HVAC maintenance and HVAC repair sometimes become necessary in certain situations. This is especially the case during hot summers. A malfunctioning unit can not only reduce comfort in the house, but also set the homeowner back large sums of money due to inefficiency.
Heating Service Repair
Like with other domestic appliances, there are several things which could go wrong within a HVAC unit. Some of these problems occur more frequently than others. It’s possible to fix some issues without having to call an air conditioning expert.
If the house starts becoming unbearably hot, the first thing to check would be the thermostats. Older units can be accidentally switched from cool to off, especially when bumped into. Their digital counterparts are also affected when the battery starts losing power.
If lowering the thermostat fails to make the unit turn on, it could be due to a blown fuse or a tripped breaker. If this is reset or the fuse replaced and the problem still persists, it’s advisable to contact an electrician. Outdoor units that run constantly also tend to freeze up. This can be rectified by turning the unit off for some hours to let it thaw.
DIY AC Repair
Not many homeowners can undertake such a task on their own. This is because the expertise and equipment involved are usually advanced, which brings in the need for a trained specialist. Nevertheless, there are several things that one could check on their own to enhance the performance of their unit.
If the compressor fails to turn on, the breaker and fuse would be the components to check. A running unit that isn’t cooling could be due to low refrigerant level. This would require professional help to replenish. The condenser coils on both sides should also be checked to see if they’re dry. If this is the case, one would need to brush and vacuum them. One can do this at least twice each summer.
Hiring Expert HVAC Technicians
At best, the things that a typical homeowner can do on their own are limited. Typically, an issue will be too complex for even well-acquainted individuals to handle. Once it’s established that the hitch is outside an individual’s scope, there are several things one needs to consider before hiring an expert.
Ideally, a HVAC unit should be repaired before the summer season starts. This is because technicians get quite busy as the hot season progresses. This high demand makes it hard to schedule an appointment.
It would thus be prudent to call a furnace contractor in Brownsburg Indiana before the season starts. Typically, one is likely to land a convenient appointment time, and could even save some money. One will also be prepared for high temperatures that could occur later on in the season.
Your home is a full-fledged system. And you’re the person who decides how to run its operations. This goes for the appliances you choose, and the equipment you install. So naturally, when you implement cost-effective measures, you’re able to save money, energy, and improve performance. As a homeowner, there are two particular seasons in which you wish your home to be the most energy efficient. Those are summer and winter. So how do you keep cool in the hot weather without overworking your AC? Here are our top 7 tips to make your home energy efficient in summer.
Importance of energy efficient appliances and equipment
Energy efficient appliances and equipment use the least amount of energy to perform their required tasks by default. So if you get energy efficient appliances such as refrigerators, air conditioners, dishwashers, and laundry machines, you’ll be conserving energy. This automatically translates into reduced utility bills. You will be saving money and protecting the environment.
Energy efficiency in home appliances is extremely important. Especially when you consider how the energy and money you saved could be used for something else. So, you get a discounted bill with minimum exploitation of natural resources.
How to Make Your Home Energy-Efficient in Summer
1. Check your home insulation
A good insulation system will keep your home well protected against the elements. One of the main places that people tend to ignore is the attic. When your attic is poorly insulated you’ll notice that during the cold months, snow on your roof will melt faster. This means that a substantial amount of warm air is leaking from your home. Similarly, during summer, poor insulation will allow cool air out. This will automatically make your heating and cooling system work harder to compensate for the air leaking.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency’s research, proper insulation will help you save 15% on heating and cooling costs. So, if you want to make your home more energy-efficient, you need to seal any crack and openings. Inspect your floors for any possible crawl spaces and your doors and windows for caulking that could have degraded.
2. Optimize your thermostat settings
If you’re looking to save up on energy bills during summer, you need to tackle the source of the issue. That is your cooling system. It might feel really nice to blast your AC when it’s unbearably hot outside. However, you don’t want the temperature inside your home to be so cold that you need to use a blanket. In fact, you can be comfortable enough with your thermostat set at 78 degrees.
For every degree below 78, your energy increases by 6 to 8%. Accordingly, your energy bill increases as well. For instance, if you raise your thermostat from 74 to 78, you save 24% in energy usage. Keep the thermostat as high as possible before you leave the house, or turn it off altogether. The bigger the difference between the temperature outside and inside, the higher your energy bill will be.
3. Replace your air filters
When your air filters are dirty and deteriorating, your HVAC is going to overwork itself to keep your house cool. This will result in poor energy efficiency and higher utility costs. Cleaning your air filters might not be enough since you’re supposed to replace them every three months. The same goes for your air vents.
You need to clean those as well on a regular basis. And if you have pets, you will need to clean them more frequently. Not to mention the allergens and dust that circulate through your ventilation system. If you don’t have much experience in home maintenance, you need to call a professional to check them for you.
4. Use fans strategically
You might be reluctant to exclusively rely on fans to cool your home in summer, especially during heatwaves. After all, fans don’t do much except move the existing air in a particular space around over and over again. However, you can place fans throughout your home in a strategic manner so that they work more efficiently.
One great way to increase energy efficiency is to work both your cooling system and fans at the same time. The thing is that you only need to put your AC on at a higher degree than you normally would. Then, plug a fan and direct it towards the AC so that it propagates cool air throughout the whole room.\
You may think that in a place like your garage an air conditioner might be the right choice, but unless it’s insulated, it’ll only run up your energy bill. It’s wise to install a garage ceiling fan instead to avoid this issue.
5. Install double glazed windows
Upgrading your windows is the best thing you can do to enhance your home’s energy efficiency, both during summer and winter. The gap between the two glass panes in double glazed windows acts as an additional layer of insulation. Like so, this layer creates thermal resistance that obstructs the outdoors air from coming in and indoor air from escaping. This means that in winter, warm air won’t leak outside of your home. The double glazing will also prevent the harsh cold from infiltrating your living space.
On the other hand, when the weather is really hot, your double glazed windows have the reverse effect. They hinder warm air from creeping in, and they block the cool air inside your home from seeping outside. Double glazed windows also have the added benefit of minimizing the outside noise, limiting UV damage, and increasing security.
6. Upgrade your light bulbs
If you’re still using incandescent lighting then it’s time to make the switch to LED light bulbs. Incandescent bulbs actually generate way more heat than their LED counterpart. This gives your HVAC system one more thing it has to contend with. Not just that, incandescent lights only last for 1,000 hours. They convert a mere 5% of the energy they receive to light, while the rest 95% gets lost as heat.
On the other hand, LED bulbs last 25 times longer, they consume 75% less energy, and they run cooler. If buying LED light bulbs seems a bit out of your budget, you could consider compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs). Their lifespan is 10 times longer than that of incandescent bulbs. And you’ll still be saving about 67% in electricity usage.
7. Unplug energy-sucking appliances
Consider this a rule of thumb to energy efficiency in summer: if you’re not using it, then unplug it! Think of it this way: any appliances that use electricity will also generate heat. If you want to keep your home cool and comfortable enough during the hot weather, unplug electronics you’re not using. That goes for anything from your coffee machine and toaster, to your phone chargers and computers.
The warmer weather might be great for holidays and spending time outside, but the one thing it also brings around are pests looking for food or some shelter out from the heat. The most common problems to find their way out of hiding are rats and pigeons, both of which are a danger to your health and a mission to get rid of once they have made their way into your home.
If you ever find yourself stuck in a war with pests and cannot get the best Pest Busters in Birmingham to assist you, then you should follow these easy steps to keep your home pest-free.
1. Keep garbage cans clean and closed at all times
Vermin are attracted to dirt and areas where there is a lot of rubble. They can smell it a mile away. If you ever see pigeons returning to the same spot consistently, then you know they are on the prowl to find food from a source close. Use disinfectant around the area if any food may have spilt over accidentally and soaked into the ground.
The smell will attract rats, which are not very afraid of humans and usually travel in groups. Like pigeons, rats are always on the lookout for food sources, so they are likely to return if they find a good start. Keep pets food indoors so that they are not at risk either, and wash your pets regularly in summer to keep them from attracting pests with their smell.
They can make their way into your furniture or bedding through dust, pets or other pests and it can be a nightmare to try and get rid of them. The first thing you should do to prevent their unwelcomed stay is to keep your mattresses clean. These little critters thrive off your dead skin cells and multiply in thousands every day.
Spraying your furniture with a safe detergent will keep them from being able to reproduce. If any of your beds have been affected, steam cleans the mattress and wash all the laundry immediately. You can even add an insect repellant spray to the steamer and make sure that the bed and the furniture is dry with heat. Do not leave it out on its own to dry; dry it immediately.
The result of trying to keep your home pest-free will have to be using disinfectant in all the areas where they are likely to gather and make sure that you do not leave anything out that they could use to make nests with or see as a food source. Citronella candles help to keep away flying pests like mosquitos and flies and can also help to onward off smaller vermin like mice.
If you suspect that you might have a problem, then call the best Pest Busters in Birmingham to help you enjoy summer pest free.