How to Make Sure Your Air Conditioner Is Working Before the Summer

Living in Central Florida, Air Conditioning is a BIG deal for us! I mean, it was a big deal before, but now it’s an even BIGGER deal since we have two toddlers running around. Because, in case you weren’t aware, when a toddler gets overheated, it makes for a VERY CRANKY ATTITUDE. 

So when we bought our current home, we were happy to know that the air conditioner passed the inspection and there were no issues. Fast forward to Easter weekend this year, when we had to have a new unit installed after the compressor blew up. Even though we knew it had to be done, it was still a kick in the gut to bite the bullet and pay for it!

So when James Memije, the co-owner at AccuServ Heating and Air Conditioning in Toronto, Ontario, Canada contacted me about sharing a post here on air conditioning maintenance, I was all about it! He’s got some great tips to share – keep on reading!

How to Make Sure Your Air Conditioner Is Working Before the Summer! #airconditioning #summerheat Click To Tweet

So we’ve just about “hit” summer. We haven’t had too much hot weather yet, but there was the occasional heat spike during the spring that has you worried your AC won’t be able to keep up during the hot days of July and August.

A battle planned is already a battle half won, and preparation here is key. Being proactive and checking your air conditioner will give you the peace of mind that it’s ready for the onslaught of high temperatures. So how exactly do you know if your AC is ready?

Turn it On

One simple test you can do yourself is just to try turning it on. Many homeowners don’t realize their AC isn’t even working until there’s sweat on their foreheads. They flip the switch and then… nothing! Giving it a test run during cooler temperatures (not too cool or you’ll damage the system, above 60°F is ideal) will help you detect a dead AC unit early and make the fix before the real heat moves in.

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Superheat and Subcool

Now that you’ve completed this basic test, more in-depth tests will have to be conducted by a trained air conditioner professional. These tests will give you a better picture of the AC’s overall health.

One of the first tests an AC technician will perform is a “Superheat and Subcool” calculation. No, these are not comic book heroes, even though names sound perfect for the next Marvel movie. In a nutshell, these calculations allow the technician to confirm the AC is operating at the correct pressures and temperatures. If any of these numbers are off, you may have developed a refrigerant leak, blockage or another refrigerant flow issue.

Without this test, your AC may slowly be failing, which you won’t realize till the hot weather hits!

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Heated Debates – The Benefits of Gas Heaters Vs. Electric

So you might be wondering: why on earth would I post an entry during SPRING about HEAT?

Well, about a month ago we had a little issue at our house. The air conditioner stopped working.

Heated Debates - The Benefits of Gas Heaters Vs. Electric Click To Tweet

Let me just say that if the air conditioning stops working in a home in FLORIDA, that’s a cause for concern. Some of our temps have already reached 90 degrees this year, and with no air conditioning to keep the house cool, well. That’s just uncalled for!

As we all know, keeping your home heated during the winter and cool in the summer can translate into high utility bills. A good way to combat the high cost of energy is by properly re-insulating your home routinely. Other ways include a number of energy-saving programs that ask you to sacrifice energy use during peak times of the day in exchange for a lower power bill. And of course, you can always replace old equipment with new energy-efficient devices.

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In the end we had to have a brand new system installed. And one of the reasons why we couldn’t fix the current system instead of replacing everything was due to the type of gas it was running on.

However, in the midst of this discussion is the one related to the benefits of gas heaters versus electric ones. While both have their caveats, experts almost always agree that gas heating is almost always a better choice. In fact, most gas heater services in Melbourne support the use of gas heaters over electric for most homes. Why?

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Making Life Easier…with a Programmable Thermostat

Here in Florida, we deal with all kinds of weather. And it’s pretty typical for Monday to be 50 degrees and sunny, and Tuesday to be 80 degrees and pouring rain. So, from one day to the next, you never really know what you’re gonna get on the thermostat. Which means that there are days when our air conditioner doesn’t run at all. And there are days when it does nothing BUT run, poor thing.

When we moved into this house, my hubby did lots of research on the air conditioning unit – things like what to keep it set on to make sure we stayed energy efficient, and when it should be serviced, and how often the filter would need changing. The typical stuff.

But not long after, we had a small issue with it, and called our local AC service folks out. After the issue was corrected, they recommended a programmable thermostat, to which my husband quickly agreed. If it’s a new gadget or techie item, he’s all about it!

Programmable thermostats are a newer innovation for heating, ventilating, and air conditioning systems that allow for finer control of indoor temperatures than ever before. These thermostats engage at certain times of the day, letting you cut energy costs the rest of the time. Using one effectively requires some thought about how to set it up. Below, you’ll find some tips on using your programmable thermostat as effectively as possible.

Programmable Thermostat

On Versus Auto

Many people just turn their HVAC on without paying attention to the thermostat settings, and that is a mistake. Most thermostats have two major settings, “on” or “auto.” Turning your system to “on” leaves the fan operating constantly. This keeps the air quality in your home high by constantly bringing in outside air, but does so at the cost of increased energy bills and air filters which are constantly exposed to dirt, clogging them much quicker. Set to auto, your fan turns on instead when a temperature threshold passes, saving energy but doing little to help air freshness.

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