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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.

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ceiling fanIn Southwest Florida, year-round air conditioning use is often a reality, but by taking advantage of the cooler nights and mornings during the fall, you can reduce your energy usage and utility bills. Simply follow these simple A/C operating tips for Southwest Florida to save some money this season.

Use Natural Ventilation

In the cooler mornings or evenings, open your windows and turn on your ventilation system or some fans to bring the cooler air into your home and freshen indoor air. Once it starts to warm up in the afternoon, close the windows to keep the warm air out and close the curtains or blinds on southern windows to keep the heat of the sun at bay.

Adjust Your Thermostat

If you have not already, install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature in your home throughout the day. During cooler mornings or evenings, turn the thermostat up to prevent the air conditioner from running unnecessarily. While you are at work or asleep, raise the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees to save even more money. Finally, during the hottest part of the day, reduce the temperature to remain comfortable.

Change the Air Filter Often

Check the air filter for your air conditioner at least once a month and replace it as necessary. With the windows open to allow fresh air inside, it may become soiled more often, reducing the efficiency of your system. At least once a year, have your air conditioner inspected and maintained by a professional to keep it running at peak efficiency.

Install Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans can help make it feel cooler at higher temperatures, and they are useful throughout the year. While the windows are open, they can help the air circulate through the home, and while the air conditioner is operating, they can help spread the cool air more evenly.

For other handy A/C operating tips for Southwest Florida, talk to our home cooling experts at Conditioned Air. We have been serving Southwest Florida, including the communities of Ft. Myers, Sarasota and Naples, since 1962.