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DSCN0018Even a well-maintained heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system occasionally has problems. If your air conditioner is not functioning properly, there are several elements of the system that you can check yourself before calling an HVAC contractor. Your owner’s manual presents important heating and air conditioning information about your system.

Common Air Conditioning Problems

Common air conditioning problems are often the result of a dirty air filter. Cleaning the filter regularly keeps the unit functioning efficiently and reduces the likelihood of breakdowns. It also keeps dust and other airborne particulates from circulating through the system and collecting on the coils.

If the unit does not turn on, check the electrical plugs and fuses to make sure that there is power. Check that the temperature on the thermostat is properly set. Reset thermostat five degrees lower while the unit is off, then turn the system back on. If the condenser does not come on, call a professional.

If the fan is blowing but cold air is not circulating, the problem may be with the compressor or evaporator coils. Dirty coils prevent adequate airflow, resulting in lower efficiency. Make sure that the housing is clean and that air can circulate through the vents. For outdoor units, trim grass and shrubs around the housing and remove leaves and other debris that can block airflow. To avoid damaging fragile fins, cleaning the coils is best left to a professional.

Helpful Tips to Save Energy

If you want to reduce energy usage without compromising on comfort, try these helpful tips. Setting your thermostat to 78 degrees (F) in the summer saves energy. You save energy for every degree you increase your thermostat above this level. If you are not home for an extended period, set the thermostat to 85 degrees(F). Programmable thermostats allow you to set ideal temperatures based on your schedule. Set the thermostat back to 68 degrees in the winter to reduce heating costs. Temperatures can be set even lower during winter months during the night while you sleep and for extended periods when you are away from home.

Regular maintenance and tune-ups save both energy and money. A well-functioning unit operates more efficiently and prolongs the life of the unit. Planned maintenance examines all components of the system, lubricates moving parts, and cleans major components. Regular inspection identifies problems, reducing the possibility of more costly repairs later.

Ceiling fans circulate air within a room but do not lower air temperatures. Moving air feels cooler, so your thermostat can be raised a few degrees without sacrificing comfort. When temperatures drop during the evening and night, using a whole-house fan pulls in cooler air and expels hot air through attic vents.

For more heating and air conditioning information or energy and money-saving tips, check out our blogs and FAQ page.