air conditioning system Category

Choosing the Right Temps to Set Your Programmable Thermostat

programmable thermostatKnowing how to set your programmable thermostat means making seasonal adjustments at the appropriate times every year. Cold weather, shorter days and longer nights, as well as the different patterns of household occupation during winter, call for changes to programmed temperatures. System energy efficiency and monthly operating costs—as well as indoor comfort and convenience—all improve when you know how to set your programmable thermostat to suit the season.

As winter arrives, here are some guidelines for programming seasonal-appropriate temperatures:

How to Set Your Programmable Thermostat for Waking Hours

Most occupants of a home will feel comfortable on a winter morning with an indoor temperature between 68 to 70 degrees. This is also the most energy efficient range to warm the house up after a night of lower temperatures. Program the temperature 30 minutes before wake-up time and leave it at this level as long as people are in the house.

For Leaving Home

Program a temperature setting 15 degrees below the Waking Hours temperature beginning a half-hour before the time the last person normally leaves the house for the day. That temperature should be maintained for the entire span of time the house is unoccupied during the day for optimum efficiency and lowest costs.

For Coming Home

Thirty minutes before the time the first person usually returns home for the day, program the temperature to return to the Waking Hours temperature.

For Bedtime And Sleeping Hours

One hour before the time the last person normally turns in for the night, set the programmable temperature to 60 to 62 degrees. Maintaining that temperature throughout the overnight period saves energy as the furnace operates most efficiently when a single setting is sustained over an extended time.

On Weekends

Most people’s waking/sleeping hours and household occupancy habits change over the weekend. Take advantage of your programmable thermostat’s separate Weekend settings to input temperatures for Saturday and Sunday.

Seasonal Maintenance

Most programmable thermostats are battery-powered. Install a fresh battery once a year, ideally at the same time you make the seasonal adjustments for winter.

More questions about how to set your programmable thermostat? Ask the experts at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.

Air Conditioner Troubleshooting: When You Need a Pro

air conditioning troubleshootingIf things go wrong with your cooling system, how much air conditioning troubleshooting should you attempt yourself? Where’s the tipping point when it comes to when to call in a qualified professional, instead? The fact is, technology incorporated in today’s central air conditioners is complex and beyond the expertise of the average homeowner. For this reason—as well as valid safety concerns and warranty restrictions, too—the list of DIY air conditioner troubleshooting is necessarily short.

Nevertheless, a few basic steps will at least eliminate obvious issues and narrow down the causes.

Air Conditioning Troubleshooting Tips Before You Call a Professional

A/C doesn’t start at all. First check the thermostat and make sure the system’s in “Cooling” mode. Also verify that the desired temperature setting is at least 5 degrees below the displayed room temperature. If everything appears correct, look inside the main electrical panel for any tripped circuit breakers. If you notice one, don’t reset it. Call a qualified HVAC contractor and inform them.

System runs but poor cooling performance, low airflow, etc. Inspect the system air filter. Does it appear dusty and dirty? Remove the filter and take it to a home center to buy a replacement. Install the new filter and check the airflow. Also, make sure nothing’s obstructing vents on the outdoor half of the A/C system: fallen leaves or objects someone placed on top of the fan grille can be the problem, as can encroaching weeds or other vegetation that obstructs side air vents. If the problem persists, you need professional help.

Leaking water. If you notice water around the indoor air handler, check the wide condensate drain pan situated underneath. Is standing water inside the pan? Overflow caused by a clogged condensate drain line is likely and will require a qualified HVAC technician to clear the clog. Another possible cause of leakage is ice forming on the evaporator coil inside the air handler. This is usually the result of a very dirty coil or low refrigerant level—both requiring professional service to diagnose and resolve.

If basic air conditioner troubleshooting hasn’t solved your cooling problems, contact a professional at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling, Electrical and Plumbing.

Regular A/C Maintenance Gives You Peace of Mind Over the Summer

During the peak of summer, your air conditioner must be in good condition to keep up with the rising temperatures, and this requires regular maintenance. Basic A/C maintenance helps to keep your system running efficiently and it prevents system problems that can lead to costly repairs or system failures.

Cleaning the air conditioner

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Here are a few things you can do to prepare your system for the summer:

Have Your System Professionally Serviced

Near the beginning of the cooling season, you should have your HVAC contractor inspect your system and perform routine A/C maintenance. This will typically include cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils, changing the air filter, cleaning the blower fan, checking the refrigerant level, inspecting the electrical connections and lubricating moving parts. The process will make sure your system is prepared for summer and running efficiently, and it will protect the system’s warranty.

Check the Air Filter Often

Check your air filter at least once a month during the cooling season and change it as necessary. The air filter helps protect your system from damaging particulates in the air and helps to improve your indoor air quality. A clogged filter can allow dirt and dust to collect on the evaporator coil, which can reduce the system’s cooling ability and even lead to severe system damage.

Keep the Condenser Coil Clean

Poor airflow over the condenser coil can prevent your system from cooling properly and potentially allow the compressor motor to overheat and fail, an expensive repair. Keep the area around the condenser coils free of tall grass, furniture and other objects that can block airflow. Remove debris such as twigs and leaves from the condenser coil by hand, then use a garden hose to rinse the condenser clean.

Clean the Evaporator Coil Annually

Clean the evaporator coil of dust, hair and other debris by using a specialized coil cleaner or a combination of a soft brush and vacuum. This will improve your system’s efficiency, prevent cooling problems and system damage.

To schedule an A/C maintenance appointment for your system, contact our team at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing, serving the Cincinnati area.

How Does Ceiling Fan Direction Impact Your Indoor Comfort?

Many homeowners use ceiling fans as an alternative to running the air conditioner at certain times of year. What you may not realize is that simply switching ceiling fan direction can have a positive impact on indoor comfort all year long.

How to Determine If It’s Time for HVAC System Repair or Replacement

An HVAC system repair or replacement decision isn’t always an easy one to make. You may want to squeeze a few more years out of your current system, but you understand the financial risks. So, if you’re in a repair or replace dilemma with a cooling or heating system, you’re on the right page to get answers to questions.

Home Heating and Cooling Load Calculations: How They’re Similar Yet Different

load calculationsHeating and cooling load calculations determine the amount of energy needed to change the climate in a structure to a certain desired point. The load is influenced by heat gains, heat loss and air infiltration. To determine the correct load for heating and cooling, taking into account those gains and losses is crucial to accurately calculate the correct HVAC system size. (more…)

You’re Almost Done With A/C Season — How to Care For the A/C at Summer’s End

a/c maintenance, Cincinnati, OhioJust like pulling out winter clothes or winterizing your car, homeowners should take care of the home air conditioner as summer ends and winter looms. Here are four important steps in your end-of-summer A/C maintenance to prepare it for winter. (more…)

The Energy Star: Your Guiding Light for Efficient HVAC Upgrades

energy star label, Cincinnati, OhioIf your air conditioner is 10 years old, breaking down frequently or not keeping your home comfortable, you may be considering replacement. When selecting a new system, efficiency is key in long-term energy savings.

Among your available options, Energy Star products offer you a guiding light for efficient HVAC upgrades. (more…)

Don’t Suffer Upstairs — How to Keep It Cool on the Second Floor of Your Cincy Home

keep upstairs cool, Cincinnati, OhioDuring Cincinnati’s hot summer months, many homeowners find comfort running their air conditioning. Even with the A/C going, those with second floors often find it difficult to keep upstairs cool, no matter how hot it is outside.  (more…)

Keep Your Heat Pump A/C On Top of the Cincinnati Heat With Regular Maintenance

heat pump a/c-energy efficiency, Cincinnati, OhioYour heat pump A/C works hard all summer keeping you comfortably cool, and staying on top of its maintenance will help it run better and use less electricity. (more…)