Sunday, August 31, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Air conditioning checkups: Clean units save money and energy

By
From page D1 | April 11, 2014 |

0411 AC checkupW

An air conditioner technician performs a maintenance tune-up on an HVAC system. Industry experts recommend tune-ups twice annually. Creators.com photo

By Kristen Castillo
Creators.com

Air conditioning is a relief on a hot, humid day. So you want to ensure your AC unit is working well.

The Air Conditioning Contractors of America says the HVAC system — heating, ventilation and air conditioning — is “most likely the single biggest use of energy in your home.”

Since energy use is expensive, efficient energy use from your AC means lower bills.

“Just like going to the doctor for a regular physical checkup can help you catch issues before they’re too large to easily fix, regular AC checkups are fundamentally important in maintaining your system’s performance,” says Konrad Witek, the director of engineering for eComfort.com.

Regular checkups and maintenance can help you avoid potential problems with your AC unit. For example, dirty AC coils trap dirt, debris and mold, which can end up in the air you breathe; clogged drains back up and leak into your home; old or bad wiring could result in a house fire.

Overall, maintaining your air conditioner can give you quality indoor air and help you save energy and money. It also gives you peace of mind that your system is safe.

Plus, regular checkups help protect your manufacturer’s warranty.

“HVAC tune-ups should be done at least twice a year,” says Brandi Andrews, owner of NationalAirWarehouse.com. “This is especially important because most manufacturers will void your warranty if you don’t have written proof of at least two maintenance tune-ups per year.”

What’s involved?
While you can have an AC checkup at any time, it’s most common to get one at the start of the cooling season (pre-summer) and again at the end of fall.

The checkups typically last one to two hours and “will ensure the refrigerant circuit is free of leaks or blockages; make sure all fans and blowers are free of obstructions and operating correctly; ensure filters are clean,” says Witek, who explains that the technician also will check for proper air flow, look for clean condenser and evaporator coils and make sure controls are working properly.

After the checkup, the technician will let you know about any recommended repairs, which can be made at additional expense.

DIY maintenance
A professional should do most AC maintenance, but there’s an easy fix that you can do frequently.

“The best ‘tune-up’ a consumer can get is one they do themselves, which is regular air filter changes to keep adequate air flowing across the indoor coil,” says Kevin Konnis of Quantum Climate Control Services, who recommends using a low-cost pleated filter that can be changed monthly during heavy summer use.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can improve your AC’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent just by replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one.

Cost
Don’t wait for a problem with your air conditioning unit to get the system serviced. Regular checkups and maintenance can “add several years to the life of an HVAC system,” says Andrews.

Those checkups are likely worth the cost. For example, according to ACCA, many manufacturers estimate that a 10 percent refrigerant loss could mean your system will be 20 percent less efficient. That’s wasted money, especially if you could have prevented the issue with regular checkups.

“On average, an air conditioner tune-up will cost in the range of $79.99 to $129.99,” Andrews says. “You can always look online for specials and promotions from local companies to get lower rates.”

Be wary of pricing specials and deals, though. A cheap tune-up, like a $20 checkup, often results in a sales pitch to upsell you on a new air conditioning system.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

.

News

 
 
Davis audience hears from civil-rights hero

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Legislators wrap up with water, ethics, guns bills

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Bob Dunning: This new kid might have a future

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Five U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State fighters

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
EU threatens Russia with more sanctions

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Robbery, pursuit in Central Davis lead to one arrest

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

 
Rotary clubs offer Davis High students some life lessons

By Evan Arnold-Gordon | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Katehi will speak at Chamber’s community luncheon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Bean Feed supports for Yolo Democrats’ activities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Bauer garden marks one year

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Dinner will raise funds to help farmers in Burkina Faso

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Beamer Park featured at Stroll Through History

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Tuleyome Tales: Be safe on wilderness trails

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Small wineries suffer big losses in quake

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Grande site has been a convoluted saga

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

 
Say goodbye to summer with a ‘Final Blast’ at Explorit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Bay Bridge project’s rainy-day money is nearly gone

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A15 | Gallery

.

Forum

Already made herself at home

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Nate Beeler cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Changing local election dates benefits Democrats

By Tom Elias | From Page: A10

 
Ad-free email? You can still find it at Davis Community Network

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Keep our green waste piles

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
How to make a good living

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
City panel working to tighten scrutiny of taxpayer dollars

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

Try round-robin storytelling at crafts fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

 
Marriage doesn’t mean we agree on everything

By Marion Franck | From Page: A14

This epidemic should scare us

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

 
.

Sports

Devils open with an impressive volleyball victory

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Stanford scores early, often in opener versus UCD

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

New coach, new tougher league for DHS football

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Coach likes what she sees from Devil field hockey squad

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

UCD notebook: Coaches positive about FCS schools ‘playing up’

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Aggie harriers secure season-opening sweep

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: Cats win late to pull even with Aces

By Staff and wire reports | From Page: B8

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Comings and Goings: Is fro-yo craze melting?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A13 | Gallery

 
Sutter Davis Hospital honored again as a ‘best place to work’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13

Engage3 attracts investment for shopping app

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A20

 
California growers can use MBI’s new bioinsecticide

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

Sudwerk, Davis Food Co-op join for ‘co-hop-eration’ brew

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20 | Gallery

 
Community pools its purchasing power to reduce the cost of solar

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A20

.

Obituaries

Wanda P. Daley

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, August 31, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8