Peak Performance Air Conditioning tips

Check your A/C system before temperatures rise

Keep your cool and save money before the start of heat wave season! NOW is the time to guarantee comfort and savings in the months to come. It is also the perfect time to upgrade to a new central air conditioning system and benefit from the increased efficiencies of new HVAC technologies. From the state-of-the-art Mitsubishi Electric split zone ductless system to more conventional systems like Trane and Bryant Central Air Conditioning, we have cooling solutions to fit your energy needs and budget. See our service area.

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  • Before you turn on your A/C

    • Go outside and take a look at your air conditioning system’s outside unit. It is called the condenser. If you covered it for the winter, make sure you remove the cover before you turn it on.
    • Clear any vegetation or obstructions within 18 inches of the condenser. Using a hose with a nozzle to spray away dirt and debris between the fins of the unit is highly recommended.
    • When you are back inside the home, check the filter for the air conditioning unit. It is easy to overlook the inside parts of a central air system. This is where many problems begin because dust and other particles often lodge in the filter when the air conditioner has not been running for long periods of time.
    • For central air conditioning, changing the filter one a month is the best thing you can do. Always be sure to use a pleated filter.
      Before you turn on your central air system for the first time, make sure you have a new filter in place and that there are no gaps where the air can pass unfiltered.
    • After you have inspected everything, check to make sure the breaker and/or disconnect switch to the condenser is turned on. Once this is done, you may want to close all basement vents to make sure the air from your system is directed to your middle and upper floors, where it is needed the most.
  • Test your air conditioning system

    • Once you have done a system check on your air conditioning system, test it out. Turn your thermostat to “cool” and turn the fan to “auto.” Turn the temperature setting down to 68 degrees just for the purpose of these next steps:
      • When you hear the system go on, go outside to inspect the condenser.  Make sure the fan is spinning and listen for the hum of the compressor.
      • Once you are back inside your home listen for anything abnormal with the furnace blower. If you see or hear anything unusual, turn the system off immediately!
  • Verify that it is working efficiently

    • Check the copper refrigerant pipes. The large one, which is usually insulated, should be cold.
    • While the system is running, go outside to the condenser and push up the insulation a little bit to expose the pipe. Feel the pipe to check if it is  cold.
    • You will often see condensation on this refrigerant line. That’s a good sign that the refrigerant level is where it should be.
    • As the temperatures outside rise and remain high for longer periods of time, your central air will be running longer and working overtime. If your central air system runs all the time and rarely shuts off, or you can’t get the temperature below 75 degrees, you may have a problem with the system.
    • Watch for water on the top or under your furnace. Condensation is normal, but it should run through the condensate drain only. Improper drainage is common and results in expensive repair costs. Look for any signs of freezing on the large copper line. If you see ice or frost there, it may be a sign that you have low refrigerant or improper air flow.
    • High power bills also can be an indication that something is wrong with your air conditioner.
    • If you see signs of trouble, you may need a professional to take a look at your system. Being proactive means you won’t have to worry about your air conditioning calling it quits on a 100-degree day this summer. If your central air system runs all the time and rarely shuts off, or you can’t get the temperature below 75 degrees, you may have a problem with the system.

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