HVAC FAQs for Arizona Homeowners

Arizonan’s should change their air filters every month, especially during AC season. It’s easy to remember if you tie it to another monthly activity, such as paying your utility bill.

Many people have an HVAC system that’s incapable of handling their home’s heating and cooling load, so the first thing to do is have your AC company perform a heat load calculation. You can also keep the fan running even when the system is in the “off” cycle or your home has reached optimum temperature.

Yes, just switch your ceiling fan to reverse (you usually find the switch on the fan’s housing, just below the blades). Warm air rises. Running your ceiling fan in reverse pushes that warmer air toward the floor, warming the room without having to run the heater.

Only if you want your system to last as long as possible and save money. Preventive maintenance is how your AC company discovers potential issues and fixes them before they require expensive repairs (or even a whole new unit). For example, when your capacitors go bad, the motor keeps trying to start. Of course it can’t and eventually it overheats. When this keeps happening it may cause the motor to lock up or burn out.

Yearly maintenance is also when your AC tech checks coolant levels. When they’re low, your system takes much longer to cool your home, drastically reducing its efficiency and costing you more in utility bills.

You can turn it up a couple of degrees but any more than that and you don’t save electricity or money because your AC is working so hard to cool your home when you return. If you have a digital thermostat, you can schedule it to run warmer when the home is empty and begin cooling your home around half an hour before your normal arrival.

The valley is home to many winter visitors. Whether you should leave your thermostat on depends on whether you leave any appliances running in the home. For example, if you have a refrigerator or freezer plugged in, you want to set your thermostat to 85 degrees so your refrigerator motor doesn’t burn out trying to stay cool in a 115-degree house.

There are a few signs that your air ducts have a leak:

  • Your home is dustier than usual
  • The air supply register openings are dirty
  • Your home doesn’t cool as quickly as it used to
  • Insulation is coming out of your supply registers
  • One or more rooms are warmer/cooler than the rest of the home

You want to repair the leak to improve your air conditioner’s efficiency. The harder your AC has to work to cool your home, the shorter its lifespan is (and the more expensive your power bills are). The best options depend on the type of home you have, your duct system, and the reason the ductwork is leaking. For example, larger holes and leaks require taping and sealing with mastic.



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