hotcoldHeating and Cooling Tips

Tip #1

Make sure you are not wasting money on an outdated, inefficient system.  Systems installed today must meet a minimum efficiency rating (HVAC industries “Miles per Gallon”) of 14 SEER. If your system was installed more than 10 years ago, there is a good chance your electric bill is higher than it should be. Heating and cooling makes up more than 50% of your home’s total electric usage. With a new high efficiency system properly installed, you can drastically cut the amount you pay the power company each month. Call Mr. Refrigeration with the make/model/serial number of your outdoor unit and we should be able to estimate your units “Miles per Gallon”, or SEER rating. Remember, equipment manufacturers are no longer making anything less than 13 SEER, and we can install systems up to 20 SEER.

Tip #2

Do you ever change the oil in your automobile? We all try to do this regularly to reduce wear and tear to the engine and to increase the “life-span” of the vehicle.  Well your heating and cooling system is no different. Studies show that proper maintenance done twice per year greatly increases a systems performance and reliability.  Whether you have an old clunker you are trying to keep alive as long as possible, or a newer system that you want to keep at peak performance for years to come, call Mr. Refrigeration today and ask about our maintenance program.

Tip #3

Just like the filters in the car, filters in the home need to be changed and cleaned regularly. Whether they are disposable or washable, keeping clean filters changed out each month can make a BIG difference in your system's performance. Clean or change filters once a month or as needed, and maintain the system according to manufacturer's instructions. Filter and coil maintenance have a dramatic impact on system performance and service life. Dirty filters, coils, and fans reduce airflow through the system. Reduced airflow decreases system performance and can lead to compressor damage if it continues for an extended period.

Tip #4

Recommended thermostat settings are 68°-70°F or lower for heating and 76°-78°F or higher for cooling. These settings should provide a comfortable environment within the home. Each degree higher than 68°-70°F can increase heating costs by 1-3%, and each degree below 76°-78°F can increase cooling costs by 3-5% or more. Also keep lamps, TVs or other heat sources away from the air conditioner thermostat. Heat from these devices may make the air conditioner run longer and harder than necessary.

Turning the thermostat up and down during the different parts of the day does not save energy. Instead it makes the system work harder and uses more energy because it does not properly remove the moisture and humidity like it should. Extended periods of excess condensation will eventually lead to mildew and mold issues.

To make control of the thermostat easier, a programmable thermostat is recommended. A programmable thermostat allows you to program the temperature of the house and then leave the thermostat alone for the rest of the heating or cooling season. This allows you to save energy without waking up to a cold house in winter or coming home to an overheated house in the summer. To decide the best thermostat for your needs, Mr. Refrigeration can help you decide on the best thermostat that will meet your individual needs. If you have a heat pump system, please check with us or with the manufacturers guidelines for purchasing a programmable thermostat. An improperly used or mismatched thermostat can actually increase heat pump operating costs by increasing reliance on the more expensive back-up heating elements.

Tip #5

If your system has no power to the thermostat, try checking all breakers to see if one is tripped and reset the breaker. This may save you from a service call. If the breaker keeps tripping make sure you ask for a HVAC Technician to follow up, as the breaker or compressor may be bad. Also if the thermostat runs with batteries, try changing the batteries, according to manufacturers instructions, to see if it will turn the thermostat back on.

Tip #6

Check your outdoor unit to see if the fan is running while your inside unit is running. The fan keeps your compressor from overheating. If the fan is not turning, it will cause the compressor on the unit to overheat and may cause permanent damage to the unit. Have qualified technician check the unit as soon as possible.

Tip #7

Have your furnace checked every year in late Fall or early Winter. Furnaces need to be serviced to clean out dust and cobwebs that may collect when they are not used and also to be checked for carbon monoxide leaks, which can be deadly.

» Additional Tips from Trane