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new air conditionerNow that the weather is a bit cooler in Southwest Florida, and the demand on your air conditioning system is lower, it is the perfect time to consider upgrading if your system is showing its age. Here are a few of the many benefits you can expect when upgrading your air conditioner:

Improved Energy Efficiency

Today’s air conditioning systems use much less energy than systems made even 10 or 15 years ago, which will significantly reduce the amount of money you spend cooling your home each month. The energy efficiency of an air conditioning system is represented by a rating known as its SEER, or seasonal energy efficiency ratio, with a higher number being the most efficient. Older systems could have a SEER of as low as 6 to 10, while today’s minimum is 13 SEER, and the most efficient systems earn ratings of 20 SEER or above.

Better Sizing Methods

Many older air conditioners were sized for a home using rough estimates based on square footage alone. This often lead to systems that were smaller, or, more often, larger than necessary, which results in inefficient operation and increased maintenance costs. Today’s professional HVAC technicians use a Manual J load calculation to properly size air conditioning and heating systems, which accounts for not only the size of the home, but also the number of rooms, the interior layout, the type of insulation, the number of occupants and many other factors. This results in a much more efficient and longer-lasting system installation.

New Technologies

Not only will upgrading your air conditioner result in better energy efficiency and lower cooling costs, but you will also be able to enjoy the latest technologies for improved comfort and convenience. Many of today’s most popular systems feature improved coil designs that cool more efficiently, variable speed compressors or fans that improve comfort, optional zoning systems that allow independent temperature adjustments in different areas, and optional WiFi thermostats that save energy and are easily programmed.

For more information about upgrading your air conditioner, talk to our team at Conditioned Air, serving the Naples and Sarasota areas.

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southwest florida air conditionerWith weather that is quite often hot and humid, a large part of maintaining your Florida home is making sure that your air conditioner is running correctly and efficiently. There are several problems that, as a homeowner, you may be able to solve yourself to avoid an unnecessary service fee.

Frozen Coil

In many cases, a frozen coil is the result of a simple airflow issue. The air filter could be extremely dirty or clogged, or the return ducts could be blocked. Check the air filter and replace it with a new one if necessary, or clean and reinstall it if it’s reusable. Check all the supply and return vents in your home for blockages and clear the obstructions. If the problem remains, the cause may be more serious, such as a refrigerant leak, and you will need professional assistance.

Poor Cooling Performance

If not enough cool air is being delivered into your home, the problem may be a dirty evaporator coil, which is located in or near the air handler. Carefully clean the coil with a soft brush and a vacuum. Also, make sure there is no debris in or around the outdoor condenser unit. If there is, turn off the power, remove large debris by hand and rinse the coil with a garden hose to remove the rest.

System Won’t Turn On

In most cases, this is a simple electrical fault. Reset the breakers that power the air conditioning system, and make sure that the compressor overheat circuit has not been tripped. If this does not fix the problem, or the breakers and safety circuits trip repeatedly, your air conditioner may need professional repairs.

System Cycles On and Off Excessively

This typically happens when the outdoor condenser unit is dirty or its airflow is blocked by vegetation or debris, though it could also be caused by a dirty evaporator coil. Clean both coils and have the system inspected if the problem remains.

For more tips about maintaining your Florida home and its cooling system, talk to our HVAC experts at Conditioned Air, serving the Southwest Florida region.

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programmable thermostatA programmable thermostat is a relativity inexpensive upgrade for your HVAC system that makes it easy to adjust the temperature of your home automatically according to your schedule. With the correct programmable thermostat settings, you can save over 10 percent on your cooling costs without sacrificing your comfort or changing your routine.

Setting Your Programmable Thermostat

When your home is unoccupied, keeping it cooled to your preferred temperature wastes money and energy while adding unnecessary wear and tear to your air conditioning system. By raising the temperature 5 to 10 degrees while you are at work or away, you can save significant amounts of money.

Then, by returning the temperature to normal about an hour or so before you come home (depending on how long it takes your air conditioner to respond), you can ensure that your home will be comfortable when you arrive. Similarly, you can increase the savings by raising the temperature a few degrees while you sleep.

During cooler weather, you can modify the programmable thermostat settings to only turn the system on during the hottest parts of the day, and use other forms of ventilation, such as open windows and fans, to cool your home inexpensively.

Types of Programmable Thermostats

Standard programmable thermostats use a simple display and a few buttons to enter your settings. They come in several varieties, including models with one program for the week and one for the weekend, versions that have a weekday program and two weekend programs, and models that feature one program for each day. Each program offers several set points, programmable by time and temperature.

More advanced models include Wi-Fi connectivity for easy programming from a local computer, or even from mobile devices over the internet, as well as features like:

  • Touchscreen displays
  • Real-time weather information
  • Ability to add occupancy or temperature sensors
  • Integration with home automation systems
  • Advanced self-programming capabilities

These programmable thermostats typically cost more, but are far easier to use.

For more information about choosing the best programmable thermostat settings, talk to our team at Conditioned Air today, serving the Southwest Florida area.