The purpose of the Sideco Blog is to provide you with practical information that can help you save money by making well informed decisions in regard to maintaining and improving what is probably your largest investment. We will be adding new topics on a regular basis and archiving each article so you can come back to them at any time. These are not intended to be detailed 'how to' instructions for the do it yourselfer, but rather answers to the questions that the responsible and conscientious homeowner faces every day, month and year.
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An air conditioning system is a very complex piece of equipment. If everything is in perfect order it's as simple to use as adjusting the thermostat. If it's slightly out of sync, it can be a costly nightmare. Typically, air conditioning is the single largest user of electricity (money) in our home. While it always seems to cause problems just when we need it the most, there are a few things you can do now to ensure an economical, and trouble free summer.
Unless you have the knowledge, equipment and tools necessary, most thing that are involved in taking care of a modern air conditioner is best left to a professional. However, one of the basic, yet most important tasks, can be easily handled by the homeowner. Changing the return air filters only takes a few minutes. The filters are disposable and very inexpensive, however, keeping them replaced monthly can have a major impact on your cooling bill and extend the life of your system considerably. This simple task can save you big money in repair bills, too.
Keep the area around the outdoor condensing unit clear. Keep the grass short and don't allow leaves and other debris to build up around the unit. A free flow of air is essential to its operation.
Perhaps the most important thing a homeowner can do is to have their system professionally checked and serviced at the beginning of each summer. The potential savings are significant, not only in repair costs but in utility bills as well. The condenser unit is very often the source of many problems. If the air flow through the unit is impaired in any way, it will increase the pressure in the system which can lead to leaks and internal damage. A thorough cleaning with special condenser solvents is always in order.
Darren Loving of Loving Appliance and Air conditioning in Sherwood advised us that the homeowner should select an air conditioning company before a crisis arises, so that the selection can be based on more than just who can arrive the fastest. The primary considerations should be trust, knowledge and the willingness to explain the particular needs of your system. Consumers often find that a smaller company can provide a more personal service tailored to your individual needs.
Most companies offer some sort of maintainance agreement. Although he can't speak to other's policies, Loving states that his agreement provides for a complete check up before the cooling season and then a complete heating system check before winter.
Typically, his air conditioning service includes checking and completely cleaning the condensing unit, checking and adjusting the refrigerant level, cleaning the condensate drip lines to insure against potentially expensive water damage in the ceiling, and checking the overall system functionality including fans and motors. While it has nothing to do with the A/C unit, he also check for lint build up in the clothes dryer exhaust which can cause major fires. At the end of each check up, he gives his clients a complete report on the condition of their system.
Like with so many things, a small amount of diligence can prevent a world of problems later on and help insure a fun and carefree summer.
We would like to thank Darren Loving Appliance and Air Conditioning in Sherwood for the expert advice. They can be reached at 501-786-4515
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We are very aware of the importance of energy savings for many reasons. Our products are designed to give you the very best energy ratings. We will also be happy to evaluate your home to help you make it more efficient.
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