Summer heat is coming! Before the temperatures begin to climb, it’s a great time to prepare your AC unit for the summer months ahead. A little proactive maintenance on your cooling system will ensure you can enjoy the summer heat knowing that cool comfort awaits inside.
There are a lot of benefits that come with being prepared. When your AC unit is in tip-top shape, it will run more efficiently, cool more evenly, and you might save a lot of money on your energy bills.
Plus, you won’t have to deal with costly emergency service calls or have to endure a scorching Las Vegas summer day while you wait for the work to get done.
Of course, if you are okay with doing some minor upkeep yourself, there are a few things you can do to get a jump on things:
Change your filters
Your AC filters should be changed regularly to ensure good air quality and to keep your system running at its peak. Every system and filter have their own recommendations but swapping your old filters out for new ones twice a year (between seasons) is a good rule of thumb.
Clean the condenser coils and the area around your unit
If you have central air, your unit is likely located outside your home. If it is a large commercial unit, it might be on the roof of your building. During the year, the unit and the condenser coils inside can clog up with leaves, dirt, and debris resulting in reduced efficiency.
If branches, dirt, and leaves have collected around your unit, clear them away completely. Be sure to remove any plants, weeds, or vines that may obstruct the natural airflow. If you don’t feel comfortable opening up the unit to clean the condenser coils, call AC Plus, and we’ll be happy to help.
Check your coolant and drainage lines
Do a visual check of all lines to ensure they are connected tightly and in good condition. Even a small leak can affect how your AC unit runs. If you find any loose lines, reconnect them. If you see any visible damage, call your HVAC technician right away, and do not turn on your unit until the issue is resolved.
Test out your unit
Turning your AC unit on is the last step in the chain. Set the thermostat to a couple of degrees below room temperature. The cooling system should come on automatically. Let it run for a few minutes to see if it is cooling efficiently. If you hear any unusual noises, smell any unpleasant smells, if the unit is blowing dust, or if it isn’t reaching the desired temperature, shut everything down and call AC Plus right away.
Another advantage of scheduling your seasonal AC system service early in the season is that technicians won’t be quite as busy as they will be when the heat waves start to roll in. Call to schedule your springtime AC maintenance service today and find out why we are Las Vegas’ favorite HVAC technicians.
SIt’s been 116 years since the birth of modern air conditioning. Ironically, it’s older than Las Vegas itself!
The first commercial AC system was unveiled in 1902, where it was introduced to control humidity in a printing plant. Previous attempts date back to Roman times when water was circulated through walls to cool the interiors of only the richest citizens. Other largely inefficient and expensive efforts include transporting massive amounts of snow from nearby mountains — an exercise that holds true today in its “spare no expense” attitude towards cooling our world in the hot summer months.
In Las Vegas, our first AC-equipped building was the El Portal Theater on Fremont Street, which surely made it a popular venue for whiling away on a hot afternoon.
How to save money on AC
Statistically, about 65 percent of our total energy use in the summer can be attributed to air conditioning. This means, of course, it is a big part of what we pay for in terms of electricity.
Raise your thermostat
To save money and reduce energy costs, many people choose to keep their thermostat a little higher than the recommended 78 degrees. In truth, every degree lower will increase your average energy bill by about 2.5 percent, so if you raise your thermostat by two degrees, you could potentially save 5 percent overall.
Install a ceiling fan
Ceiling fans don’t add any efficiency to your AC, but they do help keep you cooler, which means you may refrain from lowering the thermostat.
Don’t run appliances during the heat of the day
Major appliances, such as washers and dryers, give off a great deal of heat. This may contribute to the heat inside your home, so running your laundry at night may reduce the burden on your AC system.
Install a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat is a great way to increase the efficiency of your AC system and save money at the same time. You will be able to access and adjust your thermostat via a smartphone app, meaning you can reduce your energy load when you are not at home. You can pre-program them to turn on just before you come home and shut off when you’re at work. Some may even be able to let you know when service is needed or filters need to be replaced.
Tips for keeping your AC unit working great
Here are a few tips to get the most out of your AC system:
- If possible, install your unit in a shady place. This can extend the life of your condensing fan motor by about double. In Las Vegas, this part needs to be replaced every 5 to 10 years, on average.
- Get your unit inspected every year to ensure it is in good working order.
- Change air filters regularly, every 30 or 90 days.
- Hose down your outdoor condensing units on a yearly basis to clear it of dirt and dust.
- Remove bushes and weeds in a two-foot diameter around your condenser to promote unobstructed airflow.
- Unless you have severe allergies or respiratory issues, don’t use the pleated filters as they will make your unit work harder.
AC Plus has been providing quality air conditioning service in Las Vegas for more than two decades. For any type of AC installation, sales, service or maintenance, call us first. You’ll be glad you did.
Summertime in Las Vegas is famously hot. You depend on your cooling systems to keep you and your family comfortable, but those high energy bills are not pretty. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the amount of energy you use and keep your ac systems running more efficiently, even on the hottest days of summer.
AC systems should be well-maintained throughout the year. In the lead-up to summer, there are a few things you can do to ensure your unit is running at peak performance. Here are our top tips for preparing your air conditioning system for Las Vegas summertime:
Perform an inspection of your AC system
If you have an outdoor unit and if this is the first time you will be starting your system for the season, check your panels before you switch on. If any part of the panel is missing or if it is not aligned, call AC Plus right away for an inspection before you put yourself at risk of an electrical shock.
Clear plants and debris from the area around your unit
If any plants have grown over your unit or if any loose debris is blocking it, clear it all away before you start it up. Anything that obstructs the airflow can potentially put more strain on your system and increase your energy spend.
Keep condenser coils clean
Making sure your condenser coils and the evaporator clean and dust-free is the single most important thing you can do to extend the life of your AC unit. For larger units, it is always best to call a qualified technician as we have solutions designed especially for this purpose.
Change your air filters
The air quality inside your home is important to your wellbeing and that of your family. During the winter, your air filter will have gathered more dust and debris than usual. Starting in the springtime, check your filters monthly and change them if they appear dirty. This will promote even, unobstructed airflow, and your unit won’t have to work so hard to deliver cool comfort.
Check that your thermostat is working properly
On first startup, turn your thermostat down to a few degrees below room temperature. This should trigger the system to turn on and you should feel cold air coming from your vents. If you don’t, call the HVAC specialists at AC Plus right away. Keep in mind that as the mercury goes up, so do our service calls, so it’s always best to be proactive.
Schedule a seasonal maintenance check
Giving your AC system a tune up is always a good idea in the spring and fall. Keeping your system properly maintained will help you avoid emergency calls in the middle of the summer, ensure your home stays cool and comfortable, and may even lower your energy bills by as much as 30 percent.
Need HVAC service in Las Vegas? Call AC Plus today. We are always ready to deliver on comfort, quality, and customer service excellence.
Compressor replacement vs. replacement of unit: points to consider
One of the most common questions we are asked by customers and contractors alike is “when is it best to repair and when should a system be replaced?”
The scenario usually plays out something like this: the unit has stopped working, so a service call is put in. The contractor recommends compressor replacement, but the cost is in the range of $1500 – $2500, depending on the unit. The newer, upgraded model of a similar system would cost in the range of $4500 – $9K to replace brand-new.
If you’re under a great deal of stress to get the AC running again, such as if it’s a commercial or residential building whose tenants are putting the pressure on, it might be difficult to make this decision on the fly. If you’re like most people, the immediate reaction would be to balk at the sticker shock of a new unit, so you’ll probably be tempted to take the quick-and-dirty solution and simply replace the compressor. However, there are a few points you should consider before pulling the trigger.
Let’s look at the benefits of purchasing a new air conditioning system over changing that pooched compressor:
- A new air conditioning system will be approximately 33% more efficient than the one you are replacing. The money you save on your energy bills will pay for itself in approximately 15 years.
- The money you have allocated for a new compressor could be applied to the purchase of a new unit. This could cover as much as 1/3 of your down payment on the brand new unit.
- If you do opt for compressor replacement, it will still be housed inside an AC unit that will need ever more costly repairs as time goes by.
- Don’t forget, your old unit will be far less efficient than a new one, even with a new compressor. Current HVAC technology is cleaner, greener, and will save you a lot of money.
- The longer you keep your old system running, the more expensive repairs are going to become. Typically, maintenance, repairs and replacement parts for a commercial unit will require a budget of about $5K over its 15-20 year life cycle, but the longer you hold on to your unit, the higher that number is going to climb.
This information is not meant to push you in one direction or another, but it’s always good to know where you stand in the bigger scheme of things so you can make an informed decision.
Preventative maintenance is essential to keep your AC unit running like new
Being proactive when it comes to AC maintenance will extend the life of your investment. You should budget a minimum of $650 every 5 years for part replacements like repair and maintenance contracts as well as replacement of fan motors, capacitors, and other small parts. Keeping your air filters clean and free of dust and debris will also extend the life of your compressor, and regular preventative inspections should be part of your maintenance protocols.
A good rule of thumb is to change air filters every three months. The batteries in your thermostat should be changed every year to prevent breakdowns, and each spring and fall a seasonal maintenance check-up should be performed. By attending to these small but important details you can easily extend the life of your AC system, making that decision to repair or replace a matter for the distant future.
ACPlus: Heating and Air Conditioning services in Las Vegas
If you have need of any AC repairs or maintenance, call ACPlus today. We serve Las Vegas and surrounding areas, and we always stay cool under pressure.