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How to Keep Your AC Running Cool in Summer Heat

AC Maintenance

Air Conditioner Maintenance, Proper AC Installation, and Efficient Operation

Summer is here, and if you’re like most people in the St. Louis area, you’ve turned on your residential air conditioner to keep your home cool and decrease humidity levels. Like all pieces of equipment, air conditioners run more efficiently in optimal conditions. Just like you get better gas mileage out of your car when you drive responsibly and don’t floor the gas pedal, you get more consistent cooling and lower energy costs when your air conditioner isn’t stressed.

Meyer Heating and Air, your air conditioning experts in St. Louis, can offer you a few tips to help keep your house or apartment cool this summer, so you can relax, do chores, or work from home in total comfort.

How Do I Maintain My Air Conditioner?

The main part of our business is maintaining HVAC equipment in places like Chesterfield, O’Fallon, and St. Charles. However, we still love the idea of an ideal world where everyone’s air conditioner units work flawlessly all of the time. We know that won’t happen, though, because equipment ages and can fail due to minor, preventable problems. That’s why air conditioner maintenance is so important.

One of the most important maintenance tasks to keep your AC running efficiently is to replace or clean its filters. Dirty filters prevent normal airflow and can even carry dirt into the evaporator coil. According to the Department of Energy, a new air filter can decrease your equipment’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.

Evaporator coils and coil fins need to be cleaned regularly, too. These coils are designed to absorb heat, but if they’re full of debris, they can’t do their job. Keep your coils clean, and clear the area around your condenser unit — the big boxy machine that’s usually outside — of any foliage or other items to encourage proper airflow. If home humidity is a problem, you might have a clogged condensate drain that needs clearing.

If you don’t know how to maintain your air conditioner yourself, call in a professional to help you get it done. Our technicians check over all the components of your system to identify problems before they get out of hand, replace filters and refill refrigerant, clean your condenser unit, and ensure everything is running properly in your home air conditioner. Contact us to make an appointment.

What is the Ideal Temperature for Central Air Conditioning?

According to the Department of Energy, you can save about 3 percent on your utility bill for every degree you increase the set temperature on your thermostat when you run your air conditioner. We agree with the United States government’s Department of Energy when they recommend that you find the highest possible temperature you’re comfortable at for when you’re at home and awake. You can then increase the temperature of your home between four and seven degrees when you’re away from home or sleeping, either manually, or by using a programmable thermostat that takes care of it for you.

There is no one perfect temperature that cools your home efficiently and keeps you feeling comfortable because everyone’s preferences are different. But experimenting with temperatures, raising or lowering your thermostat by a single degree, and seeing which temperature you’re comfortable at just before becoming too warm, is the best way to find your ideal setting.

If you need help with installing a programmable thermostat to make adjusting the temperature easier, contact us to learn more about the latest smart thermostat products that connect to your smartphone for ease of use.

How Can Home Insulation Help My Air Conditioning Run Better?

When people think of insulation, they think about keeping something hot. Your thermos is insulated to keep your coffee or soup steamy. You wear a winter parka with down insulation to stay warm in frigid temperatures. But insulation also helps to keep things cool, like a picnic cooler full of ice. The ice is slow to melt because the cooler’s insulation and seals prevent warm air from permeating it to get to the ice.

Home insulation does the very same thing, as well as reducing energy consumption, and it’s fairly inexpensive, too. Insulation.org reports most people see a return on investment within six months to two years.

Proper insulation with a vapor retarder can also prevent condensation and help control humidity. Condensation build-up causes corrosion, peeling paint, soft drywall, and the feeling of everything in your home feeling moist. It also allows for dangerous mold growth. Block out humidity and reap the benefits of more efficient energy usage by ensuring your home and all of its systems are properly insulated.

What Size Air Conditioner Do I Need?

Air conditioner unit size is very important in keeping your home cool. Size is a factor for both central air units and window AC units, too. Unfortunately, some homeowners in the past have chosen to cut costs by purchasing smaller central air units that are inadequate for their homes, under the guise of saving money upfront. These folks have done zero favors for themselves and have left future owners of the home in a position we certainly wouldn’t envy.

Cooling capacity of window air conditioners is measured in BTUs. To determine the proper size of the window air conditioner you need, multiply the square feet of the area you need to cool by 25 BTU. For example, if you’re cooling 100 square feet, you need a cooling capacity of 2500 BTUs. A smaller unit will have to run continuously to keep spaces cool, while a unit that is too large will complete its cooling, and then stop extracting humidity. Even though your space feels cool, you might still feel sticky.

When we install central air conditioning, we use a residential load calculator that measures air capacity in tons, and we take into account the geographical location of the home. That’s because cooling systems have to overcome more or less heat in certain areas of the country. Let’s look at an example. A 2,000-square foot St. Louis home needs a 3.5-ton central air unit. In Michigan, however, the same size home would need a 3-ton central AC. To put that into perspective, one ton of AC capacity is equivalent to 12,000 BTUs.

Where Can I Find Air Conditioner Repair Near Me?

If you’re in the greater St. Louis area, and you need your air conditioner repaired or replaced, call Meyer Heating and Air at 314-845-1929! Our professional technicians are experts in air conditioner maintenance and AC installation. Learn more about our air conditioning services.