10 Suggestions To Help Reduce Your Cooling Costs.
- Schedule your air conditioning system to be serviced.
This will ensure you are running at peak efficiency. Hire a certified and trained company with qualified service technicians to help you get your air conditioning system ready for the hot summer months.
When your cooling system does not have to work extra hard, it will save you money. The best time to have your air conditioner serviced is before the hot temperatures become extreme. Contact a licensed and insured HVAC contractor.
- Install a programmable thermostat to help reduce energy costs.
Set your thermostat for your family’s home comfort level when you are home and decrease temperatures when you away. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, raise the thermostat level in your home by several degree’s while you are away to cut energy consumption. New advances in technology offer Wi-Fi capable thermostats for additional cost savings.
- Change the air filters for your HVAC system regularly.
A dirty air filter can increase energy consumption and damage your equipment, leading to poor performance or early failure. Make sure your air filter is the sized properly for your system.
- Utilize your window shades and coverings.
Keep the shades and window coverings closed to reduce radiant heat from the sun.
- Consider sealing your cooling ducts in the attic.
Sealing your ductwork can improve airflow and increase the efficiency of your HVAC system by as much as 20 percent. HVAC contractors can test your ductwork for airflow leakage and seal the ductwork if needed.
- Turn off electronic appliances when not in use.
Use the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer in the evening and in “off” peak energy hours.
- Plant a tree.
Planting trees or shrubs to shade the southern facing windows of your home can provide natural and environmentally friendly energy savings.
- Create airflow.
Keep the ducts and vents in the house open to assure good airflow throughout your home.
- Seal the leaks.
Check the weather stripping around the windows, doors and attic. Seal any areas where air may be leaking.
- Update your system, if necessary.
If you have older cooling equipment, (10 years or older), you might consider replacing it with a new high efficiency cooling system. If your system is not keeping your home comfortable, contact a licensed and professional HVAC contractor to find out what new options are available.
Summer weather can be extreme and last for weeks or months. Upgrading your home cooling equipment is a great way to cut your annual energy bills. In the summer months there are often great factory rebates and financing options available.
Four Critical Characteristics To Demand From Your Air Conditioning Company
ACCOUNTABILITY! Make sure that the company you are thinking about hiring has been in the local area for at least 15 years with the same name and phone numbers. Pick a company to perform a service or install a unit based on quality and customer service, not solely on price. The name brand of the equipment is not as important as the installing contractor. Make sure that they are insured and bonded and that they have a state certified contractors license. Are the vehicles labeled with the license number? Do the invoices have the license number? And so should their advertising. It’s the law.
DEPENDABILITY! Check to see if they are truly a 24-hour service. Call the company at 11:00pm or 12:00am and see who answers. Is it a machine, voice mail, or a temp agency that you hope will deliver the message and hope that they will call you back immediately? Is that the type of service you should receive when you paid for a service and you air conditioning unit goes out and you and your family are agitated and uncomfortable and you have to get up early for work and it is two o’clock in the morning!
INFORMATION! The technician should invite you to watch them as they perform the service on your unit and inform you on why and what they are doing. They should have proper identification and give you some suggestions on maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your air conditioning unit through a comprehensible maintenance plans (preferably for one year only!) and one-year warranties on any part they exchange or repair. And! Unless the unit is extremely old (eight to ten years or older), falling apart and never has been properly maintained the suggestion of a brand new unit should not be entertained. Watch out for the really cheap a/c check-ups for $29.95 or $39.95 chances are it is a bait and hook tactic to try to get you to pay for parts or a unit you may not need. Any service worth something should have value behind it.
PROFESSIONALISM! Make sure that the company stands by their word. Does the company arrive when they say they do? If they are going to be late, do they notify you? Make sure you know who is coming to your house; find out the name of the technician. Is the technician presentable, does he have a uniform, an identification badge, and does he respect your home and property? Finally, make sure you are paying what you were promised not what you are being charged. Are there hidden costs? And are you being charged for a service that was not fixed the first time?
How To Choose The Right AC Contractor
Whether you choose us or someone else here are some tips when trying to choose the right contractor. Any reputable ac company will be telling you the same thing.
- Check Their License
Go to www.myfloridalicense.com and type in their license number and see if it’s active.
- Insurance & Workman’s Comp
Ask for these documents and make sure it’s active. The homeowner can be sued if a worker gets hurt in their home without proper insurance.
- Check Their Credentials
How long have they been in business, any complaints, if so,did they resolve it. Visit their office ask questions.
- Watch Out For Too Good To Be True Offers!
The truth is, it costs money to offer a proper service at a good value. Companies can’t afford to do clean & checks at a cheap price, they have to sell you something. Where is the value in that?
- Been Told You Need A New System?
Get a second opinion or schedule another company to come out. Many times it can be fixed. If not, get three proposals and compare apples to apples. Remember it’s how the ac system gets installed not the brand that gets installed.
- You Have An AC Company You Been Using For Years?
Great! Keep Them. They have earned your business but if you been unhappy…Give Us A Try we work hard to earn your trust.
What Brand of Air Conditioner Should I Choose?
There are about six HVAC equipment manufacturers in the U.S. today, but they operate under more than 150 brand names.
Here are some brands that come off the same manufacturing lines — just different paint, labels, and marketing:
- Lennox, Armstrong and Concord
- Trane and American Standard
- Carrier, Payne, Bryant and Tempstar
- York, Lux and Coleman
- Goodman and Amana
You get the idea. So, what’s the difference? Typically, there are small differences on the very top-end products, such as who has the bigger touchscreen thermostat, or is it 98.4 percent or 98.3 percent efficient. But, these are insignificant at the end of the day. So, what’s the big, clear cut difference? The installing contractor. You can have a top of the line air conditioner but if it is installed poorly you will never receive it’s benefits and you just wasted your hard earned money. On the other hand, you can have a mediocre air conditioner installed properly and have comfort and efficiency for years to come at a fair and reasonable price. Focus on the air conditioning contractor more than the brand of unit.
When you’re buying a new air conditioning system you need to take into account both “first cost” – the cost you pay up front on the price tag – and “lifetime costs,” such as the factors that affect its output and energy usage for years to come. A good HVAC contractor can help you sort out the details and select the best possible unit. AC units are measured in tons, which refers to the amount of heat they can remove from a home in one hour. The larger your house, the more cooling power you need; however, more than just square footage goes into this calculation. A good AC service professional will take into account room dimensions and other variables that determine the most appropriate size for your house this is called a load calculation.
Why Maintenance is Important?
Paying proper attention to regular maintenance and having the air conditioner inspected by a professional at least once per year (preferably two times per year) can head off many problems before they start.
Change your air filters regularly. Air conditioning professionals recommend this constantly, and they’re not exaggerating it’s as important as a regular oil change in your car. A dirty filter forces the system to work harder, run longer, consume more energy and ultimately shorten its life through wear and tear. Furthermore, a fresh, clean filter more effectively traps contaminants and debris in the air. Energy Star recommends replacing your filter once every three months. During high usage months, check the filters at least monthly. You should also make sure your outdoor unit is free of obstructions such as grass, growth or vines, as anything impeding airflow will adversely affect operation. Call in your HVAC contractor at least once a year, preferably in the spring, to test your AC system, clean and adjust it. A proper inspection doesn’t just look for problems. The contractor should also examine the outdoor condensing unit, measure temperature and airflow values and adjust them to the manufacturer’s specifications. You should also consider a maintenance contract with an HVAC company, which typically runs between $159 and $199 per year and covers visits for both the heating and cooling sides. This ensures the same company will be checking your system every time, keeping records over the years, and often gets you preferred service and discounts when something breaks.
Should I Repair or Replace?
No matter what, even the best-maintained air conditioner will eventually fail. HVAC professionals recommend following this basic rule when deciding whether it’s worth investing in a repair:
If the unit is more than 6 years old, and the repair will cost more than half the price of a new system, it’s best to buy new. Energy Star recommends replacing an air conditioner that’s more than 10 years old, even if it’s still working. The system won’t have many more years left in it, and it’s likely to be using more energy than necessary.
Do I Need My Air Ducts Cleaned?
Some companies specialize as air duct cleaners. They generally recommend having air ducts cleaned every 3 to 5 years, or even more frequently to reduce pollutants in the air. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warns that there is no scientific evidence that cleaning air ducts regularly improves air quality, and some HVAC professional say it’s a waste of money. Yet some allergy sufferers, have reported that having their ducts cleaned has led to reduced allergy symptoms and cleaner air. Although the EPA does not recommend routinely hiring air duct cleaning services, it does suggest it be done when there are specific reasons for doing so.
This would include factors such as:
- You see substantial quantities of visible mold growth within the heating ducts or present on other parts of your home’s HVAC system.
- Pests such as mice, rats or insects have infested portions of the duct system.
- Excessive amounts of dust or debris clog the duct system and release dust or debris into the home through the vent registers when the system operates.
The National Air Duct Cleaners Association agrees with most of the EPA’s stance on air duct cleaning with one exception — it does recommend routine work by quality air duct cleaners every few years.
According to the NADCA, consider the following when making a decision whether or not to hire an air duct cleaner:
- Smokers in the household
- Pets that shed high amounts of hair and dander
- Water contamination or damage to the home or HVAC system
- Residents with allergies or asthma who might benefit from a reduction in the amount of indoor air pollutants in the home’s HVAC system
- After home renovations or remodeling
- Prior to occupancy of a new home