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HVAC Tips from Sears Heating and Cooling

We’ve been in the HVAC business since 1950, and with that experience comes a lot of knowledge. Read our professional tips here.

How Cold Should My AC Be?

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How Cold Should The Air From My Air Conditioner Be? The air from your vents feels warmer than usual. How cold should the air be anyways? When the weather gets really hot outside, you count on your air conditioner to provide a constant stream of cool air to keep you and your family comfortable. But, how cold should the air from your air conditioner actually be?  Temperature Drop The difference between the temperature of the air flowing into your vents via the return vents and the temperature of the cool air coming out is known in the HVAC world as "temperature drop". In most cases, a temperature drop of 15-20 degrees is all that most air conditioners are capable of handling today. Run your ac any cooling and you risk needing an ac repair. Therefore, if the temperature outside is 85 degrees, most air conditioners should be able to cool your home to 65-70 degrees inside under normal conditions. Granted, cooling it to these temps means it will be working hard and running for most of the day. If you are looking to cut back on your energy bills, try leaving the temp a bit higher instead. Adjusting your temperature just 1 degree can save you up to 10% on utility costs over the course of a year. 
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Should I Cover My Air Conditioner In Winter?

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Should I Put A Cover On My AC Unit During Winter? Putting a cover on your air conditioner during the winter can actually do more harm than good. It a way it makes sense right? When you are done with your air conditioner for the year, you put a cover on it to help protect the internal parts and keep it free from debris. Well, it turns out this actually is not the best thing to do when it comes to your air conditioner. Believe it or not, air conditioners of today are built to be quite durable and endure some harsh conditions all year long. Although you may think it will help to cover your air conditioner from the snow, you actually run the risk of harming it if you do. I mean, don't you think manufactures would recommend you utilize a cover if it was truly necessary? Yet none of them do. Here are some popular reasons why covering your air conditioner when not in use is not recommended. Mold, Mildew and Condensation By placing a cover over your air conditioner, you actually run the risk of trapping condensation in the unit and it turning into mold or mildew over time. The best place for mold and mildew to grow is in a damp, dark and warm place and by using an AC cover you are creating this exact situation. Home For Rodents During the cold winters, many rodents seek shelter from the cold. What a great little...
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Can Air Conditioning Cause Headaches?

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Is It Possible For My Air Conditioner To Give Me Headaches? Believe it or not, air conditioning can actually be the cause of headaches for some people. Cold Air Can Cause Dehydration Did you know that your air conditioner not only cools the air in your home but also acts as a large dehumidifier as well? Yep! While lowering the overall humidity indoors is a good thing during the hot summer months, lowering it too much can cause dehydration which will in turn lead to head aches. Even mild dehydration can cause headaches so be sure you drink plenty of water even though you are inside your cool home. Another option is to have a humidifier installed that will work with your HVAC system to keep your home at a constant humidity level.  Cold Air & Blood Vessel Contraction If you keep your home too cool, it can actually cause the blood vessels in your head to start to contract causing a headache. Most home cooling modes are set anywhere from 69-72 degrees. If you have your thermostat set much lower than this, try turning it up a few degrees to give your head a break. Mold & Other Pollutants Mold is well known for causing headaches if the concentration is high enough. Your HVAC system can be a prime spot for mold growth in the summer due to it's damp, cool conditions. The most likely place for mold to grow is on your evaporator coil which sits on top...
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Why Does My Furnace Filter Get Dirty So Fast?

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Why Is My Furnace Filter Getting Dirty So Quickly? Furnace filters can become dirty quite quickly depending on your home and living conditions. Your furnace filter is one of the most important parts of your HVAC system. Not only does it help cut down on dust in the air, but it also helps protect all of the important parts of your furnace and air conditioner. Depending on your home and living conditions, you may ending up changing your furnace filter more or less frequently than others. If your furnace filter is getting dirty faster than usual, here are some things to check: Dust In Your Home Cleaning and dusting your home on a regular basis is a good way to extend the life of your furnace filters. It's advised to dust and vacuum your home at least once per week to cut down on the overall dust level of your home. Having your carpets professionally cleaned at least once per year is recommended as well as they are able to clean much deeper than a regular vacuum. Did you know that your carpets are the biggest filters in your home? Fan Is Set To "On" Instead Of " Auto" This setting is found on your thermostat. If you have the fan in your furnace set to "on", this means that the fan will run continuously until you turn it off at the thermostat. Some people prefer this setting as it helps filter the air in the home and also helps...
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Should I Have My Air Ducts Cleaned?

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How Often Should I Clean My Air Ducts? Over time, air ducts can be come packed full of dirt and dust that affects both you and your HVAC system. Dirty Air Ducts = Dirty Air It goes without saying that if your air ducts are dirty, the air the passes through them will also become dirty. Overtime, dust, skin cells and other particulates from both people and outdoors make their way into your HVAC system. Left untouched over time, your air ducts can become a breeding ground for some pretty nasty stuff and cause both sickness and allergy flare ups. However, just how dirty should they be before you have your air ducts cleaned?  Visual Inspection A good way to get an idea of what may be hiding in your duct work is to look at the return vents in your home. Carefully remove the register and take a look inside. Can you see or feel a good amount of dirt or dust build up? If so, don't be alarmed. Air ducts are bound to get dirty over time and will require cleaning. It's important to note that everyone's home is different. If you have many pets, your air ducts will become dirty faster due to hair and dander build up.  Time For A Cleaning! Signs it may be time for an air duct cleaning include: Visual signs of mold or dirt build up in return vents or other components of your HVAC system. You notice foul smells coming from...
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End Of Summer Home Checklist

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End Of Summer Home Checklist As fall weather moves closer, here are some things to complete before it arrives! 1.) Repair The Driveway This task seems to be most popular in the springtime, but if you have not completed it yet there is still time! Repairing and sealing your driveway is something you can do your self with store bought supplies, but most people opt to have it completed for them by a professional. Be sure to fill any cracks with a quality tar sealer to prevent further erosion during the winter months! 2.) Replace Your Furnace Filter Did you know that your air conditioner and furnace both utilize the same filter? Yep. Be sure to check and change your furnace filter if it looks dirty. A dirty filter is one of the number one causes of needing a furnace repair. If you have a standard one inch filter, these should generally be changed at least once every 30 days. Six inch media filters can generally be changed twice per year. 3.) Clean Your Trash Cans It's safe to say your trash cans get nasty pretty quickly. Cleaning them out several times a year will prevent any unpleasant smells around your home or in your garage (if that's where you store them). After sitting out in the rain, the dark damp environment is a perfect breeding ground for mildew, mold and other nasty things. Use a strong soap, scrub brush and hose to keep them fresh all year long. 4.)...
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The History of the AC Unit

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When Was The Air Conditioner Invented? Summers before the air conditioner was invented could be down right miserable for some people! When the summer heat sets in, those who live in areas affected by the temperature understand the importance of air conditioning. It helps make the summer months bearable and even enjoyable for us. It was not always that way. Prior to the invention of the air conditioner, residents in warmer areas of the country had to face the summer heat with just the help of fans and the local swimming hole. The development of the modern air conditioner, however, was an adventure itself. The First Air Conditioner The building blocks for the first air conditioner began back in 1902, thanks to an engineer working for a printing company. Willis Carrier had sought to find a way to prevent heat and humidity from expanding and contracting the paper, thus disrupting the company's work. Carrier developed a way to circulate cold water through heating coils. He was thus able to drop the air temperature down to the appropriate degree within the printing factory. The idea quickly caught the attention of people everywhere. Willis Carrier, 1915In 1914, an air conditioner was first used inside a residence. The Charles Gates mansion in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the first for this honor. Within the next decade, department stores began to take advantage of the idea, with J.L. Hudson's in Detroit, Michigan, being the first. The following year, movie theaters began to take advantage of the...
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How To Keep Your Air Conditioner Clean

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Importance Of Keeping Your Air Conditioner Clean A clean air conditioner is a happy air conditioner! Important Of a Clean AC An air conditioner is generally one of those things you don't give a second thought to most of the time. It's job is to keep your house cool and as long as it's doing that then you have better things to think about. However, in order to keep your air conditioner happy and healthy, it is very important that it stays clean and free from debris, especially in hot weather when it's running. Did you know that the number one cause of breakdowns and a need for air conditioner repair is dirt and debris? Yep! Who knew a little dirt over time could do so much damage. Keeping Your Air Conditioner Clean Air conditioners thrive on getting proper air circulation when in use. If your ac unit is covered in dirt, grass or other debris, it can literally suffocate your air conditioner over time. Think of it this way, would you want to be wearing a heavy coat of something when it's already 80+ degrees out? I think not. Here are a few ways that you can ensure your air conditioner stays happy all Summer long: Be mindful when mowing around your air conditioner. It is very easy for grass clippings to get blown up and stuck to the walls of the ac unit. If this does happen, be sure to wash it off after you finish mowing the...
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Different Types Of Thermostats

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What Kind Of Thermostat Should I Get? With so many different options available, it may be confusing as to which one is right for you! Manual Thermostat You don't see a lot of these thermostats in homes anymore unless the home is older. Manual thermostats are those old round models with a dial that you have to turn to the temperature you want. Surprisingly, many people still prefer these old types of thermostats over the newer, more efficient models. Manual thermostats are extremely easy to operate as there is no programming required, it is more of just an "on/off" switch that sits on your wall. It's important to note that these types of thermostats are not compatible with many of the new units that are sold today. If you have one of these old, manual thermostats, chances are your furnace and air conditioner are just as old.  Programmable Thermostats Programmable thermostats are very common these days and can be found in most homes. These types of thermostats are considered some of the most efficient due to the programming options it gives you. Instead of having to keep turning your thermostat on or off at certain times of the day, programmable thermostats can be programmed to hold a certain temperature and then change that temperature automatically at a different time of day. A great example of this is during the summer. During the day when it's hot, you can program the thermostat to cool your house to 72 and then die...
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Plants & Indoor Air Quality

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House Plants Help Indoor Air Quality Who knew that those pretty house plants could be actually useful in your home? How House Plants Clean the Air Did you know that adding plants in your home can actually improve the overall quality of the air inside? Yep! Plants actually purify the air and reduce the amount of air particulates believe it our not. Plants can absorb airborne particulates as they take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen through photosynthesis. Not only this, but the micro-organisms that are present in the soil of the plant are responsible for the overall cleaning effect as well. Which Plants Are Best For Indoor Air Quality? Most house plants are very easy to care for. A little water and sunlight and you're good to go! With that being said, some plants prefer certain environments over others (you don't see palm trees growing in Ohio!). When out shopping for plants, be sure to look at the recommended care instructions on the plant tag to verify you can provide the environment it needs. Here are some good house plants to check out: Boston Fern - Easy to take care of, but prefer a more humid environment to grow in with lots of sunlight. Bamboo Palm - These plants can get pretty big, growing up to 12 feet high at times! Aloe Vera - Easy to care for and also contain a clear liquid inside the leaves that is full of vitamins and great for the skin. Garden Mum...
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