Category Archives: Air Conditioners

How Long Should the Air Conditioner Run to Cool Your House and Other Tips

 

woman sitting on couch under air conditioner and enjoying cool air

If you’ve been wondering how long you should run your air conditioner to cool your home or whether you should have your AC on all day long, you’re not alone. These are some of the most common questions people ask themselves with regard to their air conditioning unit as the warm weather arrives.

Let’s look at whether it’s more beneficial to turn your air conditioner off when you aren’t home and other ways to efficiently run your A/C during the warmer summer months.

How Long Should I Run My AC Unit?

To answer the question of how long should your air conditioner run to cool the house, a good working central AC unit should be able to cool a moderate, four-bedroom house by ten degrees in three hours.

Certain factors including the power, size, and age of your unit, as well as the current temperature outside will affect the cooling powers of your AC, but wherever yours falls on the scale, your home should be noticeably cooler within a few hours. If it isn’t, you may have some separate issues to contend with that need to be addressed by a professional sooner than later.

Best Tips for Using Your Air Conditioner Efficiently This Summer

Run Your AC More Economically

To help your air conditioner run more efficiently, set your AC as high as is comfortably possible and use a programmable thermostat to increase temperatures when you’re out of the house.

It is much more beneficial and cost effective to do this instead of turning your unit off altogether when you are away from home. If fact, doing so could increase your summer cooling bills by 10%.

The less difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the less you will spend. Set your thermostat to 28ºC instead of 22ºC, and you could save up to 18% off your cooling costs.

Take Care of Your AC Unit

One of the best ways to keep your AC in top shape is simply to keep up with regular maintenance. Dirty AC filters can block air flow and make your unit work harder to cool your home. Cleaning and/or replacing them once a month can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15%.

Also, keep your unit’s outside evaporator and condenser coils free of dirt and debris as well to help keep things running smoothly.

Use a Ceiling Fan

Your room can feel six to seven degrees cooler via the wind-chill effect if you use a ceiling fan. By using a ceiling fan alongside your air conditioner, you can disperse cold air more efficiently and raise your thermostat by as much as four degrees, without feeling uncomfortable.

Just remember to turn off your fan when no one is in the room, as this can waste electricity.

Ceiling fan

Avoid Heat Build-Up

Stop your air conditioner from working overtime by limiting the use of big heat-generators like computers, stereos and TVs. When the outdoor temperature exceeds the temperature indoors, also refrain from activities that generate a lot of heat including cooking, using the dishwasher and clothes dryer.

As an alternative, try washing dishes by hand and letting them air dry, hang clothes on a line, grill outside, or simply wait to do these activities until after dark to help keep excess heat and humidity at bay. Closing your curtains or blinds can also prevent solar heat gain.

If you have more questions about how long your air conditioner should run to cool your house or keeping your air conditioner unit on all day, contact D&B ClimateCare for all of your heating and cooling needs.

How to Get the Most from Your Air Conditioner this Summer

How to Get the Most from Your Air Conditioner this Summer

Summer officially starts more than a month from now. Maybe somebody needs to tell summer that. It’s already hot out there!

air conditioner serviceThis is expected to be a hotter-than-normal summer, so you can expect to run your air conditioner more than you did last year. That usually means higher-than-normal monthly energy bills.

But it doesn’t have to. If you have the time, these tips can help reduce your air conditioning bill while you keep cool this summer.

Upgrade to a smart thermostat

Old manual and programmable thermostats don’t give your family the control it needs to stay cool and save cash in the summer.

Smart Wi-Fi thermostats reduce your cooling bill by an average of 23% (according to ecobee). How?

  • Manual thermostats work to maintain a steady temperature all day and night.
  • Programmable thermostats are complicated rarely reliable. Most homeowners with programmable thermostats use them just like manual thermostats.

As your family comes and goes, a smart thermostat learns when the house is occupied and when it’s not.

Eventually, it knows:

  • The right times to adjust the temperature (when everyone’s home for dinner)
  • When to go into money-saving and energy-saving mode (when everyone’s at work, school or sleeping).

And since your smart thermostat is Wi-Fi enabled, you can adjust the temperature anytime, anywhere, with an intuitive app on your smartphone.

Find those drafts

In older homes, the cool air from your home cooling system can seep outside through:

  • Old door seals.
  • Cracked window seals.
  • Insufficient attic insulation.

window draftTake an hour or so to find any sources of air leakage and make a plan to fix it.

Stand outside your home and run your hand along any accessible windows and doors. Some gaps will be obvious (especially if you stand outside at night and turn on the interior lights), others are tough to spot.

If you find a gap in one area, don’t just fix that section. A gap between your back door and the door frame, for example, should spur you to fix the caulking and weather stripping entirely. It’s worth the time and effort.

Book your spring service

When was your last AC maintenance visit?

AC care keeps your unit running smoothly and reliably all season long.

The better it works, the less money you spend using it.

Before the heat arrives, book your annual tune-up and know you did everything reasonable to avoid an expensive air conditioner repair down the line.

Want to go all out? Here are other money-saving tips

By making some simple changes around the house, you’ll spend less on cooling without sacrificing any comfort.

  • Close blinds and curtains whenever you leave the house – the beaming sun heats up the house through your windows. Keep it dark while you’re out.
  • Run your ceiling fans counter-clockwise – the breeze cools you down, so you don’t have to set the thermostat so low.
  • Use the BBQ most nights – the stove and oven generate extra heat. Plus, you only get to cook outdoors a few months of the year, so take advantage of it!
  • Mount your thermostat in a better location – the thermostat should be away from large windows and in a room your family uses often. Place it on an interior wall rather than exterior.

Start saving today

It’s already clear this summer will be hot and dry.

You don’t want to have to decide between running the AC or saving your money this year.

Follow the tips in this blog and you can enjoy both, but don’t wait until the first official day of summer.

Contact us today to schedule your maintenance visit so you know your AC is ready to handle the heat this summer throws at it.

Contact ClimateCare

Spring Cleaning for Your HVAC System | How to Keep Your HVAC System Clean and Efficient

Spring Cleaning Your HVAC System Needs This Year

air conditioner serviceSpring cleaning is one of those traditions most people grudgingly take part in. A winter of hibernating with the windows closed leaves the house in need of a serious refreshing, but that means a lot of annoying chores.

It’s easy to run out of steam when maintenance on the air conditioner, ducts or furnace come around.

But before you skip HVAC maintenance for another year, think of these three major reasons to keep the HVAC system at the top of your spring cleaning list.

The hidden expenses of home ownership.

The increased energy efficiency regular spring cleaning for your air conditioner or furnace brings is a welcome help to most families.

  • Buildup inside your furnace or air conditioner can represent approximately 30% of a cooling or heating bill.
  • Leaks in your ducts can add 20% or more.
  • Low refrigerant adds another 20% or more in cooling energy for your air conditioner.

Most families opt for a maintenance visit around the start of an HVAC season. Entering the spring, an air conditioner maintenance visit makes sure the winter hasn’t been too hard on your cooling unit. Closer to the fall, a furnace maintenance appointment brushes the cobwebs off your heating system for the winter.

Do your family a favour and get all the money savings annual maintenance provides.

Sign up for a maintenance plan and we’ll keep track of your maintenance schedule so you don’t have to.

How does your family handle allergies?

two stage furnace simcoeAllergens are probably caked to the walls of your ductwork, making it all the worse when new allergens work their way in this spring.

Your furnace air filter captures some, but it’s not 100% effective. Especially if you don’t replace your filter regularly. As all the particles land on the coils in your air handling unit, they combine with moisture in the area to form a layer of grime that’s tough to get off.

Then you have problems with mold and bacteria. If you don’t do something about it, your family breathes it all day and night.

Some airborne particles continue along to your ducts, sticking there even after your normal furnace or air conditioner maintenance is performed.

We tell most customers to keep up with regular furnace and AC maintenance annually, and spring for duct cleaning every 2-3 years.

Get ready.

Spring and summer weather isn’t all that far off (spring is only a week away, in fact!) but it won’t be long before you need your air conditioner for round the clock cooling.

It’s always better to prevent a problem with your HVAC system than to repair it. Maintenance might not avoid every issue your HVAC system can encounter, but you substantially reduce your potential for a repair bill with every maintenance visit.

The team at D&B ClimateCare is here to help. Book annual maintenance for your air conditioner or furnace today to make sure it’s ready to run efficiently the next time you power it up.

How are you handling the consistent heat waves this summer? Is your central air conditioning system running on its last leg?

The truth is that the average life of a central air conditioning system can vary. On average cooling units built in the 1970s and 1980s can last 7-15 years, give or take depending on a few factors;

  • Temperatures (indoors/outdoors)
  • Frequency of use
  • Frequency of maintenance
  • Cleanliness of the unit

The climate can affect the lifespan of your A/C unit as it will increase the intensity of use. During heat waves such as the one in Southern Ontario that we’ve been experiencing, your unit has to work harder. Fortunately for Ontario the average summer temperatures range from 22 – 28 degrees Celsius and this summer is looking like it will exceed those averages regularly. Even during days of high heat, we recommended that you keep your thermostat at its usual settings. Be sure to proactively close your blinds and window treatments early in the day to reduce the effect of the sun adding to your cooling requirements. Also, in order to help evenly distribute the temperature around the house, turn the thermostat fan to on, rather than auto. This will help keep you comfortable without increasing the frequency of use.

An A/C unit that is rarely serviced, if at all, may only last 7 to 10 years. Whereas regularly cared for systems can last anywhere from 15-25 years. So take the time to care for your system.

In this economy, most of us are interested in saving money, and conserving energy too. Cleaning your HVAC units seasonally can do both.

Whether you’re looking for a new unit or parts, seasonal maintenance, an inspection or a tune-up, call your local ClimateCare contractor!

Get Your A/C Unit Ready for Summer!

The warm weather is finally here: Summer is (dare we say) just around the corner.  With the outdoor temperature increasing, you’ll want to make sure your air conditioning unit is in top form.  But before you turn on your unit, we’ve compiled a checklist of 5 tips to help ensure your indoor temperatures are nice and cool, all season long.

  1. Book a Precision Tune-up: The benefits of an A/C tune-up from a qualified technician are endless.  Not only do regular tune-ups extend the life of your A/C, but they will actually help lower your energy cost.  Get your HVAC tech to double check Freon coolant levels, to ensure there are no leaks or issues.
  2. Prepare Outdoor Unit: Remove the cover and hose down your A/C. Pay special attention to cleaning the condenser coil: make sure outdoor debris including weeds, grass clippings, twigs, and branches are cleared away.  Turn `ON’ the outdoor switch also ensure the breakers are ‘ON’. The humidifier bypass should be closed.
  3.  Clear Away Buildup: In- home A/C units should be cleaned to remove buildup, created by dust and dirt, to maximize air flow. Wet shop-vacs can be used to remove sludge that can accumulate in drainage pipes. For a thorough job, call a professional duct cleaner to give you vents a full dusting.
  4. Open Vents:  Furniture can obstruct airflow from entering a room: No more than 20% of return and supply registers should be closed. Turn on the A/C at your thermostat and let it run for an hour to ensure it’s properly cooling all the rooms in your home.
  5. Check Air Filters:  Filters should be checked and unclean filters should be replaced to improve indoor air quality and achieve optimum airflow.  As a rule of thumb, filters should be examined every 30-60 days, minimum.

How Does a Mini Split Ductless Air Conditioner Work?

Cleaning your ductless air conditioner

Ductwork is a pain.

It eats up valuable space inside your home and it’s a hassle to install when building an addition to accommodate your expanding family.

Click here to download your free eBook. Learn more about how to take care of your HVAC system.

It’s also part of an inefficient home cooling (or heating) system. We waste thousands of dollars every year managing the temperature across the entire house when we really only need to be comfortable in the few rooms we use at any given moment.

Yes, you can buy a high efficiency central air conditioner, but it will never be as efficient as a mini split ductless air conditioner.

That’s why we recommend these small, efficient and attractive cooling units to more homeowners than you probably think.

Will we recommend one for you?

mini split ductless air conditioner
Get the room to the exact temperature you want.

Mini split ductless air conditioners are good in any home because of the precise climate control they provide.

You can cool the single room you’re in, or a group of rooms nearby, or the same floor of the house.

Answer us these questions:

  • Do you like to sleep with the windows open, listening to the sounds of the city.
  • Do you prefer to keep the windows open on more mild days.
  • Does ductwork take away from the old charm of your home?
  • Do you have indoor/outdoor living spaces where precise cooling is important?
  • Do you want to avoid the hassle of tying your existing ductwork into your new home addition?

Chances are a mini split ductless air conditioner is perfect for you.

So how does it work without the ducts?

A mini split ductless system includes an indoor component and an outdoor component connected by a small cable no larger than a standard coaxial cable (the cable your TV uses).

  • The outdoor piece is small and quiet. It sits outside your house and is easily hidden by your lilac tree or other plants close to the house.
  • The indoor unit circulates conditioned air to make the room (or rooms) more comfortable. And because the source of the cool air is right in the room, it works quickly and efficiently to get the room as comfortable as you want it.

Yes, you can ask.

Ductless installation
You don’t even have to get up to check and adjust the temperature.

How does the outdoor unit connect to the indoor unit?

Through a small hole in the wall of your home.

We drill from the outside, feed the connecting cable through (which, remember, is quite thin) and insulate the hole so no air escapes in either direction. The hole is tiny and has no impact on the look of your home.

As many as 5 indoor units can share a single outdoor unit, so you aren’t trading one large outdoor unit – a traditional air conditioner – for many smaller units.

And they’re really quiet.

Despite their power and capability, ductless air conditioners operate with very low sound levels. Indoor units generate sound levels equivalent to a human whisper and outdoor units are no louder than a conversation between two people.

If you’re building an addition with no ductwork, or your charming old house doesn’t have  the infrastructure for it, this is the best way to stay cool through the summer. This year is going to be a scorcher, so get your ductless mini split system installed today.