Best Heating and Air Conditioning Repair Companies and Service Maintenance Tips
If you’re looking for the best heating and air conditioning repair companies or just some service maintenance tips to extend the life of your units, it helps to first get informed and understand the types of systems, how they work and how to keep them going. Here are the three main HVAC systems along with a brief description of how they work:
- Forced Air Systems – The forced air system pulls in hot or cold air and forces it through metal ducts using a blower. Hot air is then forced through one set of ducts and cold air is sent through another set of ducts, depending on whether you are using the air conditioner or the furnace. The most frequently occurring problem with these kind of systems occurs near the end of their lifespan when the blowers often malfunction and stop working.
- Gravity Systems – Gravity systems operate using the basic principle that as cold air sinks, hot air rises. For this reason, a gravity system cannot be used in conjunction with an air conditioning system. Gravity systems are typically positioned in the basement. When switched on, the warm air rises and heats your home. When it cools, it sinks down again and is reheated.
- Radiant Systems – Radiant systems also cannot be used in conjunction with air conditioning systems. They often heats the floors, walls, or ceilings of a room. Often, a device called a radiator is used, which distribute heat around your room. The main downside of radiant systems is the pipes used to transport hot water are prone to malfunction, either due to mineral deposits or general wear and tear.
While you now have a better understanding of what type you have, here are some tips to not only keep them going, but help reduce your high energy bills, avoid future repairs, and extend the life of the equipment.
- Testing Your Air Conditioner - It is important to test your air conditioning, especially if you haven't used it and the warm summer months are coming. If you haven’t started using your air conditioning yet this year, go ahead and turn it on now. Set it to several degrees below the current temp to make sure it can get cool. Listen for strange noises and look for leaks or other obvious problems.
- Cleaning Your Filter - Change your existing air filter or if you have a disposable filter then be sure to clean it. The fact is dirty air makes the equipment have to work much harder and can lead to future freeze-ups or even breakdowns. Then be sure to mark your calendar so you’ll remember to clean the filter once per month or so during cooling season, or however often the manufacturer recommends.
- Cleaning of Debris from your Outdoor Unit - Be sure to gather and and all leaves, branches, and trash that might have collected around your outdoor AC unit. If shrubs grow close to the equipment, it is best to prune them back to leave a few feet of space.
- Straightening Bent Fins - Do the condenser fins look like new? or perhaps they look flattened? An AC tune-up will straighten things out. If you are the DIY type, it is not hard to get a fin comb at the local hardware store and do it yourself - but be very careful!
- Cleaning the Outdoor Unit - People are often known to use a vacuum attachment to better clean the coils; however, for even better results, you might wish to schedule a maintenance visit by air conditioning company that will thoroughly clean all components.
- Getting a Smart Thermostat - One of the most popular ways to maintain your AC now is to actually reduce its use. In fact, a modern programmable thermostat can typically pay for itself by avoiding energy waste while you’re at work, all while extending the AC lifespan.
- Using a Ceiling Fan - Another popular way to reduce your energy costs cost, as well as the wear and tear on your unit, is to use a ceiling fan. You would be supirsed how well they work on localized areas.
- Checking Insulation and Weatherstripping - Older homes often do not have quality insulation, making your HVAC system work much harder. Consider adding more insulation in your attic or wherever you can, and check that window and door seals are in good condition and replace weatherstrips as needed.
- Throwing Some Shade - While everyone likes letting in the beautiful natural light from outside, you can maintain your AC better by avoiding excessive heat gain. Use blinds or heavy curtains on east- and west-facing windows, or grow shade trees outside of them.