How to Make Your Central Air More Energy Efficient

One of the most efficient ways to cool your home is with a central air system. However, there are things you can do (or not do) that will lead it to become less efficient than it’s capable of. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your cooling system, make sure you’re keeping these things in mind.

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Set the Perfect Temperature

They key to attaining comfort AND efficiency is to find the sweet spot on your thermostat. Too high and you’ll be hot and miserable; too low you’ll be paying a fortunate when your energy bill arrives. The desired temperature during the summer months is 78 degrees. However, you can go a degree or two lower if you need it to be a tad bit cooler.

Clean the Coils

A central air system has both indoor and outdoor coils. These coils will attract dust as they are constantly wet while the system is running during the summer. Inspect and clean both of these coils on a monthly basis as dirty coils is the most common reason for poor efficiency. The indoor coil will usually become dirtier than the outdoor one due to excessive dust, so you may want to inspect this one twice per month.

Help Your System Out

Your cooling system also relies on your actions in order to be efficient, so while you do need to maintain it, you also need to assist it. Keep blinds and curtains drawn closed on sun-facing windows, keep doors and windows closed when it’s hot outside, and add weatherstripping to leaky doors and windows. You should also consider using heat-emitting appliances during the nighttime when it’s cooler (like the oven, stove, dryer, etc.).

Central air systems are extremely efficient, but there are things you can do to take their efficiency to the next level! When your cooling system needs service, repair, or replacement, contact Airtech of Stamford. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (203) 323-3959.

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Why Does My Air Conditioner Smell?

Does your home smell funky every time you turn on the air conditioner. Now that the weather is warm full-time, the last thing you want is to smell foul odors when you’re trying to stay out of the summer heat. Here’s why your air conditioner smells and how to fix it.

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Why Your Air Conditioner Smells

Air conditioners can release foul odors into your home if they have a buildup of mold or microbial growth.This growth can occur due to condensation on the refrigerator coils, a clogged drain pan, or if there’s a leak. Small rodents can also sneak their way into the condenser unit outside, becoming trapped and eventually dying within the unit. A lack of maintenance can cause these things to never be discovered, worsening the smell as time goes on.

Steps to Remove Foul Odors from the Air Conditioner

  1. Inspect the Unit – First things first, open up the outdoor unit and give it a visual inspection. Look for any dead animals, visible mold, or any leaks that could be causing microbial growth. Many times you will be able to easily see the cause of the odor.
  2. Clean the Unit – Using a foaming coil cleaner, spray the refrigerator coils and allow it to sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing. Once that has been cleaned off, clean the rest of the unit of any dirt and growth with the proper cleaner and protection (latex gloves and a face mask).
  3. Clean the Drain Line and Pan – Remove the drain line from the unit and clean it with a solution of hot water and white vinegar (or bleach). This should kill any fungi or microbial growth inhabiting the line. The same should be done for the drain pan — remove and clean it with the same solution. Allow them both to fully dry before reinstalling.
  4. Replace Old Filters – Any filters inside of the unit should be changed or cleaned (if they’re reusable). Air filters should be replaced every one to three months or cleaned with a diluted bleach solution just as often.
  5. Check and Test – Once all of your maintenance has been performed, check that everything is installed where it should be and test the system by turning it on. If the foul odors still exist, the problem could be within your ductwork or a larger problem that will need an HVAC technician to troubleshoot.

Having an air conditioner that stinks up your entire home isn’t something you should put up with all summer. When you need HVAC repair, service, or replacement, contact Airtech of Stamford. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (203) 323-3959.

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3 Air Conditioning Mistake to Avoid Making

Now that summer is here to stay, you’ll be feeling nothing but heat from the big, bright sun from now on. Thankfully, with the flip of a switch (or press of a button), you’ll have access to cool air wherever and whenever you’d like. Unfortunately, you might be making a few big time mistakes when it comes to your cooling system (and they should be corrected as soon as possible).

thermostat on cooling system

Mistake #1: Incorrect Thermostat Usage

Many homeowners will make the mistake of setting the thermostat to a ridiculously cold temperature to cool their home down at a faster rate. The truth is, your home won’t cool down faster. If one cooling system is set to 68 degrees and the other is set to 74 degrees, they will both reach 74 degrees at the same time. Setting the thermostat to a lower temperature and then raising it back up will waste energy (your money) and place extra wear and tear on your system.

Mistake #2: Running the System For Too Long

Cooling systems are designed to last for at least a decade as long as regular maintenance is performed. However, the lifespan of your unit will decrease as it accumulates additional wear and tear. Allowing the cooling system to run for too long without giving it a break here and there will make it more prone to breaking down. Instead, give it a break for a few hours each day — preferably in the evenings when temperatures are at their lowest.

Mistake #3: Skipping Maintenance & Repairs

All cooling systems need annual maintenance to make sure they are good to go for the upcoming warm weather months. This maintenance should be done in spring, but if you haven’t had yours serviced this year — what are you waiting for!? The last thing you want is for your HVAC system to break down during a heat wave due to a faulty part that could’ve been repaired or replaced during this service. The more love you show to your cooling system, the more love it will show back to you!

Using an air conditioner is extremely simple, however, there are big time mistakes you can make without even realizing it. When your HVAC system needs repair or replacement, contact Airtech of Stamford. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (203) 323-3959.

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How to Stay Cool AND Save Energy

With summer in sight, your air conditioner will be on for a good portion of each day for the next few months. This can become rather expensive, but is it worth the price to stay out of the heat? Well, when you apply these tips to your daily life, you’ll be able to save money on your energy costs while also staying cool.

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  1. Slight Thermostat Increase – Raising your thermostat just a few degrees can save you a bundle on your monthly energy bill. If you normally set your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit, raise it to 72 degrees. You’ll barely notice the difference and remain comfortably cool while also paying less.
  2. Switch to a Smart Thermostat – Using an old thermostat can cost you money as an old unit can be inaccurate in its readings and limit you by not having any money saving features. By upgrading to a smart thermostat, you’ll have more accurate readings and the ability to set timers and utilize zone cooling to be able to cool specific areas of your home.
  3. Complete Chores During the Night – Avoid using appliances that produce heat like ovens, stovetops, and clothes dryers. Limit cooking indoors and laundry to the nighttime when you can turn the AC off and open the windows to allow the cool breeze in. For cooking during the day, start utilizing your outdoor grill more (it’s a win-win if you ask us)!
  4. Install New Lights – Incandescent light bulbs not only cost more to keep on, but they also produce a lot of excess heat. Consider switching to CFL or LED light bulbs as they produce less heat AND are more energy efficient.
  5. Close All Blinds & Shades – When the sun shines through your windows, its heat can increase the indoor temperature — even if the AC is on. Keep all blinds and shades drawn closed on whichever side of the house the sun is facing. However, you can absolutely open shades, blinds, and windows on the other side of the house that isn’t receiving direct sunlight.

If you’re looking to save money on energy bills without sacrificing your own comfort, think about utilizing these helpful tips. An efficient HVAC system can also help you save money, so if yours needs service, repair, or replacement, contact Airtech of Stamford. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (203) 323-3959.

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How to Add Freon to Your AC Unit

Freon is a refrigerant that’s used in AC units to help remove heat from the air and allow cool air to be dispensed into the house. Oftentimes this Freon can leak out of the unit which will cause your cooling system to dispense room temperature air. In order for your AC unit to work properly again, you’ll need to fix the leak and replenish the supply of Freon.

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Step 1: Identify Problem & Gather Supplies

First, you want to make sure a Freon leak is the problem with your AC unit. Units made before the year 2010 use refrigerants, while newer units do not. If yours is made before this cutoff year and you’ve ruled out broken parts or serious duct leaks, proceed with purchasing the corresponding Freon repair kit for that specific unit.

Step 2: Find the Leak

Turn off the AC system and put on your goggles and breathing mask before you begin (for your own safety). Since Freon doesn’t evaporate, if the refrigerant levels are low, a leak exists. Attach the temperature and pressure gauges from your Freon repair kit and measure the temperature and pressure of each line. Whichever line has a pressure of less than 65 psi and a temperature higher than 45 degrees Fahrenheit, is the one with the leak.

Step 3: Attach the Repair Kit

Open up the outdoor AC unit and locate the two compressor lines. Follow the instructions carefully on your repair kit and connect the injection hose and can of sealant to the appropriate compressor lines. Next, turn on the power to the AC unit and open up the can of sealant to allow it to spread throughout the lines. Allow this sealant to run through the lines for at least a full minute so it can thoroughly patch up the leaky areas.

Step 4: Add the Freon

As you follow your instructions, reconnect the pressure and temperature gauges to the appropriate lines, along with your container of refrigerant. Once connected, release a small amount of Freon into the system (keep the Freon container upright). Wait 10 minutes and add another small amount. Do this in increments of 10 minutes so you can see if the gauges are moving due to the addition of Freon. Once the gauges are reading the normal levels, turn on the AC unit and test the system. (If cool air still isn’t coming out, contact your local air conditioning company.)

When your cooling system isn’t blowing out cool air, you might have a coolant leak that needs to be repaired and refilled. If you’d rather leave this cooling system repair to the pros, contact Airtech of Stamford. To learn more or to schedule an appointment, give us a call at (203) 323-3959.

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