Air conditioning can greatly enhance the comfort of your home, but if it is used improperly or inefficiently, wasted energy and frustration will result. These hints and suggestions are provided to help you maximize your air conditioning system.
Your air conditioning system is a whole-house system. The air conditioning unit is the mechanism that produces cooler air. The air conditioning system involves everything inside your home including, for example, drapes, blinds, and windows.
Your home air conditioning is a closed system, which means that the interior air is continually recycled and cooled until the desired air temperature is reached. Warm outside air disrupts the system and makes cooling impossible. Therefore, you should keep all windows closed. The heat from the sun shining through windows with open drapes is intense enough to overcome the cooling effect of the air conditioning unit. For best results, close the drapes on these windows.
Time is very important in your expectations of an air conditioning system. Unlike a light bulb, which reacts instantly when you turn on a switch, the air conditioning unit only begins a process when you set the thermostat.
If evening cooling is your primary goal, set the thermostat at a moderate temperature in the morning while the house is cooler, allowing the system to maintain the cooler temperature. The temperature setting may then be lowered slightly when you arrive home, with better results. Once the system is operating, setting the thermostat at 60 degrees will not cool the home any faster and can result in the unit freezing up and not performing at all. Extended use under these conditions can damage the unit.
Inspect filters for dust. Clean and replace filters as needed. Vacuum air supply and air return registers to remove dust and lint. Condensate lines should be inspected twice a year: at the beginning of the air conditioning season and at the end. If a trickle discharge is reduced to an occasional drip, it potentially means that the condensate line is in the process of becoming plugged. Another symptom of a plugged condensate line is cold water droplets blowing out of the air supply grills in the house. If water is observed dripping in front of a window or patio door, or onto a garage floor, it is likely that the primary condensate line is plugged. If this occurs, shut off the air conditioner and schedule the system for servicing.
Time and weather will shrink and dry caulking so that it no longer provides a good seal. As routine maintenance, check the caulking and make needed repairs. (Please refer to Maintenance Schedule). Caulking compounds and dispenser guns are available at hardware stores. Read the manufacturer's instructions carefully to be certain that you select an appropriate caulk for the intended purpose.
The caulk joints in bathrooms need to be inspected and re-caulked when necessary, but no less than every six months. This includes the joint at the bottom of the shower, the joint between the tub and the wall, the joint were the tub or shower pan meets the floor, and vertical inside corners and seats. It is very important that these joints do not pass any water; otherwise dry rot can progress unseen for years.
The final grades around your home have been inspected and approved for proper drainage of your lot. The local building authorities as well as California Homes inspect the site. Use caution when installing landscaping, fencing, or additions to your home to prevent causing water problems on your lot or adjacent lots.
Typically, the grade around your home should slope 1 foot in the first 10 feet, tapering to a 2 percent slope. In most cases, drainage swales do not follow property boundaries. Maintain the slopes around your home to permit the water to drain away from the home as rapidly as possible. This is essential to protect your foundation. Failure to do so can result in major structural damage and can adversely effect your rights to obtain repairs or recover the cost of repairs.
Yard – Yard drains, if applicable, should be flushed with a garden hose prior to the start of the rainy season and should show evidence of free flow at the curb.
The Homeowner has a responsibility to always maintain all soil that surrounds the foundation of the house. Homeowners may violate this Guideline in one of two ways: 1) during the installation of landscape materials, they modify the existing grade by leveling it out, causing either a negative slope or a flat slope, or 2) they hire a landscape company that modifies the grade during soils preparation and planting, causing either flat or negative slope.
Good maintenance of your furnace can save energy dollars and prolong the life of the furnace. Carefully read and follow the manufacturer's literature on use and maintenance. The guidelines here include general information only.
Experiment with the adjustable registers in your home to establish the best heat flow for your lifestyle. Generally, you can reduce the heat in seldom-used or interior rooms. This is an individual matter and you will need to balance the system for your own family's needs.
Do not overheat your new home. Overheating can cause excessive shrinkage of framing lumber and may materially damage the home. In the beginning, use as little heat as possible and increase it gradually
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