Why Your A/C Filters Get Dirtier Faster

dirty ac filter
Dust-clogged A/C filter restricts airflow

If you find yourself having to change your air filter more often than you think you need to; there may be a few things that are causing your air filter to become dirty quicker.

Lack of regularly scheduled air conditioning maintenance and the way you operate your cooling and heating system could be causing your air filters to become dirty faster than they should!

A/C Filter Maintenance

If you are not changing your A/C filters monthly, or when necessary, your cooling and heating system will work less efficiently and cost you money.

The frequency at which you will need to change your A/C filter will depend on a number of factors such as how often you use your system, do you have pets, are you remodeling and how many contaminants are entering your home.

Quality of Your Filters

If you are not choosing one a good quality A/C filter it will not last very long before it needs to be changed. Air filter quality is measured by a MERV rating (minimum efficiency reporting value) – the higher the MERV ranking is, the more efficient your A/C system will operate.

Air Conditioning filters that have a lower MERV rating tend to be less expensive than filters with a higher MERV rating so they can be tempting to buy. While these filters may be less expensive, it is important to remember that they will last a shorter amount of time before needing to be changed, increasing your cost in the long run

Leaking A/C Ductwork

Another issue that affects how quickly your A/C filters are becoming dirty is when your system has leaking air ducts. When your system’s air ducts are leaking it causes dust and other airborne contaminants to be pulled into your unit from areas that are used less often and are generally dirtier than the rest of your home. Not only does this mean your system’s air filters will become clogged and dirty more quickly, but it also means your system will run less efficiently, use more energy and increase your costs.

Not Running Your Fan On “Auto”

Your system’s thermostat will provide you with two different fan settings to choose from – “on” and “auto”. When you choose to set your system’s fan to the “on” setting, your system’s fan will run continuously until you turn it off. When you choose to set your system’s fan to the “auto” setting, your system’s fan will turn on and off automatically as it cycles through each heating or cooling cycle. By setting your thermostat to “auto”, your system will be able to run and process the airborne contaminants coming into your unit more efficiently.



Why Does My Air Conditioner Run All Day?

5 Reasons That May Be Causing Your Air Conditioner To Run Constantly

No one dreads an energy bill like a Floridian in the Summer! That’s because we know the high temperatures outside can make it harder to keep it cool indoors – but what’s normal and what is not for how long your air conditioner should be running?

On a normal Summer day, even in the 90s, your air conditioner should be run for about 15 minutes per cycle and have about 2 to 3 cycles per hour. However, if your air conditioning system has a cycle that runs for 30 minutes, an hour, or just doesn’t seem to stop and runs all day, then your air conditioner might just have something wrong with it.

Ignoring the issue, or waiting too long to take care of it, will only cause you a bigger headache in the long run. First, when you see your monthly energy bill and then when it completely breaks down from overuse and needs far more serious repairs.

Here are 5 reasons that may be causing your air conditioner to run all day:

  1. Its actually too small for your home and can’t keep up. You may wonder how that could happen – shouldn’t the right size have been installed in the first place? Normally, yes. However, industry recommendations change over time; what may have been considered a good size 10 years ago may not be any more. Or it could be that the previous home owner didn’t want to shell out the money for the right size or the previous HVAC technician didn’t do the job correctly. Whatever the case, have your system reviewed to see if the size is causing your issue.
  2. Your air conditioner is too old and it can’t keep up. Just like people age and find that they are no longer as limber or energetic as they once were, your air conditioner also has stages of life. Most systems last only 12-15 years and typically after 10, they may struggle to keep up with cooling demands in their “old” age.
  3. You home is draftier than you knew. Leaks throughout your home – along windows, doorways, in the attic, or even in the ductwork can let some of that cool air out – leaving your air conditioner to work that much harder to replace that cold air.
  4. Your thermostat is set too low. In order to keep up with cooling demands, your thermostat will need to be set to a reasonable temperature range. If it’s a scorching 98 degree day out with no cloud coverage in site (and of course, a high humidity index) and you have your thermostat set to 68 degrees then your air conditioner is going to have to work overtime and run constantly to maintain that 30 degree difference. Try bumping the thermostat up 5 degrees and turn on ceiling fans to help keep your home cool.
  5. Your ac system has dirty coils. You may not know to check the coils or even how to, but with routine annual maintenance this issue can be avoided. The coils are what cool the air and if they are dirty, then it will be harder for them to do their job – which means your air conditioner will run longer to cool the air as required.


Reasons Your Air Conditioner May Struggle This Summer And How To Deal With It

In Florida we know how important it is to keep our air conditioners running at their maximum performance all year long, but especially during the long, hot summer months. We definitely experience some record-setting hot days living in Florida, which means your AC has to work harder to keep up with the demand placed on it. Here are a few reasons your AC might struggle to keep up this summer, and what you can do to help deal with it.

YOU MISSED IMPORTANT MAINTENANCE

It is just as important for you air conditioning system to have an annual checkup as it is for you to have an annual health checkup. It is best to have your AC system checked at least once a year, before the peak summer season when you will need it the most, to make sure that it is running at it’s maximum efficiency and will be able to keep up with the rough summer demands placed upon it. If you haven’t had your annual AC system checkup performed already this year, don’t delay any further. Your trained maintenance technician should fully inspect your system, checking for any necessary repair or adjustments, and cleaning your system as they go along.

YOU HAVEN’T CHANGED THE AIR FILTER RECENTLY

Changing your air filter regularly is one of the simplest and most important things you can do to help keep your AC system running efficiently. The air filter’s job is to make sure that the inside components of your AC system are protected from dirt and debris that can clog and impact it’s performance. As your air filter gets fuller, it becomes more difficult for it to block dirt and debris from entering into your system and can restrict the airflow in your home. This will force your AC system to have to work harder to continue to perform the way that it should. It is ideal to check and change your air filter every 1 to 3 months depending on how frequently you are using your system and the number of contaminants in your air.

YOU AREN’T USING YOUR AIR CONDITIONER EFFICIENTLY

There are certainly many things you can do during the hot summer months that will help your AC system run as efficiently as possible. One of the most important things you can do is to help reduce the heat that is coming into your home. The less heat there is in your home, the less your AC system has to work to properly cool it. And the less work your AC system has to put in to keeping your home cool, the longer it will continue to run efficiently. Here are some tips to help you reduce the heat inside your home:

  • Close off unused rooms by closing doors and vents. There is no reason to cool rooms that you aren’t using.
  • Cover your windows with good shading. The less sun that is able to get into the home, the cooler it will be naturally.
  • Take advantage of the summer BBQ time and cook outdoors – this will keep your oven and stove from producing additional heat inside the home.
  • If you use a dishwasher don’t use the dry cycle. Once the dishes are done in the wash cycle simply leave the door open and let them air dry.
  • Try to only use your clothes dryer during cooler times at night. Using it during the hottest part of the day will only add even more heat to your home.
  • Keep heat producing appliances and electronics such as the television, computer, and lamps away from your home’s thermostat. If your thermostat is reading the temperature based off the heat of your electronics, it will continue to run longer than necessary.

YOUR AIR CONDITIONER WAS NOT PROPERLY INSTALLED

If your air conditioner wasn’t installed by professionals, or even if it was and a good job was not performed, there is a possibility that your AC system could have been installed improperly which can lead to a number of issues with your system. It is possible that your AC system is not the right size for your home, which can cause issues whether it is too small or too large for the size of your home. Having an improperly sized AC unit forces your system to work harder as it goes through a process called short-cycling in which the unit rapidly turns off and on without ever completing a full cooling cycle. This can cause your system to operate inefficiently and potentially lead to a premature breakdown of your unit. If you think you are having issues with your AC system you should contact a properly licensed professional technician to come out and review your system to check for proper installation and to correct any improper installation concerns.

THERE IS A REFRIGERANT LEAK

Refrigerant, Freon for older systems and R410a for newer systems, is the chemical product used to help absorb the heat from your air and keep your AC system producing cool air. If your AC system doesn’t have enough refrigerant, or if there is a leak in your system, then it can’t absorb enough heat to properly cool the air. Signs of a refrigerant leak include a low refrigerant level, ice buildup on the refrigerant line and the outside unit, bubbling or hissing noises, and your air conditioner being able to properly cool your home on cool days and at night but not on hot days. If you think you might have a refrigerant leak it is best to turn your AC system off and call a professional technician as soon as possible! If your AC system runs with a refrigerant leak for too long, it could cause even further damage to your compressor which is expensive to replace.

As you can see there are many things you can do yourself to help improve the efficiency of your air conditioning system and keep it running at its maximum performance all summer long. But some things are going to require a professional’s help. If you need help from a professional contact the technicians at EasyBreezy A/C at 727-856-4822 today!



The Best Time To Get A New HVAC System

When homeowners consider when the right moment to replace their home a/c unit, they might want to keep this principle in mind: When it comes to air conditioning units, there are “no end of the year model blowouts” like you find among automobile dealerships. That said, there are times when in the cooling and heating industry that there are reasonable bargains on a new HVAC unit.  

Seasonal Supply and Demand

Often, the best times to get the most quality for the least cost are between extremes.  In other words, the seasons between extreme heat, the summer months, and the coldest months of winter are times when a/c installers find business to be a bit slower.  Since they’re eager to move more product and spike their cash flows, you generally find a greater number of nicer deals on the market.

Conversely, when higher temperatures are the norm, these companies tend to have more work, as units around the community tend to develop problems or simply break down and need replacing.  More work for them means you’ll need to pay more to earn their time. These are simple laws of supply and demand. Yet using the core principles of supply and demand will go a long way in helping you know when to shop.

Marketing Ploys

Another principle consumers should use comes down to timing.  Sometimes an a/c repair service and installer will be rebounding from a downturn, for whatever reason, in their own business.  At these times the owner is generally looking to ‘re-enter’ the market and will cut deals with consumers to sell more inventory – or, move product from manufacturer to consumer.  The marketing entity needs to increase sales volume. Lowering prices, a good thing for customers, becomes his main marketing strategy. You can be savvy toward these kinds of deals by paying attention to the media, including mailers, Internet promos, and the like.

Avoid Costly Replacement With Routine Maintenance

It is true when it comes to your air conditioner that routine maintenance will solve many unwanted results and prolong the life of your air conditioner.  In the long term, you’ll find that regular checkups, tune ups and the like will prove more budget friendly than just defaulting to a belief you should replace your entire system.  Of course, if you sense – through sound or by observing alarming symptoms – your a/c system is on its last leg, consider the age of the entire system first. If it is getting toward 10 years or more in age, there’s a good chance that simple maintenance won’t solve your problems.  

$5,000 Rule

Should you find yourself with an a/c technician who is pushing you to replace the unit rather than repair it, claiming that fixinging it is just throwing money down the drain or wil only be the first of many repairs, stop and consider the “$5,000 Rule”. The “$5,000 Rule” is a general rule of thumb that takes the age of your unit and multiplies it by the cost of the repair. If the amount comes to more $5,000 then replacing the unit may be the better option. However, if the amount totals to less than $5,000 then go with the repair.

The best advice for the savvy homeowner is to find an AC technician you can trust.  Then at least once a year, ask him to go over your system and tell you the truth about its condition.



5 Signs You Need a New Air Conditioner

Outdoor Air Conditioning Unit Attached To The Side Of A Home

 

There are times when a homeowner should consider completely replacing their HVAC system instead of just repairing it. While it can be expensive to upgrade your air conditioner, it can actually help to save on costly energy and maintenance bills down the road.

But before you decide to replace, here are some ways to assure that your unit is incapable of repair, or just simply too old to function in a costly manner.

  • Your AC Unit is Older Than Your First Born. Any heat pump/air conditioning units should be considered to be upgraded if they are older than ten years old. If your furnace or boiler is older than 15 years, you may also think of replacing these as well. If you notice that your air conditioner is not keeping your house cool enough, even when the thermostat is set correctly, then this may be a sign that its age has caught up with its ability to cool your home.

 

  • Your Air Conditioner Is Always Working. If your unit is constantly running even when it is set on “Auto”, this may mean that your system is overloaded and this could be a good indication of that it needs to be replaced. This is especially true if it doesn’t seem to cool the house properly even after running all day. By replacing the unit, you could actually save on high monthly energy bills caused by an overworked system.

 

  • High Monthly Energy Bills. Did you know HVAC systems account for 40% of your energy bill? If your unit is costing you a pretty penny every month in utility bills, you may want to start thinking about replacing your air conditioner. There are several new energy efficient options, that are also surprisingly affordable.

 

  • Your Air Conditioner Is Always Breaking Down. The summer is nearly half over and if you have had to call an HVAC technician to your home 2 to 3 times already because your AC keeps breaking down, then a new unit may be your better option.

 

  • It Breaks the 5,000 Rule. A general rule of thumb in the HVAC industry is if your repair costs are over $5,000 then you should be looking at new units instead. If the repairs will cost you less than $5,000, then go ahead and get the fix done. Also be sure to add a maintenance plan to routinely check your air conditioner for problems before they happen.

 



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