Pat Moody recently wrote an article about Jeff Street joining the Boss Heating and Air team. You can read it here.
Dryers are one of the biggest consumers of electricity in your home. Lint build up in your dryer vent restricts air flow. This causes the efficiency of the dryer to drop. You will have to run your dryer longer to get your clothes dry. A clean vent will allow maximum air flow and decrease your drying time.
Lint is extremely flammable. A small spark from anything can ignite the lint buildup in your dryer vent. Below is an Inside Edition report on dryer vent fires.
So how do you clean your dryer vent?
1. Start by removing your lint trap and cleaning it. This should be done every time you dry a load of laundry.
2. Use a vacuum to get as far into the lint trap as possible.
3. Pull your dryer away from the wall and disconnect the dryer vent. All you need is a screwdriver to do this.
4. Clean the vent.
If you have a long dryer vent you should use a dryer vent cleaner. This will ensure you get all of your vent.
If you have a shorter vent you can probably get all of it with a vacuum. Push the vacuum hose as far as you can into the dryer vent. Make sure you are gentle while you are doing this. You don’t want to put a hole in your dryer vent.
5. Reattach your dryer vent to your dryer and push it back into place. When you push it back into place make sure you don’t crush your dryer vent. The straighter the vent is, the better it will work.
This vent was installed about 5 months ago and it already had lint built up inside.
You should clean your dryer vent at least twice a year. If you notice your dryer taking longer than normal to dry your clothes, take 15 minutes to clean out your dryer vent. A little time will save money on your electric bill and make your home safer.
Ductless heating and cooling systems are also known mini-split systems. If you have been wondering if making the switch to a ductless heating and cooling system is the right choice for you, continue reading to learn all about how and why they might the solution to your heating and cooling problems.
What components make up a ductless heating and cooling system?
A ductless heating and cooling system is made up of two main parts. There is a condenser and/or heat pump unit that is located outside your house.
Inside your house, there is heat pump and/or air handler unit. It is sometimes referred to as a head. This is the part that pushes the warm or cool air out into your home.
What are the benefits of a ductless heating and cooling system?
In Michigan, most homes have a basement. If you use your basement and you have a standard HVAC system, your basement is most likely cooler than your main floor and your second floor is warmer than your main floor. Sometimes that temperature difference can be unbearable.
With a ductless heating and cooling system you can control the temperature of each individual head. That means you don’t have to worry about putting on a coat to go to the basement and sweating when you go to the second floor.
Ductless heating and cooling systems are also energy efficient and cheaper to install.
Why are you maintaining a comfortable room temperature in a room you never go in? With the ability to control the temperature in each room, you can adjust the temperature in the rooms you don’t use to save money on your monthly energy bills.
Installation costs are also cheaper with ductless heating and cooling systems. These units can be installed quicker and cheaper than traditional HVAC systems because there is no need to run ducts through your house.
Ductless heating and cooling systems can improve your indoor air quality.
With a filter in each head, it is cleaning the air in the room each time the head turns on. If you keep the filter clean you will continue to clean your home’s air and improve your indoor air quality more efficiently than with a traditional HVAC system.
Ductless heating and cooling systems are extremely popular. They are a great solution to your home’s heating and cooling needs. They provide a level of customization and comfort that your family will love.
It’s getting warmer outside. With the warm weather comes BBQs, bonfires, and gatherings. Every time you have friends or family over you tell yourself you must do something to hide that ugly air conditioner condenser unit.
Well, stop procrastinating. You can do something about it now.
Before we begin there are some things you need to keep in mind.
1. Your air conditioner condenser unit must have room to breathe. If you block to much air flow you will decrease the efficiency of your air conditioner and eventually cause damage that will require a service technician to fix.
2. Make sure you keep your air conditioner condenser accessible. You will need to access it to clean it and if it breaks a service technician will need access to it.
3. If you have kids that play outside, you need to block their access to your air conditioner condenser unit. Your kids have smaller fingers than you and they might try to put them inside the fan area or they might think sticks belong inside the fan.
Now I’m going to throw some ideas out to hide your ugly air conditioner condenser unit.
1. Lattice fence.
A lattice fence is easy to build and can be completed cheaply. There are many options for the lattice. You can get it in multiple colors made of plastic or wood. If you get wood lattice you can paint it any color you like.
Lattice is a good choice because it provides ample ventilation. You can put a lattice fence close to your air conditioner condenser unit without worrying about blocking air flow.
If you move the lattice farther away from your air conditioner condenser unit you can let some vines grow on it without blocking the air flow. This is will provide a nice look without breaking the bank.
Plants are a cheap way to hide your air conditioner condenser unit. You can plant them directly in the ground around your air conditioner condenser unit or you can put them in pots and stage them to block the view from your entertaining area to your air conditioner condenser unit.
Plants are cheap and easy but they do have some drawbacks. You must keep up with weed control and trimming to make sure leaves or flower pedals are not falling into your air conditioner condenser unit. You also need to maintain accessibility. Potted plants can be moved but planted ones can’t
Upcycling, or repurposing, pallets into useful and decorative things around the house is popular right now. You can probably find pallets in your area for free. Check with the stores and factories. They usually have some that they are looking to get rid of.
The possibilities of a pallet fence are endless. The thing you need to keep in mind when you are using pallets is air flow. They block more air than the lattice fence so they need to be farther away from the air conditioner condenser unit.
4. Build a fence
If you want to just make a normal fence that is it perfectly fine way to hide your air conditioner condenser unit. You can really let your imagination run wild with fence ideas.
When you are brainstorming, remember a solid fence will block a lot of air flow. It needs to be far enough away to allow ample air flow around the air conditioner condenser unit.
A fence is more permanent than most other methods so you might want to consider adding a gate for access.
5. Metal enclosure
This is more for safety and theft protection then it is aesthetics. There are some decorative metal enclosures available. These are good to keep kids from getting hurt and they will protect your air conditioner condenser unit from theft and tampering.
6. Shed / Completely enclosed
I do not recommend you build a shed or complete enclosure around your air conditioner condenser unit. Your air conditioner condenser unit puts out a lot of hot air. That hot air needs to vent someplace. If it is enclosed and can’t vent it will decrease efficiency and break your air conditioner.
There are so may ways to hide your air conditioner condenser unit. This article is really just the wavetops. As long as you are maintaining accessibility and not restricting air flow you can’t go wrong.
Spring is in the air.
I know in Southwest Michigan that doesn’t mean much. It might snow tomorrow morning and be 90° in the afternoon. That is why now is the best time to get your air conditioner ready for the summer. You live in Michigan. You never know when you are going to need to turn your air conditioner on.
You don’t want to wait until you need your air conditioner to turn it on for the first time of the season. You also don’t want to turn your air conditioner on without preparing it first.
So here is a quick list of what you should do to get your air conditioner ready for the hot Michigan summer months.
Before getting started make sure your air conditioner is turned off.
We will start on the outside.
1. Clean the compressor.
Start by removing the leaves, debris, weeds, trash, or anything else blocking any of your compressor coils from around the outside. Next you need to clean the dirt and debris out of the coils. Start with a vacuum and use the soft brush attachment. Vacuum as much dirt as you can from the coils. Once you have cleaned as much as you can with the vacuum, use a garden hose. Don’t use a pressure washer. A normal hose will work fine. Wash the remaining dirt and debris out as best as you can. Make sure you try multiple angles.
While you are cleaning the coils, make sure you don’t bend or break any of them. If you do you can straighten them with a fin comb but it is best to not damage them in the first place.
2. Check the coolant lines.
Next you need to check the coolant lines. They are the insulated lines that go from the compressor into you house. These lines are insulated to improve the efficiency of your air conditioner. Check these lines for damage and missing insulation. If you find parts that are missing insulation you can go to the hardware store and purchase some insulation to patch the missing parts.
Now we will move into you house and check the indoor parts.
3. Check the drain.
Start by locating the drain for your air conditioner. This is known as the condensate drain. It should be a small PVC pipe. Once you locate it make sure that it has not been knocked loose during the winter months and that it is still draining in the correct location.
If you can access the beginning of the drain on your air conditioner you can clean it by dumping some vinegar in it and flushing it with water. This will kill the algae buildup and help prevent clogs.
4. Next check the filter.
Since you are a responsible homeowner, you probably change your filter regularly so this will not be anything new. Just in case you want to know more about air filters, click here.
5. Test your air conditioner.
Go to your thermostat and turn on your air conditioner. Turn the temperature down to make sure it turns on. Let it run for a little while to make sure it’s working properly. Go outside and listen for strange noises coming from the compressor. If you hear scraping, banging, screeching, or something that does not sound like it’s operating normally shut it down immediately and call an HVAC professional.
Once you listen to the compressor, go inside and listen to the air condition unit. Check to make sure there is no water dripping from the unit anyplace except in the drain area.
If it all sounds good, looks good, and cold air is coming out of your vents, you can shut it down.
With your spring checks complete, you can rest assure that your air conditioner is ready for the Michigan summer months.