Central air conditioning tips for summer
Keeping your Colorado Springs area home cool and comfortable during the summer months can sometimes be a challenge. If your home has a central air conditioning system, here are a few Summer home cooling tips that will ensure your AC is working at peak performance levels.
- Make sure the furnace air filters are clean. Dirty or plugged filters restrict airflow across the indoor evaporator coil, thus causing the AC system to not only work harder in trying to keep your home cool, but can also cause the system to freeze up completely and cease to work at all. A dirty or plugged filter can create too great of a pressure drop across the indoor coil. This will also create a pressure drop in the refrigerant circuit. When this happens, the condensation that normally forms and drains from the indoor coil will now freeze. If the system continues to operate under these conditions, the indoor coil can ice up completely, thus blocking all airflow. This not only will overwork the indoor blower motor and possibly damage it, but the outdoor section of the AC system will also be strained.
- Leave the indoor circulating blower on. If your thermostat has a fan control setting and its properly wired to the indoor air handler (usually the furnace), leave this setting in the on position to reduce air stratification within the home. When the thermostat is satisfied, the outdoor AC condenser will turn off. But the indoor fan will continue to circulate the air inside the home, which will help maintain a better balance of the temperature inside the home. Hot air rises and cold air falls. Leaving the fan on will help reduce or eliminate this natural stratification of the air, and the result will be a more comfortable indoor temperature balance. A note here: If your furnace or air handler does not have a high efficiency ECM or variable speed circulating blower, consider having one installed. ECM motors are significantly less expensive to operate than a standard fixed speed motor, and are much quieter too. Typically these type motors are ten times more efficient that a standard fixed speed motor. When run at a constant fan on setting, these motors move air at a low speed which greatly reduces air stratification and is also much quieter than a fixed speed motor.
- Make sure the outdoor units coils are clean and unobstructed. The hot air removed from inside the home is discharged to the outdoors via the central AC systems outdoor condensing unit. If these outdoor unit coils are dirty, plugged or obstructed by bushes, plants, etc, then the hot air cannot be effectively removed from inside the home. Not only will this cause your system to operate less efficiently, but it will also work harder and run hotter, which will shorten the equipments life expectancy if not damage the compressor itself.
- Airflow within the home. If your home suffers from poor airflow coming from the registers (particularly on the upper levels), its very possible that duct leakage is the culprit. Leakage of air from a homes duct system is a major problem in many homes. As much as 30% of the air in a forced air system can be lost due to leakage before it ever reaches the supply register. This causes tremendous loss of efficiency (in both the heating and cooling mode). Many homes that are difficult to cool on the upper levels are the victim of this problem. There is a solution available (called Aeroseal) If you suspect that your home suffers from severe duct leakage, I recommend having the duct system tested and sealed if necessary.
Having your AC system serviced and inspected by a professional is also recommended. An experienced service pro can not only make sure your system will operate at its peak level, but may be able to uncover any hidden problems that adversely affect the systems overall performance.
As always, feel free to contact Basset Heating & Air Conditioning at 719-392-0032 for answers to any questions you may have regarding your homes indoor comfort system.