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Spring 2013

Tune–up your AC unit and get ready for the heat

When your air conditioner is fully operational, it can keep you comfortable during the hottest days of the year. It’s imperative, therefore, that you maintain your AC unit throughout its lifetime. Spring is a great time to think about how you might tune–up your AC.

To tune–up your AC means inspecting, cleaning, repairing, and, if necessary, replacing parts of your system. To be done properly, much of this work requires the expertise of an air conditioning professional. A properly installed and serviced AC unit will maximize your energy–efficiency, and will help to save you money.

The first step is to call a professional. An expert technician will be able to assess any issues in the compressor, coils, refrigerant levels, electrical supply and thermostat. Attempting to do so yourself may be dangerous and could prove costly. Here a few maintenance tune–ups even the most efficient air conditioners could benefit from:

  • Clean or replace the air filter. Your air filter is one of the most important parts of your AC unit. It promotes airflow and prevents the passage of dust and other allergens from entering your ductwork or home. If you are highly–sensitive to allergens, particularly those that come about in the spring time, then this is an absolute must. Air filters also keep the parts of your AC unit working properly by preventing the accumulation of dust and other materials on the internal structure. Check your air filter monthly.
  • Insulate the ductwork. Your ducts are the structural skeleton of your indoor air system. They make the measured and even distribution of cool air possible, but they depend upon a closed system. As well as repairing or sealing any duct leaks and testing that the system is efficient, insulating ductwork tends to significantly reduce heating and cooling loss, sometimes up to 30%. By sealing air leaks, your cooling professional may be able to save you serious money this spring and summer.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to customize your home temperature for specific times of the day and days of the week. Not only will adjusting your temperature automatically cut costs, but it is also takes care of your home comfort for you.

Remember that only a professional AC technician can tune–up your system for this upcoming cooling season. Call one today.

 

Geothermal systems

Geothermal means "earth heat" and refers to a type of energy that harnesses the constant temperatures under the surface of the earth. A geothermal system, therefore, is what’s known as a direct resource. It doesn’t rely on a separately created energy like natural gas, electricity from the grid, or oil. It is a green technology, meaning that it is sustainable and renewable, as well as less harmful to the environment. As a technology on the rise, many homeowners use it as a replacement for gas, oil or electricity–based systems. To learn more about whether geothermal is an option for your home, call your local geothermal specialist.

The installation of a geothermal system involves placing a series of coils underground, which circulates water or refrigerant mixed with water underground. This distributed coil system absorbs heat from the moderate temperature below the surface and returns it to a compressor inside your home. This warm air is then circulated throughout your home by an air handler, similar to the way an air handler distributes hot air from a furnace. The system also cools your home. In this process, it collects heat from the interior of your home and sends it downward into the moderate ground temperature, and brings up cool air. These coil systems can be installed vertically by drilling into the ground or arranged in low–depth horizontal patterns, depending upon the particular circumstances of the location. Geothermal is now a highly–regarded and ecologically–sound solution to the high energy costs to both heat and cool your home.

Because geothermal systems are not affected by surface temperature extremes or other factors involved with using an air source heat pump, they tend to have higher energy–efficiency ratings than most standard heat pumps Geothermal systems tend to use anywhere from 25% to 60% less electricity than conventional systems, along with reducing your carbon footprint by eliminating the use of gas or oil. Additionally, they have relatively fewer moving parts than conventional heating and cooling systems; geothermal heat pumps are durable, reliable, quiet, and less susceptible to the elements.

Geothermal heating and cooling is a highly–efficient alternative to heating your home with a fossil–fuel. Because geothermal systems are so efficient, the system will pay for itself in just a few seasons. Get the most out of your initial investment with routine maintenance to ensure that you get the energy savings and other long–term benefits these systems can offer.

 

 

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