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maintenance tips

1. Set the thermostat: The most economical operation of your system comes from setting the thermostat properly. Set the thermostat at the highest summer setting or the lowest winter setting at which you are comfortable. Typical settings are 78 degrees for summer cooling and 70 degrees for winter heating. When cooling, your operating costs increase from 3% to 8% for each degree your thermostat is lowered. When heating, your operating costs increase for each degree your thermostat is raised. 2. Keep the air filter clean: The easiest way to ensure your system operates efficiently and economically is by keeping the air filter clean. There are several types of air filters and several possible locations for the air filter. Ask your service contractor where your air filter is located and which type of filter to use. 3. Keep doors and windows closed: Close all doors and windows to the outside. This will reduce the heating load in winter and the cooling load in summer. Your system will operate more economically as a result. 4. Keep vents and grilles unobstructed: Arrange your furniture and drapes so that all output vents and intake grilles are free from obstruction. This will reduce the cooling and heating load on your system for more economical operation. 5. Avoid excessive use of exhaust fans: Excessive use of kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans will make your system work harder. This will increase energy consumption and costs. Keep costs in check by making wise use of exhaust fans. 6. Use the AUTO setting: Generally, it is best to set your indoor fan to AUTO. This costs less and provides better humidity control in the summer. However, if you desire to operate your system with constant air circulation, ask for advice from your service contractor. 7. Control direct sunlight: Let the sun in during winter. Keep the sun out during summer. In summer, direct sunlight increases the load on your cooling system. Use of window shades and awnings will reduce the amount of direct sunlight and lower the cooling load. In winter, direct sunlight reduces the load on your heating system. Open window shades and awnings to increase direct sunlight and lower the heating load. 8. Keep the condenser coil clean: the condenser coil (the unit outside your house) should be kept clean to ensure efficient operation. If the condenser coil becomes restricted by dirt, lint, paper, grass clippings, leaves, or other debris, system efficiency will deteriorate. 9. Insulate air ducts: Be sure all air ducts are well insulated. Ducts also should be sealed with a vapor barrier. 10. Keep an air-tight house: Ensure maximum retention of heated or cooled air by adding insulation to outside walls and to the attic. Seal cracks and use storm doors and/or insulated doors to prevent air leaks. 11. Properly vent clothes dryers: Be sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outside. Also ensure that your clothes dryer is vented away from your outdoor unit. 12. Make sure no heat-generating appliances are near your thermostat. These include lamps, TVs, stereo and computer equipment. Consider purchasing a set-back thermostat. It can cut your utility costs by 9 to 30%. By using a central humidifier during the heating season, not only will you be more comfortable but you can lower your thermostat by 2 degrees and feel just as warm while saving money on your heating costs. If your heating and air conditioning system is over 12 years old, consider replacement. Newer units are much more efficient. They also come with better warranties so no expensive repair bills to worry about.

12 SIMPLE MAINTENANCE TIPS:


1. Set the thermostat: The most economical operation of your system comes from setting the thermostat properly. Set the thermostat at the highest summer setting or the lowest winter setting at which you are comfortable. Typical settings are 78 degrees for summer cooling and 70 degrees for winter heating. When cooling, your operating costs increase from 3% to 8% for each degree your thermostat is lowered. When heating, your operating costs increase for each degree your thermostat is raised.

2. Keep the air filter clean: The easiest way to ensure your system operates efficiently and economically is by keeping the air filter clean. There are several types of air filters and several possible locations for the air filter. Ask your service contractor where your air filter is located and which type of filter to use.

3. Keep doors and windows closed: Close all doors and windows to the outside. This will reduce the heating load in winter and the cooling load in summer. Your system will operate more economically as a result.

4. Keep vents and grilles unobstructed: Arrange your furniture and drapes so that all output vents and intake grilles are free from obstruction. This will reduce the cooling and heating load on your system for more economical operation.

5. Avoid excessive use of exhaust fans: Excessive use of kitchen or bathroom exhaust fans will make your system work harder. This will increase energy consumption and costs. Keep costs in check by making wise use of exhaust fans.

6. Use the AUTO setting: Generally, it is best to set your indoor fan to AUTO. This costs less and provides better humidity control in the summer. However, if you desire to operate your system with constant air circulation, ask for advice from your service contractor.

7. Control direct sunlight: Let the sun in during winter. Keep the sun out during summer. In summer, direct sunlight increases the load on your cooling system. Use of window shades and awnings will reduce the amount of direct sunlight and lower the cooling load. In winter, direct sunlight reduces the load on your heating system. Open window shades and awnings to increase direct sunlight and lower the heating load.

8. Keep the condenser coil clean: the condenser coil (the unit outside your house) should be kept clean to ensure efficient operation. If the condenser coil becomes restricted by dirt, lint, paper, grass clippings, leaves, or other debris, system efficiency will deteriorate.

9. Insulate air ducts: Be sure all air ducts are well insulated. Ducts also should be sealed with a vapor barrier.

10. Keep an air-tight house: Ensure maximum retention of heated or cooled air by adding insulation to outside walls and to the attic. Seal cracks and use storm doors and/or insulated doors to prevent air leaks.

11. Properly vent clothes dryers: Be sure your clothes dryer is vented to the outside. Also ensure that your clothes dryer is vented away from your outdoor unit.

12. Make sure no heat-generating appliances are near your thermostat. These include lamps, TVs, stereo and computer equipment. Consider purchasing a set-back thermostat. It can cut your utility costs by 9 to 30%. By using a central humidifier during the heating season, not only will you be more comfortable but you can lower your thermostat by 2 degrees and feel just as warm while saving money on your heating costs. If your heating and air conditioning system is over 12 years old, consider replacement. Newer units are much more efficient. They also come with better warranties so no expensive repair bills to worry about.

"COOL TIPS"

  • Set the thermostat as high as comfort will permit.
  • Make sure attics are adequately ventilated to relieve heat buildup. If necessary, improve airflow by adding or enlarging vents.
  • When building a new house or renovating an old one, choose light-colored roof shingles to reflect more of the sun's heat.
  • During moderate weather, don't use the air conditioner unnecessarily.
  • Draw blinds or drapes to block the sunlight during the hottest part of the day.
  • Install awnings over windows exposed to direct sunlight.
  • In the cooling season, don't run kitchen and bath exhaust fans longer than necessary.
  • Don't place lamps, TV sets or other heat-producing devices beneath a wall-mounted thermostat. Rising heat from that equipment may cause the air conditioning system to over cool your house.


"HOT TIPS"

  • Locate the thermostat on an inside wall away from windows and doors.
  • Set the thermostat as low as comfort permits. Each degree over 68°F can add 3% to the amount of energy needed for heating.
  • People generate heat. So lower the thermostat a degree or two when expecting a large group of guests.


INSULATION

  • Make sure your home is properly insulated. This is the single most important step in conserving energy. Thermal insulation should be specified in terms of thermal resistance (R-values). Current energy efficiency standards is R-38 for ceilings, and R-21  for exterior walls and floors over unheated areas. In colder climates, consider additional insulation.
  • Infiltration of humid outside air is your heating and air conditioning system's worst enemy—it could account for 15% to 30% of air conditioning energy requirements. Find the places where air can sneak into the home and plug them with caulking, weather-stripping or plastic. Also, weather-strip and caulk around all entrance doors and windows.
  • Cut heat transfer through your windows by 40% to 50% with double-glazing (two panes of glass separated by a sealed air space) and low-e glass.
  • Use wood- or metal-frame storm windows even if single-glazed windows are high quality. The extra layer of glass and the layer of still air will cut heat transfer considerably.
  • Install storm doors at all entrances to your house.
  • Keep all windows and doors closed.
  • Remember that by increasing the glass area, you increase the amount of heat added in summer and lost in winter.
  • Make sure fireplaces have tight-fitting dampers, which can be closed when the fireplace is not in use. Invest in a humidifier to conserve energy in winter. The air in your home won't be as dry, so you stay comfortable at a lower temperature setting.

​MAINTENANCE TIPS:

You wouldn’t drive your car 100,000 miles without changing the oil. The same logic holds true for your home comfort system. Regular HVAC preventative maintenance is the best way to ensure trouble-free operation and peak performance. Pre-season maintenance is also important. It can help to avoid a system failure in severe hot or cold weather when you need it most, and it can also keep your energy bill from getting out of control.

WHEN SHOULD I DO FURNACE MAINTENANCE?
For a system that heats and cools: perform maintenance in the spring and fall
For cooling system maintenance only: perform maintenance at least once a year, before the cooling season
For furnace maintenance only: perform maintenance at least once a year, before the heating season.

HVAC PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE CHECKLIST
Many dealers provide priority service for their customers who have an annual maintenance or service agreement. Bi-annual preventative maintenance will ensure that your system runs as efficiently as possible. Call Argus Air Systems today to schedule your preventative maintenance.