Archive for the ‘AC’ Category.

Wednesday 22 April, 2020

Do it Yourself Spring Maintenance Check List

We are all spending more time at home these days, waiting out the dreaded pandemic. What better time to work on the home and getting it to run as efficiently as possible?

We have put together this list of things you can do to improve the efficiency of you home for the oncoming summer.

First lets start with the door and windows:

    • Tighten and lubricate your door hinges
    • Check the weather stripping and caulking around doors and windows. Replace if necessary.
    • Check the screens on doors and windows and clean them. Replace if necessary.
    • Make sure the windows that face the sun directly have proper covering to prevent too much heat from entering. You can also buy a reflective tint for these windows which will keep the rays from heating your home.

Other in-home items:

  • Dust your ceiling fan blades. Make sure to set them to turn counterclockwise.
  • Test all your smoke alarms. Replace batteries if need be.
  • Check air filters for AC/furnace. Replace if necessary.
  • Remove logs and clean out fireplace.

You can have all these items done in one afternoon and you will be glad you did. Keeping your home safe and efficient saves time and money down the road and the piece of mind it offers is priceless.

 
 

Tuesday 14 April, 2020

Does Your AC Need to be Replaced?

The heat is right around the corner. Society may have shut down because of the pandemic but mother nature hasn’t. The seasons will continue to cycle no matter what.

Spring has sprung and 90 degree summer days are not long behind. With that in mind we have created this blog with some signs that it may be time to invest in a new air conditioning unit.

  1. Is Your AC Unit More Than Ten Years Old? If it is then replacing your unit will increase efficiency and save you 20% on your bill. It literally pays for itself over time. New units are much more efficient.
  2. Does Your Unit Struggle to Maintain? Everyone wants cool temperatures in the summer. For undersized or older units the job is all but impossible and they run non-stop to try to keep up.
  3. Is There Dust and/or Humidity in Your Home? These are two signs that your unit is failing and needs to be replaced.
  4. Have You Had to Have the Unit Repaired More Than Once Recently? Repairs can fix the random breakage but more than one service call per year means that the unit has had it.

The fact is that a good unit lasts for 10 years solidly. After that the efficiency goes down and the bills go up. Like we mentioned earlier, you can do the math and see how much a new unit will save on your bill and then calculate how long that unit took for it to basically pay for itself.

Sterling is here for you. If you need AC repair or installation, please feel free to contact us.

 
  • Posted by : AC
  • Written By: admin1
 

Thursday 19 March, 2020

Spring Time AC Tips

clear out around AC

Keep the area around your outside unit clear of bushes.

It is starting to heat up again and that means using your AC is in the not-too-distant future. This fact has inspired us to put together this short blog that will give you steps you can take to help your AC unit come back on-line the best way possible.

When an appliance as complex as an AC sits for months without being used, steps should be taken before it is used to make sure its operation starts back without a hitch. We have put together these seven five steps you can take to make sure this happens.

  1. Change The Filter. Even if the filter doesn’t appear to be that dirty, it has been sitting for months with old dust on it and who knows what could be happening in it/on it. The smart safe thing to do is to get a brand new filter for your unit.
  2. Make Way For Drainage. Make sure the drainage hole that allows the condensation to run off is clear of any debris. Make sure it is not being blocked by anything.
  3. Cut and Clear Around Your Outside Unit. Make sure there is nothing interfering with the blade. Make sure the fans is not being impeded. Make sure no weeds or bushes are near the unit.
  4. Spray Wash Your Coils. You should take a garden hose and spray out the sides of the outdoor evaporator unit. Dust and debris may have collected in this area of the unit over the winter. You need to make sure it is clear so the unit can “breathe”.
  5. Add a Smart Thermostat. Newer thermostats help regulate the house temperature when you are home or away to maximize efficiency. When you are away or at work, the thermostats can bring the house up to 80 and an hour before you get home it can bring it back down to whatever temperature you desire. This thermostat also gives the unit a nice break during the day, when it is hottest outside.

If you do these simple things, you are truly doing your part to help your unit get going again and preventing problems in the near future.

 

 
 

Tuesday 07 May, 2019

Repair and Replacement of Air Ducts

ac duct repair Lynchburg VaThe air ducts in your home supply the treated air (heated or cooled) to the rooms throughout your house. They are insulated passageways that run in your attic and walls. Like anything else, these ducts have a shelf life.

A duct system that is over 15 years old can start to deteriorate and have inefficiencies. The two major problems you face with an old air duct system are:

  1. leaks and holes – The air you are treating is escaping and causing your pump to work harder to reach a certain temperature. You are basically heating the space between your walls and attic and wasting money at the same time.
  2. air impurities – The impurities cause by dirty and degraded duct systems are every bit as bad as you can imagine. Not only does your system get affected by dirty particles, but your own body (lungs) get affected.

Repair:

If your ducts are relatively new but you are having problems you may experience the following issues:

  1. odd noises – This can be loose or dirty ducts. It is best to call a specialist to look at this.
  2. damage – If your system is running all the time and you cannot figure out why there may be a damaged duct. If someone was doing work in the attic and accidentally knocked a hole in your duct-work you are losing money every single day. Get a repair person out there to look at it.

Whether you need an AC repair or replacement , Sterling Oil is here for you. If you are in the Lynchburg area or surrounding areas, we will come to you and fix your problem. HEATING & COOLING 434-845-0971

 
 

Wednesday 17 April, 2019

Three of the Most Common Air Conditioning Problems

air filter for AC

In this article we will go over some common problems people experience with their AC systems. It is important to be mindful of the system that can make or break your comfort levels this summer.

Refrigerant Leak

Does your air conditioner seem to be cycling on and off more frequently than it used to? This can be a sign of a refrigerant leak.

The refrigerant is the liquid that your system uses to cool the air by passing it through coils and compressing it. As the liquid compresses or decompresses it will either adsorb heat or disperse heat. But if there is not enough coolant in the closed system then your unit must work harder to make up for the difference.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

This is a problem many people don’t realize they have until they have already started replacing or trying to “fix” other parts of the unit. It is important to remember that a thermostat is just another piece of equipment and it can go bad at any time. This can result in everything from faulty readings to your system not running when it should, hence causing uncomfortable temperatures.

Dirty Filter

We all know that the filter needs to be clean to allow air to pass through the cooling system. But, this fact can slip our mind if we are preoccupied with other aspects of our lives. Having a relatively clean filter is very important to the function of an AC unit. And if you are worried about the cost of replacing it often, just be assured that a clean filter will pay for itself in the long run, many times over.

 

 
 

Thursday 11 April, 2019

Programmable Thermostats Help Save Money

thermostat can save moneyThe newer generation of thermostats allow the user to program them far in advance. Many of them can even be connected to an app on your phone. You can program the thermostat to cool (or heat) the house only when you are expected to be there.  Let’s say you keep your house at 75 degrees in summer. You can program the thermostat to allow it to raise the temperature to 82 degrees between 9:30 am -4:30 pm and then start cooling again before you are expected home at 5:00 pm. This same logic can apply to heating the home in winter.

On weekends, a person can program the thermostat to always stay on. The person can also plan for Holidays when they know they will be home all day or away for the weekend. Studies have found this type of energy savings will save you 10% on your heating & cooling bill. That is basically like saying you get a month or so of free cooling or heating.

A brand new digital thermostat can cost as little as $20 on Amazon. The better ones complete with app management may run a bit more but are well worth it in the long run.

We have all read the temperature suggestions from various sources over the years. Many of them recommend 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer. I have found that rarely do people’s personal preference actually match up to those numbers. The best advice is to keep the temperature whatever you like but make sure the heating and cooling devices get a rest while you are away. After all, saving money is the ultimate incentive for any family.

 
 

Monday 01 April, 2019

Now is the Time to Make Sure Your AC is Working

AC Tips AC repair Lynchburg VaSpring may not fully have sprung yet, but before you know it the cool and mild temperatures of spring will have come and gone and we will be into the heat of summer. What better time to check your AC system to make sure it is fully functioning. If it is broken, we would be happy to fix it for you. Just contact us at 434-845-0971.

Here are some AC tips that you should consider before firing up that Air Conditioner this summer.

  1. Check the ducts for damage. Take a look at your duct work. If there is damage to it, you could be losing valuable cold air and the price of your electric bill will increase for sure.
  2. Check the vents. Make sure vents are clear of clutter. Make sure nothing is blocking them.
  3. Look at your thermostat. Is it functioning properly? Is it very old? It may be time for a new thermostat.
  4. Check the drain line. There is a drain line that drains condensation from the cooling coils (inside unit). If this drain is damaged or blocked, this can cause major problems down the road.
  5. Change your air filter. Even if the filter isn’t that dirty, if it has been sitting all winter, it could definitely stand to be changed. Get a new filter for as little as 5 bucks.
  6. Check your circuits.  Make sure they are working and electricity it getting to the unit(s).
  7. Clean the outdoor evaporator coil. This is a very important step. The metallic brushing around your fan can collect dirt over time. If they get clogged then your fan has to work harder to blow away heat from the evaporator coil. Not only that, your entire unit can malfunction because of an overheating outdoor unit. Make sure to take a garden hose and thoroughly spray the dirt from the external casing of the outdoor unit.
  8. Visibly check the lines going into and out of the external unit. If you see corrosion or damage, the piece probably needs replacing.

These quick tips can help you run into major problems down the road when you really need that cold air to fight 90 degree heat. Think of this like a checklist that a pilot uses before he or she starts up their plane engine.

 
 

Friday 01 June, 2018

What Temperature Should I Keep my AC?

summertime thermostatThis is a question you hear quite often in the air conditioning business. In truth, there are many different opinions and people all have different personal preferences. But, in this article, we will share what the energy experts say is your ideal setting to balance comfort and cost efficiency.

The U.S. EPA program called Energy Star suggests that 78 degrees is that perfect temperature. They suggest this temperature for when you are home and awake. But they suggest you have a programmable digital thermostat that will adjust the settings when you are away from home. Continue reading ‘What Temperature Should I Keep my AC?’ »

 
 

Thursday 31 May, 2018

Stats and Figures Related to Air Conditioning

AC and ozoneIn our latest series of blog posts we wanted to really delve into air conditioning. It is a major part of or lives and many people take it for granted or give very little thought to it. Sterling Oil actually installs and repairs AC so that is why we wanted to include this content on our blog.

Raw Figures and Stats

Three quarters of all home in the United States have air conditioning. Air conditioners use roughly 6% of all electricity consumed in the U.S. Your refrigerator uses the same exact principles and mechanisms to keep your food cold. Until the very late 20th century, the liquid coolant (refrigerant) was called a CFC. This stands for chlorofluorocarbons. Since then, the industry has been switching to halogenated chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). The reason for the change is because the CFC’s cause damage to the Ozone layer of the Earth.

Studies indicate switching to newer and more efficient systems can save as much as 20%-50% household energy consumption. It is important to make sure you have the most efficient AC unit you can and that your system is using the newer refrigerants.

Types of AC’s

There are two main types of air conditioners:

  1. Room air conditioners
  2. Central air conditioners

The room AC’s are usually window units or units that use a window in some way. The other type is built into the house and has vents in each room and has an evaporator outside. There are various hybrids of these two types but they are all related to these two main types.

Central units are much more efficient at cooling an entire house. Some people may choose to only air condition a room or two in their house and this is when a window type unit comes in handy.  Another positive feature of a central air conditioner is the ability to truly filter the air. The air is all run through a filter and this process can help with conditions such as asthma and allergies. There are some very high end filters available these days.

Each living space is unique and can be evaluated for the best type of AC to be used. A professional can help you decide what is best for your particular living space.

 
 

Wednesday 30 May, 2018

How an Air Conditioner Fundamentally Works

Many people have enjoyed the benefits all their lives and never really stopped to think how the air conditioning system actually works. All they know is that they hit a few buttons and some cold air starts pouring out of the vent. But the process of cooling the air is actually very interesting and shows, why I believe, air conditioning to be one of the most valuable inventions of the 20th century.

For starters, the reason it is called an “air conditioner” and not an “air cooler” is because it is also dehumidifies the air. A cool room with high humidity works against the cooling process and can also be bad for the occupants. They can develop respiration problems in that environment and mold can grow on surfaces as well.

Basically, the system works by extracting heat from the room and then carrying the heat outside. It also dehumidifies the room and carries the water outside or down a drain. The system uses air from inside the cooling area so it doesn’t have have to waste as much energy. By recycling the already treated air, it saves energy and money. Continue reading ‘How an Air Conditioner Fundamentally Works’ »

 
 
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