Duct Cleaning in the Summer

August 25th, 2012

Is you’re A.C. unit up to snuff?  Usually we do not take a look at our Air Conditioning units till we have 3 days of impressive heat. Regular maintenance and some TLC of your air conditioning units will benefit you in the long run.

The contaminants, particulate soil, pollen, dust and danger that build up in system can cause your system to have some drag.  This puts stress on your the system and costs you more in fuel usage.  Statistics show that having your system regularly maintained can save you 30-60% of fuel bill.  On average, when we clean out a duct cleaning system we pull out anywhere from 1.5 to 3 pounds of dust, dander, particulate soil, and a host of other cotaminants …That is a lot!!

Below are some useful tips and suggestions for getting you air conditioning unit and home ready for this summer’s heat.  Remember, though, that your central air conditioning unit uses the same duct work that your heater does.  It still collects dust, dander and pollutants that are not good for your family to breath.

Gettting Your Air Conditioning Ready for Summer

Most of us don’t give our air conditioners a thought till that first hot, insufferably humid day. But with a little cleaning and maintenance beforehand, you’ll be sitting cool when everyone else is lugging their AC to the repair shop. An annual inspection and cleaning ensures lower operating costs and a longer life for your cooling equipment, whether it’s a central air conditioner or a window- or wall-mounted room unit.

Central Air Conditioners
Remove the cover that protects your central air conditioning system’s outdoor heat exchanger from harsh winter weather. Then give the unit a thorough physical inspection and cleaning. Make sure that dead leaves or debris haven’t accumulated in or around the unit, and that there’s no damage to the sheet-metal housing. Brush, vacuum or hose off any dirt and debris built up on its grilles or ventilation louvers. If there’s rust, use a wire brush to remove it, and prime the area with Rust-Oleum® or the like. Also, clear any brush or tall grass that may be growing around the unit, and keep the vegetation trimmed for the duration of the warm season. Because a central system relies on the furnace’s blower to whisk cool air around your home, check the furnace filters and replace them if they’re dirty. Clogged filters increase energy consumption and can even make the heat exchanger’s cooling coils freeze up. Therefore, it’s wise to check these filters monthly. If you have any questions about the condition of your central system-or reservations about its performance-have it professionally inspected and tuned up.

Before it gets too warm, it’s time to make sure you’re ready for hot weather. This doesn’t mean running out and buying the latest swim wear. It means checking your home’s heat and air-conditioning system.

First, change your filters in your heating/cooling system. Change them regularly – at least monthly. Next change your thermostat over to “cool” and test the system by turning the temperature down. If the air conditioner does not turn on, first check to make sure no breakers are tripped. If you can’t figure out the problem, call your heating and air conditoning repair person. Calling early may keep you from making an “emergency” call when the temperatures are soaring and the repair people are too busy.

If your cooling system turns on, make sure it is putting out adequate cooling. If it’s not, and you can’t figure out the problem, call your heating and air conditoning repair person. Make sure you set it at 78 degrees.

If your air conditioner needs replacement do it BEFORE the HOT WEATHER HITS because heating & air conditioning repair people will be very busy. And more than likely, some other things around your home need attention as well. Your air ducts may need testing for leaks and then sealed. Your attic insulation probably has compacted, so you need to add an additional 5 to 8 inches. Your windows and doors and other parts of the building envelope may need caulking and weather stripping. You need solar window film to keep out the heat.

Consider changing your old thermostat to a programmable one. You can save up to $100 a year by using a new set-back thermostat. If your thermostat is really old and uses a mercury switch (a glass tube filed with silvery substance) call your local public works department to find out how to dispose of this toxic material.
Consider installing a whole-house fan that uses cool air in the evening to cool the entire house and push hot air out of the attic area.
If you cover your air conditioner’s condenser unit (the part that is outside the house) for the winter, take off the cover and hose down the coils. Clear areas around the condenser unit so that it has full air flow.