The Dos and Don’ts of Central Cooling
Do you have an air conditioner or heat pump in your home? Chances are, you do! And, if you do, you know that they are a long-term investment that are crucial for home comfort, but can have implications on your monthly finances – particularly during the summer. And, as we move closer to summer, it’s more important than ever to make sure you (and your system) are ready to tackle the heat as efficiently and effectively as possible.
There are actually a lot of things to keep in mind when it comes to the central cooling system in your home. Here are a few that should be at the forefront.
Do leave your thermostat at a consistent temperature. Don’t constantly change temperature settings. It’s actually more cost-effective to run your air conditioner or heat pump longer at lower operating levels than to go through frequent on/off cycles. That’s why when you go to buy a new system, it is always a good idea to look at your two-stage or modulating system options.
Do use blinds and curtains to help regulate the temperatures of rooms in your home. Don’t leave windows open all the time. Open windows, particularly during the spring, can have a negative effect on your indoor air quality. That’s because pollutants, allergens, dust and more are able to enter your home unfiltered and settle on your surfaces. An alternative easy-fix is to invest in quality curtains and blinds. Open them when it feels colder in a room or close them if it is getting too toasty.
Do change your furnace filter. Don’t forget until it starts causing problems! Not only can a dirty filter lower indoor air quality, but it can make your air conditioner’s job harder. A harder working system is less efficient and can suffer from repairs more frequently than a system that doesn’t have to work as hard to distribute air.
Do have your system cleaned by a local professional. Don’t take a power washer and start cleaning it yourself. A dirty system is an inefficient system. But, that doesn’t mean that you should drag out the heavy machinery and clean it yourself. With a power washer, you could end up damaging important parts of your system. You could actually end up spending more money replacing components than you would have hiring a professional.
Do use zoning equipment to control the temperature of specific rooms in your home. Don’t use registers. Your central cooling equipment is sized to cool specific square footage. When you open and close vents, this can mess that up and cause damage to your unit. Instead, you should invest in a zoning system. A zoning system divides your home into rooms or groups of rooms for customized home comfort.
Do have you central cooling system maintained regularly. Don’t just wait for a problem to arise. If you have an air conditioner or heat pump, you should be scheduling preventative maintenance with a local HVAC contractor in the spring before the summer cooling season. That’s because you want to discover any minor issues before they can cause big problems during the peak season – when contractors are busier and wait-times are longer.
For additional central cooling tips, you can always contact your local heating and air conditioning specialist.
What are some of the things you do to lower utility bill expenses during the summer?