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- Rick's Heating and Cooling

Are Your AC Coils Dirty?

Your air conditioner has condenser coils that are responsible for transferring the hot air from your home to the outdoor air. When your AC is running, refrigerant carries heat from inside your home through those coils. Outdoor air blows over the coils, and heat is transferred from the refrigerant to the air. This removes the heat from your home, so your indoor air is cooler and more comfortable.

These critical coils are located inside the outdoor unit of your AC, which makes them vulnerable to dirt and debris buildup. If you don’t take measures to clean your condenser coils, that buildup can greatly impact your system’s overall efficiency.

Are you having problems with your condenser coils? Schedule an appointment for a maintenance check with the Clinton County, OH pros at Ricks Heating & Cooling.

 

Signs Your AC Coils May Be Dirty

Can you tell if your air conditioner coils are getting dirty? Some signs that indicate you may have a problem include:

  • Inefficient cooling – The dirt on the condenser coils prevents the unit from cooling the air properly. When air is blown over the coils, the heat inside the coils can’t transfer to the air, which means it will not be properly removed from your home.
  • High energy bills – Another sign that your condenser coils are dirty is higher-than-normal energy bills. It takes more work to cool the home when the coils are dirty, which means more energy use.
  • Full system breakdowns – Dirty coils cause the system to work harder, and this eventually will increase the likelihood of a full system breakdown.

If you’re noticing these problems, then it’s time to have your coils cleaned. With professional cleaning, you can keep your air conditioning working well.

For help maintaining your air conditioning system, including help cleaning the condenser coils, talk to the team at Rick’s Heating & Cooling. You can call (513) 899-6005 or reach out online for help in Clinton County.

FAQs About Cleaning Your Condenser Coils

Proper air conditioner maintenance will help prevent your coils from becoming dirty, but if you notice a problem, you may want to clean them yourself. Here are some frequently asked questions about cleaning condenser coils.

How can you clean your air conditioning condenser coils?

To clean your air conditioner’s condenser coils, first remove all visible debris from the outdoor unit. Then, cover the unit with coil cleaner. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, and rinse it with water. If that does not help, call a pro.

Why should you clean your air conditioning condenser coils?

Keeping the condenser coils clean helps your air conditioner run effectively and efficiently. Letting the coils get dirty can drive up your cooling costs significantly. It also can shorten the life span of your system by increasing the risk of a full system breakdown.

How often should I clean the condenser coils?

Clean the condenser coils at least one time a year. Leaving them dirty can increase your energy use significantly. If you have routine maintenance performed each year, this will be done as part of your cooling season maintenance check.

If you’re struggling with dirty AC coils, the team at Rick’s Heating & Cooling is ready to help. Call (513) 899-6005 or schedule a consultation online to discuss maintenance plans that include condenser coil cleaning.


What’s the Best Temperature to Set My Thermostat at During the Summer? 

Air conditioning is the best way to beat the heat and humidity of a Cincinnati summer, but the key to managing your comfort and budget is to find the right temperature settings throughout the day and night. The lower you set the thermostat the higher your energy bills will be, but with a few simple changes and the right equipment, you can stay cool without breaking the bank.

Setting Your Thermostat When You’re at Home

During those times that you are at home and awake, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat to 78 degrees. This temperature allows your home to remain cool while keeping energy consumption low and relative indoor humidity levels in check. For maximum savings allow your AC to remain at the same temperature for periods of eight hours or more.

Setting Your Thermostat While You’re Away

Further savings can be had by keeping your home several degrees warmer when you are asleep or away. Set your thermostat to 85 degrees while you are at work or school and 82 degrees while your family sleeps. For every degree you raise the set temperature on your AC for periods of eight hours or more, you can save one percent or more on the cost of energy.

Benefits of a Programmable Thermostat

Control your indoor environment with a programmable thermostat, which is designed to automatically adjust the temperature of your home based on a series of pre-programmed settings for each 24-hour period. Choose the type and model that is right for your unique lifestyle, with options that include Wi-Fi connectivity, adaptive technology, vacation settings, and more. In addition to the cost savings, benefits of a programmable thermostat include:

Convenience

Setting your thermostat each spring and fall allows you to adjust for seasonal changes, and you never have to worry about remembering to raise or lower the temperature before you leave the house or climb into bed.

Flexibility

Programmable thermostats are ideal in any type of setting, including multi-level homes, vacation homes, and commercial buildings. Models range from basic to feature-rich and are based on one of the following formats:

  • 7-day  Best for families who operate on a different schedule each day of the week.
  • 5 + 2 day  Settings can be adjusted to suit both the work week and weekend.
  • 5 + 1 + 1 day – Ideal for those who have different schedules on Saturdays and Sundays.

Enhanced Comfort

By scheduling any temperature changes to occur 30 minutes before you awaken or arrive home your indoor environment will be at your ideal setpoint, and any necessary changes can be made to your smart thermostat over the phone or your internet connection.

Tips to Keep Your Home Cool

Increase the comfort and efficiency of your home and AC with these tips:

  • Turn on a fan. Use ceiling or floor fans when a room is occupied to enhance air movement, but turn them off when empty to avoid wasting energy.
  • Schedule routine maintenance. An annual HVAC tune-up can help keep your AC operating at peak performance for maximum savings and comfort.
  • Cook outdoors. Avoid heating up your interior by grilling outdoors instead of using the oven or stovetop.

Schedule AC Service in Morrow, OH

The team of certified professionals at Rick’s Heating & Cooling has been providing top quality products and services to homeowners throughout Morrow and the surrounding Cincinnati area since 1986.

Call us today at (513) 899-6005 to schedule an appointment or contact us online and let us know how we can help. 


When Do I Need to Replace My Air Conditioner?

During the peak of summer, sitting back and relaxing in the air conditioning is a great way to unwind after a long day of work, running errands, or working around the house. As we inch closer to summer, now is the time to think about the condition and effectiveness of your air conditioner, and whether it may be time for a replacement.

How Long Does an Air Conditioner Last?

The typical lifespan of a central air conditioner ranges from 12 to 15 years, though high-quality systems can last up to 20 years if they’ve been maintained especially well. Once an air conditioner nears the end of its service life, costly and critical components can start to fail. The evaporator or condenser coil can start to leak from corrosion or physical damage. The brushes and armatures in the blower motor, condenser fan, or compressor may start to fail, and things like expansion valves may stop working. Replacing one or more of these components can be costly, and that cost often represents a large portion of the price for a new, modern system.

Additionally, long before major components start failing, the air conditioner may suffer from declines in performance, efficiency, and reliability. This means that your system may struggle to keep your home cool, and even if it can do so successfully, it will likely use more energy than normal and require more repairs as the system works harder to maintain your comfort.

Should I Replace My Air Conditioner?

As long as your air conditioner is less than 15 years old, does not have problems with any major components, and is not costing a fortune in repairs and electricity, it is probably best to keep using it and repair any problems as they come along. Once major components start failing, or when you can no longer depend on it to keep your home comfortable, that is a different story. Here are a few factors to consider as you debate replacing your air conditioner:

  • Repair costs – If your air conditioner needs major repairs, like replacing the evaporator or compressor, get an accurate repair estimate and compare it to the cost of a new system. Only you can decide if the cost of a replacement is justified.
  • Energy usage – Modern air conditioners can use up to 40% less energy than those made 10 years ago, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. The long-term energy savings could offset some of the cost of a replacement.
  • Comfort – Older air conditioners offer great cooling when they are working properly, but they lack some of the latest features that can improve comfort even more, like modern two-stage cooling that adjusts the output of the system, or variable speed blowers that are quieter and can improve comfort and humidity control.
  • Warranty – A manufacturer’s warranty protects your system from defects and provides peace of mind. If your warranty is expired, or near to it, an air conditioner replacement can provide a modern, reliable system with full warranty coverage.

Air Conditioning Replacement & Repair Services

When you need help to decide between air conditioner repairs and replacement, talk to our team at Rick’s Heating & Cooling. Our expert technicians can evaluate your air conditioning system, provide an estimate for the repairs necessary to make it reliable, and help you determine when replacement will be practical and cost-effective based on the system’s condition. We offer quality, professional air conditioner replacement, repair, and maintenance to help with all your cooling needs.

Give us a call at (513) 899-6005 or contact us online to schedule air conditioner services today!


What to Do Before Turning on Your AC This Summer

As the weather begins to warm up and transition from winter to spring, it’s important to make sure your air conditioner is ready to cool your home properly when summer rolls around. When hot temperatures are right around the corner, do you know what to do to get your AC ready for the heat? If not, don’t stress! The cooling service specialists at Rick’s Heating and Cooling are here to help you with our quick and simple pre-season checklist.

Your Fast Guide to AC Readiness in Cincinnati

We know, no one wants yet more chores to do around the home. But we promise that these are not only fast and easy, but absolutely worth your time. Before you turn on your AC for the season be sure to perform these AC maintenance tasks:

  • Clean the vents. Check all of the supply vents in your home to ensure that they are unblocked and clean. This ensures you keep good air flow into rooms and optimize air pressure in the duct system, minimizing common causes of an overheat and uneven cooling.
  • Replace your air filter. If you only have time to do one thing on this list, make it this one. Keeping up with the air filter is the number one best thing you can do for your cooling equipment on your own. A quick filter swap means a reduced risk of AC repair, higher efficiency, and a more powerful cooling system all in one.
  • Inspect the outdoor unit. Clear away any dirt or plant matter, and be sure all of the fins are straight and unbent. If they are a little out of place, gently push them back with a blunt tool. Do be careful though, as the fins aren’t all that hardy, and you don’t want to damage them.
  • Check the condensate line. Just a quick peek into the drain hose—leave anything more complex to the pros. You’re just checking for any obvious clogs that could result in a condensate system leak, helping you avoid some potential water damage in your Cincinnati home.
  • Perform a short test run. On a warmer (not cold, and not hot) day, go ahead and turn the system to 70 and let it run for half an hour. Listen for any strange noises, and check for any air flow issues at the vents. It’s just an easy way to do some minor troubleshooting, ensuring you don’t need to get an AC repair before the hot season kicks off.

Don’t Forget to Schedule an AC Tune-Up!

After you’ve done all the stuff on our list, go ahead and call in to schedule your pre-season maintenance service! Professional tune-ups offer a ton of optimization benefits that can save you in cooling costs. And even more importantly, it stops most of the common causes for a summer cooling system breakdown. A tune-up now saves tons of money and stress, so never neglect to set one up!

Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance in Ohio

At Rick’s Heating & Cooling we’ve been offering homeowners in Cincinnati and the surrounding areas the best in HVAC service and care for years. Our certified technicians are on standby and ready to help you get set and settled for a hot summer, so contact us online or call (513) 899-6005 now!


Why Should I Schedule an IAQ Service?

Indoor air quality has become one of the hottest topics in HVAC and home efficiency in the past few years. But as a homeowner, you might be feeling somewhat out of the loop. Why does it matter? Why should you care? The professionals at Rick’s Heating & Cooling are here to talk about the important role indoor quality plays in your comfort, and why you should consider scheduling a service.

Why Indoor Air Quality Matters

The air inside of your home is many times more dense with pollutants than outdoor air. All of the dust, pollen, mold spores, and bacteria that we find outside—it’s in your home, too. And once there, multiple things prevent it from getting out.

Modern homes have become heavily sealed in order to maximize efficiency and home comfort, and while that’s great from an HVAC and energy savings standpoint, it creates some problems when it comes to the quality of your indoor air. Pollutants come in and stay in, resulting in respiratory complications and messy homes that can be exceptionally challenging to keep up with.

This is why indoor air quality matters and why the industry has been fast tracking stronger and more effective technology to help us combat our poor air quality.

The Importance of an Indoor Air Quality Service

In a nutshell, it’s all about getting fresh air in, getting pollutants out, and controlling humidity levels in order to maximize your comfort while optimizing efficiency. We understand that all feels a bit vague, so let’s dive into the benefits you can gain from scheduling an IAQ service:

  • Healthier home air. Air quality solutions like filtration systems and air cleaners aim to remove and mitigate most of the common spore-sized particles we deal with in our homes. This means cleaner, fresher air, and a lot less mess around the home.
  • Less odors. By removing mold spores and common bacteria (as well as particles left by household cooking and cleaning chemicals), your home will smell much cleaner on top of actually being much cleaner.
  • Higher HVAC efficiency. Keeping dust and pollen out of your air benefits more than just your lungs. Less of this mess in your air means less of it in your HVAC filter, ducts, and the system as a whole. This can help streamline airflow, helping the system get its job done more efficiently.
  • Higher comfort levels. Controlling humidity offers particularly strong benefits to homeowners in Cincinnati and the surrounding areas. Our AC systems and furnaces both sap indoor air of vital moisture, leaving skin scratchy and our respiratory systems feeling dry. With a humidifier, you can expect an easier time breathing, and you may even avoid common allergy issues.
  • Less health risks and potentially less illness. Minimizing mold and bacteria, as well as dust mites, has been proven an effective means of helping homeowners avoid many forms of illness. If you’re tired of struggling with seasonal colds or a consistent cough, indoor air quality may help.

Indoor Air Quality Services in the Cincinnati Area

Starting to feel like an indoor air quality service in Cincinnati might be just the thing you’ve been looking for? Contact the certified IAQ specialists at Rick’s Heating & Cooling! Our teams offer air cleaner services, duct sealing, humidity control, and more. No matter what challenges your home may face, we’ve got the solution and service to match.

Contact us online today or give us a call at (513) 899-6005 to schedule an indoor air quality consultation!