Welcome to another edition of Cogburn’s Heating and Air Conditioning with Byron Cogburn, and Byron today we want to talk about the fact that 2016 is here, but what people can resolve to do to take the best care of their heating and air conditioning unit. It’s cold now but summer’s coming, and you want it to be working properly all year long.
Byron: Well Tim, the biggest thing you could do is to change your air filter. That is probably the most important thing. Dirt kills air conditioning and heating systems, it causes you to have higher utility bills. So the cleaner you keep your system, the more money you can keep in your pocket.
Tim: And how often should someone be changing their air filter?
Byron: Well Tim, if they have a fiberglass air filter, which is about 98 cents, they need to change it about every three weeks. If they spend a little bit more money and get a better quality filter, maybe every three months.
Tim: And is there a good methodology for sort of marking that to be reminded to do it? Because it’s one of those things that’s pretty easy to forget about.
Byron: Well most homeowners associate it with their electric bills, so when their utility bill comes in the mail it’s time to pay their bill and change their air filter.
Tim: What other kinds of things are maintenance tips that people can do at home to take care of their unit?
Byron: Well when it comes to your air conditioning, when they’re mowing their yard, rinse off their outdoor unit. That’s probably one of the only things they can do.
Tim: Now, the other piece of that that I think goes with that is there is the important part of doing proper maintenance, and when you have proper maintenance taken care of, it’s going to reduce your bills.
Byron: Well sure. I mean there are a lot of components that are in your system that cause your motors to use more energy. It makes your system run longer and things like that. So, regular maintenance on your system kind of brings out things like inadequate air flow, leaky duct systems, low refrigerant levels, weak components that make motors use more energy. So regular maintenance does bring that to the surface.
Tim: And the time to start thinking about that is almost now, you could be starting to work on it now but really most people start to think about it in terms of a spring tune-up, and then later on a fall tune-up.
Byron: Your spring tune-ups are best at the end of February going into March, and through the first couple weeks of April. Because workload for the companies are lower, you can actually pick the times that are best for you, and you tend to get better service.
Tim: Now of course the other piece of that is that, as equipment ages it doesn’t run as efficiently, but also newer equipment is much more efficient and can save a lot of money in terms of your monthly bills.
Byron: Sure, you take a ten year old air conditioning system and, one of the ways I’ll associate this is with the miles per gallon of a car, but a ten year old air conditioner typically runs about eight miles per gallon. Where today, the city of Denton recommends units that give you about sixteen miles per gallon.
Tim: And when we talk about that, there are some numbers that you sort of look for in terms of how a system is rated, that creates more efficiency; you’re buying more efficiency when you do that. Help someone understand what those numbers mean.
Byron: When it comes to your heater you want to look at the AFUE rating, which is the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency. And today’s minimum units are 80% rated. As far as air conditioners go, they have a SEER rating, which stands for Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio, which is basically how much energy the unit uses to the amount of cooling it provides. And then it’s seasonally adjusted.
Tim: And one of the things that you can do, is you can help people to understand if it’s time to replace the unit, what the best type of unit is for their home.
Byron: Well sure, it takes probably about 60 or 90 minutes, but it’s a good evaluation of your home, and then a good evaluation of what is important to you in your budget. Then you can just put those things together and come up with something that is exactly right for your home and yourself.
Tim: And that kind of leads us into the Cogburns Club Membership, because being a club member kind of covers all of those things and helps to make sure that your unit, during the hottest and the coldest days of the year, is running at maximum efficiency.
Byron: Sure our club members, we contact them a couple of times a year and schedule around their time. But we come out and spend an hour with them, keep an eye on their system, keep an eye on the components, and then when it’s time to replace it we usually recommend that if there’s an expensive repair, or if the equipment’s becoming so unreliable that it’s just time to do something.
Tim: And right now with your Silver Membership it’s a special offer, $10 a month.
Byron: Oh yeah, Silver Club Membership is normally $168 a year, and right now you can take advantage of it for as little as $10 a month.
Tim: All right, this has been another edition of Cogburns Heating and Air Conditioning Radio with Byron Cogburn.