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Choosing Your Air Conditioner and Maintenance Required

By
Home Inspector with Alliston Home Inspector

Location

When deciding a location to install your air conditioner you should find a shady area. The north side is by far the best because of the direction of the sun. If this is not possible, choose an area that would benefit from the shade of a tree (that you might have to plant). If these options are not feasible, consider building a platform (shelf) above your unit. This will provide shade for your air conditioner and the unit will not have to work so hard during those hot days. An air conditioning unit will use 10% less electricity if located in the shade, let alone less wear and tear on the unit itself.

Preventive maintenance

Make sure that vents are free of leaves, lint, and or debris.

Oil motor - if applicable

Check for worn or broken belts and replace if necessary.

Electrical contacts: if dirty, should be sprayed with an aerosol electrical parts cleaner. Disconnect power supply first.

Clean or replace filters every month. The most highly recommended is a quality electrostatic filter. Filter clogs can not always be seen by the naked eye. Once dust, pollen and other fine particles are saturated into the filter and then cleaned, they never work effectively as a filter that was cleaned monthly.

Clean interior and exterior coils. The dirty side of the coils cannot usually be seen, due to direction of air flow, coils can be washed with household spray cleaners and then rinsed the same way.

Check burner (if applicable), and pilot lite.

Cleaning

Start with your drain hose. Make sure it is open by running water through it. If you have an air compressor handy, blowing air into the hose from the condenser end is probably the easiest.

Evaporator and fan must clear of any debris.

Flue must be unrestricted, and free of gaps in joints, that might let gases in toward living areas.

Replace any worn or missing insulation.

Electrical contacts: if dirty, should be sprayed with an aerosol electrical parts cleaner.

Disconnect power supply first.

Freon

Freon is a gas and should be used by a licensed HVAC contractor or from a reputable service company only.

What size A/C should I buy?

To properly size the unit you should have a licensed HVAC contractor figure this using heat load calculations. There is a lot to consider, such as existing insulation, types of windows and doors, square footage and exterior temperatures.

To get an approximate size of BTU's needed, use the formula below.

1. Figure your square footage.

2. Divide by 600

3. Multiply by 12,000

This gives you your amount of BTU's needed.

Thermostats

Electromechanical: (low end) These are the least expensive to buy, but definitely limited to options.

Electronic: These offer accuracy, for better energy savings. Usually in both low voltage and line voltage applications. And can control one to three fan speeds.

Digital: These are usually low voltage with full option capabilities. Such as room temp, L.E.D. reading, and temp settings for cool or heat set points.

Digital with controller:This is high tech and is designed for use with many sensors, such as fire detectors and room occupancy sensors. Should be installed by professionals because of its complicated design.

Comments (6)

Ron Martin
Keller Williams Realty - Spartanburg, SC
Ron Martin Team

Good morning & welcome to Active Rain, You have joined an excellent site to receive free marketing, absorb more information from others, share ideas.  Be a blogger and have fun. If you have any clients moving to the Greenville, Spartanburg, & Anderson South Carolina area we are your team. We are on all three MLS. Great blog!  Keep it up. Again Welcome!!

Oct 08, 2008 10:46 PM
Kirk Westervelt
Van West Realty - Greenville, SC Realtor -Short Sale Expert! - Greenville, SC
Kirk Westervelt, Broker In Charge, Van West Realty - CDPE - Short Sale Agent - Home for Sale - Greenville, Simpsonvil...

Hello and welcome to Active Rain! I encourage you to learn from others, share your knowledge and experiences with all of us, enjoy yourself, and try to log in and join us in the Active Rain community as frequently as possible. I look forward to your future blogs and comments! Take care, --Kirk.

Oct 09, 2008 01:31 AM
Nate Blankenship - Spartanburg, SC Realtor
Keller Williams Realty - Spartanburg, SC

Welcome to Active Rain! This is a great site to network, learn and share ideas with others. Have a great day!

Nate

Oct 09, 2008 02:56 AM
Ginger Ryals
Prudential C Dan Joyner and Young Realtors - Spartanburg, SC

Welcome to Active Rain!! This is a great site to network and share ideas!! Have fun with it!!

Oct 09, 2008 07:48 AM
Nance Burdette
Keller Williams Realty Partners - Spartanburg, SC

Welcome and congrats on signing as a new member of ActiveRain. Being a new member myself and entering into my second month, I truly see the awsome advantage that blogging can be; (and it's fun). Seems to be the beginning of a healthy and wealthy relationship of abundant professionals. Everyone has been so very kind. And so much to read!!! Hope to see your blogs in the future.   Best of Luck,  Nance

Oct 09, 2008 12:47 PM
Bill Kennedy
Keller Williams Greenville Upstate - Greenville, SC
Homes For Sale Greenville SC

Welcome to Active Rain! This is a great website for building your business, as well as learning from others.  Pat yourself on the back, because you made a GREAT choice in joining the blogosphere!

Write often, and write whatever comes to mind.  Blogs about personal topics and non-real estate items are often the best.  It helps your readers to bond with you, and ends up bringing you a lot of business!

Good luck with your future blogging.  If you'd like more info on points in Active Rain, I wrote a blog about it (click here). Feel free to ask me any questions if you need a hand!

Oct 09, 2008 03:34 PM