Summer is just around the corner, and if you don’t have your air conditioner taken care of, you might be in for a hot time. Let us prevent you from encountering problems during the summer months by getting your HVAC system in proper working order. We can help you get it ready before the heat of summer hits your home.
Las Vegas experiences a continued rise in temperatures. In that regard, you need to ensure that your AC and heating system is operating correctly at all times and gets regular servicing performed. That’s how you make sure that it stays reliable. In addition, give your AC unit the care it needs to serve you well. The best way to do this is to have your unit inspected by a professional regularly. You also need to be regulating the power levels of your current unit. You can do this by turning off your air conditioner when you’re not using it. Another easy simple way to help you regulate power is by switching to a programmable thermostat. Furthermore, keep your unit clean to minimize any damage caused by bugs or other intrusions in your home.
If you have an air conditioning system in your home, now is the time to make sure it’s cooling your house correctly. Tiny holes or duct leakage can cause your unit not to operate at its peak efficiency. Also, for every ten degrees that your thermostat is set outside of its nominal range, you could use as much as 10% more electricity. HVAC tune-ups are no joke! So take advantage of our HVAC maintenance plans.
The truth is that most people don’t think about getting their air conditioner cleaned or serviced until they notice something is wrong with it. Because, in most cases, if no one has complained yet, then things must be okay, right? After all, what could go wrong when all the wires and other technical components are hidden away in a locked closet somewhere far from view? In fairness, these components should be left alone as much as possible. That’s because they can be challenging to troubleshoot and repair. However, a seasoned and certified technician will know how to spot problems early.
Here are some facts that homeowners should know to better understand their HVAC unit.
1. True: Insulation means HVAC efficiency in the summer
With summer quickly approaching, you might be wondering how to make your HVAC system more efficient. Well, insulation could be the answer. But how does insulation help HVAC system efficiency in the summer? A popular myth is that insulation is only needed to protect you from the cold. But in reality, you do need adequate insulation to ensure your home’s comfort in the summer, too.
By improving your home’s insulation, you will decrease heat and cooling loss increasing the effectiveness of your HVAC unit. This is a great way to save you money on your cooling bill in the summer! How does it work?
It’s a fair question because it seems to make no sense that adding insulation would increase HVAC efficiency in the summertime. After all, adding insulation improves your house’s ability to keep heat inside, and in the summer, that means you need even more air conditioning… right?
Let us explain…
Firstly, insulation works by slowing the heat transfer from one place to another. Insulation works both ways. So in the winter, it will keep the heat from escaping your house. Then, it keeps the cold air in and the heat out in the summer.
It all boils down to the materials used for insulation. You want to use something that will cause heat transfer to slow down. Generally, insulation will consist of fiberglass, wool, or foam materials. Materials like these are great for keeping the hot air from surrounding areas from getting inside. In effect, your house will stay cooler for longer.
This means that your AC will not have to constantly run to maintain cool indoor temperatures in the summer heat. When your AC isn’t being overworked, it lowers your energy bill and uses less refrigerant.
The best way to insulate your home for the summer
Proper insulation will improve your overall home comfort. So you want to make sure that you have extra insulation in the attic spaces. We’ve all heard that hot air rises. This means the upper levels of your house will always be warmer than the lower levels. So insulation is an effective way to keep the upstairs cool in the summer season. Also, don’t forget to insulate the band joists of your house.
You don’t need a professional to install insulation in your walls. You can quickly go to your favorite hardware store, get the material, and do it yourself. However, you can always get an experienced HVAC technician to do the heavy lifting for you.
2. False: UV germicidal lights can replace your IAQ system
Can UV germicidal lights help your Indoor Air Quality system (IAQ)? You betcha! However, you should never use these lights to replace your indoor air quality system.
UV germicidal lights are an effective tool to be used alongside your Indoor Air Quality system. Their purpose is to improve the performance of your IAQ and kill airborne bacteria in your air.
The last thing you want to do is have viruses or allergens floating around inside your home. So it’s a good idea to use UV germicidal lights along with your air filters. Also, keep your AC system and vents free of any dirt, dust, or debris. Dirty filters keep circulating polluted air. Another place that dust and dirt tend to gather is on fan blades, coils, and air ducts, which restricts airflow. So it is important to keep those clean, too.
We all love the warm summer days, but summertime is when people start to experience allergies. With a clean air filter, you and your family can avoid allergies. So a little spring cleaning can change your entire summer.
How UV germicidal lights work
UV germicidal lights do not get rid of things like dust and dirt. That’s why you still need your air filter working alongside them. However, UV germicidal lights take care of what your air filter can’t. For example, there are biological pollutants that your air filter can’t remove. So UV germicidal lights eliminate living contaminants like bacteria, viruses like the flu, and mold.
Viruses and bacteria are the most common indoor air contaminants. Inlets and outlets alike can be contaminated depending on the size of your home and family. UV germicidal lights can help eliminate these bacteria and viruses from the harshest environments like refrigeration or even in a bathroom. So you see how critical this is to Indoor Air Quality.
Contrary to popular belief, Ultraviolet Lights and Air Quality go hand in hand. According to the EPA (the United States Environmental Protection Agency), indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air. Indoor air pollution can be up to five times worse than what’s going on outside. So it helps to get a professional to test your air quality.
3. True: Sealing your home will save energy
Did you know that sealing your home with caulk or weather stripping saves energy in the summer? Use caulk to seal cracks and holes that appear around your window frames and your doors. In comparison, weatherstripping is better for any openings that can move, like doors and windows that open.
The reason this works is that less warm air will enter your home when it’s sealed. Doors and windows with cracks will be much less likely to allow outside warm air to enter your house.
A well-sealed home or building is more energy-efficient and can reduce energy bills. Plus, you won’t need as many HVAC repairs as your system won’t have to work as hard. It’s well known that cool air leaks out of your home through gaps, cracks, holes in the walls, windows, and roofs. This loss of cool air wastes energy. So you pay for the energy without ever benefitting from it. As a homeowner, you can save roughly 11% on your overall energy consumption when your home is adequately sealed.
Make sure your home is completely sealed off.
Have you ever done a blower door test? If you haven’t, you should get one done in spring before the summer rolls around. In the same way, you clean your outdoor unit regularly, a blower door test should be part of your routine maintenance.
Blower door testing is a simple, quick, and non-damaging way to test the airtightness of a building. It involves placing an external fan in an exterior doorway to pressurize or depressurize the building. Once the building is pressurized or depressurized, the pressure difference between outside and inside will be measured. The measurement will tell us how airtight the buildings are. Ensure that blower door testing is part of your spring maintenance to prepare for the warmer months.
Airtightness is critical to a comfortable home. Besides blower door testing, there are other ways of measuring airtightness, such as site testing. Site testing is when we take measurements within a house. For most people, though, it’s too invasive or expensive.
Blower door testing is also preferred over these methods because it tells us what’s going on throughout the whole house – not just specific rooms. Not just that, but blower door tests determine what is leaking air from your home. For this method, the pressurization or depressurization of your house helps us pinpoint where leaks are. Then, we can seal them.
Your ducts are a common way that air leaks out of your house and puts stress on your AC unit. So schedule a duct inspection to check for leaks.
4. True: Ceiling saver kits work
Does your attic grow warmer than the rest of the house in the summer? If so, you want to pay special attention to this. It may be time to put in a ceiling saver. Ceiling Savers are an energy-saving product designed to trim excessive cooling costs incurred by supplying conditioned air to unoccupied spaces. Channeling excess water produced in the summer is a common issue. Here’s how ceiling savers work in hot weather by allowing warm air to escape from your attic.
Water will collect as a result of your condenser at work during the summer. So now is the best time to start looking into a ceiling saver kit. Simply put, your ceiling saver kit is a secondary drip pan that prevents water damage to your ceiling.
Ceiling saver kits can come in various colors, primarily gray or white. Ceiling savers are double-sized tarps with grommets spaced every few feet. These grommets secure the ceiling saver to the joists in your ceiling. Once installed, they prevent leaks from ever reaching your ceiling.
5. False: Radiators can effectively replace your HVAC system in the summer
You might think it’s a great idea to use a radiator with cold water to replace your central air system in the summer. And while, in theory, you can produce cool air this way, it will not be as effective as your AC unit.
Things that go wrong using a radiator in summer instead of AC
- You will have very humid air.
Look at it this way. If the radiator constantly produces water that drips and settles onto your floor, you will always have humid indoor air. Therefore, you will have to maintain constant vigilance to ensure that the water in the radiator does not go below the dew point.
- It’s easy to waste energy.
You will be wasting energy on cooling down hot water and will have to pay for the higher energy bill. To help with this, you will have to put a lot of time between having your chiller on versus the boiler off.
- You can end up ruining your radiator.
How your HVAC system runs is different from how a radiator would. Your HVAC system is made for heating and cooling. On the other hand, a radiator can get corroded when used like this.
DIY HVAC checks
So if you are worried about how your HVAC system will perform in the coming months, there are some checks that you can do yourself.
- You can always check for and clean a dirty air filter.
- Listen for strange noises. Strange noises can alert you to necessary repairs like trouble with the compressor or loose or missing parts.
- Remove grass or other vegetation growing around your outdoor unit. Ensuring the surrounding area is free of overgrowth makes a huge difference.
- If you see water damage or any water around the indoor unit in the summertime, you could have clogged drain lines. Clogged drain lines lead to air conditioner malfunctions.
- Check to make sure you don’t have a refrigerant leak. There are various tests that you can do for this. The simplest is the dye test, where you send a dye through your HVAC system to check for refrigerant leaks. The dye will circulate and appear where your refrigerant is leaking. You can also take other simple steps like the soap bubble test and checking for oil leaks.
However, you can always schedule a maintenance check for a professional diagnosis. Make a list of things you notice and share this with your technician. Some things you should leave to the professionals are:
- A professional technician should always handle the electrical connections. Whenever you suspect your problem is with the wiring or electrical components, call an HVAC professional for an inspection. Electrical issues can cause fires.
- Your condenser coils are very integral but delicate parts of your HVAC system. While a dirty condenser coil is a problem, cleaning them requires professional know-how to avoid unnecessary damage. The good news is you are assured quality service when you use our NATE-certified technicians for a professional cleaning.
6. True: You should adjust your duct dampers for the summer
Adjusting your duct dampers will help your HVAC system work better in extreme heat. In the summer, should dampers be open or closed? That depends on the type of units. The fact is that different models will have unique requirements.
The HVAC system is a complex network consisting of many parts and components, including ducts, dampers, grilles, diffusers, and registers. Some of these parts define how air flows into and out of a building. For example, dampers are designed to regulate airflow to various parts of the HVAC system. They control the airflow from where it enters the HVAC system to where it leaves the system.
Summer vs. Winter
Most HVAC systems operate in continuous-flow mode during the winter months with dampers closed. As a result, when heating and cooling demands are at their highest, short bursts of supply air aren’t necessary for good performance.
In the summer months, demand for cooling is highest when outside temperatures rise. To provide an adequate supply of cool air to indoor spaces, dampers in continuous-flow systems must be open during this time. However, they can be closed when outside temperatures drop or humidity levels rise above comfortable levels.
So contact us for your professional summer HVAC maintenance service or get on one of our preventative HVAC maintenance plans to keep cool during the summer.
In addition, if you have one of the older models, it might be time to invest in a new HVAC system. We carry a wide range of designs, and you can trust our team to recommend one that best suits your needs and budget. Call us today to learn more about our 60-months financing solution!