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Ultimate Florida HVAC Checklist for End-of-Spring

Spring Maintenance for Your AC

As Florida residents we rely heavily on our air conditioning units, especially during the late spring and summer months. When our A/Cs aren’t working properly, it can quickly become extremely hot inside our home. This can cause bigger issues for your home than simply feeling overly warm and uncomfortable. Too much warmth and not enough good ventilation in your home can also make your indoor air quality suffer. Yet, there’s no need to endure unbearable heat! A little preventative maintenance goes a long way when it comes to the well-being of your home’s cooling system.

To help prevent the need for emergency AC repair services, it is important to make sure that your HVAC system is working just as it should be. Before the hottest days of summer set in, we at AC Engineers highly recommend scheduling a maintenance call with one of our trained professional technicians. And, there are several things you can do this season to ensure your AC is in excellent working order, such as:

  1.  Change Your Air Filter A lot of people aren’t aware that they need to change their HVAC system’s air filters frequently, at least once every two months if you’re running your HVAC system often, and monthly if you’re running it constantly. A dirty filter can increase your energy bills by reducing the efficiency of air flow within your home. If you need help changing your air filter, simply give us a call.
  2.  Have Your Evaporator Cleaned The evaporator is most often located above the main duct in your A/C unit, although we don’t recommend attempting to clean it yourself. Instead, call us and get a thorough evaporator cleaning as part of your summer tune-up.
  3.  Upgrade Your Thermostat Setting your thermostat to the correct temperature is important for home energy savings, and an easy way to control your home’s indoor climate with little effort is to invest in a programmable thermostat. One of these smart devices can save you big on energy costs each day of the year. A programmable thermostat makes it easy to control the temperature indoors while you’re both at home and away.
  4.  Check Refrigerant Levels It’s important to monitor the levels of refrigerant in your unit, as it’s possible to have either too little or too much, which can lead to problems. Too much can cause the system to become overcharged as well as cause compressor damage; and with enough damage, the unit will stop working altogether. This service is also provided as part of your summer tune-up from AC Engineers.

 

While you go through this air conditioner maintenance checklist, keep an eye out for any rust, corrosion, water buildup or moisture stains. If you notice any of these issues, consider giving us a call today so we can get your A/C working just as it should be all summer long: 850-243-3356.

7 Easy Ways to Save Energy in Your Florida Home

Did you know that in a typical year, the average Florida homeowner spends about $2,000 on home energy costs? What’s more is that 90% of these expenses go toward electricity. Though you may not realize that you are spending that much each year on home energy costs, these numbers should not be too surprising.

Let’s face it, Florida can get downright hot sometimes. Even during the coldest seasons of the year, Florida homeowners often find themselves cranking up the AC to get comfortable. Though we are lucky to live in paradise, excessive air conditioning usage can really start to take a toll on the wallet after awhile. That’s why it’s important for Florida homeowners to save energy in any way they can. Not only does this help the planet, but it can help you save on monthly energy costs.

Top 7 Florida Energy-Saving Tips

Energy bills too high? You’re not alone. In fact, many Florida homeowners find themselves in this situation. That’s why we’ve put together some simple tips for saving energy that you can start to implement today:

  1. Use your ceiling fans.

Though turning off your AC and relying on ceiling fans is not an option for most of us, you can use your ceiling fans together with your air conditioner to increase home comfort without increasing energy usage. In the summer, raise the temperature on your thermostat and make sure your ceiling fans are running counter-clockwise to increase home comfort levels. In winter, lower your thermostat and run your ceiling fans clockwise. Just don’t forget to turn them off when you leave the room!

  1. Check your refrigerator.

Make sure that the seals on your refrigerator and freezer doors are working properly. If the seal is worn, it can let out the cool air, which wastes energy. Homeowners should also avoid using multiple refrigerators if possible. If you have a second refrigerator that you do not use often, empty it, unplug it, and contract your local utility company for information on how to recycle your extra refrigerator.

  1. Only run your dishwasher when it’s full.

It can be tempting to run a small load of dishes when you’re on your way out or plan on having company over. However, you should only run your dishwasher when it is full to avoid energy waste. If high humidity isn’t an issue in your home, you can also open your dishwasher to let your dishes air dry instead of using the heated dry option on your dishwasher.

  1. Cook more efficiently.

Cooking is another activity that takes up a lot of energy. To reduce the time that your oven or stovetop is being used, try these simple ways to cook smarter:

  • Use the microwave when possible as microwave ovens consume about 80% less energy than conventional ovens.
  • Make sure that you are placing pans on the matching size heating element to reduce heat loss.
  • Use lids for pots and pans when possible to reduce total cook times.
  • When using the conventional oven, place items on the top rack to reduce total cook times.
  1. Change the way that you wash your clothing.

One simple way to save energy when washing your clothes is to wait until you have a full load before running the washing machine. Even the medium setting on your machine can waste energy. In fact, the medium setting saves less than half of the water and energy that is used for a full load. Now you have an excuse to put off doing your laundry!

  1. Reduce the time your clothing is in the dryer.

Running your clothes dryer also uses a significant amount of energy. One easy way that you can make sure that your machine is drying your clothing efficiently is to clean the lint trap before each load you place in the dryer. Clogged lint traps can restrict airflow, which prolongs the drying time. Another simple way to reduce drying times is to spin dry or wring out clothes before you place them in the dryer. The less time your clothes spend in the dryer, the more energy you can save.

  1. Limit the time that you use your pool pump.

If you have a pool then you know that using the pool pump can use quite a bit of energy. One easy way to cut back is to limit the time that you have your pool pump running. The typical homeowner can save by only turning the pump on for six hours a day in the summertime and four hours a day in the winter.

If you are serious about energy savings, you may want to consider purchasing a more energy efficient HVAC system. Buying a new AC or heater is a big investment, so you should have all the facts before you hand over your money. We’d love to help you figure out if purchasing an energy efficient system is the right for your home comfort needs. Call us today for a consultation: (850) 243-3356.

Holiday Energy Saving Tips for Florida Homeowners

The holiday season in Florida looks a bit different than in other parts of the country. Though there is no snow to shovel and Florida homeowners can often walk outside without putting on a coat, there are still plenty of ways to get into the holiday spirit. Between decorating your home for the holidays, cooking large holiday meals, hosting guests in your home, and entertaining friends and family, the holidays are one time during the year when you may start to see your energy costs start to creep up. If you want to keep your energy costs down, use the tips below for a more energy-efficient holiday season.

How to Save More Energy During the Holidays

Though your energy usage may be the last thing on your mind during the holiday season, this will certainly be something that you start thinking about once your energy bill arrives at the end of the month. Use these tips to save more energy (and money) during the holiday season:

  1. Buy LED holiday lights.

Saving on energy costs this holiday season doesn’t mean that you have to go without the festive holiday lights. LED holiday lights use about 90% less electricity than traditional lights, and they look just as good! These affordable holiday decorations can save you some serious money on your electricity bill during the holidays.

Extra Tip: In addition to buying more energy efficient lights, you can cut energy costs by turning off other lights in your home when enjoying the holiday lights or putting your holiday lights on a timer so that they aren’t on when no one will be around to enjoy them.

  1. Skip the inflatable decorations.

Sure, inflatable snowmen and reindeer may be cute, but keeping them inflated uses some serious energy. Skip the inflatable holiday decorations and opt for electricity-free festive lawn ornaments.

Extra Tip: Not ready to give up on your favorite inflatable Santa Claus decoration? To cut down on energy usage, monitor your use of these decorations and make sure to only have them inflated for a short period of time each time you want to enjoy them.

  1. Take advantage of the beautiful Florida winter temperatures.

Since Florida winter weather is typically more moderate, you can save additional energy by turning off your AC and opening up your windows and sliding glass doors to enjoy the cooler air. Don’t forget to turn on your ceiling fans to help keep the air flowing throughout your home.

Extra Tip: If the weather outside is perfect, consider hosting your holiday party outdoors. By enjoying the weather with your guests outdoors, you can cut down on the amount of energy you’ll need to keep your guests comfortable inside.

Are you looking for more ways to save on energy throughout the year? Check out our line of energy efficient heating and cooling systems from Carrier. Not sure which is right for you? Give us a call today to speak with one of our HVAC experts today: (850) 243-3356.

3 Most Common Florida HVAC Questions Answered

Florida is one of the only places in the United States where you may very well find yourself using your air conditioner year-round. Though many refer to our state as paradise, the unique climate does pose some interesting challenges when it comes to HVAC and home comfort. Below, we will answer some of the most common HVAC questions Florida residents may ask.

Most Common Florida Home Comfort Questions

Whether you are new to Florida or have lived here your whole life, you may have questions about how to keep comfortable in the hot and humid climate that Florida provides. Here are some of the most commonly asked Florida HVAC questions:

Should I be concerned about the efficiency of my air conditioning system?

In the typical Florida home, the HVAC system is the largest consumer of energy. Air conditioning and heating can account for over 40% of home energy use and thus more than 40% of your utility bill. Since Florida homeowners rely on their air conditioning system to control humidity levels and maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the year, energy efficiency is a vital concern. The size, efficiency, placement, and proper installation of the HVAC system play an important role in home efficiency, which can significantly impact energy costs.

What are some short-term solutions for improving energy efficiency of my AC?

If you are not ready to replace your HVAC system with a more energy-efficient model, there are some temporary steps you can take to improve the energy efficiency of your current AC unit:

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. (For every degree below this temperature, you can spend up to 8% more in air conditioning costs.)
  • Keep the home well-insulated and closed up during the hottest months to avoid letting in unwanted heat and humidity.
  • Periodically inspect and clean indoor and outdoor coils as dirt buildup is one of the most common causes for decreased efficiency.
  • Avoid using a dehumidifier while the AC is operating as this can increase the cooling load, making the AC work harder and expend more energy.

Is a bigger air conditioner better in the Florida heat?

No. Though some homeowners are under the assumption that an oversized unit will better meet their home comfort needs, the truth is that a properly sized HVAC unit provides better humidity control while also helping the homeowner save energy. Larger units will cycle on and off more frequently, which can impact the life of the equipment. Your HVAC contractor can help calculate the cooling loads to find a unit that is properly sized for your home’s heating and cooling needs. In the end, a properly sized unit will have a longer life, help maintain efficiency, and ensure that you and your family are more comfortable year-round.

Still have questions about maintaining home comfort in Florida’s hot and humid climate? We would be happy to answer them. As Fort Walton Beach’s trusted HVAC company, we know what it takes to keep your Florida home comfortable year-round. Call (850) 243-3356 today for more information.