s say you choose 75 degrees. At this setting, if your house temperature gets up to 75 degrees, your air conditioner will kick on. You can also set a temperature for your heater. If you choose 70 degrees, then when the house temperature goes below 70 your heater will turn on. This way you can keep your house in a comfortable temperature range without having to constantly mess with turning systems on or off.
Most thermostats have this auto feature. Some thermostats are “smarter,” like the Trane Communicating Thermostat. These are only available if you have a Trane system installed in your house, but they also allow you to set the system to “auto” and then monitor the temperature to see if you need to have the heater or the air conditioner come on. There are other types of “smart” thermostats as well.
Whichever thermostat you have, if you use the “auto” setting to keep your home in a comfortable temperature range it not only saves you the hassle of having to keep turning the heat or air conditioner on or off, but it also keeps your house at an even temperature and saves you money on your electric bill.
If you have any questions about thermostats or how to keep your house comfortable, give us a call!