Your Standby in the Summer
Keeping your air conditioner in top shape around the summer is an important practice. While the good weather means plenty of fun and activities to be had outside, having your air conditioner ready at home can provide you with a cool, dry refuge from the heat. Whether it’s taking a break from the sun, or trying to get comfortable before going to sleep, dropping the temperature by a couple degrees can feel like a blessing. But, without proper handling of your HVAC services, your air conditioner runs the risk of running inefficiently or giving out. Siv Air has got you covered with highly qualified repair technicians to get your air conditioner back up and running in case of a problem, there are plenty of tips and tricks we recommend at home to keep your air conditioner from landing you in an inconvenient situation.
Keep A Scheduled Service Date For Your Air Conditioner
When winter comes to a close, it can help to have a regularly scheduled tuneup of your HVAC services.. The lifespan of your air conditioner depends on the regularity that a technician inspects and services your unit to ensure that you are getting optimal air flow and that all the parts to your air conditioner are in working condition.
Clean and Replace Your Air Filter Regularly
As your air conditioner cycles the air through your home, old air passes through an HVAC filter. This filter helps to catch particles and pollutants in the air that may not only damage the air conditioner itself, but your health as well! Make sure to familiarize yourself with the filter that your air conditioner uses. There are often several grades of filter, specialised for use in the homes of people with allergen sensitivity, respiratory disease, or other special circumstances. Some of these filters can be cleaned, and some can’t, so be sure to check the directions on maintaining each filter.
A general rule of thumb is to check your filter every 90 days, or about half that time with pets in the house. You can easily associate this kind of maintenance with other regular household duties, major house cleaning or making rent or credit payments.
Personal Air Conditioner and Duct Maintenance
Besides changing your air filter, there are many things you can do to keep your air conditioner in peak condition without a visit from your AC specialist.
When changing your filter, inspect the duct and vent to ensure that each is clean and free of obstruction, such as dust buildup. Any duct that runs to a room of your home can be similarly inspected by simply removing the vent cover and checking inside to make sure everything is clean and functional. Don’t forget that your vent cover often has an option to open or close slightly to change the amount of air flow, and should be adjusted accordingly.
Checking these ducts can also help expose any air leaks or early signs of pest invasion, before they become problems. Gaps in the ducting can be easily repaired with a roll of aluminum tape, and will help reduce the workload placed on your air conditioner. Evidence of pest activity, such as droppings, can be addressed with traps or a call to a pest control specialist.
Your air conditioner itself can also be inspected and maintained with ease. For instance, you can check the coolant pipes that run to your air conditioner, and ensure that they are free of tears or decomposure. Old insulation material can be replaced just as easily as an air filter. If you use an outdoor air conditioner unit, you should also make sure to keep the surrounding area free and clear of any obstruction. Keep the unit raised above any grass or dirt at the base by at least a few centimeters, and make sure not to keep any plants or other objects within half a meter of the air conditioner.
You can also inspect morer in-depth issues with your unit:
- Check your air conditioner for excess moisture, which may be associated with a clogged condensation line. Keeping this moisture under control can help prevent other damages such as mould.
- While the air conditioner is off, check the wiring in the condensing unit of the air conditioner for signs of wear or fraying, which will help prevent electrical failure.
- Inspect the fins of the condenser coils to make sure they are straight and clean.
These matters will likely require the attention of an HVAC professional, but at least you can get an idea of where problems may be lurking ahead of time and save yourself headaches in the long run!
Simple Home Insulation and Reducing Energy Use
When the hot weather approaches, the best measures to take in reducing the workload of your air conditioner are to keep the cool air in and hot air out. Keep doors and windows closed up tight, and make sure they are properly insulated. Close any curtains or blinds you may have on your windows, to keep radiant heat from the sun out. You may also opt for window treatments, which reduce the amount of heat that passes through them.
Try not to use anything in your home that would generate heat during the day. This includes running the oven or stove, or even having too many lights on. You may also choose a low or no heat option when washing dishes or clothes. Generally, reducing the amount of energy your home is using while the air conditioner is running will also help deter electrical issues and reduce costs.
You may also use additional fans, such as a ceiling fan or standing fan, to help cycle the air in a room. However, it should be noted to keep tabs on the energy being used, and only operate these fans in rooms that are occupied.
Smart Air Conditioner Use
Keeping the air conditioner from overworking itself can be difficult to approach, especially for those who plan to go out during the day. There’s no reason to leave the air conditioner running if nobody is at home. However, you also shouldn’t turn the air conditioner on too low later in the day, when it’s already hot, as it takes a lot of energy to cool a hot room than to keep a room cool.
You may opt for a programmable thermostat, which will help keep the pressure off your air conditioner by simply raising the temperature by a few degrees when the house will be empty, then it can begin cooling things off about a half of an hour before your return. Using more manual means, it helps to cool off the house in a graduated manner. Start at a few degrees under the current temperature, and slowly decrease the temperature by half of an hour.
Call on the Experts
At Siv Air, our qualified technicians have the expertise needed to diagnose and repair faulty systems to get them back to peak performance. We also offer hydro clean services to improve the overall efficiency of your system and flush out pollutants, dirt and other contaminants that can lurk in your air conditioning unit.
We know how important it is to keep your home cool and keep your energy bills low. Whether it’s for a small bedroom, large living area or commercial space, Siv Air can not only install but supply you with affordable air conditioning systems from brands you can trust. If it’s time to upgrade that old AC unit, we’ve got you covered.
Contact us to learn more about how our air conditioning and refrigeration services can help you stay cool all year long.
Whether you’re trying to be more “green” or simply save yourself some money, lowering your power bill is an excellent idea. If you’ve been turning off lights and running a few loads of wash, but still haven’t seen a drop in your costs, you probably want to look at your AC! Even small problems with your air conditioner can cause your electric bill to get higher. Here’s what to look for and how to save more money every month.
Check Your Filter
Most air conditioner manufacturers recommend that you change the filter anywhere from twice a year to every few months. However, if you have a lot of children or pets, or if you live in a dusty area, you may need to change it more often.
A clogged filter prevents proper airflow, which makes your air conditioner work harder. As a rule of thumb, the harder it works, the higher your bills! Make things easier and cheaper by changing your filter regularly.
Set Your Thermostat Higher
We all love a cold blast of air when it’s blazing hot outside, but if you’re trying to cool your home, take it easy. The more that your AC tries to counteract warm temperatures, the harder it works. (And remember, that means higher bills!)
A single degree can have exponential effects on your energy usage. If it’s 30 degrees outside and you’ve set your thermostat to 20, your AC is spending a lot of power to adjust the temperature. By raising your thermostat just one degree to 21 degrees, you can save up to 10% on your bill! You probably won’t even notice the difference.
Don’t Run the AC While You’re Out or Asleep
If no one is at home, you can afford to set your thermostat a bit higher. Remember, every degree can save you money! You don’t need to turn off the system entirely: raising your thermostat a few degrees is sufficient to keep the AC from kicking on while you’re not at home. Once you’re back, simply set the thermostat to your desired temperature. Modern thermostats are programmable so you can automatically turn up the AC while you’re at work.
And at night, you can take advantage of naturally cooler temperatures. There’s no need to run the AC to sleep comfortably. If you need a breeze, invest in a fan or open a couple of windows to allow a cross current. This simple trick can save you money every single night!
Add Shade to Your Home
As the sun pours in, your home naturally gets warmer. Your AC will automatically kick on as the temperature rises. By maintaining the interior temperature, you can spare your air conditioner the trouble — and help your power bill! The easiest way to do this is to add shade.
Invest in sun-blocking curtains, hedges, shutters, or other methods to keep out the heat. Pay special attention to the windows that face the rising sun: those will heat up your home quickly if you’re not careful! Remember, every moment that the AC is running, it’s costing more energy. By keeping the temperature as stable as possible, you can save both energy and money.
Check Your System for Dirt and Leaks
Leaky ductwork and filthy coils both spell higher AC bills. Your system works by transferring heat to the evaporator coils, then passing the resulting cool air throughout your home’s ducts. If either of these components are dirty or leaking, your system will have to work much harder to keep your home cool.
Dirty coils don’t work as efficiently, which means the system stays on longer as it attempts to pump refrigerant to cool the air. And if your ducts are leaking cool air into your attic, the system just keeps chugging along until the air reaches your desired temperature. If you hear your system running all the time or your home never seems to get cool, dirty coils and/or leaky ducts are the likely culprits.
Reducing your AC bill starts with some simple modifications to your home and lifestyle. However, if your bills are still higher or if you suspect your system is dirty or leaking, it’s time to call in the experts. Proper air conditioner cleaning and maintenance will also help reduce your bills — plus prolong the life of your AC, which saves you money in the long run.
For professional air conditioning in the Cairns area, reach out to Siv Air. We inspect and clean all parts of your air conditioner to ensure optimal performance and help you save money on your power bill. Contact us today to get started.
How Your Air Conditioner Could Be Costing You
Air conditioning units can be expensive, but they’re also a nightmare when they don’t work properly. Contrary to popular belief, it’s often more cost effective to get a new AC unit rather than continue repairing your old one. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the reasons why this is the case and warning signs that your old AC unit could be on its way out.
All AC units have a energy rating. The higher the number of stars, the higher the efficiency. The lower the number of stars, the more power the AC unit needs to function. Today, top of the line AC units have 4 or 5 stars. Depending on how old your unit is, your SEER may be as low as 1.
Your AC unit could also be either too big or too small, and both can lead to inefficient heating. A licensed professional from Siv Air can come to your home and assess what size unit you need. They can also assess the efficiency of the airflow in your house.
Older units need more repairs than new units do. It’s just a fact. Ultimately, the cost of a new unit will be outstripped by the repairs you would have had to do on the old unit anyway. A new AC unit should only need biannual repairs done. An old AC unit can rack up the bills if you need to replace a new part every time it’s serviced. However, if your unit is under warranty and you can have the repairs covered that way, or your warranty only requires you to pay labour costs, then you may want to simply use the warranty until it expires.
If you do upgrade to a new AC unit, there may be rebates or discounts in store for you. Sometimes certain cities will offer incentives to upgrade your HVAC efficiency, and manufacturers and utility companies can offer rebates too. Do some research to see what kind of deals you can get in your town when installing a new AC unit.
Older AC units run on R22 gas, which depletes ozone. Hence, the government taxes it fairly heavily in order to discourage people from buying it. So if you’re investing in a new AC unit, you’re also saving yourself money that way.
When to Buy a New Unit
Now that we’ve established how a new AC unit can save you money, there’s the all-important question of “How do I know it’s time to replace my air conditioner?” Here are some signs that you may need to send your old AC unit to the afterlife (please have it responsibly recycled in order to protect the environment).
Age of the Unit
Typically, an air conditioner lasts about 10 years, so if your AC Unit has become a temperamental teenager, it’s probably worth replacing it. And if the outside part of the unit is rusty? It’s definitely time for a new one. The fan can’t work properly if it’s corroded and brittle, and you don’t need rust and debris going into your vents.
Cost of Maintenance is Greater Than Cost of Replacement
Here’s a helpful formula to determine whether or not you need to replace your unit: if the cost of your most recent or prospective AC repair multiplied by the age in years of the unit is greater than the cost of a new AC unit, then it’s time to replace it. For example, if your repair is going to cost you $500, and your unit is 15 years old, 500 x 15 = $7,500. A new AC unit typically costs around $5,000, so in this case, it’s more cost effective to simply replace the unit rather than repair it.
High Energy Bills
If your energy bills have been going up consistently but your utility company hasn’t changed its rates, this is a sign that your AC is doing, well, less with less.
It’s Just Not Cutting It Anymore
Older AC units sometimes just can’t keep up with modern needs. For example, rising environmental temperatures can render an older AC unit obsolete. A larger unit that runs more often is also less efficient than a smaller unit that runs less often, and AC units nowadays tend to be smaller. Additionally, old AC units can become noisy as they overexert themselves in order to keep up their duties. This is a sign that a replacement may be needed.
Cairns Air Conditioning Installation Services
Whether it’s AC installation, cleaning, or repair, Siv Air can help you increase your home’s energy efficiency, save you money, and ensure that the air quality in your home is the best it can be. Contact us today for any of your AC repair or replacement needs!
It never hurts to be prepared. This is especially true when it comes to protecting your air conditioning unit.
Your AC is a big investment, and it is important to take steps to protect it during a storm. Let’s first take a look at some of the important details about power surges and outages:
Power Surge vs. Power Outage
Let’s go into detail about a power surge vs. a power outage. Each of these can damage your electronics, but they are two very different things.
A power outage is when there isn’t any electricity flowing into your home. The problem could be something on your end, such as bad wiring or a break somewhere. However, most times this happens because there is a breakdown at the power station or something happened to the electric lines running to your house.
A power outage over a large area, such as a few streets or a whole town, is known as a blackout. There is also the brownout, which is when the power dips for a few moments. This will cause the lights to dim for a second or two.
The power surge is the opposite of a blackout or brownout. Instead of too little power coming in, there is too much. Most homes receive electrical power at 240 volts. So most electronics and appliances are manufactured to handle this amount of power.
Sometimes a much more powerful current gets sent through the power lines. This could be due to a lightning strike causing a sudden rise in power or a problem somewhere along the power line. When this happens, your home has much more power than the 230 volts that it can regulate and it can cause major issues.
The Power Surge Effect on Your Air Conditioner
A power surge could have a devastating effect on your air conditioning unit and end up costing you a lot of money.
Here’s how it happens:
Your air conditioning unit has capacitors inside of it. These control how much power the unit will get at any moment. They can only handle so much power and if they receive too much they will get overloaded and, ultimately, fried. Once they stop working, whatever they’re powering will stop working as well.
How to Protect Your Aircon Unit
Now that we know the extent of the danger to your aircon, let’s take a look at the steps you should take to ensure the safety of your unit:
Turn off Your Electricity
Make sure that you and other family members know where to access your electric circuit breaker and/or your AC Isolator. AC Isolators are normally mounted on the wall next to your outdoor unit. You’ll also want to understand how to shut off the electricity in your home in the case of violent storms. Label your circuit breakers so that you can tell which breakers are connected to which major appliances including your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).
Turning off the breaker/isolating your air conditioning units will help you protect the systems from electrical surges and damages.
Pre-Cool Your Home
If you feel like your power may go out during a storm, make sure to cool your house in advance so that you will be comfortable until the power comes back. Set your thermostat to a temperature that is cooler than usual, close your curtains and blinds, and keep all doors and windows shut to keep the cool air inside.
Ensure You Have Adequate Insurance
Some basic homeowners insurance will cover storm or cyclone damage. If you live in an area that is vulnerable to flooding or cyclones, ensure that you have suitable coverage for these situations. Having additional coverage will give you peace of mind that your expensive equipment is covered and can be easily replaced if need be.
Prepare Your Yard
This may seem like an odd measure, but making sure that all your trees are trimmed and yard items removed can help protect your air conditioning unit and your home as well. Remove anything that can be blown around and lead to damage in the case of high winds.
Cover the Condenser
In most situations, covering your air conditioning condenser outside is a bad idea. This is because the condenser needs free air circulation to operate efficiently. However, during a storm, temporarily placing a tarp over the condenser can help protect it from flying debris. Make sure to turn the system off before doing this.
When small items such as branches and leaves get caught inside the condenser, it can damage the motor and lead to other equipment malfunctions.
Check for Damage After Storm
Making sure to check for damage to your system before you turn your air back on is one of the most important steps. If flooding or debris has caused damage to the unit, turning the system back on could make the problem worse.
Strong storm winds can also cause disconnections within the AC unit. You will want to turn your AC unit on as soon as it seems safe. This will prevent mould and mildew from settling in.
Contact a Professional
The safest approach is to have an HVAC professional regularly come out to check your air conditioning system to make sure it is in good order. If you suffer storm damage, do not turn your unit back on until you have your unit inspected by an air conditioning professional.
Some storm damage may not be apparent and can cause more damage after the storm has passed. A thorough professional inspection will ensure that the unit is safe to turn on and will continue to work efficiently in the future.
At Siv Air, our team in Cairns stands ready to help you protect the investment you have made in your air conditioning system and keep your family safe and cool. Contact us today to learn more about how we can protect you with reliable air conditioning inspection, installation, hydro cleaning, maintenance, and repair.