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Cooling Tips - Staying Cool

Today's modern cooling systems can help keep your temperature from rising due to high monthly energy bills.

If your cooling or heating system is over 10 years old, you might be surprised to find out just how much more efficient the new systems are. With energy savings of up to 40%, the investment can be financially worthwhile. In fact, the savings will usually pay back the cost several times over the life of the equipment.

Newer air conditioners and heat pumps offer tremendous advances in efficiency. The SEER rating or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio measures cooling performance. The higher the rating, the more efficient the unit. A typical older unit has ratings of around 6 SEER. Newer units offer ratings of 10-14 SEER. That can cut your cooling costs in half.

Cooling products feature either scroll or reciprocating compressors. The type of compressor used depends on size and efficiency of the unit. Optional variable speed air handlers are also available to help maximize system efficiency. Whisper-quiet blowers improve air quality by mixing air from floor to ceiling.

Spring System Tune-Up

What you can do to help your heating or cooling products run smooth during the seasons you need them most:

Follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions which generally include these instructions:

Keep air-supply outlets and return inlets clear of obstructions. Clear leaves, brush, and dirt as they accumulate on the outside unit. If there's a pipe for draining condensate water, check it for blockage.Check the air filter once a month during the operating season. Replace it if it looks dirty (some are washable).

Invest in a digital thermostat to program temperatures for your cooling system to follow throughout the day. For example, if no one is home during the day, a programmable thermostat can run the air conditioner or furnace at a temperature that will require less energy, then the program can adjust itself to a temperature to your liking one hour before you come home.

Routinely have a professional contractor perform a pre-season check-up. Having your air conditioner inspected and tuned can save you money on costs and prevent premature breakdown. The cost is well worth it when you consider the cost of decreased efficiency, larger monthly utility bills and repairs. Schedule your tune-ups early in the spring. You'll have more scheduling flexibility and you will be less likely to have problems during warmer weather. Here are some of the services your technician will perform during a system check:

Inspect blower wheels, unit wiring and unit disconnect. Check refrigerant charge, moors, ductwork and compressor electrical data. Clean condenser coils and condensate drain and clean or replace air filters. Lubricate motors and bearings.

Allergies and Your Indoor Air

Approximately 1 in 5 people in America suffer with serious allergy or sinus problems and over 35 million Americans are affected by seasonal allergies. There's not a lot you can do about pollen and allergens in the air outside, but there's a whole lot you can do for your indoor air.

Indoor air is often even more polluted than outdoor air. Pollen, dust, smoke from cooking and tobacco, animal dander and hair can collect in stagnant indoor air. Mold, the cause of almost 100% of chronic sinus infections, can infect duct systems.

Ask your dealer about electronic air cleaners. They do a terrific job of filtering dust, microorganisms and foreign objects. Much more effective than disposable and electrostatic filters, electronic filters can eliminate up to 99% of all household irritants. Also, if you suspect molds, call your dealer to inspect your ductwork.

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