Here in the Houston and Sugarland area using the air conditioner in to the fall months is not unheard of. With temperatures still averaging above 80 degrees everyday it is still a must to keep our homes and businesses comfortable. Although cooler temperatures are coming around it is important to make sure we are doing what we can to keep our a/c unit healthy. A great way to do this is to change your filter and consider upgrading to a better quality filter. Here are some helpful facts to get the best filter for your unit.
Check the MERV Rating
This is a standard rating system that helps you compare a filters efficiency from different manufacturers on a scale of 1 (low)-16(high). The higher the MERV rating the better the filter performs at removing small particulates from the air in your home. Be careful though, your a/c system is set to perform best with a particular MERV rating so call your a/c technician to check on what your system requires.
If you have pets they may be spending more time inside as the weather gets cooler and wetter outdoors. For the best results look for filters that specifically address pet dander and pet hair. This will keep your system cleaner and the air quality in your home better. However, remember that you may need to change your filter more often with indoor pets.
Making sure to keep these clean is very important. Once a month they should be rinsed off and dried before putting them back in your system. These filters are more costly but do have a longer use spanning 5 years on average. They do not perform as well as some filters concerning small particulates but can be a great way to save money on your filter needs.
Houston is considered #10 on the most humid cities in America list, with an average humidity level of 75%. It ranks #8 in the top 10 most uncomfortable cities for combinations of summer heat and humidity. The average September temperature is 89 degrees for the high and 69 degrees for the low. Average September rainfall is 4.33 inches.
Sugarland averages 5.10 inches of rain in September. Average temperatures for September are 91 for the high and 71 for the low.
Energy use goes up significantly during the summer months in the Houston area due to high heat and humidity, which puts a great deal of pressure on electric companies to have enough energy to keep the largest city in Texas cool.
There is plenty you can do to keep your a/c unit clean and working properly longer including keeping an eye on the parts of your unit that are outside of your home. The compressor/condenser unit is usually located outside in your back or side yard area. In most cases it should be about 2 feet away from your home’s foundation. A great way to keep this part of your a/c unit healthy is to keep it free from obstructions.
Many people do not realize how easy it is for these units to be compromised by weeds, grass and debris. Make sure that you check it out at least every two weeks to see if there are any obstructions to do away with. For the best performance try to keep a 2 foot radius of clear space around the compressor, and also trim back trees or bushes that overhang.
Another thing to pay attention to is the duct system that is in your attic and crawl space, this is where a lot of heat can build up throughout the day. Try to get a good look at the areas you can at least 2 times each year to see if there is any tearing in the insulation or seals. Ensuring that these ducts are insulated well will keep the air traveling through them much cooler. Also, looking for any leaks in these ducts can help you save money and not waste cool air in spaces where it is not needed.
A lot of people refer to their air conditioner/heater simply as “their AC,” but hear it referred to as HVAC. What is that all about? HVAC is a common term used in the heating and cooling industry. It stands for “heating, ventilation and air conditioning.” Those are the three functions combined into most modern heating and cooling units.
The one that confuses people is the V – ventilating. This often overlook aspect of modern systems is one of the most important. The system provides ventilation, reduces air infiltration, and maintains pressure relationships between spaces. The means of air delivery and removal from spaces is known as room air distribution.
Without that distribution of air, the heat or cool would not travel. Air movement is what ultimately makes the entire system work.
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