Category Archives: Air Conditioning

Prepping Your Air Conditioner for Winter

In Northwest Indiana, the summers are hot and the winters can be dangerously cold. This summer, our air conditioning units worked overtime, so let’s get them properly prepared for Fall and Winter so they work like new next season. Here are a few tips from Earl’s to help prep your air conditioner for the winter.

Clean Your Unit

The first order of business is to clean your compressor, which is the exterior portion of your air conditioner. This equipment is exposed to the elements year ‘round and gets battered by rain, leaves, sleet and snow throughout the year. As a result, the equipment becomes filled with branches, leaves, bugs, animal droppings, and much more. All you need to do is simply remove the debris with your water hose.

Cover the Compressor

Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the unit, it’s time to prevent any further contamination by covering it. Make sure you let it dry out sufficiently after hosing it down, however. Usually 24 hours will suffice. If you’ve had problems with debris in the past, you may want to consider a form-fitting plastic or vinyl cover. WARNING: Make sure you never turn the unit on when it is covered!

Get an Inspection

Preventive maintenance is one of the best ways to protect your system from costly repairs down the road. Before winter, it’s highly recommended that you schedule a furnace tune up, so you may also want to have Earl’s check your air conditioner as well. By identifying problems early, we can cut your maintenance bill and keep your air conditioner in tip-top condition as it weathers out the winter.

Although you won’t use your air conditioner for the duration of winter, remember the essential role it plays in your comfort during the rest of the year. When winter is finally over, don’t forget to give Earl’s a call to get it ready for the warmer months! You can contact us at (219) 942-9023.

How to Beat Cooling Costs in Hot Summer Months

Temperatures are rising in Bucks and Montgomery County!

Consider solar screens for your east and west facing windows or at least close your drapes on bright sunny days.

At Earl’s, we are proud to offer Trane air conditioning units, which we know can always go the distance efficiently. However, we know that running that unit costs you money and the hotter it gets around here, the higher your energy bills climb. Below are five tips from Earl’s for keeping the heat out and your cooling bills down this summer:

  1. KEEP THE SUN OUT. Consider solar screens for your east and west facing windows or at least close your drapes on bright sunny days. Even better, if you are purchasing new windows, be sure to look at upgrading to windows with low solar heat gain coefficients to keep the sun out.
  2. CHANGE YOUR FILTER. Most people let their filters get too dirty and this is one of the most common reasons for poor performance on the part of your air conditioner. A dirty filter simply makes your unit work too hard to pull cool air through it.
  3. IMPROVE AIR FLOW. In addition to the air filter, your AC may have other types of air flow problems. If the evaporator coil is dirty, not enough air moves across it and your home doesn’t cool off as well as it should. If the condenser coil is dirty, it won’t dump enough heat to the outside. If your condenser coil is crowded with vegetation or other obstacles, clear it out. You can trim the bushes yourself, but you should probably call a pro to clean the coils.
  4. LOOK FOR DISCONNECTED DUCTS. If your ducts are outside of the conditioned space in your home, check to see if anything has come loose. Fixing a supply duct that’s sending all its cool air to the attic or crawl space can have an immediate impact on your comfort. This problem is more common than you may think.
  5. USE FANS. On those really hot days, using a fan to move the air over your skin may be the only change you need to stay cool. Remember, for every degree that you turn down your unit, you could be adding 5% to your energy bill. Try the fans first but turn off those in empty rooms. Remember fans don’t cool rooms, they cool YOU!
Air conditioners in Bucks and Montgomery Counties are working hard this time of year!

Let Earl’s Trained Technicians perform an energy assessment on your home and recommend efficient cooling solutions!

If none of these tips seem to help, or if you believe there is more to the problem, CALL EARL’S FOR A HOME ENERGY ASSESSMENT.  Our Trained Technicians can identify problem areas and recommend solutions to cool your home in an efficient way. They also have equipment to measure how leaky your ducts are, for example, as well as the surface temperatures of your floors, walls, and ceilings. Call us at (219) 942-9023 to set up an appointment today!

How to Care for Your HVAC System between Tune-Ups

No matter what type of heating or cooling system you have in your home, it’s vital that you schedule routine maintenance so that our expert technicians can fully inspect, clean, and adjust your system and its component on a regular basis.

Doing so will ensure that it works as effectively and efficiently as it should for as long as it should. But something very important to remember is that you can’t just neglect your HVAC system between maintenance appointments. There are a couple tasks that you can and should be doing on your own—one of those being to change your air filter. Keep reading to learn more about what a dirty air filter does to your air conditioner or heater. Continue reading

How to Save Money on Your Air Conditioner Installation

Hopefully this summer has seen you through with an effective air conditioner that gave you no trouble. However, if you are considering replacing your cooling system or you are buying a brand new system for your home, you naturally want to get the best system you can while still adhering to your budget. Keep reading to learn what factors you should look for to ensure you save the most on your air conditioning system installation. Continue reading

Are You Changing Your Air Filter Often Enough?

Many homeowners don’t realize just how important their air filter is to a properly functioning HVAC system. But avoiding this important air conditioning component can do a lot more harm than good. Changing your air filter is a task that you can and should manage on your own, on a routine basis.

The air filter that comes standard with your HVAC system is placed there to protect the interior components of that system. It helps prevent dust and other potentially harmful debris from entering via return air ducts. So if the air filter is left ignored for too long, it will become congested and won’t allow for sufficient airflow or an effective cooling system at all. Continue reading

Is Your New Air Conditioner the Right Size?

Do you need a new air conditioning system installed? Naturally, you might assume that the bigger the system, the more powerful it will be, and the best fit it will be for your home. Unfortunately, although this logic works for other appliances throughout your home, it is not the case for air conditioners. AC systems must be properly sized and installed by professionals—such as the members of our staff—to avoid problems.

Many premature air conditioning failures are actually causes by the way the AC unit was installed to start with. It’s important that when you go to buy an air conditioner, you understand just how our professionals complete a successful installation, while meeting the appropriate building codes and ensuring that you have the space to accommodate the system that you want. Continue reading

Deciding Whether You Need a New Air Conditioner

Most air conditioners today are manufactured to last 10-20 years, as long as they are professionally installed and well-maintained throughout their lifespan. However, every air conditioner has it limit, and at some point yours will wear down to the point that you have to replace it.

How do you know when you’ve reached this point though? Are there certain signs that it’s time to have your system replaced before the current one breaks down altogether? The good news is that yes, there is. You shouldn’t have to worry about having your AC system break down on you suddenly right in the middle of summer. Continue reading

Short-Cycling: What It Is and Why It’s a Problem

When you live somewhere that gets as hot and humid during the summer as it does in our parts, you know how important it is to have a fully functioning and efficiently working air conditioner in your home. You want to know that it’s going to be reliable all summer long and won’t quit on you in the middle of summer when you need it the most.

For this reason, it’s imperative that you schedule maintenance on a regular basis. Even with maintenance, however, AC systems can still run into problems. One of these issues is when the AC system starts up fine but runs only briefly before shutting back down: a process called short-cycling. Continue reading

Avoid the Consequences of Skipping This AC Maintenance Task

Is it ever a good idea to skip air conditioning maintenance? The short answer is no! Even when one small component of your air conditioner isn’t functioning as it should, it can negatively impact your entire system. Within your system there are a number of electrical components, motors, coils, refrigerant, and more to help you stay cool.

One commonly overlooked part of your AC system though that should never be ignored is its air filter. Your air conditioner needs a clean and effective air filter in order to operate at its peak. And changing your air filter is a task you can and should do on your own, at least every 3 months—more if your home contains significant pet dander and/or cigarette smoke. Continue reading

What Contributes to Air Conditioning Efficiency Loss?

We probably don’t even need to tell you this, but summer is officially here! Temperatures are only going to rise even further in the coming months, and when they do you’ll want to make sure your air conditioner is working as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Be sure to pay attention to your utility bills. If you notice a rise in costs compared to what you paid last year, or even what your neighbors are paying for comparable use, then your air conditioner could definitely be losing some of its energy efficiency. Continue reading