8 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Air Conditioner

We realize the summers in Glendale are exceptionally hot. It seems like there is a new heat record being broken every year. Unfortunately, the cost is reflected in your energy bills every month. When you make mistakes with the way you are using your air conditioner, your unit can be less effective, efficient and safe. You are also increasing the cost of running your air conditioner.

When your system is not properly maintained, you can also risk contamination caused by microorganisms. Inhaling these contaminants may be a risk to your health. This issue is even more critical if any of the people living in your home have allergies or asthma because their symptoms may become worse. We want you to be cool, comfortable and safe this summer. For this reason, we have included the tips below.

1. The Importance of Cleaning or Changing Your Air Conditioning Filters

The most common mistake we see is dirty or clogged filters. We recommend changing your filter a minimum of once every 90 days. During the hottest months of the year, your unit is running constantly. During this period of time, you should consider changing your filter every month. When your filter is dirty, the result is a poor flow of air. In some cases, the evaporator coil in your unit may freeze.

When your filter is dirty, you may be increasing your air conditioning bill by 5-15 percent. You will also be decreasing the length of time your unit will last. We do not want you to be forced to replace your air conditioner before its time. You can purchase replacement filters for your unit inexpensively. This small step is very important for protecting your unit and saving you money.

If your air conditioner is a split, ductless unit, you will not need to replace your filter. Look on your air conditioner for a removable panel. Once you remove this panel, you will be able to use a rag to thoroughly wipe off your filter. Maintaining your filter can prevent potentially expensive repairs down the road.

2. Saving Money With a Programmable Thermostat

There is a good chance you may forget to make the necessary adjustment to your thermostat before you leave your home for the day. The best possible solution is installing a programmable thermostat. This simple step can save you several hundred dollars on your air conditioning bill every year. A programmable thermostat will automatically adjust the temperature in your home when you leave or are at work.

Smart thermostats were specifically designed to make programming your thermostat simple and easy. You can control this type of thermostat directly from your smartphone. You can effortlessly cool down your home shortly before you leave work to make certain you return to a nice cool environment while saving money.

3. Routine Maintenance Is Critical

A high-quality air conditioner can run for a long time without maintenance. We recommend scheduling maintenance once every year before the hottest months of the summer arrive. This is the best way to ensure your unit is operating at peak performance. If there is a small issue with your unit, our technician can fix the problem before you end up needing a very expensive repair. The result is a cooler home, lower utility bills and peace of mind.

4. Setting Your Thermostat for the Correct Temperature

Within a period of just one or two weeks, your body will adapt to both heat and cold. Every time you raise your thermostat just one degree, you are decreasing your monthly energy bill by three percent. Over time, your savings will really add up. You will also be helping the environment. Feeling a little warm for a short period of time during the beginning of the summer is more than worth all of the benefits.

We recommend setting your thermostat around 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you have adapted to the summer heat, you may discover you can increase the temperature by another degree or two. The exact temperature is dependent on how well you handle the heat combined with your comfort zone.

5. Positioning Your Vents and Thermostat Correctly

If your thermostat is exposed to the heat from a lamp or the Arizona sun for long periods of time, you have an issue. Your thermostat will be unable to read the temperature in your home properly. This means your air conditioner will continue cooling your already cool home. If you are at work all day, you may not realize your thermostat has not been placed correctly.

Close the drapes for any windows impacting your thermostat. Move any lamps near your thermostat or have a professional relocate the device. If your draperies, curtains or furniture are blocking your air conditioning vents, your air circulation is limited. Check all of your vents to make certain there is no obstruction. This will prevent your unit from running unnecessarily and wasting energy. Your home will remain cool.

6. Waiting to Repair Issues With Your Air Conditioner

If your air conditioning is making unusual noises such as a rattling sound, you are most likely experiencing an issue. Although the problem may be something small, if you wait to have your unit serviced, you may be damaging your air conditioner even more. When you purchased your unit, you were making an investment. You wanted your home to be comfortable for your family. Having your unit checked if you suspect an issue is simply taking care of your investment.

Make certain your filter is clean. If you have replaced your filter, and your unit is still making noises, we recommend calling Christian Brothers for professional service. Our technician will determine what the problem is, make any necessary repairs, and ensure you remain cool throughout the summer.

7. The Impact of the Outside Air

If you leave your doors and windows open while you are running your air conditioner, you are decreasing the efficiency of your unit. You may also be preventing your unit from keeping your home cool. During the hottest hours of the day, we recommend keeping your windows and doors closed. If you want to let in some fresh air, turn off your unit for 10 to 15 minutes at night, then open your windows.

You need to turn your unit back on once you have closed your windows. Leaving your unit off all night will ensure your air conditioner has to work a lot harder than necessary during the day to eliminate the humidity and heat from your home. This can lead to mechanical failures in your unit.

8. The Beauty of Fans

We recommend using fans to circulate cool air throughout your home. Ceiling fans are especially efficient. Your air conditioner will not need to work as hard when your fans are on. Running ceiling fans in a counterclockwise direction will improve your airflow during the summer.

In addition to cooling services, Christian Brothers also provides heating, plumbing and electrical services. Our technicians are well trained to ensure the job is performed properly the first time. Contact us for all of your maintenance, repair and new installation needs in Glendale, AZ.

Air conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical repair since 1976 in Phoenix, AZ.

What Should be Included in HVAC Maintenance?

With proper maintenance, your heating, ventilation and air conditioning system will run efficiently throughout the hot summers here in Greater Phoenix. While you may be tempted to do the tune-up yourself, it’s not wise to tinker around with HVAC equipment if you’re not a professional. A professional will know what should be included in HVAC maintenance. At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical, we know what it takes to make sure your air conditioning and heating system will keep you comfortable throughout the year.

Preventive maintenance services include a thorough checkup of the entire system. If problems are found, the technician will provide recommendations on how to repair them. If your unit is old or repairs will be expensive, the professional will explain all your options.

Benefits of HVAC Maintenance

HVAC maintenance ensures that your heating and air conditioning system operates efficiently and reliably. Most manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment require a tune-up in the spring for the air conditioner and one in the fall for the furnace to keep warranties valid.

Annual maintenance provides the following benefits:

  • Extends system service life
  • Reduces energy usage
  • Gives peace of mind
  • Reduces the need of major repairs
  • Helps to keep indoor air clean
  • Saves money on repairs and utility bills

Maintenance is the process of verifying that each component is in good working order and that the system functions synergistically as a whole. The high summer temperatures in the Phoenix area can cause parts to degrade quickly. If one component is not working properly, it can affect other components. If damaged components are not repaired quickly, you may find yourself with a huge repair bill.

Elements of a Tune-Up

Christian Brothers offers a 22-point tune-up that involves examining, cleaning and fine-tuning each component of a heating and air conditioning system. This includes the following:

  • Cleaning the drip pan and condensate lines
  • Cleaning the outdoor compressor housing
  • Calibrating the thermostat
  • Checking the wiring
  • Tightening the electrical connections
  • Checking the amperage and voltage
  • Cleaning or replacing the air filter
  • Making sure the unit cycles properly
  • Oiling the motors, fans and other moving parts
  • Checking the belts for frays or cracks
  • Checking the controls
  • Checking the ducts for leaks or bad joins
  • Checking the air pressure and system balance

During a tune-up of the air conditioner, a professional will also:

  • Check the refrigerant levels
  • Clean the coils
  • Clean the blower components

Heating-specific inspections include:

  • Checking the burners and ignitions on oil- or gas-burning units
  • Checking for carbon monoxide and other gasses
  • Inspecting the piping and heat exchanger
  • Checking the gas pressure
  • Cleaning the plenum, housing and vents on furnaces

Air Filters

Dirty air filters are the primary reason for HVAC unit failure. Filters capture airborne pollutants and keep them from entering ducts. Once particulates are inside ducts, they can be blown into the living space. Dust, grime, animal dander and other pollutants that bypass filters can coat components inside the system.

Condenser and evaporator coils must be clean for efficient heat exchange. Air flowing over clean coils allows heat to be released as part of the refrigeration process. If coils are coated with debris, the unit must work harder. This strains the compressor, which must use more energy to heat and cool. Eventually, the compressor will fail.

According to the Department of Energy, keeping air filters clean cuts energy usage by up to 15%. In contrast, poor maintenance can increase energy usage by up to 60%. With periodic maintenance, you’ll save energy and money on utility bills.

Amperage, Voltage and Wiring

During your tune-up, the technician will check the entire electrical system for any potential safety issues. Frayed or cracked wiring is a fire hazard.

Voltage is important for proper startup and operation. When a unit powers on, it requires a large amount of energy for a few seconds. Capacitors help compressors, fans and blowers start by sending them this needed boost of current. If there is a voltage problem, the technician will test the capacitors. A damaged capacitor can affect the startup of the unit. The compressor may strain to start or shut down after running for a few minutes. If the capacitor is not replaced, the compressor will eventually fail. It is much less expensive to replace a capacitor than a compressor.

Condensate System

An important function of an air conditioner is to regulate humidity. Moisture extracted from the air is sent through tubing into a drain system that routes condensation out of the building. If the drain pan becomes clogged, water can back up and overflow the pan. If you notice pooled water around the base of the inside unit of the air conditioner, the condensate system could be blocked.

If water cannot flow through the drain system, it will find another way out, such as through walls, floors or ceilings. Eventually, you may notice mildew on walls, carpets or furniture from seepage from the HVAC system overflow. Water can also back up into the air conditioner and damage it.

Cleaning tubing and the drain pan also eliminates the buildup of mold and mildew that can occur when components are constantly moist. Mold and mildew can create a bad smell or be circulated back into the system. If this happens, it will affect indoor air quality and can create health problems.

System Balance

The pressure of a system affects comfort and efficiency. When an HVAC system is installed, it is balanced so that air flows freely through ducts and into rooms. If you experience hot or cold spots in rooms or find that some rooms are more comfortable than others, the system may not be balanced correctly.

During your tune-up, a technician will check to make sure ducts are not leaking and that the dampers within ducts are set properly. This corrects airflow and pressure and improves comfort. Poorly balanced systems must work harder to maintain comfort. Energy efficiency can be reduced by as much as 15% when a system is not properly balanced.

Furnace Combustion System

Proper combustion is important for several reasons. Most importantly, it keeps you safe. Cracked pipes, damaged heat exchangers, corroded plenums and dirty burners can emit carbon monoxide gas, which can make you sick or be fatal. Poorly maintained combustion systems use more energy to operate and wear out more quickly.

Professional Expertise

Your heating and cooling system is a major investment. You want to be sure that the company working on it is qualified, experienced and reliable. At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical in Glendale, AZ, we’re known for being dependable. When we tune up your system, we’ll bring more than 40 years of experience and training with us.

We work on all major brands and types of heating and cooling systems, including heat pumps, ductless mini-splits, package units and split units. Our technicians are certified by NATE, the industry leader in technician certification. They are factory-trained on leading-edge equipment, providing expertise in calculating load, new installations, repairs, maintenance and problem-solving.

To schedule a tune-up for your HVAC system, call Christian Brothers today. Be sure to check out our specials on preventive maintenance, repairs, new installations and equipment too.

Air conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical repair since 1976 in Phoenix, AZ.

How Does an HVAC System Work?

Whether your HVAC system is located in your basement or in a utility closet on the main level of your Glendale home, you probably never give it much thought. What’s interesting is that while you’re living your everyday life, your HVAC system is working hard to ensure you stay comfortable through it all. When you dig into it, an HVAC system is actually quite sophisticated and fascinating. Here is a basic explanation of how HVAC systems work.

The Blower Fan: The Heart of the System

If your HVAC system has a “heart,” then it’s definitely the blower fan. The blower fan pulls in the air for both the furnace and the air conditioner, pushing that air over the heat exchanger or the evaporator coils before distributing the air throughout your home. This means that while your HVAC system is running, your blower fan is spinning. It’s important to maintain your blower fan regularly.

Changing the Temperature

Moving air is great, but it doesn’t mean much unless that air is helping to heat or cool your home; that’s where your air conditioner and furnace come in. Your air conditioner operates by moving the refrigerant through a series of tubes to cool the refrigerant. When the refrigerant passes above the blower fan in the evaporator coils, the heat is removed from the passing air, thus cooling down your home. This heat is then removed by the condenser and released into the outside air.

The furnace, on the other hand, relies on either a gas heat exchanger or coils in an electric furnace, to reach a higher temperature. When air passes over these hot components, the air also increases in temperature, thus warming your home. At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical, we understand each of these components to ensure they’re operating as they should.

The Ducts: Unseen Heroes

The last step in heating or cooling your home is to move the air to the various rooms. This is the job of the ducts. Ducts are simply large pipes that direct air where it’s needed. To do this effectively, ducts must be clean and airtight. At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical, we can assess your ducts to ensure they’re moving air efficiently and make any repairs if problems are discovered.

The Brain Behind the Machine

Behind every great machine is a wise mind that keeps it running. At Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing and Electrical, we have a large group of skilled technicians with the know-how to keep your HVAC system operating efficiently and effectively.

We’ve been in business since 1977 and are proud to maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. You’ll love our upfront pricing and our skills covering a wide range of home repairs, including HVAC, plumbing and electrical issues. Contact us to get your repairs fixed by the pros.

Air conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical repair since 1976 in Phoenix, AZ.