Cleaning up your home for spring is an excellent way to get together with family members to make your home a more hygienic, allergy–friendly, and clean place to live. Aside from polishing the furniture, organizing closets, dusting those hard–to–reach places, your heating and cooling systems also require your attention. Below are some tips to help you prepare for the summer months. For further information, get in touch with a professional.
Replace your batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. The first step to home safety is ensuring that your safety devices are in working order and that they are there to help you if and when you need them. Batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide should be replaced every six months. Inspect them at the end of winter.
Change your AC filter. Air filtration is an important part of your cooling system. It prevents dust, pollen, dander and other allergenic particles from entering your home. It also protects the components of your central air system by preventing the build–up of dust and other materials on motors, compressors, coils and fans. Don’t know how? Give your local air conditioning expert a call.
Schedule a heating and cooling maintenance plan. Ensuring the comfort level of your home is often as simple as scheduling routine maintenance with a heating and cooling professional. Not only will it help you to avoid any air conditioner breakdowns during the peak heat of the summer, but it will also give you some peace of mind, knowing that your indoor air is being handled by a team of professionals.
Wash all of your windows. This is a chore, of course, but it makes all the difference when that first warm sun hits your home. Not only will the outdoors appear to be crystal clear, but you may also be able to look closely at any parts of your home that may be leaking air. Your heating and cooling systems are only as good as your home’s ability to keep its temperature. Washing the windows will not only make your home more attractive, but it will also give you a sense of your home’s energy–efficiency.
Dust vents and fans. If there’s a thin layer of dust on the grilles of your home ductwork, it’s probably time to do something about it. Dust not only irritates the respiratory system, it can also create problems for your heating and cooling system. If you think dust is becoming a problem for your home, call a heating and cooling professional today.
When your air conditioner is fully operational, it can keep you comfortable during the hottest days of the year. It’s imperative, therefore, that you maintain your AC unit throughout its lifetime. Spring is a great time to think about how you might tune–up your AC.
To tune–up your AC means inspecting, cleaning, repairing, and, if necessary, replacing parts of your system. To be done properly, much of this work requires the expertise of an air conditioning professional. A properly installed and serviced AC unit will maximize your energy–efficiency, and will help to save you money.
The first step is to call a professional. An expert technician will be able to assess any issues in the compressor, coils, refrigerant levels, electrical supply and thermostat. Attempting to do so yourself may be dangerous and could prove costly. Here a few maintenance tune–ups even the most efficient air conditioners could benefit from:
- Clean or replace the air filter. Your air filter is one of the most important parts of your AC unit. It promotes airflow and prevents the passage of dust and other allergens from entering your ductwork or home. If you are highly–sensitive to allergens, particularly those that come about in the spring time, then this is an absolute must. Air filters also keep the parts of your AC unit working properly by preventing the accumulation of dust and other materials on the internal structure. Check your air filter monthly.
- Insulate the ductwork. Your ducts are the structural skeleton of your indoor air system. They make the measured and even distribution of cool air possible, but they depend upon a closed system. As well as repairing or sealing any duct leaks and testing that the system is efficient, insulating ductwork tends to significantly reduce heating and cooling loss, sometimes up to 30%. By sealing air leaks, your cooling professional may be able to save you serious money this spring and summer.
- Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to customize your home temperature for specific times of the day and days of the week. Not only will adjusting your temperature automatically cut costs, but it is also takes care of your home comfort for you.
Remember that only a professional AC technician can tune–up your system for this upcoming cooling season. Call one today.
Spring is here and summer is fast approaching. As you begin to tune up your AC unit to get it ready for the heat, you may also consider upgrading. The cost–effectiveness and energy efficiency of your total cooling system depends upon a lot of factors: ductwork, insulation, the layout of your home and property, including even such things as which part of your house endures the sun’s rays the longest. But, your savings in large part comes down to how efficient your air conditioning unit is.
The SEER rating is a number given to every manufactured AC system available on the market. The higher the rating, the higher the efficiency. Upgrading to an AC unit with a high SEER rating may save you money in the long run.
One of the most high–efficiency units on the market today is known as the ductless mini split air conditioner. As its name suggests, it uses no ductwork. Like central systems that use forced air through ductwork, mini splits have two primary parts: an outdoor compressor/condenser and the individual units that act as an indoor air handler. They are connected by a conduit that is installed behind the walls. They are not only known for their high–efficiency, but also for their small size and flexibility. By controlling your cooling through the use of zones, you can customize your living spaces; each zone has its own thermostat. They are also often easier to install than other conventional systems because they generally require only a 3–inch hole for the conduit. This can be especially useful when retrofitting older systems, or deciding about whether or not to install ductwork.
But even if you’d like to stick to conventional central air, there are many upgrade options. You can, for example, choose to replace only the outdoor compressor; although you should keep in mind that your system needs to be matched by an AC professional. Proper sizing and installation are also key aspects of upgrading to a high–efficiency system.
Whatever your reason of upgrading: whether to save money, help reduce your carbon footprint, or because you want better performance, your local professional technician can help you make the right decision.
As a homeowner, you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all your home systems. Proper electrical maintenance is important not only for the...Ensuring that your home is free of electrical faults is part of the maintenance of your home, but knowing the rules of your electrical system and how it works can help to promote the electrical safety of your home. Every day we use various electrical appliances, and it’s easy to forget that electricity can be dangerous and pose a risk to the integrity of your home. Every year thousands suffer electricity–related accidents, from electrocution to fires produced by faulty wiring. But there are a few ways you can stay safe.
1. Use only approved equipment. The UL stamped on electrical devices is there for a reason. It means that Underwriters Laboratories have approved it. Use only certified electric appliances.
2. Don’t mix electricity with water. Keep all hairdryers, beard trimmers, and anything electrical away from water–filled sinks and tubs.
3. Avoid overloading outlets. Your outlet has been rated for a certain amount of electrical output. Attempting to overload it by plugging in too many devices is dangerous and can cause serious damage to your system.
4. Keep unused appliances stored away. Unplug and stow away unused electrical devices with their cords wrapped properly. It will not only clear some space in your kitchen or bathroom, but it also keeps your space hazard–free.
5. Give appliances that produce heat adequate clearance. Computer components, stereo equipment, clocks, and televisions should be given a few inches of clearance on all sides in order to allow for heat diffusion.
6. Keep heat sources clean. Try to avoid allowing curtains drape on radiators, and avoid placing socks and other garments on space heaters.
7. Install GFIs. Call your electrician to install GFI (ground fault interrupter) outlets in your home, especially in areas around water: pools, kitchens, bathrooms, unfinished basements, etc.
8. Match the light bulb to the fixture. Not all bulbs and fixtures are alike. Check out the manufacturer specifications of your various lamps and recessed fixtures and make sure that the light bulbs you put in them match their wattage recommendations.
9. Keep electrical cords out of a child’s reach. Remember to properly stow away cords so that they are out of reach for children.
With just a little extra effort and common sense, you can reduce the risks associated with the electrical system in your home and help prevent accidents before they happen.