3 Things You Need to Do to Get Your AC Ready for Spring

The mercury is climbing, the sun is shining, and it’s finally starting to feel a bit more like spring in our next of the woods. With the warmer weather, we will soon be cranking up our air conditioners for the first time of the season. Even if you performed proper maintenance when shutting down your cooling system at the end of last fall, it’s still important to tackle a couple tasks before firing it up for the first time this spring. Check out these three things you need to do to get your AC ready for spring and summer.

Remove Debris from the Outside Unit air conditioner

Use one of these nice sunny days to go outside and clean up around your air conditioner’s outside unit. Known as the condenser, this vital part of your cooling system nears proper airflow. And it can’t get that if there is a bunch of debris gathered around it. Clear at least two feet of space on all sides of the condenser. Remove toys, shrubs, branches, wood piles, etc. Rake away leaves as well to prevent them from getting sucked into the system. You may also want to use the condenser down with your garden hose to remove dirt, pollen and leaves. This helps ensure that your cooling system will run at peak efficiency.

Replace Your Filter

Clogged filters restrict airflow through the blower unit and can cause the cooling coil to freeze up. Ideally, you should check your filters monthly and replace them as needed. But if you haven’t replaced yours recently, spring is definitely a good time to do so.

Schedule an AC Tune-Up

Just like your car needs basic maintenance to run like it should, your AC needs some TLC to keep it operating at peak efficiency. We recommend having your air conditioner tuned up by a professional annually. In addition to ensuring maximum efficiency, tune-ups prevent premature system failure and can help you avoid costly repairs.

Don’t wait until the last minute to get your air conditioner tuned up. For AC tune-ups in Hagerstown, contact the HVAC pros at Larry & Sons today!

6 Easy Ways to Improve Energy Efficiency During the Summer

For many people, energy bills are extremely high during the summer months. The constant need to run your air conditioner can really take a toll on your wallet and have you looking forward to cooler months. Fortunately, though, there are several things you can do to lessen summer’s impact on your wallet. Check out these easy ways to improve energy efficiency during the summer.

Switch Off Your AC When You’re Away

If you spend the majority of your day away from home, turn off your air conditioner. Too warm to turn the system off completely? At least set the thermostat a bit higher while you’re away so they system doesn’t have to work quite as hard.

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Programmable thermostats are pretty amazing when it comes to saving homeowners money. With one of these devices, you can set your air conditioner to keep your home at a higher temperature while you’re away and cool it back down before you arrive home.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

energy efficiency

While ceiling fans don’t actually make your home cooler, they make you feel cooler. Set your ceiling fan to spin counterclockwise to create a comfortable breeze. When you have the breeze from your ceiling fan keeping you cool, you can turn your thermostat up a few degrees without sacrificing comfort.

Adjust Your Water Heater

Your HVAC system isn’t the only thing that has a thermostat. Your water heater has one, too, and if it’s set higher than 120 degrees, you’re wasting energy. Lower the temperature to immediately reduce operating expenses.

Install Surge Protectors

Many devices draw electricity even when they aren’t in use. Plug them into a surge protector that you can switch off when you aren’t using them. As a bonus, using surge protectors also protects these devices from damage.

Keep Up with AC Maintenance

Even a minor problem with your cooling system could waste a lot of energy. Keeping up with AC maintenance is the best way to ensure that minor problems are detected and corrected to allow your system to operate at peak efficiency.

At Larry & Sons, we are here to help you take care of your home’s systems throughout the year. Whether you need a hand with AC maintenance, installing a programmable thermostat or just trying to find ways to improve your energy efficiency, we’d be more than happy to assist. Contact us today by calling 301-733-5428.

3 Common Problems Air Conditioner Maintenance Prevents

No one wants to deal with a broken down air conditioner in the middle of the summer, especially during a cookout or other gathering. While not all repairs are avoidable, keeping up with routine maintenance could help you prevent some of the most common problems we see here at Larry & Sons.

Properly maintaining your cooling equipment keeps it in excellent condition and helps prevent a number of common issues. Still not convinced that annual AC maintenance is worth the investment? Just consider these problems you could avoid just by giving you AC a bit of TLC.

Leaks

air conditioner maintenance in hagerstown
AC flickr photo by dslwc shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

Each summer, we get several calls from homeowners who think they have a plumbing leak. When we get there, though, we quickly realize that all that water is actually coming from the air conditioner. Whether water comes from a plumbing pipe or an air conditioner, it can cause thousands of dollars in damage and cause problems like mold that are difficult to remedy.

When your air conditioner is working like it should, condensation collects and exits your home through the condensate drain. This drain can become clogged, though, leaving water nowhere to go. Eventually it starts leaking inside your home. When you have your system maintained, the condensate drain is inspected and cleaned to help you avoid this all-too-common problem.

Frozen Coils

Having an air conditioner freeze up may not seem like a big deal, but it is a serious problem that could cause permanent damage to your system. When the coil that is responsible for cooling the air inside your home freezes up, it loses the ability to properly circulate refrigerant and remove heat from the air inside your home.

Several problems, including a dirty air filter, low refrigerant or issues with the fan motor, can cause the coil to freeze. Having your system maintained means that they problems will be detected before they can cause serious issues.

Premature System Failure

One of the main reasons to keep up with maintenance is that it helps prevent premature system failure. Modern cooling systems are built to last for several years, but without maintenance, parts begin to wear out. If they are not repaired or replaced, the entire system could eventually fail long before it should.

At Larry & Sons, we offer professional and the surrounding areas. Our technicians are here to help your cooling system run at peak efficiency and keep you and your family comfortable all summer long. If you are overdue for AC maintenance or if you need a hand with minor or major AC repair, contact us today by calling 310-733-5428.

Air Conditioning Myths Debunked

You’re more than likely familiar with the phrase, “Well if it’s on the Internet it must be true.” This is often a sarcastic remark in response to outrageous claims, and unfortunately, when it comes to saving money, we’ll believe just about anything we read.

Air Conditioning Myths Debunked

Air Conditioning Myths

Some of the tips and tricks you hear and read online can actually have negative effects, especially when it comes to expensive equipment like heating and air conditioning equipment.

We’ve debunked some of the most common air conditioning myths that claim to cut costs or provide more efficient comfort. Before we tell you the answers, can you guess which ones are myths and which one is true? No peeking!

1. Ceiling fans keep rooms cool.
2. Turning the thermostat way down will cool your home faster.
3. Annual tune-ups will extend the life of your air conditioner.
4. An air conditioner with a higher efficiency rating will by default save you energy.
5. Changing your air filters once a year should suffice.

Think you’re an A/C expert? See how well you did!

A/C Myths and Facts

1. Ceiling fans keep rooms cool

False: It’s often assumed that because we feel cooler in a room it must be because of the fan that’s on. However, the fan isn’t cooling the room; it’s cooling your skin! Sound confusing? The circulated air is moving across your skin, but that doesn’t mean it’s cooling the room.

Because a ceiling fan doesn’t cool a room, make sure to turn it off whenever you leave. A ceiling fan that is left on is only wasting your hard earned dollars. Nevertheless, running your ceiling fan only costs about 2 cents per hour, so don’t worry about it too much. Use your ceiling fan when you can to save on air conditioning costs.

2. Turning the thermostat way down will cool your home faster

False: Regardless of your temperature setting, your air conditioner always cools at the same rate. A cool, refreshing home sounds ideal after a long day at work, but setting the temperature way back won’t do any good, no matter the degree. If you want your home to be cool by the time you come home, we recommend setting your programmable thermostat to turn on 30 minutes before you arrive home.

Most air conditioners operate on a set speed, however, some units do offer low, high, and medium settings. If you aren’t satisfied with your current heating or cooling system, consider installing a programmable thermostat! You can set the desired temperature before you leave work so that when you arrive at home it’s cool and comfortable.

3. Annual tune-ups will extend the life of your air conditioner

True: Would you ever drive your car 50,000 miles without changing the oil or making sure it runs alright? Of course not! So why do that to your air conditioner? Much like a car, your AC system needs some good ole’ TLC once and a while. We recommend performing annual tune-ups on your AC so that you can be cool and comfortable all summer long.

As an added benefit, you can forget about all those frequent, costly air conditioner repairs! Our technicians can spot any problem before it becomes a messy and expensive affair. Annual tune-ups isn’t a service we implemented to get more money out of you; they’re designed to save you, the customer, from having to spend money on issues that could have been avoided in the first place.

4. An air conditioner with a higher efficiency rating will by default save you energy

False: We hope you didn’t feel too tricked by this statement, as it is partially true! They key to this is a perfectly executed installation. An installation that is rushed or not completed properly can cause the new unit to consume between 30 and 40 percent more fuel than it would if the installation had been completed with care and precision.

Larry & Sons employs only professional, highly trained technicians. We treat each and every service call with the care and respect it deserves.

5. Changing your air filters once a year should suffice

False: While changing your air filters is crucial, changing them only once a year is simply not good enough. Show your AC some love by changing the filters at least once every three months. A dirty filter slows down air flow, not to mention it makes way for poor indoor air quality.

Write the date on your air filter so when you go to look at it again you know when to change it

Now that we’ve cleared the air, we hope you no longer believe these AC myths! For all your home cooling needs, leave it to the experts at Larry & Sons. Got any questions? Well we’ve got the answer! Feel free to give us a call at (301)733-5428 and keep in touch with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+!