Call these companies for local HVAC sales, installation and service:

Arctic Air Heating and Air Conditioning

1406 N. Military Avenue, Lawrenceburg, TN • 931-964-4900 • Arctic-Air.com

J&J Heating & Cooling

3247 Salem Road, Minor Hill, TN • 565-3397 • JJComfort.com

Kirkpatrick Homes Inc.

1828 Braly Lane, Pulaski, TN •516-3044 • facebook.com/kirkpatrickhomesinc

Residential Plus Heating and Cooling

311 Polly Road, Pulaski, TN • 363-6628 • ResidentialPlushvac.com

Wamble Heating and Air Conditioning

928 Mill St., Pulaski, TN • 424-8826 • Find us on Facebook

Key to Keeping Cool Is AC Maintenance

Few things beat summer heat better than walking into a comfortably chilled air conditioned home. Air conditioning is often taken for granted, but sorely missed when it is not working. The key to keeping cool all summer long is to ensure that air conditioning systems are functioning properly.

Maintaining an AC unit can save money and protect homeowners’ investments. Without regular attention, an AC unit will lose its efficiency, needlessly wasting both energy and money as a result. Poor maintenance also can lead to system failure just when it is needed most.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average lifespan of an air conditioning unit is about 15 to 20 years. Home Advisor says homeowners can pay between $500 and $4,000 for central air conditioning, with the final cost depending on the unit, additional installation items, such as ductwork, and installation charges. With regular maintenance, homeowners can keep their units humming properly and avoid premature replacement costs.

So what can homeowners expect as it pertains to air conditioner maintenance? The following are some oft-needed checks and fixes.

• Keep it clean. Vacuum the fins and coils of the AC unit on the external compressor/condenser fan with a soft-bristled brush, advise the experts at Family Handyman. This may require unscrewing the metal box surrounding the unit to access the fins. Remove any accumulated debris that may be impeding air flow. Afterward, go inside and change the filter that is installed with the evaporator that’s located in a central duct near the furnace. Inspect the filter periodically to see if it is soiled and needs replacement. Timing can vary depending various factors, such as the time of year, the accumulation of dust and whether or not pets live in the home.

• Straighten coil fins. The fins on the condenser are easily bent and that can affect the flow of air through the coils. If you cannot easily straighten them, then consult with an HVAC professional to do so.

• Check the thermostat. Ensure that the thermostat is still working properly. You also may want to upgrade an old thermostat to a programmable or smart thermostat that enables you to remotely set and adjust the temperature.

• Consider an in-line duct booster. HVAC professionals can guide you through the advantages of an in-line duct booster for forced-air cooling. This can increase the flow of cool air into a room that always seems hotter than the rest. Another option is a vent or register booster fan that sits on top or replaces a traditional floor or wall register.

• Deal with condensation. Condensation from air conditioning coils can puddle around the furnace if the condensate drain tube is clogged. Clearing it out will help prevent puddling and the formation of bacteria-laden water in the system.

Periodic maintenance is necessary to ensure uninterrupted service on a home AC unit.

—Metro Services

A Buyer’s Guide to Home AC Systems

Few experiences provide as much relief as walking into a cool room on a hot summer day. Air conditioning systems make such experiences possible, and homeowners’ decision in regard to which one to install in their homes is significant.

Homeowners may not know where to begin in regard to finding the right air conditioning system for their home. According to the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute, the best systems provide steady, dependable performance for many years when sized correctly for the home. Correct installation and routine maintenance also can ensure homeowners’ air conditioning systems withstand the test of time.

How do I know which size is best?

When shopping for new air conditioning systems, homeowners must consider a host of factors to ensure they get the best match. The AHRI notes that the home’s age, the number and quality of its windows, how well it’s insulated, the number of stories it has, and its square footage are among the factors to consider. Homeowners can benefit from working with trained technicians who can investigate each of these factors and recommend the correct system. The AHRI recommends homeowners ask their technicians to perform a Manual J analysis, which is a standardized formula that can help homeowners get the perfect system for their homes.

What about energy efficiency?

Energy efficiency is an important consideration when purchasing a new air conditioner for a home.

Energy rates vary depending on where a person lives, but rates remain pretty high across the board. The Energy Information Association notes that residential electricity rates increased throughout the United States by about 15 percent between 2009 and 2019. An energy-efficient unit can help homeowners save considerable amounts of money, so homeowners can ask their technicians to recommend energy-efficient units that suit their homes.

A unit that adequately cools a home without consuming a lot of costly electricity should be every homeowner’s goal. The U.S. Department of Energy employs the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating, or SEER, to inform consumers about the efficiency of each air conditioner. This rating is noted on the Energy Guide® label on each unit, and the higher the number, the more efficient the unit.

Home air conditioning systems are costly. But the right choice of unit can keep homes cool without costing homeowners a fortune in energy costs.

—Metro Services