We're well into summer, which means Jerry Kelly's technicians and installers have already visited many, many homes here in the St. Louis area. During our visits, homeowners ask a number of great questions about their air conditioning systems. Some of these questions get asked more often than others, so we thought it would be a good idea to answer some of the most frequently asked air conditioning questions here on our blog!
Q: How often do I need to change my filter?
A: This depends on the type of filter that you use. Most filters should be changed every month, but some are designed to last 3 months or longer. Even if your filter is designed to last longer than a month, it's still a good idea to check on the condition of it single every month.
Q: How often should refrigerant be added to my A/C?
A: Never! This is one of the most common misconceptions about air conditioners. The only times that you'll need to have refrigerant added to your A/C are when you have a refrigerant leak or when a contractor didn't add enough refrigerant to begin with.
Q: I already had a furnace tune-up, do I need an A/C tune-up as well?
A: Yes! Although furnaces and air conditioners share some of the same components, they use many of their own components as well. You should schedule two tune-ups per year, one for your furnace and one for your air conditioner.
Q: What size air conditioner do I need?
A: This depends on the specifications of your home. Keep in mind that the "bigger is better" philosophy is not true for air conditioning systems, and a well-qualified contractor will need to take detailed measurements of your home before choosing the right sized air conditioner.
Q: Should I close the air registers in unused rooms?
A: No! Your air conditioner is designed to cool a space of a specific square footage, and your system will experience pressure, performance and efficiency problems if you close off vents in individual rooms.
Q: How should I take care of my air conditioner during summer?
A: The two most important things you should do to take care of your A/C are: 1. Schedule an annual tune-up and 2. Check/change your air filter every month. These two tasks alone will greatly improve the performance and efficiency of your system. It's also a good idea to keep an eye out on your air conditioner's outdoor unit and remove any visible debris within a few feet of it.
Q: What temperature should I set my thermostat at?
A: This depends on your family's particular preferences. For maximum energy-savings, your at-home temperature should be somewhere between 75-78 degrees. If that's too warm for your family, lower it by one degree at a time until you find a temperature that everyone's happy with. You can also save energy by raising your thermostat by about 5 degrees when you're away from home and/or sleeping. A programmable thermostat makes this simple!
Q: How long does an air conditioner last?
A: A well-maintained air conditioner should last somewhere around 15 years. A poorly-maintained air conditioner, however, will probably last a number of years less than that. Take great care of your system to ensure you get the longest possible operating life out of it!
If you have any questions about these air conditioning questions and answers, or if you'd like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Jerry Kelly, your St. Charles, MO, air conditioning contractor. We service the St. Louis area, including towns like Weldon Spring, Wentzville and Winghaven, MO.