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Don’t Wait! Winterize Your AC Unit

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For many homeowners, this time of year is more of a time to be concerned about your furnace than your air conditioning unit. However, even though temperatures are getting colder and days are getting shorter, take a moment to ask yourself if you’ve taken the time to winterize your AC unit. Believe it or not, this type of AC service in NJ can prolong the life of your AC and keep it performing at peak efficiency when summer rolls back around.

Not to mention, winterizing your central AC unit is easy and takes just an hour or so of your time. Read on to learn the steps you’ll need to follow to winterize yours.

Wash and Trim

Start by assessing the area around your outdoor AC unit. Have bushes, shrubs, and other greenery begun to grow close to the unit itself? If so, then now would be a great time to bust out the pruning shears and trim those branches back. The last thing you want is for your air conditioning unit to become damaged due to plant overgrowth.

Now is also a good time to grab a garden hose and gently spray off the AC unit itself. This will help to remove any caked on debris and dirt.

Dry and Remove Debris

You don’t want any of the components of your AC unit to rust, so be sure to dry off your AC unit (either in the sun or with a clean cloth) before moving onto the next steps. This is also a good opportunity to scrub away any remaining dirt or debris, ensuring that your AC unit is nice and clean.

Cover for Protection

If you have a large tarp that you won’t need over the winter, this will make for a great cover for your AC unit. Covering your air conditioning unit is an excellent way to protect it from the elements–especially snow and ice. When exposed to these elements, your air conditioning unit could end up with rust, corrosion, or other damage. If using a standard tarp to cover the unit, be sure to secure it with some bungee cords or ties so that winter wind gusts don’t blow the cover off.

For added peace of mind and even better protection, you may want to purchase a cover specifically designed for use on central AC units. You can purchase these online, at most home improvement stores, or even through your AC manufacturer. These tend to have a more snug fit and provide greater protection to the unit on all sides.

Check Periodically

Throughout the winter, it’s also a good idea to check on your AC unit every few weeks to make sure that your cover is in place and that the unit itself is well protected. This will give you greater peace of mind that the unit is properly winterized until the springtime rolls around.

Contact Us!

Don’t hesitate to give us a call if you have any concerns with winterizing your AC unit! Our technicians are highly trained and experienced in these matters and can provide you with proper winter preparation as well as ensure your furnace is ready and in good condition for the seaon. This way, you can rest assured that your entire HVAC system is taken care of.

For more information or to schedule an inspection, repair, or service on your home’s HVAC system, contact us today. We have years of experience when it comes to AC and furnace service, and we would be happy to assist you. Our goal is to make sure you’re as comfortable as possible in your own home!

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Thanks Mr. Carrier – The History Of Commercial Air Conditioners

As the summer sun blazes and we wake to 90 degree temperatures at 8AM, most of us are very thankful that we feel the cool comfortable environment provided to us by our air conditioners. However, the a/c we’ve learned to know and love didn’t come to our residences until almost 30 years after the first commercial cooling system was invented.

By definition: In common use, an air conditioner is a device that lowers the air temperature. The cooling is typically achieved through a refrigeration cycle, but sometimes evaporation or free cooling is used. Air conditioning systems can also be made based on desiccants.[1]

How We Began to Be Cool

History tells us that as far back as ancient Egypt reeds were hung in window openings and then moistened with trickling water. The hot air blowing through the wet reeds caused an evaporation effect that provided some cool air. Ancient Romans used the aqueduct system to circulate through the walls of certain homes. Medieval Persia used cisterns and wind towers to cool areas during the hot season.

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Ancient Persian Cisterns

Fast forward to 1902 and let us introduce you to a young engineer by the name of Willis Carrier. The Buffalo Forge Company hired Mr. Carrier to work with one of their clients, the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithography and Publishing Company in Brooklyn, NY, who was printing a multiple color job. Because of the humidity and heat in the pressroom, the paper would naturally absorb the moisture making it impossible for the publisher to align the colors to insure the final product was consistent.

Willis_Carrier_1915The publisher charged young Mr. Carrier with the challenge to have the temperature in the pressroom be a minimum of 70 degrees in the winter, a maximum of 80 degrees in the summer and maintain a consistent humidity level of 35%. Carrier quickly addressed the room temperature issue but the humidity level left him perplexed.

Fog? Enter Electromechanical Cooling

Willis Carrier was an extremely focused man and because of that was considered to be a little absentminded. It was once said he packed his suitcase for a trip and only brought along one handkerchief. It was on one of those trips when Mr. Carrier was standing on a heavily fogged in train platform that he realized how he could create the ideal environment for the pressroom.

History-1876-1902-startingtheengine-lg-032812Fog is 100% humidity and Willis Carrier knew that if he could create 100% humidity inside the pressroom he could then work to reduce the humidity to an acceptable level. But the query was how to accomplish that task. With fans and a garden sprinkler he set to the task of raising the humidity in the pressroom. His idea worked and the room was full of fog within a few moments. By pushing hot dry air into the room, he was able to reduce the humidity to 50% and then with some tweaking brought the humidity to the acceptable levels.

He patented his air conditioning machine in 1906 and as they say the rest is history.

Thanks Daddy Cool

While Mr. Carrier may not have been the ‘inventor’ of air conditioning per se, he is, in-fact, regarded as the father of air conditioning. His vision and foresight lead to other discoveries such as dew point control and other environmental systems that are used today throughout the world.

The air conditioning systems that came after Carrier’s invention created better working environments in factories and offices.  Today commercial air condition systems are installed on rooftops and use the same basic principals created over 115 years ago by Mr. Carrier.

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Manage Your Thermostat: Keep Cool and Spend Less

Even if your air conditioning unit has been well maintained and correctly prepared for the summer, your system still may not be running as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. Several different factors play a role in the heating and cooling of your home such as your thermostat as well as insulation. It is very important to be mindful of how high and low you set your thermostat, especially when sleeping and when out of your house. While we all want to be nice and warm while we sleep or come home to a toasty house after a vacation or weekend trip, unnecessary heating can run your gas bill through the roof. Knocking your thermostat down one degree at night or a few while you’re away can make a massive difference in your costs, as shown in the graphic below. The same thing applies during the summer with air conditioning; raising your thermostat to a slightly higher temperature (while still at a comfortable level, of course) will allow you to save more money.

On days when there is no blistering heat, temporarily turning off the AC system and opening windows can be highly economical whilst still efficiently cooling the interior of the house via wind ventilation. Opening windows on both sides of the house as well as windows on different levels ensures a sufficient cross breeze of cool air from lower levels pushing out the hotter air that rises. Plus the fresh air is always a wonderful change of pace!

Another important aspect to be aware of is that your doors and windows are properly fitted. If there are any gaps, comfortable interior air may escape and unwanted outside air may creep in so be sure to seal any of the areas that may need it. Insulation goes along with this, both cool air in the summer and heat in the winter can become diminished from insulation that is not thick enough. Also, adding insulation in your attic keeps the heat from escaping during the winter and lowers the temperature of the attic in the summer. Each of these components must work together cohesively in order for you to get the most out of your money. Having an efficient system keeps your home comfortable, your wallet full, and your need for HVAC service and repair at a minimum.

 

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You Better Know the Basics

Unless, you’re particularly handy, the majority of people are not as knowledgable about HVAC as say…a professional technician *cough cough* There’s a lot of parts (literally and figuratively) involved in air conditioning and it can be challenging to know exactly how each aspect contributes. The infographic below makes it a little less daunting and provides some tips to help you save money. AC might not necessarily grab your attention or be the most exciting thing (although we think its pretty cool!), but as a homeowner you should at least know the basics. We think its important that you be informed of your systems components as it facilitates in troubleshooting in case you encounter a small issue that you can actually resolve yourself. General awareness is also crucial because it allows you the ability to provide proper maintenance and know what issues need professional service. Doing so can help eliminate high AC repair costs, which nobody is a fan of!

 

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