Advice From the Pros

Common Mistakes Homeowners Make with Their Air Conditioning Units

Your home’s air conditioning system is one of those things that works so well most of the time, that you almost forget it is there. But when it isn’t working well, especially here in Texas, you will definitely notice. It’s such an important part of your home, that it is imperative that you treat it right.

Ignoring proper air conditioning management will raise your energy bills, decrease the efficiency of your system, and ultimately require additional costly and time-consuming repairs. So, avoid these common mistakes and reap the cool rewards!

Not changing air filters

The air filter is the lifeline of your air conditioning system. Try to imagine running a marathon while breathing through a straw. You will try your best, but eventually, you are going to give out. Running the system with dirty air filters does the same thing to your air conditioning system. Make sure that you change those filters once a month and keep your air conditioner breathing freely all summer.

Avoiding tune-ups

It may feel like a lot of money to spend when everything is running fine but checking on the unit while its working is just like getting a physical at the doctor. Preventative maintenance saves much more money in the long run. Our friendly professionals can catch small issues before they get out of control.

Not using a programmable thermostat

This gives you automated control on how and when the unit runs. Running the air conditioner at 72 degrees 24/7 wastes energy and ultimately reduces the life span of your unit.

Restricting airflow

Outdoors, you want to make sure your unit has at least 24 inches of clearance from shrubs and other structures all the way around. if you have furniture in front of intake vents, move it out 4 inches to let the air enter the vent. Don’t close off supply vents in rooms that aren’t in use, either. Your unit is designed to use all of the available ductwork and vents! Closing vents off only adds stress to your unit.

Follow these expert tips year-round, and give us a call today to schedule your next air conditioning system maintenance appointment! Gentry Air Conditioning is here to keep you and your family comfortable no matter what the Texas weather brings.

 

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How to Get the Most Out of a Struggling Air Conditioning Unit

That famous summer heat has begun to descend on North Texas, and it’s only the start of June. It is a heavy life to ask for from your AC unit, especially considering that we are in for months more of this. When your air conditioner starts to struggle, few people have a budget set aside for a brand new air conditioner! Luckily, there is usually a bit more time you can get out of a system at the end of its lifespan. This post will help you get the most out of your unit while you budget for a new air conditioning system.

Read on for some tips on how to get the most out of your struggling AC unit, and what to expect:

Turn up the thermostat. This should be the first and most obvious step. 78 degrees is the high end of comfortable temperatures for most people. The less the unit runs, the less chance for a breakdown.

DO NOT turn the unit off while you are not home. This is a common practice, but your air conditioning unit will have to work harder overall to catch up when you return.

Change your air filters monthly. Dirty filters make it harder for your unit to move air, which causes system strain.

Make your house use as little energy as possible. This not only will save you money on your energy bills but will go a long way toward keeping your home cooler overall. Draw your blinds and shades, caulk windows, seal gaps and cracks that let outside air in, keep as few lights on as possible, and only run your major appliances like dishwashers and dryers late at night. You can also consider limiting the use of your oven on hot days.

Run your ceiling fans to make the air feel more comfortable. This is a helpful trick all summer, regardless of whether your air conditioning unit is struggling or brand new.

Finally, be prepared to spend some money to keep it going. Breakdowns may happen and refrigerant may be needed. It is not ideal, sometimes a bandaid repair is best in the short term to keep your system afloat until you can make your big purchase of a new system.

If you find yourself in this situation this summer, get in touch with us here at Gentry Air Conditioning immediately. We can help you and your family stay comfortable in the short and long terms!

 

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Looking for a New Thermostat? Here’s What You Need to Know

Time for a new thermostat?

With all this extra time we have all been spending at home lately, you may have realized that it is time to upgrade your thermostat. Gentry is here to help! Here are our expert tips for making the upgrade:

Assess your needs

The first step is to assess what your needs are in a thermostat, with your specific home and family in mind. Are you looking to add wifi connectivity, smart home integration, and/or scheduling capabilities? Does your system currently have multi-speed AC and heat? These are the questions you should answer before looking for the perfect product to match your system and desires.

Don’t go overboard

Once you assess your family’s needs, use that as a guide to select your thermostat. If wifi is not important to you, then there is no need to spend your money on a wifi enabled thermostat. Some people find that all they want is a basic programmable thermostat. Bigger or more expensive isn’t necessarily better here. Focus on fit.

Read reviews 

Every brand has its pros and cons. Reading reviews online can help you narrow down which thermostat is the best fit, and can help answer some of the questions that you may have about the product. This can be especially helpful currently when you might be shopping for a thermostat exclusively online.

Narrow down your choices and read the requirements for that thermostat to make sure it will work in your home. Some require an extra “common” wire that you may not have. You also need to consider whether the wifi router is close enough to the thermostat location and whether your it will require professional installation to maintain the warranty. Even aesthetic considerations have to be addressed, such as whether it will cover the paint behind the existing thermostat, and whether they have covers available for this purpose if not.

Know your product

Some thermostats like Nexia and Honeywell are programmed by the homeowner or installer and then settings can be manually adjusted as you go. Other thermostats, like the Nest, ask you some basic information and then “learn” your heating and cooling habits over time. You need to be prepared to actively adjust the Nest type thermostats for a period to ensure consistency in the operation.

There are so many excellent thermostat types and products out there right now. Please don’t hesitate to give our friendly professionals at Gentry Air Conditioning a call if you have questions or need any help making your decision.

 

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