8 Tips To Keep Your AC System Running Optimally

Summer can be a rough place for you if your air conditioner is not running effectively. But there is a lot you can do to help the situation. From closing your windows and cleaning your AC to calling a professional to inspect your AC regularly, you can keep your AC running well.

When your conditioner is running optimally, you will lower the energy consumption and save money on your utility bills. Ultimately, a well-maintained air conditioning unit helps prolong the lifespan of the unit.

Understand Your AC’s Anatomy

Before we get into the maintenance tips, it’s imperative to understand how the air conditioning unit works to understand what needs attention and when. Here are some of the standard components that make up the most AC units.

Inside the AC, there is a set of coiling pipes that contain refrigerant. Refrigerant is a liquid with a low boiling point that changes from liquid to gas as it collects and expels heat from the room. The set of pipes is called the evaporator coil.

Hot air from inside is pumped into the conditioner by a fan located on the inside compartment of the air conditioner. The fan blows the hot air over the evaporator coils.

The refrigerant in the evaporator coil changes the state from a liquid into gas while absorbing the air’s heat. Concurrently the fan located in the outside part of AC pushes the hot air outside.

The refrigerant is pumped from the inside component to another set of coiling pipes (the condenser coil). A condenser fan then blows over the coil, making the refrigerant release its heat and change into a liquid.

Inside the AC is a pump called a compressor. The compressor pushes the refrigerant back and forth and regulates the movement rate so that refrigeration and condensation happen within the right coil.

Now let’s see the kind of maintenance to keep your AC unit functioning properly:

1. Set the Right Temperature

As a general rule of thumb, your conditioner can keep your indoor temperature about 20 degrees cooler than the outdoors. That means that on a day that’s 100 degrees Fahrenheit (F), your AC might not be able to keep your temperature below 80 degrees F. Setting your thermostat below 80 degrees F will strain your AC, making it work harder and less efficiently. The AC unit runs the risk of wearing out faster if it overworks.

It is best to get a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperatures to different situations automatically. For instance, you can set the thermostat to adjust to high temperatures when you are away and cooler temperatures when you are at home.

2. Changing the Filters

You should replace the filter in the air conditioning unit at least twice a year before the heating season begins and before the cooling season begins. If you live in a dusty area, you will want to replace the filter more often. Make sure that you replace the filter with one that has the same airflow rating. Filters with lower airflow ratings might cause the indoor coil freeze, causing failure of your AC unit.

The more you replace the filters, the better. Your AC will filter more efficiently, keeping your air intake pure and your home smelling fresh.

3. Clean Your Outdoor Condenser

The condenser unit is located on the outside component of your AC. The unit contains a compressor, cooling tubes, and a fan.

Since it is located on the outside, its exposed to elements throughout the year. If your AC is not cooling appropriately, the condenser unit likely needs some cleaning. Leaves, dust, grass, and other debris can get trapped in the fins, which will obstruct its cooling performance.

If you have planters around the condensers, you will want to clear them off the AC, placing them at least two feet away. By moving them away, you will optimize air movement within the condenser unit. To get started with cleaning, ensure you turn the condenser off.

Clean the fins with a soft brush vacuum cleaner and be careful not to bend the fins by being too rough. If the fins are bent, brush them back into shape using a knife. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s manual for instructions that are specific to your unit.

4. Check Your Refrigerant Levels

The amount of refrigerant in your AC is referred to as the AC’s charge. This is the optimal level of the refrigerant for the AC to perform efficiently. If there is a leak, the AC will not function properly, and your home will not get the cooling it needs.

It is not a good idea to attempt handling the coolants of your AC. Contact professionals if you suspect any anomaly with your AC’s coolant levels.

5. Maximize Your A/C’s Effectiveness

While it may seem a good idea to open your windows during summer for fresh air movement, opening the windows when the AC is running will make the unit work overtime. Keep your blinds closed to trap the cool air inside during the day.

Additionally, you should ensure that your home is well insulated and there are no air leaks. Attics are major victims of leaks, and if you find some, use spray or batt insulation to block the holes off. Air leaks will make your AC work harder than it would normally need to while stopping the leaks will keep your utility bills low and will ensure your AC conditioner’s longevity.

It is also a good idea to have your fans running simultaneously as your AC to keep cool air circulating more freely. This practice will keep your AC working optimally without overworking.

6. Don’t Close Off Your Rooms

Airflow is a crucial factor in cooling our home. The best way to keep proper airflow is by ensuring that none of the rooms are closed off during the hot season. If you want to maintain some level of privacy, keep your doors gapped rather than fully closed.

7. Update Your System

If your AC unit is more than 10 years old, you might consider getting a new one. Most HVAC systems have energy efficiency standards that have been put in place by regulatory agencies. Look for the seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER) in your AC. Your AC’s SEER should be at least 13 and no lower than 8. The higher the number, the more efficient the unit is.

Besides, you should buy a unit that matches your climatic conditions. If you live in a humid area, you will want to purchase an AC unit with a humidifier. On the other hand, if you live in a hot and dry area, you should find one that suits the hot temperatures.

8. Get an AC Conditioning Checkup Annually

It is crucial to keep up on its essential maintenance to keep your AC running smoothly. While it is possible to check some things by yourself, it is best to find a professional who can check the unit for you. Be sure the professional looks at the following:

  • Inspecting and cleaning the cooling coils
  • Replacing the fans if necessary
  • Checking refrigerant levels and pressures
  • Cleaning or replacing filters
  • Lubricating motors and bearing
  • Cleaning fans and blowers
  • Checking temperature controls

Need Assistance With Your AC Unit?

Keeping your AC unit running optimally can seem like a hard task. If you have any questions about making your AC run efficiently, contact us at Christian Brothers Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical for immediate services in Glendale, AZ. We are proud to have qualified experts who will make sure that you understand your AC’s needs and will patiently answer your questions and ensure that your AC gets the right tune-up. We also offer a full line of heating and cooling services, as well as plumbing and electrical work.

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


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.