1. Since step one is your air conditioning installation, that’s where this journey begins.
First: we know that you don’t always get control of your New Port Richey AC installation. Perhaps you’ve bought a home with a relatively new system already installed. Perhaps your budget simply won’t allow for the top-of-the-line replacement you crave.
That’s okay. There are many ways to optimize even basic systems, and we’re going to go over many of them in this article.
With that said, if you do get to make decisions on a new installation, you’re in the enviable position of being able to set yourself up for success.
THE FOUR FACTORS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER DURING HVAC INSTALLATION
SIZE – Size is measured by the ton. BTUs represent the amount of cooling energy released by a one-ton block of ice melting. A typical family home might call for anywhere from 2-4 tons, but getting it close is just not good enough.
You have to get it exactly right, which is why a professional load calculation should always be performed before equipment is selected. Oversized systems will cool too quickly and leave your home humid, and undersized systems will lead to astronomical bills because they never shut off.
EFFICIENCY – Efficiency is measured by SEER rating – Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. A higher SEER rating means lower bills, so you should opt for the most efficient equipment that you can afford. Keep in mind that many states, including Florida and New Port Richey, incentivize energy efficiency through rebates and tax breaks.
DUCTWORK – Your home may already have ductwork, in which case you should have it thoroughly inspected for leaks, insulation issues, and proper layout. If it does not, you’ll want to make sure that it is carefully designed – or you may consider ductless systems.
FILTERS – Choosing the right filters for your needs is essential. We’ll give you more on that in a moment.
2. The air filters you choose will directly impact performance.
There are a variety of compatible filters available for air conditioning systems, and choosing the correct filter for your home will have a noticeable effect on performance and longevity. The four types of filters are:
- Flat fiberglass filters, which are the least expensive and the least effective.
- Pleated media filters, which are more effective at trapping particulates than fiberglass filters but can restrict airflow.
- HEPA filters, which cause a serious drop in pressure and are highly resistant to airflow, but trap 99% of particulates.
- Washable reusable filters, which can have varying degrees of effectiveness and resistance.
Filters are given a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating that describes how well it traps particles. Because of that, an uninformed homeowner may opt for the HEPA filter, assuming that the highest MERV rating means the best filter.
That isn’t always the case.
HEPA filters are really only recommended for severe allergies or other breathing issues. The rest of the time, a filter with a medium MERV rating is going to be more than sufficient to trap the particles in your ducts. You should try to strike a balance between airflow resistance and filter effectiveness.
Speaking of filters:
3. Change or clean your filters often, or you’ll be paying for a new AC installation – SOON.
Changing or cleaning filters is a lot like changing the oil in your car: you have to do it pretty regularly or things start to break down. With the busy lives we’re all leading, it’s pretty easy to neglect simple maintenance tasks.
But what happens when you do?
You may not like the answer. Here are just a few of the more common side effects associated with dirty air filters:
- Restricted airflow, causing poor or uneven cooling in the home.
- Short cycling (turning on and off), which can hurt the compressor.
- Allergens present in the home’s air supply due to lack of filtration.
- Overheated fan motor causing a shutdown or failure.
- Higher monthly bills due to poor performance.
We could make that list quite a bit longer without much work, but you’ve got the general idea. Change your filters once a month, and don’t forget.
4. Ceiling fans can serve as a support system to your air conditioner and save you a LOT of money.
Did you know:
Ceiling fans can save you $30-$50 or more EVERY MONTH on utility costs?
Most of our customers are surprised to hear that. Ceiling fans were, for a very long time, the main source of cooling in American homes. Residential air conditioning didn’t really catch on until the 1950s – before that, it was largely reserved for the wealthy elite and commercial or industrial applications.
The plebeians made do with ceiling fans – and frankly, we think ceiling fans are still pretty great.
- The hourly cost of running a ceiling fan is about a penny.
- The average hourly cost of running AC is closer to $0.47
- Ceiling fans move a lot of air very slowly and make a room feel up to five degrees cooler.
- Setting your thermostat 4-5 degrees higher can reduce your costs by up to $0.17 per hour, without any change in comfort.
That’s a net savings that adds up very quickly – and it will increase the lifespan of your HVAC system by giving it less work to do.
5. Programmable thermostats add wi-fi connectivity and intelligent app-based control to your central air conditioner or heat pump.
It may seem a bit crazy to include wi-fi with a thermostat, but it actually makes a great deal of sense. Modern thermostats take the idea behind the programmable thermostats of yesterday and take them a step further.
Originally, programmable thermostats were designed to allow you to schedule your heating and cooling in order to save money. It’s a sensible idea: you leave everything warm while you’re at work, but the system automatically turns on during your commute home and you walk in to a cool living room.
But not everyone has a predictable schedule, and reprogramming the schedule isn’t always simple. Wi-fi capable thermostats take care of that problem, and add a few more bells and whistles that are more substance than flash.
Why would you need a wi-fi connected thermostat?
You can adapt your schedule anytime and turn the system on and off from your phone or other device.
You can view information on the performance and efficiency of your system and tweak settings to improve them.
You can view the temperature within your home at anytime – meaning no more worrying about pets during a heat wave.
6. UV lights add a touch of science fiction – and a lot of healthy air – to your home.
Sometimes, when we talk to customers about ultraviolet light installations inside their ductwork, they look at us as if we’ve grown an extra head. It isn’t science fiction, though – it’s just science.
UV lights have been used for sterilization by the medical industry and restaurant industry for years. Taking their cue, HVAC installers have found a way to essentially eliminate the mold and bacteria issues experienced by many HVAC systems.
Yes – mold and bacteria love your ductwork.
All it takes for mold and bacteria to grow is a dark, cool environment. A little moisture helps, too. Unfortunately, ducts often provide exactly that, and air filters are great at trapping particles, but less prepared for bacteria.
That’s where a UV light comes in. Installed above your coils or in the return duct, the UV bulb sanitizes the air passing beneath it and makes sure that your home’s air supply is fresh and healthy.
Pro Tip – The bulbs in your UV light system can glow for years, but they lose all ability to kill organisms after 9000 hours, or about one year. So keep the date the bulb was installed nearby and change it after one year.
7. Keeping your condenser – the outside unit – clean goes a long way.
Sometimes, it’s about little things. Little problems become big problems – and we’re going to talk about that a little bit – but little fixes also have big effects. One of the easiest things you can do is keep your condenser clean.
In case you don’t know, in a standard central air conditioner, the condenser is the unit that sits outside of your home and dissipates heat. It’s the partner of the air handler indoors. Part of a good air conditioning installation involves placing the condenser somewhere where it will be somewhat protected, but it has to live outdoors in a wide-open space.
Why your condenser is outside:
The condenser dissipates heat. When it’s outside, it is exchanging heat with an infinite supply – the outdoors. If you were to enclose the condenser, it would quickly heat up the air in that space. It is much more difficult to exchange temperatures when the air is already so hot.
What you can do:
Every few weeks, or perhaps once a month, hose the condenser housing down and make sure that nothing is caught in the coils or fins. You’d be amazed at the effectiveness of that simple task.
And speaking of simple fixes …
8. Shade your condenser.
We’ve already established that you can’t enclose your condenser, but you can make sure it’s in the shade as much as possible. This has the effect of giving it more temperate air with which to exchange heat.
Pro Tip - Your air conditioner’s cooling capacity, say 3 tons, is rated at a standard outdoor temperature of 93 degrees. By shading the outdoor unit you can reduce the temperature around the unit by up to 10 degrees.
This greatly enhances its cooling ability, making the unit considerably more efficient than indicated by the manufacturer’s rating system.
It can make a tremendous difference in your energy costs and overall comfort.
A shaded compressor is slightly more efficient than one that lives in the sun.
Placement during the air conditioning installation is key. An air conditioning or heat pump price – at the installing phase – should include some design elements on the part of your contractors.
Ask them about placing the outdoor unit somewhere where it will receive shade, such as the north side of your home, or placing it in the shade of a tree, awning, or outdoor carport. Just remember, the closer the condenser is placed to the indoor unit, the better.
9. Have regular maintenance checkups and tune-ups.
The tune-up is a hugely important part of owning an air conditioner. Your service provider should be recommending that you have your system tuned up at LEAST annually, and if they aren’t, you probably need a new service provider.
What is a tune-up?
A tune-up is shorthand for what happens when a contractor comes to your home and performs a thorough evaluation, cleaning, and maintenance routine on your HVAC system. A central air conditioner is a complex and can be quite temperamental if not cared for properly.
During a tune-up, a technician will:
- Evaluate your system’s performance and look for efficiency issues.
- Test all components for proper functionality.
- Inspect and blow our your ducts.
- Check your air filters.
- Check refrigerant levels.
- Look for and repair leaks.
- Look for and repair clogs in the condensate drain lines.
- Go over all electrical components and perform a safety test.
Why a tune-up is important.
We spoke earlier about little things, and how they can become big things. Oftentimes, small problems can stack up quickly and become huge problems. The tune-up is a great way to ensure you aren’t surprised.
10. Pay attention to your system and watch for warning signs.
Given the cost of a new Spring Hill Fl air conditioning installation or the relatively steep average heat pump price, you want to make sure you take care of your investment. That means watching for the subtle signs that a problem may be developing.
Signs and red flags such as:
- Thermostat malfunctions.
- Uneven cooling within the home.
- Odd or unusual sounds and smells.
- Freon gas leaks.
If you’re vigilant and well prepared, you’ll catch problems before they worsen.
If you have any questions about your heat pump or central air conditioner, our experts are ready to help you. Call New Port Richey Air Conditioner today at 727-888-5059
New port richey - Discover 10 simple tips To dramatically enhance the life of your central AC System
KW: air conditioning installation, AC installation, central air conditioner, heat pump price, HVAC system
An AC installation is EXPENSIVE.
We in the business do what we can to make it affordable, using every negotiating tactic with our suppliers, energy rebates and tax cut imaginable. Our profit margins are slim, too, but at the end of the day, there’s no way around it. It’s an investment, and not a small one.
That’s why it makes perfect sense to us that you want your air conditioner to last forever. And while that’s impossible, you can make it last 15-20 years or more with the methods we will go over in this article.
When you look at a central air conditioner or heat pump price, you’re not necessarily thinking about how much money it’s going to save you, but it’s important to remember that the installation cost is only one part of the investment.
The operating costs are where you can earn your money back, by optimizing your system for efficiency and longevity.
Would you like to know how?
Then, by all means, keep reading.