Save Energy While You Keep Your Cool This Summer

In the middle of summer, you may be feeling frustrated with regulating temperatures to keep you comfortable. Too hot. Too cold. You may find your thermostat getting a real workout and it is sure to show in your monthly energy bills. But our Philadelphia AC repair pros are here to offer some simple tips to allow you to be comfortable while still saving on those high electric bills this summer.

The Battle Between Outside and Inside Air

Your air conditioning is waging a constant battle with the outside air temperature. The larger the difference between the outdoor air and the desired inside air temperature, the harder it must work. And the harder your air conditioner works, the more you spend on energy. When considering the outdoor air temperature, you must make a decision what your temperature comfort level will be as close to possible as that outside temperature and set your thermostat accordingly.

So, what does that mean? If you are coming in from a hot outdoor temperature, you may immediately go for your thermostat and set it down to a temperature that is unreasonably cold. Your thinking is that it will cool your home down faster but it’s flawed thinking. Your air conditioning is limited in its capability to cool hot air down quickly and it is a matter of patience on your part. If it is hot outside, set your thermostat at your reasonably comfortable temperature. And wait.

Programmable and Smart Thermostats

If your thermostat is programmable, use this feature to ensure that your home cools down at a certain time of the day before you come home. In this way, you will not be cooling your home needlessly while no one is at home and coming home to a hot and uncomfortable house. New smart thermostats allow you to control temperature settings from your smartphone and change them in real time. This is a great advantage for a busy family that keeps inconsistent schedules.

Maintenance and Filter Replacement

Maintaining your system is key to keeping air moving efficiently and effectively. Make sure that any air filters are replaced regularly. A clogged and dirty air filter is by far the biggest reason that air conditioners struggle to circulate air and maintain proper temperatures during the summer and cause breakdowns to occur.

Add Some Fans

Ceiling or box fans offer added relief during the summer months. Although fans do nothing to regulate the temperature, the movement of circulated air makes the air feel cooler and less stagnant. In many cases, homeowners can keep their air conditioning set a few degrees higher just by incorporating a few fans in the home to move air around. And fans take far less energy than your air conditioning system.

If you find your air conditioning is still struggling to keep you cool this summer, call the Philadelphia air conditioning repair experts at Affordable Fixes LLC. There is no need to get hot under the collar with an experienced professional to the rescue.

Should You Turn Off Your AC if You Are Going on Vacation?

If you are like most people, summertime means vacation time. But should you leave your air conditioning on while you’re gone, or should you shut it down to save on energy costs? The answer is: it depends.

Considering Some Factors

Managing your cooling system while you are away depends on a few different factors. Turning off your AC will save money in the short term but there are other things you should consider before you take that approach.

Turn Up the Thermostat, if Possible

Most Philadelphia air conditioning repair professionals recommend turning your thermostat up while you are gone instead of shutting it entirely off. If your vacation is a relatively short one, it’s far better to just set the thermostat up a few degrees. It’s true that cooling an empty house while you’re not home is wasteful. But it can put unnecessary strain on a system to cool it down completely when you return if it is only for a short duration.

Insulate Your Home

One thing you may consider is closing all curtains and blinds while you are gone. This will cut out the amount of sun and heat that will infiltrate your home while you’re away. You may want to check the forecast to see what the weather will be like while you’re gone. Mild weather may justify a higher setting inside the home. But a very hot forecast may mean you want to keep the inside temperature in your home a bit cooler.

Moisture Control

Remember that your air conditioning system helps remove moisture and humidity from your home. If your vacation will be a relatively lengthy one, you have a few more considerations.

If you turn off your air conditioning entirely, the humidity level in your house will build. If you have important belongings that don’t fare well in a humid environment, you should not turn your AC off entirely. Also, a hot home will make things such as your refrigerator work harder.

Your Home’s Efficiency

How energy efficient is your home? Homes that are well insulated are far more resistant to heat buildup. Window films, attic insulation, and thermal window coverings help to make your home more efficient and less likely to build up heat and humidity while you are away.

Smart Thermostats

Today, we have the availability of smart thermostats. In the case where you are gone for any extended period, you can make adjustments from your phone or electronic device. These will also enable you to cool your home before you return.

Call a Professional

If you are looking for expert air conditioning repair in Philadelphia, call the professionals at Affordable Fixes, LLC. For over three decades, we have been the ones to turn to for dependable heating, cooling and plumbing services in the Philadelphia area. Call us today for affordable and trustworthy air conditioning or heating services.

The Perfect Time for Furnace Maintenance is NOW

Before you tuck that furnace away for the summer, you may want to be proactive and schedule a maintenance inspection with a local furnace repair center in Philadelphia PA. We know you are looking forward to warm weather but come next winter, you’ll be glad you took the time to do a maintenance tune-up on your heating system. In fact, this is a perfect time to set up a recurring annual maintenance plan for your whole HVAC system.

You Maintain Your Car, Right?

So why is maintenance important? Most homeowners take a set-it-and-forget-it approach when it comes to their heating and cooling systems. But when you consider that these household systems work nearly nonstop to keep your family comfortable, they deserve at least the same kind of care you would give your car.

Here’s What You Get

When you call a Philadelphia HVAC contractor for a seasonal maintenance visit, what you get is a thorough cleaning and inspection of your system. This inspection can often detect problems before they even have a need for repair. With today’s advanced technologies, you may want to leave this to a professional instead of a DIY project. This can ensure that come next winter, your furnace will be running at its optimal performance.

What do you get with a furnace maintenance visit? We’re glad you asked!

  • The igniter will be checked to make sure it falls within the parameters that indicate the proper ignition. If not, it should be replaced
  • The flame sensor will be checked to make sure the readings are correct.
  • The burners will be cleaned. Some of the most common furnace problems are due to dirty, rusted, or misaligned burners. These can also cause a carbon monoxide issue inside your home.
  • The heat exchanger will be inspected for cracks, holes, and rust. We don’t just eyeball it but use advanced tools and inspection systems to make sure that there are no indications of any holes or cracks.
  • Any condensate lines will be blown out for debris removal. This is a common issue with some furnaces.
  • The system static pressure will be checked.
  • A combustion analysis will be done to measure CO levels.

Your Philadelphia PA furnace repair technician should also check any venting or drafting on the chimney, inspect any PVC piping, check any wiring or connections, check your thermostat, duct system, humidifier, and ductwork. As a homeowner, you should get a clean bill of health and written confirmation that the system is safe and clean.

Don’t Be Left Out in the Cold

Conducting a proactive cleaning and inspection on your furnace at the end of the winter season means you won’t be left out in the cold next winter when you go to turn it on.

Call your professional Philadelphia HVAC contractors at Affordable Fixes for your end of winter furnace inspection and you will be smiling next season when you know your furnace is working at its peak performance.

Schedule Your Air Conditioning Tune-Up Before Summer is Here

Summer is right around the corner. Don’t get caught with a malfunctioning air conditioning system. When the temperature climbs, you don’t want to be caught waiting for service during the busiest time for Philadelphia HVAC repair companies. With a preemptive air conditioning tune-up, you will be ready for summer. (more…)