Nest Thermostat Tips for Your Home

6 Useful Tips on How to Use the New Nest Thermostat

Getting the most out of a Nest Thermostat is easier than ever with these six tips, which will take you well beyond its basic functions.

Smart thermostats not only keep your house comfortable all year long but can also save you money.

If you have just purchased a brand-new Nest Thermostat, you’ll find a variety of useful settings and features to try. Let’s dive into this article and learn more about this innovative device.

1. Controlling a Nest Thermostat With Your Own Voice

You won’t need to adjust this thermostat the way you would a traditional property thermostat. It can be controlled using voice commands with home hubs like Google Home, which is $99.00 at Walmart, or Amazon Alexa. The Nest voice control can be set up easily. There is a separate article that explains how you can do this.

2. Using Sunblock

If your Nest Thermostat is near a window, the Sunblock feature will be very useful. It will tell your thermostat when it’s in direct contact with the sun so it won’t raise the AC temperature or lower the furnace because the thermostat reads the room as being warmer than it actually is. This option will save you money on your utility bills because the AC or furnace won’t be overworked because the thermostat gave out incorrect information.

To access this feature, tap into the Settings icon on your phone app. This icon is shaped like a gear. Tap the Sunblock icon and toggle the switch icon on.

3. Controlling Humidity

If the area you live in is unbearably humid, your Nest Thermostat has a Cool to Dry setting that can help keep your home’s air drier. The Nest Thermostat E (which costs $169.00 at Walmart) has this setting along with the first-generation Nest Learning Thermostat models (which costs $200.00 at Amazon) and the second and third-generation Learning Thermostats.

4. How the Airwave Feature Can Save You Money

The Airwave function turns your air conditioner compressor off automatically after a room is cooled. It then uses the fan on your AC to blow cool air throughout your home. This can save a significant amount of money on cooling expenses.

Turning this option on is fairly simple. On your phone’s app, tap on the Settings icon, then tap the Airwave icon and toggle the switch icon to the on position.

5. Turning Off Auto-Schedule Yourself

Nest has an auto-schedule feature that automatically learns how warm or cold you want your home to be during the day and sets the temperature automatically using what it learned.

If you live in a place where the weather constantly changes, your Nest Thermostat will become confused if it’s suddenly warm one day, and freezing cold the next due to a renovation.

If your Nest Thermostat is wrong consistently during its thermostat temperature predictions, this feature can be turned off. All you need to do is access the app on your smartphone, tap on the Settings icon, then tap on the Auto-Schedule icon and toggle the switch to the off position.

6. Troubleshooting Suggestions

Because your Nest Thermostat uses Smart technology, in order for the device to reach its full potential, it heavily relies on a working Wi-Fi connection. Should your Nest Thermostat go offline for any reason, don’t worry. We have another article that goes into further detail on how it can be fixed.

Best Window Air Conditioners

Best Small and Cheap Window Air Conditioner Unit Reviews

Amazon Customers are Obsessing Over a Small AC Unit that is incredibly affordable at less than $150

cheap compact air conditioner for windows
replacement remote for frigidaire air conditioner

Summer is a strange season that can make you feel great or miserable. Some love the beach trips, the taste of crisp summer fruits, and those beautiful tans, but there is another side. The aspect many don’t love are those sticky days, the days when it is so hot you can’t sleep.

There is a way to solve your problem. It seems like many people on Amazon have found a way to deal with the negative aspect of summer using this Frigidaire Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner for less than $150.

You would think people would just buy any air conditioner, but that is not the case. This particular new AC unit has captured shoppers on Amazon in a surprising way. It could be all the positive reviews from satisfied customers, or it could be the economical price tag of $158.

Buying one of these devices is a good idea, especially with the heatwaves that have been predicted lately. Waiting too long could lead to price hikes, and no one wants that.

The AC is relatively small, which is great for rooms that are 150 square feet or smaller. The size also helps you save on electricity since it won’t be sucking up too much power when you turn it on. You get to be eco-conscious and save money.

Of course, you should always read specs, features, and some of the reviews so that you know what you are getting if you choose this popular option to get through those hot summer days.

Some reviewers talked about how easy it was to find space for the AC, thanks to its size. Others talked about how user-friendly the device was compared to other units with complicated controls. One reviewer pointed out that the device is so effective that he gets cold when the AC is turned up to the highest number and costs little.

There are also a number of reasons you want an AC beyond comfort; for one, the AC unit should help ensure you do not get so hot that you feel dehydrated. Having a good AC could also help keep your mood under control since heat can get anyone upset. Think about it; there must be a reason why many Amazon customers are buying this device, so you probably won’t be making a mistake if you join the club.

Atlanta New AC Unit Costs

A home is the single largest investment most people make in a lifetime, and a central air system is often one of the largest and most important appliance investments that go into that home. As such, it’s important to understand the average prices of central air units in Atlanta, Ga., the additional labor costs of professional installation by an HVAC contractor, and discounts to help you offset the costs of a new AC unit.

Your home should be a place of comfort, peace, and relaxation. It should be the place you look forward to sitting down and allowing all the stresses of the outside world to melt away. That’s rather difficult if you’re figuratively melting in a different way because you don’t have a reliable central AC unit. In fact, at least six months of your year in Atlanta, Ga is likely pretty miserable if you don’t have an efficient central air unit for your home.

Are you ready to make Atlanta’s humid heat more bearable in the summer and your home a more comfortable place for you, your family, and your guests? Here is your ultimate guide to getting the right AC unit at the right cost and finding a professional cooling contractor in Atlanta to install it.

Cost Estimate For Your Atlanta AC Unit

Based on cost profiles in the Atlanta, Ga area, you can expect the cost range of a new AC unit to generally fall in the $2,500 to $4,200 range. Expect a maximum cost of $6,000 and minimum cost of $1,700. The overall average cost is around $3,000.

It may sound like a big jump from a $1,700 cost to a potential $6,000 investment, but this wide price range is contingent on a number of factors. Some of these factors are open to adjustment based on need and want, which we will cover in a moment. Other factors, however, aren’t so adjustable. Your geographical location is a good example. A new AC installation in the North Buckhead community, for instance, will likely be more costly than other less prestigious areas.

The most important fact concerning cost estimates is to ensure you always conduct your own due diligence. It doesn’t matter what area of Atlanta you call home, you should always get at least three independent bids from professional Atlanta HVAC contractors.

Factors That Influence The Cost Of AC Units

As mentioned above, there are a number of factors that can sway the cost of your new AC unit to the low or high end of the cost estimate. The two most influential factors are the brand and size of the AC unit you select.

1. The Size Of Your AC Unit

When it comes to central AC unit size, you generally have seven options that are appropriate for residential installation:

• 1.5 tons ($1,600- 2,100)
• 2 tons ($2,300-$2,900)
• 2.5 tons ($2,400-$3,100)
• 3 tons ($2,700-$3,400)
• 3.5 tons ($3,000-$3,700)
• 4 tons ($3,100-$3,800)
• 5 tons ($3,300-$4,000)

While an adjustable factor, the size of the unit you select should always be based on the size your home. In other words, a small condo isn’t going to need as large of a unit as a four-bedroom home needs to adequately cool it. Selecting a unit that’s too large for your home means you’ve overpaid and will continue to overpay on your electric bills. Selecting a unit too small means you may not efficiently and effectively cool your home, which leaves your AC to run longer and harder. This, of course, both decreases its life and runs your electric bill up.

Your professional Atlanta HVAC contractor can help you determine the square footage of living space the unit will be cooling and the most appropriate unit size to fulfill that need.

2. The AC Unit’s Brand/Manufacturer

Brand is the second area where you have a lot of choice and price fluctuation. Today’s HVAC marketplace offers you over a dozen options for highly creditable and respected brand names, including:

• Whirlpool ($2,250)
• Comfortmaker ($1,950)
• Tempstar ($1,900)
• Aire-Flo ($1,900)
• Payne ($1,700)
• Armstrong ($2,100)
• Goodman ( $2,300)
• Rheem ( $2,600)
• Bryant ($2,400)
• Gibson ($2,600)
• York ($2,900)
• Frigidaire ($3,300)
• Lennox ($3,600)
• American Standard ($3,500)
• Carrier ($3,400)

As you can see by the average cost of the AC units these brands offer, brand selection will likely make a huge difference in how much your new AC system installation costs in Atlanta.

How to decide on a brand? Discuss the pros and cons, such as part replacement costs, ratings, and warranties, of each with your professional HVAC contractor. He/she will be able to make a recommendation based on your price point and performance expectations.

Labor Costs For Central Air In Atlanta

Whether you’re upgrading an old or broken AC unit or in need of a new installation, you’ll need a professional Atlanta HVAC contractor to complete the project. This means that the cost of your unit will also include labor costs. Do keep in mind that the cost estimate of $2,500 to $4,200 in the first section of this guide did include labor costs.

While professional labor is a cost, DIY attempts can result in costly disasters, void warranties, and put your home and family at undue safety risks. HVAC installation is a task best left to professionals, and it’s a relatively small cost for your peace of mind in knowing the job was done to professional installation standards.

On average, data shows that Atlanta homeowners are charged $100-$400 in labor costs by professional cooling experts to install/replace an AC unit. Depending on the scope of the project, another $25 to $100 may be necessary for installation materials and equipment.

AC Unit BTUs And Ratings In Atlanta

BTUs measure an air conditioner’s efficiency at cooling a certain amount of space per hour. In other words, BTUs are the guides to determine what size air conditioner is needed to most efficiently and effectively cool your entire home. Here is a general guide on BTUs and the areas cooled:

• 8,000 BTUs – 700 to 1,000 square feet
• 21,000 BTUs – 1,000 to 1,200 square feet
• 23,000 BTUs – 1,200 to 1,400 square feet
• 24,000 BTUs – 1,400 to 1,500 square feet
• 30,000 BTUs – 1,500 to 2,000 square feet
• 34,000 BTUs – 2,000 to 2,500 square feet

Remember, buying a bigger unit than you need doesn’t just cost you more upfront in installation and equipment costs. Over the long-term, you’ll have a unit that’s more costly to maintain and maintenance and continually keeping your electric bill higher with wasted energy.

Energy-efficiency ratio (EER) and seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER) are two more terms that you should know in selecting an HVAC unit for your Atlanta home. SEER tells you the efficiency of a unit during all four seasons by measuring the cooling output to the electric input during each season. You’ll want a minimum SEER rating of 14 and a 80db/67wb inside for your EER.

Atlanta Discounts For AC Units

Thanks to the movement for a greener world, the U.S. government continues to offer rebate incentives to homeowners across the nation for choosing the most efficient cooling systems on the market. Your HVAC unit will need to meet certain CEE (Consortium for Energy Efficiency) standards to qualify for a rebate, however. On your taxes, you could get a $300-$500 rebate for purchasing either a packaged AC with a 14 or higher SEER rating or a split-system AC with a 16 or higher SEER.

Need Help Finding Your AC Installation Contractor?

Atlanta’s heat is just getting cranked up, leaving months of sweltering heat yet to endure this summer. Contacting a professional to install an efficient AC unit in your home can offer you comfort both now and in the many seasons to follow. Allow us to help you find a reliable and professional Atlanta HVAC contractor today.

How Long do AC Units Last

What Is the Typical Lifespan of AC Units in Hot Climates?

With the heat of a typical summer, air conditioning is almost mandatory in today’s world. Homeowners in this part of the country run their AC units for more hours every day and more days in a year than property owners in cooler regions. That means our AC units are working harder and longer, which usually means they wear out faster.

AC units are expensive. So, it’s a good idea to know the typical lifespan of an air conditioner in the Southwest USA so you can start to budget for your current unit’s replacement.

The Typical Lifespan of an Air Conditioner

In most parts of the country, a typical AC unit can last 15 to 20 years. However, due to the higher temperatures and constant use, the same unit may only last 12 to 15 years in dry weather regions like Arizona or Nevada.

Does that mean your air conditioner will last 15 years? Not necessarily. The actual lifespan of any AC unit varies depending on its location, model, and maintenance history, as well as a few other factors.

The Many Factors That Can Affect Your AC Unit’s Lifespan

Let’s look at several factors that can enhance or detract from your air conditioner’s lifespan. They’ll give you a better idea of when your AC will need to be replaced.

Whether Your AC Unit is Properly Sized

Air conditioners come in different sizes to allow them to cool different sized homes efficiently. Sizing an AC unit takes a few things into consideration, such as the square footage of the home, how many stories it has, and low long the air duct runs will be.

In the past, it was common practice to install AC units that were too large for the home. Known as “overtonning”, this practice was quite common a decade or two ago. The problem with running an oversized AC unit is that it cycles on and off more frequently. This cause it to break down more often.

An air conditioning unit sized correctly to your home will usually last longer than an oversized (or undersized) one.

Proper Maintenance

AC units are mechanical by nature. Much like a car, they need regular maintenance to ensure they run efficiently and require minimal repairs.

Air conditioning specialists recommend having your system serviced at least once a year, usually in the spring. This helps keep it functioning properly and makes it less likely to need a repair in the middle of the summer.

The bonus of regular maintenance is it will significantly increase the usable life of the system and parts like capacitors. Spotting problems early prevents excessive wear and tear. Keeping the unit properly tuned helps it run efficiently throughout the summer.

Air Ducts in Good Repair

For the AC unit to do its job efficiently and with minimal wear and tear, your home’s air ducts need to be in good repair. If the ductwork is dirty or has leaks, it causes the air conditioner to have to work that much harder. This decreases its lifespan and also drives up your energy costs.

Keeping your ducts in good repair requires regular cleaning and inspections.

Setting the Temperature Too Low

Temperatures can easily soar to over 110 degrees here in states like California, Georgia, Florida and Arizona. You should expect your AC unit to keep the inside temperature between 30 and 40 degrees cooler than the outside. So, on a day when its around 115 degrees, the inside temperature should be between 75 and 85 degrees.

If you decide to lower the temperature beyond that, you are making the air conditioner work that much harder, which wears it out faster.

How to Prolong Your Air Conditioner’s Lifespan

With proper care and maintenance, your AC can last 15 years or more. A few simple steps can make all the difference. To make it last longer, have the AC serviced in the spring. Also, get the ducts cleaned and in good repair. When it’s time to replace your old unit, make sure the new one is properly sized to your home. Adjust the thermostat as recommended.

(AC) Air Conditioner Unit Not Turning On

My Air Conditioner is Not Turning On – Guide to What To Do

Your air conditioner plays a big role in keeping you cool and comfy during the warm season. So if your a/c unit suddenly decides to stop doing its job properly, of course you want to get the problem diagnosed and fixed ASAP!

Many factors can cause air conditioner malfunctions, including unit age, make and model, previous maintenance history and usage patterns.

You can use this handy guide to common air conditioning issues to figure out the right next step to take when your a/c unit breaks down.

My A/C Won’t Cycle On

When your unit won’t turn on at all, this may point to an issue with the main circuit breaker. The quickest fix in this case is to head over to the circuit box and reset the tripped circuit.

If this doesn’t get your a/c working again, the next place to look is to your a/c’s thermostat. If the thermostat is battery-powered, you may just need to replace the batteries. But sometimes an older thermostat simply conks out.

In this case, give your local HVAC service a call.

My A/C Cools Unevenly

When you notice that some rooms are warmer and other rooms are cooler, this may be an issue with your duct system.

Ducts are the channels that transport cooled air to each room in your space. Older duct systems can start to degrade, sagging and even pulling away from the connection points. Leaks and cracks can develop and let in dust and debris.

You may need to have dampers installed to direct the flow of air more evenly through your ducts. Cleaning out your ducts, adding insulation and repairing any leaks or cracks can also aid in even air distribution.

My A/C Blows Hot Air

Nothing feels worse than hearing your a/c cycle on, anticipating the cool air to come and then having warm air blowing on you!

This issue can come from a number of sources. One of the most common is a thermostat or a/c control board malfunction. If the thermostat and your a/c unit are not communicating clearly, your air will not be cooled to your desired temperature.

Another common issue is a refrigerant leak or low refrigerant. Refrigerant is vital to cool your air, but it is also dangerous if handled improperly.

You can contact your local EPA-certified HVAC contractor or AC service to repair a refrigerant leak.

My A/C Cycles On & Off & On & Off….

The condenser is the part of your a/c unit that sits outside your space. A number of factors, from weather and environmental to refrigerant levels, can cause fluctuating pressure changes that continually trigger your condenser to cycle on and off again.

This issue is best addressed by contacting your local HVAC service.

My A/C Won’t Cycle On At All

If your a/c unit is simply unresponsive, the most likely cause is that it isn’t getting power. This may be an issue with a tripped circuit, a stripped electrical connection or a miscommunication between the thermostat and the central a/c control board.

Power problems can also indicate a potential fire hazard. For your own safety, contact your local AC service to diagnose and repair the issue.

Other Common A/C Problems

As your air conditioning unit ages, you can expect more small repair issues to crop up. Scheduling an inspection and preventative maintenance service once or twice per year can help keep minor repairs from turning into major repairs or an outright breakdown.

Keep a watchful eye out for these other common air conditioning problems if your system is in mid-life or older.

A/C Wires

While the typical air conditioner looks kind of clunky on the outside, inside are all kinds of wire clusters that are responsible for relaying messages as your a/c functions.

If your a/c starts malfunctioning in spring, you may have had unwelcome visitors chewing on your wires. Wires can also simply break down, corrode, rust or strip over time.

Not only is a wiring issue bad for your a/c’s operation but it can also be a fire hazard.

Refrigerant Runs Low

If your a/c unit develops a refrigerant leak, not only will this cause cooling malfunctions but it can also contaminate your indoor air when it emits freon. This is a potential danger to your family and is best handled by an EPA-certified HVAC service.

Iced-Over Coils

If you live in an area that gets some seriously cold winter weather, there is always a danger that the outdoor components can ice over. A clogged air filter can make this issue worse.

Cleaning the icy dirt out of delicate coils is a difficult job that must be handled with precision to avoid major repairs.

Dirty A/C Components

It can be so easy to forget to change out your a/c unit’s filter, but this simple yet essential task can keep other major repairs at bay.

When the internal components of your a/c unit start to gather dust and dirt, not only does this create a fire risk but it also releases toxins into your air supply and shortens your air conditioner’s useful life.

Blower Motor Malfunction

A blower motor malfunction can represent a major repair. Changing your air filter regularly can protect the blower motor.

Compressor Malfunction

The compressor’s job is to move refrigerant to where it is needed to create cooled air. When your energy bill starts creeping upwards independent of your usage patterns, this may signal a compressor malfunction.

Thermostat Malfunction

Over time, even the best old-school thermostat will wear out. When this occurs, consider upgrading to a digital, mercury-free programmable thermostat.

As a perk, programmable thermostats can help you conserve energy and save money.

AC Freon For Air Conditioners

Why is Freon used in air conditioners

Air conditioners transform stuffy, humid, and hot air into a refreshingly cool relief for the summer heat. Of course, the new AC unit couldn’t do this without a little help from its best friend – refrigerant. To get a better idea of the relationship between your unit and refrigerant, think of your HVAC as a soldier and the refrigerant that goes in it as the soldier’s blood. What is refrigerant and how does it work? Let’s explore.

What Types Of Freon Are Used In HVAC Units?

Refrigerants, including Freon, are types of coolants that allow HVAC systems to produce cooled air. You’ve likely heard your HVAC system’s coolant referred to as Freon. But, you should know that there are actually several types of refrigerants for air conditioning units. Some are innovative and some are outdated relics.

The most widely used refrigerants in HVAC units are called R-410A and R-22. Industry experts often refer to R-22 as true Freon because it’s the last remaining survivor of the original Freon lines developed and manufactured by DuPont.

While R-22 does its job near perfectly in the cooling department, it’s not so kind to the ozone. It’s dangerous risk to the ozone is why the true Freons are all but extinct now. As chlorofluorocarbons have been reigned in under tighter and tighter control and higher and higher prices, true freons have slowly been phased out for more efficient refrigeration options. In fact, manufacturers quit making air conditioning units based on R-22 back in 2010. After 2020, R-22 itself will no longer even be on the market for those still using R-22-based models.

This transition away from R-22 has brought R-410A front and center. Developed in 1991 by the company now known as Honeywell, R-22 was released in 1996 as a more efficient alternative to R-22. It achieves this efficiency by allowing greater compression, which subsequently means that air conditioner systems operating with it use less energy.

How Does The Refrigeration Cycle Work?

Whatever type of refrigerant is used will be continually pumped through your HVAC system. The compressor within your outside unit is responsible for this pumping action. It takes the refrigerant and compresses and expands it repeatedly until it reaches a hot vapor state. From there, it’s passed to the condenser for cooling and condensing until it’s a gas state.

The remaining heat is then released as the pressurized refrigerant slowly moves through an expansion valve. It can now expand back into a gaseous state. As it becomes cooled, it’s moved along to the furnace or air handler’s evaporator coil. Here, a thin tube housing the refrigerant gets blasted with warm air, which transitions the warm air into the nice cold air that’s blown into your home.

The refrigerant can only take so much heat from the air, however. It will eventually expand back into a gas and be ushered back to the compressor. The cycle continues to repeat itself.

Every element of your air conditioning system handles refrigerant, a process much akin to blood circulating a human body. Without refrigerant, your HVAC system couldn’t produce cold air. The same is true of your freezer, refrigerator, automotive AC, and other cooling devices. They all rely upon the refrigerant’s efficient power to expand and contract under temperature and pressure to remove heat from the air.

Keep Up With Your HVAC Maintenance To Ensure Effective And Efficient Cooling

Now that you know how refrigerants work and what types of refrigerants are used, it will likely be much easier for you to focus on keeping your HVAC system in tip-top working order. For example, you’ll want to keep vegetation trimmed back so that it doesn’t grow too close to your outside unit and impede air circulation.

Simple and routine maintenance by an HVAC professional, such as changing air filters, cleaning the outside unit, replacing air filters regularly, and replacing worn parts, will help keep your air conditioning in good working order and operating as efficiently as possible all summer long.

Ways to Clean Air Conditioner (A/C) Unit Ducts

We all know what air conditioners are. Even if you aren’t well-versed in the concept, design, and repair of air conditioners, you probably know that they generally come in two forms: wall-mounted air conditioners and HVAC systems that provide air conditioning, as well as heating and ventilation.

Wall-mounted air conditioners usually only cool one room at a time, though they can be used to heat multiple smaller rooms. These air conditioners do not contain ducts.

HVAC systems, on the other hand, do contain ducts, which are used to carry cooled air throughout homes.

The reason why wall-mounted air conditioners don’t use ducts is that they aren’t powerful enough to cool the entirety of homes or commercial buildings. HVAC systems employ exterior units to cool homes that are far too powerful to cool just one or two rooms at a time. As a way to more evenly cool homes and buildings that use central air systems, another term used in place of HVAC systems, ducts are used to carry conditioned air to other rooms, stories, and even other buildings.

Like almost all material things in life, air conditioners’ ducts need to be cleaned every so often. Here are a few things that every person living in or owning a home that employs a central cooling system needs to know.

What are air conditioning unit ducts made out of?

AC unit duct systems, which can also collectively be referred to as ductwork, are made of thin, insulated tubing. These ducts are typically made of durable foil and insulating material. Their insulation is wedged between two thin layers of foil.

These three layers are typically wrapped around coils of thin, flexible, metal wire.

Can you clean AC unit ducts yourself?

You can, though this type of service is typically best trusted in the hands of professionals.

In general, ductwork usually only contains dust and tiny pieces of debris. This dust and debris can usually easily be cleaned out with specialized tools.

The most common type of tool used is a rotating bristle brush. In order to clean out the entirety of a home’s ductwork, professionals connect pieces of thin, flexible cord to safely navigate the thin ducts.

Mold can also be present

In some cases, ductwork contains mold or overgrowths of bacteria especially in summer. When mold or bacteria is present, professionals use what are known as biocide treatments to systematically kill them and prevent their spread.

While dust and debris can be cleaned out by laypeople, mold and bacteria cleanup is typically only done by HVAC system maintenance professionals.

How Long Do AC Air Conditioner Units Last

What Is the Typical Lifespan of AC Units?

With the heat of a typical summer, air conditioning is almost mandatory in today’s world. Homeowners in this part of the country run their AC units for more hours every day and more days in a year than property owners in cooler regions. That means our AC units are working harder and longer, which usually means they wear out faster.

AC units are expensive. So, it’s a good idea to know the typical lifespan of an air conditioner in summer so you can start to budget for your current unit’s replacement.

The Typical Lifespan of an Air Conditioner

In most parts of the country, a typical AC unit can last 15 to 20 years. However, due to the higher temperatures and constant use, the same unit may only last 12 to 15 years here in Arizona or Florida, California Texas or Atlanta Georgia.

Does that mean your air conditioner will last 15 years? Not necessarily. The actual lifespan of any AC unit varies depending on its location, model, and maintenance history, as well as a few other factors.

The Many Factors That Can Affect Your AC Unit’s Lifespan

Let’s look at several factors that can enhance or detract from your air conditioner’s lifespan. They’ll give you a better idea of when your AC will need to be replaced.

Whether Your AC Unit is Properly Sized

Air conditioners come in different sizes to allow them to cool different sized homes efficiently. Sizing an AC unit takes a few things into consideration, such as the square footage of the home, how many stories it has, and low long the air duct runs will be.

In the past, it was common practice to install AC units that were too large for the home. Known as “overtonning”, this practice was quite common a decade or two ago. The problem with running an oversized AC unit is that it cycles on and off more frequently. This cause it to break down more often.

An air conditioning unit sized correctly to your home will usually last longer than an oversized (or undersized) one.

Proper Maintenance

AC units are mechanical by nature. Much like a car, they need regular maintenance to ensure they run efficiently and require minimal repairs.

Air conditioning specialists recommend having your system serviced at least once a year, usually in the spring. This helps keep it functioning properly and makes it less likely to need a repair in the middle of the summer.

The bonus of regular maintenance is it will significantly increase the usable life of the system. Spotting problems early prevents excessive wear and tear. Keeping the unit properly tuned helps it run efficiently throughout the summer.

Air Ducts in Good Repair

For the AC unit to do its job efficiently and with minimal wear and tear, your home’s air ducts need to be in good repair. If the ductwork is dirty or has leaks, it causes the air conditioner to have to work that much harder. This decreases its lifespan and also drives up your energy costs.

Keeping your ducts in good repair requires regular cleaning and inspections.

Setting the Temperature Too Low

Temperatures can easily soar to over 110 degrees here in summer. You should expect your AC unit to keep the inside temperature between 30 and 40 degrees cooler than the outside. So, on a day when its around 115 degrees, the inside temperature should be between 75 and 85 degrees.

If you decide to lower the temperature beyond that, you are making the air conditioner work that much harder, which wears it out faster.

How to Prolong Your Air Conditioner’s Lifespan

With proper care and maintenance, your AC can last 15 years or more. A few simple steps can make all the difference. To make it last longer, have the AC serviced in the spring. Also, get the ducts cleaned and in good repair. When it’s time to replace your old unit, make sure the new one is properly sized to your home. Adjust the thermostat as recommended.

Air Conditioner Water

Why do air conditioners produce water

If you’re reading this article, considering that it’s written in English, you’re probably fortunate enough to have regular access to air conditioners. Further, you’re most likely interested in understanding why air conditioners produce water.

Before answering this question, we need to understand what exactly an air conditioner is, as well as how an air conditioner works.

What is an air conditioner?

Air conditioners are generally found in homes and vehicles, though there are also some types of portable air conditioners. In any case, all of these devices can be considered to be air conditioners.

An air conditioner is a machine that cools air. In most cases, the air being conditioned is inside the cab of a vehicle, building, or home.

As far as commercial and residential buildings are concerned, air conditioners are either mounted in walls and windows or part of HVAC systems. The former type of air conditioner typically only cools air. HVAC systems, on the other hand, are full-fledged air treatment networks that ventilate, heat, and cool in an all-in-one format.

How do air conditioners work?

Put simply, air conditioners cool air through the application of chemicals known as refrigerants. Refrigerants are highly specialized substances that usually come in liquid form. They are enclosed in air conditioners and used repeatedly over the life cycle of air conditioners.

One of the most important parts of an air conditioner is that of their coils. These coils are metal tubes looped up, down, and around and around air conditioners and are filled with refrigerants.

These coils are connected to the air conditioner’s compressor. This compressor pressurizes the refrigerant, causing it to change form to a liquid from a gas. The condensed, compressed refrigerant then makes its way inside the coils, also known as evaporator coils.

A fan blows air over the evaporator coils, causing the air to become colder.

As long as an air conditioner is on, this cycle is repeated. The compressor pressurizes the refrigerant inside of evaporator coils. The cooled, condensed refrigerant has warm air blown over it. The air is cooled by being in direct contact with the cold evaporator coils. This causes the evaporator coils to become warmer as a result of temperature exchange.

Now that you know what an air conditioner is and how it works, it’s time to learn why air conditioners produce water.

Why do air conditioners produce water?

All air conditioners produce water, whether they’re wall-mounted, part of HVAC systems, or used in commercial buildings, homes, or vehicles. Most people only notice water being produced as a by-product of wall-mounted air conditioners’ function. However, rest assured that all air conditioners are guilty of producing water.

Humidity is a prime culprit of air conditioners’ water production

You already know that air conditioners work by removing heat from existing air, exposing it to cold evaporator coils, and blowing the newly-conditioned air back into the home, business, or vehicle they’re attached to. However, it’s important to know that air conditioners also work by removing moisture from air.

One reason why air conditioners make us feel more comfortable is that they reduce the temperature of the air in spaces that we work or live in. Another reason is that air conditioners reduce the humidity of air.

Humidity, if you didn’t already know, is a term used to describe moist air or to quantify exactly how much water vapor is in the atmosphere or in a closed-off sample of gas.

Why does humidity make us hot?

Our body cools itself off by producing sweat. Sweat, which is mostly composed of water, evaporates from the body’s skin, helping us get rid of heat more quickly.

Whenever the air around us is more humid, it isn’t as willing to evaporate our body’s sweat, thereby causing us to feel hotter.

There are a few other reasons why air conditioners produce water outside of reducing humidity.

Evaporator coils might be icy

Sometimes, evaporator coils get too cold, causing them to turn the water vapor they get rid of into ice. The more ice an air conditioner contains, the more water it will pump out as a result.

Drain lines could be plugged

All air conditioners have drain lines. These lines are used to carry out the water they remove from the air. You might notice more water build-up if your air conditioner’s drain lines are plugged or partially blocked.

 

What Size (AC) Air Conditioner Unit do I Need

How Big of an Air Conditioner Do You Need?

There is nothing worse than having to suffer through a brutally hot day with an air conditioner that is not big enough to cool your home. Conversely, an air conditioner that is too large for your home is a waste of money. Fortunately, there are ways of determining exactly what size air conditioner you need.

Calculating Your BTU Usage

The first thing you need to do is calculate how many British Thermal Units (BTUs) your home requires. You can use this handy BTU calculator to determine this.

You will need to perform this calculation for each room in your home, including hallways, closets and vestibules, and then you must add all these numbers together to get your total BTU requirement.

However, if you already know how many square feet your home has, you can also use this handy chart:

100 –   150 square feet: 5,000 BTUs
150 –   250 square feet: 6,000 BTUs
250 –   300 square feet: 7,000 BTUs
300 –   350 square feet: 8,000 BTUs
350 –   400 square feet: 9,000 BTUs
400 –   450 square feet: 10,000 BTUs
450 –   500 square feet: 12,000 BTUs
500 –   700 square feet: 14,000 BTUs
700 – 1,000 square feet: 18,000 BTUs
1,000 – 1,200 square feet: 21,000 BTUs
1,200 – 1,400 square feet: 23,000 BTUs
1,400 – 1,500 square feet: 24,000 BTUs
1,500 – 2,000 square feet: 30,000 BTUs
2,000 – 2,500 square feet: 34,000 BTUs

Choosing an Air Conditioner

When buying an air conditioner, you should select one that either provides or comes close providing the amount of BTUs you home requires. All conditioners are labeled with the amount of BTUs they provide.

Keep in mind, though, that the chart above tells you how many BTUs you will require under ideal conditions. There are a number of variables that can alter this calculation.

Sunlight and Shade

If any of the rooms in your home get a lot of sun, you should raise the BTU requirements of that room by 10%. Conversely, if any of the rooms are well shaded, you can reduce the BTU requirements of that home by 10%.

The Number of Room Occupants

BTU requirements for a room increase based on the number of occupants. BTU calculations in the chart assume that there will be at most 2 people in a room, but if more than two people occupy a room, you need to add 600 BTUs for each additional person.

Kitchens

Kitchens usually contain appliances that generate heat, such as an oven or a stove, and because of this they must have their BTU requirements increased by 4,000 BTUs to offset the heat.

Getting Help

If all these calculations seem overwhelming, all is not lost. You can have a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) specialist come to your home to determine exactly what size air conditioner you need and the AC unit cost. Doing this is far better than taking a chance that your new air conditioner will not cool your home properly.