Stay Cool All Summer With These Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips

A technician performing air conditioner maintenance on an AC unit.

As the warm summer months approach, it’s crucial to ensure your air conditioning system is in top shape to keep your home comfortable and your energy bills in check. Proper air conditioner maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your unit but also improves its efficiency, resulting in lower utility costs and a more enjoyable living environment.

In this blog post, we’ll explore five maintenance tips to help you prepare your air conditioner for the upcoming season.

5 Maintenance Tips to Ready Your Air Conditioner for the Summer

Beat the heat this summer with these air conditioner maintenance tips:

A technician performing air conditioner maintenance on an AC unit.

1. Schedule Air Conditioner Maintenance Tune-ups

One of the most important aspects of air conditioner maintenance is scheduling annual tune-ups with a professional HVAC technician. During a maintenance visit, a technician’s job is to ensure your system is ready to operate efficiently throughout the season. At this appointment, a technician will go through a series of checks, inspections, and cleaning on your unit, including the following:

  • Clean the evaporator coil inside
  • Inspect the coil to ensure there are no leaks
  • Clean and inspect your circulating fan wheel
  • Lubricate the fan motor
  • Inspect and tighten the mounting bolts
  • Inspect your electrical wiring and connections
  • Clean and inspect the outside condenser
  • Check the refrigerant level in your system

Regular maintenance can catch potential problems early, preventing costly breakdowns and extending the life of your air conditioner.

2. Clean or Replace Filters Regularly

Clogged or dirty air filters can significantly reduce your air conditioner’s efficiency and strain the system, leading to higher energy bills and potential breakdowns. Make it a habit to clean or replace your filters every one to three months, or as recommended by the manufacturer. This simple task can make a noticeable difference in your unit’s performance and indoor air quality.

At Hometown Heating, Air & Electric, we sell a variety of filters. Please visit our online shop to check out the filter options we offer.

3. Seal Any Openings Around Your Home

Air leaks around windows, doors, and other openings in your home can cause your air conditioner to work harder than necessary, wasting energy and money. These gaps and cracks act as pathways for cool air to escape and hot air to enter, forcing your AC unit to run longer and work harder to maintain the desired temperature. This not only drives up your energy bills but also puts unnecessary strain on the system, potentially leading to premature wear and tear or even breakdowns.

Take the time to thoroughly inspect your home for any air leaks. Common culprits include gaps around window and door frames, electrical outlets, attic hatches, and any cracks or holes in walls, floors, or ceilings. Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal these openings, effectively creating an airtight barrier that prevents air exchange between the inside and outside of your home. Cool air will stay where it belongs, inside your living spaces, while hot outdoor air will be kept at bay.

4. Utilize Your Thermostat Efficiently

Programming your thermostat properly can help you save energy and money while maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature. Here are a few tips to ensure you get the most use out of your thermostat:

  • Set your thermostat a few degrees higher when you’re away from home or during sleeping hours.
  • Make sure your thermostat is located in a suitable area, away from direct sunlight or heat sources, to ensure accurate temperature readings.
  • Consider investing in a smart thermostat. Since they are electronic, programmable thermostats are more accurate and efficient than thermostats that contain mercury. With programmable thermostats, you can control the temperature in your home at different times of day without ever touching your thermostat.

And if you run into issues or inaccurate readings, Hometown Heating, Air & Electric is here to help! We can accurately troubleshoot any type of malfunction and can repair your thermostat if you run into issues.

5. Consider Upgrading to a New Unit

If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old or showing signs of frequent breakdowns, it may be time to consider upgrading to a new, energy-efficient model. Here are a few signs your AC may be due for replacement:

  • Does not maintain set temperature
  • Older than 10-15 years
  • Facing costly repairs
  • Increasing energy bills
  • Uneven cooling in different rooms

At Hometown Heating, Air & Electric, we can install upgraded systems, such as split air conditioning systems and Energy Star models.

By following these air conditioner maintenance tips, you can ensure your system is ready to keep you cool and comfortable throughout the summer months.

Contact us today to schedule your annual tune-up with Hometown Heating, Air & Electric today and enjoy a worry-free summer.

The Benefits of Replacing Your AC and Furnace Together

As the weather begins to transition from the chill of winter to the warmth of spring, now is the perfect time to consider upgrading your home’s HVAC system. At Hometown Heating, Air & Electric, we understand the importance of maintaining a comfortable indoor environment year-round. One of the most significant decisions homeowners face is whether replacing their AC and furnace separately or together is better.

In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of replacing your AC and furnace simultaneously and why it’s a smart investment for your home.

Replacing Your AC and Furnace at the Same Time

Maximize your efficiency and comfort and enjoy these benefits when you replace your AC and furnace together:

Workers of Hometown Heating, Air & Electric transporting a Lennox HVAC system because the homeowner wanted the benefits of replacing their AC and furnace simultaneously

Cost & Time Savings

Replacing your air conditioner and furnace together can lead to significant cost and time savings in the long run. While it may seem like a larger upfront investment, bundling the replacement allows you to take advantage of package deals and discounts. Additionally, opting for a dual replacement eliminates the need for multiple installation visits, reducing labor costs and minimizing disruptions.

Our team is dedicated to providing reliable installation services, ensuring your system is up and running in no time.

Enhanced Energy Efficiency

Newer HVAC systems are designed to be more energy-efficient, helping you reduce your carbon footprint and lower your monthly utility bills. By upgrading both your air conditioner and furnace simultaneously, you ensure both components work seamlessly together, maximizing energy efficiency and overall performance. Plus, modern systems often come with advanced features such as programmable thermostats and zoning options. These allow you to customize your indoor climate and further optimize energy usage.

Warranty Considerations

When you replace your air conditioner and furnace together, you simplify the warranty process. This helps you avoid potential issues down the road. As a Lennox dealer, Hometown Heating, Air & Electric works with Lennox, which offers warranties that cover parts for a specified period. By installing both systems simultaneously, you ensure parts for both are protected under the same warranty terms. To learn more about what’s covered under warranty, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Increased Home Value

Investing in a new air conditioner and furnace can enhance the value of your home and make it more attractive to potential buyers. Energy-efficient HVAC systems are a desirable feature for homebuyers, and having newer equipment in place can set your home apart. Plus, a well-maintained and upgraded HVAC system demonstrates that you’ve taken proactive steps to maintain your home, instilling confidence in potential buyers.

Replacing your air conditioner and furnace together offers numerous benefits, from cost and time savings to increased home value. If you’re considering upgrading your HVAC system, now is the ideal time to take action.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the advantages of replacing your AC and furnace simultaneously.

What are the Major Parts of an Air Conditioner?

Summertime in Cedarburg, WI, is warm and humid. You’ll need a properly functioning air conditioning system to maintain a comfortable environment in your home. Central air conditioning systems have many parts, and they all have to be in good working order for the system to keep your home cool and to remove excess humidity. Here are seven of the major components of an air conditioner.

1. Refrigerant

Air conditioners contain a chemical refrigerant. These chemicals transfer states between liquid and vapor as they absorb and release heat and become pressurized. The first generation of air conditioners used Freon as the refrigerant. By the 1960s, scientists discovered that Freon contributed to ozone depletion. Its use was phased out. In 2010, the production of Freon ended. Newer air conditioners use a refrigerant called R-410A. This refrigerant doesn’t damage the ozone layer. An old air conditioner that uses Freon can’t be refilled with R-410A.

2. Evaporator

The evaporator is a coil contained in the indoor portion of your air conditioner. The cold refrigerant cycles through it. The coil extracts both heat and humidity from your home’s air. The coil needs an annual cleaning from a certified technician. Dust or dirt on the coil can interfere with its ability to absorb heat from your home’s air.

3. Air Handler

In most air conditioners, the evaporator coil is contained within the air handler. The air handler also includes a blower and motor. The blower pushes warm air from your home across the cold evaporator coil. Moisture condenses out of the cooled air, and the water is drained into the condensate drain and pan. The air handler also contains the housing for the air filter. Most air conditioning systems use disposable air filters. We recommend checking them monthly and replacing them every one to three months.

4. Compressor

The compressor’s job is to compress the refrigerant. This turns it into a hot liquid. The liquid gets hot enough that it is able to pass through the condenser coils and release its heat. The compressor is located between the evaporator and condenser coils.

5. Condenser

The condenser is part of the outdoor unit. The condenser contains a fan with a motor. It also has a large coil. The refrigerant travels through the coil. The condenser’s fan blows outdoor air across the coils, which cools the refrigerant. Heat dissipates to the outdoors. A stainless steel housing protects the fan, motor, and coil. The outdoor location of the condenser makes it prone to wind, hail, and rust damage. We recommend cutting back tree branches, grass, shrubs, and other vegetation at least three feet away from the condenser. Doing this allows the heat from the refrigerant to flow away from the condenser. If you ever notice ice on the condenser coils, this is a problem that requires urgent repairs.

6. Expansion Valve

An expansion valve decreases the pressure of the liquid refrigerant. This lowers the temperature of the refrigerant, turning it from a warm liquid into a cold liquid. The cold liquid is ready to enter the evaporator coil and absorb more heat energy from your home’s air.

7. Thermostat

The thermostat is your air conditioner’s command and control center. It has an air temperature sensor. When the air temperature in your home is above the temperature setting, the thermostat triggers the air conditioner to turn on. It does this with a wired connection. Smart thermostats also connect to your home’s Wi-Fi. Through Wi-Fi, the thermostat can communicate with an app on your phone.

Other Air Conditioner Parts

Air conditioners have many additional parts. The capacitor delivers a high level of power at the startup of a cooling cycle. This energy is needed to start the motors. Air conditioners also have pressure valves and sensors. They include a control panel, wiring, and switches. The condensate drain and pan are also important. The system’s air filter traps particles and prevents them from circulating through your home or settling on the evaporator’s coil.

At Hometown Heating & Air, we’re the trusted installation team for air conditioners. We also install heating systems. Our heating and air conditioning maintenance and repair services keep you comfortable all year long. You can also turn to us for affordable indoor air quality services. For more information about the major parts of an air conditioner, contact us at Hometown Heating & Air as soon as you can.