Waldrop’s Guide to AC Advice in South Carolina
Waldrop Plumbing – Heating – Air is here to address your HVAC needs in Greenville County and Spartanburg County. While our NATE-certified HVAC technicians can assist with AC service, how you choose, operate, and care for your air conditioner directly impacts performance and longevity. If well cared for, an AC can last up to 15 years. Our guide to AC advice in South Carolina provides tips and insights for getting the most out of your system.
Choose the Right AC for Your Home
Installing the right AC will ensure every room is warm or cool and can reduce energy usage, the need for repairs, or early replacement. Our AC contractor can guide you on the types of air conditioners available, including:
- Central Air Conditioners: Refrigerant circulates between an outside unit and inside unit to transfer heat, while air is distributed via ductwork. The system can dehumidify air as well. A central AC can be a split system or packaged unit with the condenser and evaporator in the same outdoor unit.
- Ductless Air Conditioners: One or multiple indoor air handlers are connected to an outdoor unit via just a small hole in an exterior wall. Ductwork isn’t needed, which is great for smaller and/or older homes. You can set the temperature differently for each room.
- Heat Pump/Geothermal: A heat pump is most reliable where it rarely drops below freezing. It works by moving heat in one direction or another, which allows it to heat and cool your home. In a geothermal system, liquid absorbs heat from the ground and moves it into your home, or vice versa, rather than produce heat.
No matter which type of system you use, it must be properly sized for your home. If an AC is too big or too small in terms of cooling capacity, it won’t run efficiently, provide much comfort, or be cheap to run. In fact, you could end up spending much more in energy, repairs, and premature replacement.
Energy Saving Tips
How you use your air conditioner can greatly impact energy efficiency. Use these suggestions to reduce energy usage and lower your monthly bill:
- Clean/Replace the Filter: The air filter should be checked monthly and cleaned or replaced (depending on the type) every three months or as needed. A clogged filter can reduce airflow, performance, and efficiency and may strain vital components.
- Install a Programmable Thermostat: It can allow you to set temperatures on a schedule and automatically, so your AC runs cooler when you need it to. Adapting to reduced demand saves energy and time (you don’t have to constantly adjust the setting).
- Close the Windows: Whether open or closed, windows easily let heat in. Keep them closed to prevent hot air from entering. Also, close blinds and drapes during the day, especially when there’s direct sunlight.
- Install a Whole House Fan: Mounted in the attic, the fan will push hot air out through roof vents. In turn, cooler outside air is drawn in through open doors and windows (a rare case when opening them is an advantage).
- Use Insulation: In addition to insulating walls, insulate outdoor AC lines to reduce condensation and the risk of freezing. Check the insulation from time to time; if it is damaged or rotted, replace it. And instead of wrapping your outdoor condenser with plastic tarp in the winter, which will cause rust, place a piece of plywood on top.
- Fix Air Leaks: Check for drafts around doors, windows, and outer walls. You can also use incense to see if smoke blows away or toward something, which indicates a leak. Sealing these leaks can help your AC work better. Leaks in ductwork can be problematic, so consult your HVAC provider for duct inspection and sealing services.
- Energy Audits: Scheduling a home energy audit is AC advice in South Carolina we often recommend. Our technicians use infrared technology and other tools to identify sources of wasted energy. Finding moisture leaks, poor insulation, duct leaks, drafty windows, old equipment, and other contributors to reduced efficiency helps us prioritize issues to address.
Taking Care of Your AC
There are many ways to care for your air conditioner. These can prevent issues and help it run smoothly. In between service calls, you can:
- Clean the Unit: Vacuum dust from the outside surface and indoor grills and registers. You can also clean the condenser fins with a soft-bristle brush. Use the steps in the owner’s manual to access the fins, which may require removing a metal panel or box. Be gentle as these fins can easily bend or get crushed (however, they can be straightened with a fin comb).
- Unclog the Condensate Drain: A clog can cause water to collect around the furnace when the AC is on. Clear out the drain and tube if it’s clogged with debris or bacterial slime. You can also install a new drain tube and use special tablets to prevent buildup.
- Reduce Noise: Aside from damage or wear, a compressor can make noise. You can reduce this by fitting a compressor sound blanket on the unit. However, if the unit is old, the fan will still make noise you can hear, so consult an HVAC professional on whether to repair or replace it.
Don’t Forget About Maintenance
AC maintenance should be performed in the spring, before it gets too hot. Schedule a maintenance visit with Waldrop and our team will check filters, vents, fan belts, refrigerant levels, airflow, and the condition of major components. We can provide a complete tune-up so your system is ready to keep your home cool all season. With regular maintenance, you can save money and prevent energy wastage, repairs, or an AC breakdown.
Schedule Your Service Call Today
We hope our guide to AC advice in South Carolina helps you better understand how to care for your HVAC system. Waldrop Plumbing – Heating – Air is known for high-quality service throughout Upstate South Carolina. Whether you need help with AC installation, maintenance, or repairs or more advice on using your system, schedule an appointment online or give us a call at 864-536-0887.