Ask Your AC Technician…

With Spring already here, you’re probably preparing to schedule your next AC tune-up. When the technician comes over to perform preventative maintenance, you should take this time to get answers to your most pressing questions. Here are a few concerns you might have.

How frequently should I change the AC filter?

The basic rule of thumb is to check the filter once a month and replace it after no longer than three months. If you have allergies, you may want to change the filter more frequently than this, especially if pets or smokers live in your home.

Which MERV rating is right for my AC unit?

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV rating, indicates how well the filter does its job. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller particles the filter can remove from the air. Follow these guidelines:

  • MERV 6 filters are sufficient if you have no pets and no allergy problems. The capture large debris and particles.
  • MERV 8 filters provide better air-filtering power, making them the best option for the average home. These filters capture dust mites’ debris and mold spores.
  • MERV 11 filters offer superior air filtration for exceptionally clean indoor air. Best option for pet owners or smokers.
  • MERV 13 filters are some of the highest efficiency versions you can install in a residential HVAC system. More efficient filters that can capture even the bacteria and virus carriers in the air.

How often should I service my air conditioner?

Most technicians recommend scheduling preventative maintenance once a year. Spring is the best time for a service call because it gets your cooling equipment tuned-up and ready for summer.

How do I troubleshoot problems with my AC unit?

Air conditioners are robust and designed to work even in less-than-ideal circumstances. However, if yours starts acting up, follow these troubleshooting tips before calling a cooling technician for help.

  • If the air conditioner won’t turn on, check the thermostat setting. Then, make sure the unit has power by checking that it’s plugged in and no circuit breakers have tripped. Replace the filter in case bad airflow is causing overheating and look for problems with the condensate drain line. If you can’t solve the problem, you may need to call a professional.
  • If the AC starts blowing hot air, this means the air handler is running, but the condenser isn’t. Make sure the outdoor unit has power and clear away any debris that could be blocking airflow to the condenser.
  • If strange noises or smells are coming from the AC, don’t ignore them. Shut off the unit immediately and call a professional for help diagnosing and repairing the problem.

Stock Up on Replacement Air Filters

If you go to change the AC filter at the recommended interval only to discover that you’re all out of replacement filters, take this time to restock your supply. Spring is a good time for that, so you have the replacement air filters you need for the next few months.


When should I replace my HVAC unit?

As you get ready to turn on your furnace, you may assume it’s best to rely on the equipment until it breaks down for good. However, there are plenty of signs you should replace your HVAC unit other than a total breakdown. If you time it right, an HVAC replacement could start paying you back from day one. Here’s how to know when to replace your HVAC unit.

Age & Fuel Utilization Efficiency

A well-maintained furnace can serve you for nearly two decades. However, furnaces manufactured before 2000 are typically rated 80 Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) or less, meaning that only 80 percent of the fuel that goes into the system is converted into usable heat for your home.

Today, furnaces can achieve near-total efficiency with ratings of 96 AFUE or higher. If you replace your 80 AFUE furnace with a 96 AFUE model, you can expect about 20 percent lower heating bills effective immediately. These energy savings help the furnace pay for itself over the coming years.

Increasing Utility Costs

In addition to being lower-efficiency to begin with, your aging furnace experiences a significant drop in performance as it nears 15 or 20 years old. If you compare utility bills from the past few years, you’re bound to notice an increase in recent years. The rising cost of natural gas may not be the only thing to blame.

Increasing heating bills are also undoubtedly caused by your aging failing to perform even close to its AFUE rating. This means you’re paying more to heat your home than necessary.

Safety Concerns

Gas furnaces and other fuel-burning appliances produce carbon monoxide as a byproduct of incomplete combustion. When operating normally, your furnace vents a deadly gas outside and disperses into the air. If your house has an outdated HVAC unit with questionable venting safety, an upgrade could improve your peace of mind and ensure your family’s safety.

Home Comfort Problems

Older HVAC systems have a harder time circulating air properly, which could cause some rooms to become too warm while others never get warm enough. Installing a new furnace with more advanced features – and modifying the ductwork if needed – will improve these comfort problems so you can stop adjusting the thermostat constantly.

High Repair Costs

More frequent and expensive repairs indicate that your equipment could be on its last leg. Instead of pouring more money into repairing an aging unit, take recurrent breakdowns as a warning sign and put your money toward a replacement HVAC unit.

Odd Smells or Noises

These problems could mean something is very wrong with your furnace. A repair might get the unit up and running again, but if the cost is too high, these issues could signal the beginning of the end for your furnace.


Save Money: Best temperature for your AC

You want to be comfortable during hot weather months without spending a lot of money on air conditioning? While maintenance tasks such as changing the air conditioner filter and hiring a professional to tune up the AC unit make a difference, something as simple as the temperature setting plays a huge part in how much you pay to air condition your home. Follow these tips to achieve the perfect balance between energy savings and home comfort.

Daytime Air Conditioning Temperature

While you ultimately must decide what temperature you feel comfortable at, the US Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 78 degrees on average days. At this temperature, you can feel completely comfortable and you can also run the ceiling fan to create a wind chill effect. When air moves quickly over your skin, it makes you feel up to 4 degrees cooler, meaning a 78-degree room with a fan running feels as comfortable as a 74-degree room with no airflow.

When you’re gone all day, you have the potential to save even more if you set the temperature 7 to 10 degrees higher. The DOE estimates that keeping your home at 85 degrees for eight hours a day during peak cooling times can save you 5 to 15 percent on your cooling bills.

Nighttime Air Conditioning Temperature

Setting your thermostat at night is a bit trickier. If you can sleep soundly in a warm room, Energy Star recommends setting the temperature 4 degrees higher than your daytime setting. However, many people prefer sleeping in a cool room, which may result in turning the thermostat down rather than up at night.

Opening the windows while you sleep is a good solution if you live in a cool climate and enjoy the breeze. Then, closing the windows in the morning before it gets hot traps cool air inside and gives your air conditioner a head start.

Programmable Thermostat and Zoning

To prevent arriving at a hot house when you get off work, install a programmable thermostat and set it correctly. An automatic setback when you leave each morning prevents you from forgetting to turn the temperature up, and automatic recovery 30 minutes before you arrive home allows you to enjoy energy savings without sacrificing comfort.

Zoning is also useful for keeping the bedrooms in your home cool at night without cooling the entire house. With zoning, you control the temperature in individual areas of your home with multiple thermostats. When you zone the bedrooms separately from the living area, you ensure you stay cool and comfortable while keeping your energy bills low.

Thermostat settings aren’t the only things that need attention when preparing your air conditioner for summer, now is also the time to replace the AC filter for more efficient air conditioning.


4 Things to Do When Your Air-Conditioner Isn’t Cooling

Summer temperatures will have your HVAC unit working overtime. Here are 4 things to do when your Air-Conditioner isn’t cooling

Furnace & Air Conditioners Repair Edmonton

A malfunctioning air-conditioner can become the equivalent of Satan for most people, especially when it is hot enough to bake brownies on your porch outside. All hell breaks loose when your air-conditioner is not giving you the kind of relief that it ideally should, and the problem could be anything.Air-Conditioner Cooling system Edmonton

Here are a few things you can do when your air-conditioner is not cooling the room like it used to:

1. Check the Thermostat:

Sometimes, the issue could be something as simple as incorrect thermostat settings. Check your thermostat to make sure that it is set properly and that it is reading the correct temperature. The thermostat must be in the ‘cool’ mode for the compressor of the air-conditioner to turn on. Another thing you can do, in the case of a compressor problem, is check to ensure that the outside unit is not covered or blocked.

2. Change the…

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