Keeping your HVAC system running like a hero all year

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On this Business Forward, Kaylin Risvold, President and CEO of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce, is joined by Mike Baaker of Dutchman Heating & Cooling, on location to learn tips and tricks to keep your HVAC system running like a hero all year long.

Is it ok to hose down your air conditioner?

The short answer is yes, it is ok to hose down your air conditioner unit as long as you are taking some preventative measures. Dirt and debris can build up on a unit and spraying it off with water, along with a regular/preventative maintenance plan, can help keep your air conditioner unit running more efficiently.

Baaker cautioned, “Don’t introduce water until you’ve removed power. Whether that be a breaker or a disconnect box. But we need to ensure that there’s no power there. On a professional cleaning what you’re actually getting is not someone just hosing the air conditioner off. They’re typically using a chemical cleaner, and that cleaner does most of the work. It will take the debris out of the coils so that you can simply rinse it down and that’s what gets the coils clean so they get the best performance. What we are trying to do is get quality airflow through the coils. By doing so, they cool off and they can deliver a lot better temperature-wise inside.”

If you decide to DIY it, first make sure you have turned off the power to the unit then hose it off with a strong stream of water from top to bottom. This cleaning should clear your unit of dirt and debris and help it run more optimally.

Does the type of AC filter matter?

A crucial part of any HVAC system is the air filter. The filter keeps dirt and debris from entering your home or business. The filer should be replaced regularly to reduce stress on the air condition unit, minimize repairs, and improve the lifespan of the unit.

“Well, as much as I said that airflow is critical outside airflow is also critical inside. So we start to worry about your filtration system and making sure that, yes, it’s performing to filter all the dust and debris out, but that filter is not getting overwhelmed with that dust and debris and restricting airflow through the system, because the airflow outside keeps this running efficiently. But we also have airflow going through the cold coil above your airflow delivery system, usually a furnace here, and that needs plenty of airflow in order to give you plenty of cooling,” said Baaker.

A wide variety of air filter options exist. Baaker recommended speaking to an expert to figure out the best filiation system to use for optimal comfort and efficiency of your home or business’s HVAC system.

Getting the most from your thermostat

Thermostats control your HVAC system. They can turn it off and on and control the heat and cold, keeping the temperature comfortable in your home or business.  They can come in many forms from basic mechanical thermostats to smart digital thermostats.  Many of the newer ones are programmable, which can automatically adjust the temperature throughout the day to help conserve energy. Knowing how to optimize your thermostat can affect your comfort and help save on energy bills.

Baaker’s company, Dutchman Heating & Cooling, installs and services many modern thermostats with a wide variety of features.  Modern-day thermostats can control things like, humidity, adjust temperature room-by-room, and can even show you the weather forecast – all while being controlled remotely via a phone or device.

Sometimes businesses and homeowners may think their thermostat is broken when it is simply not programmed correctly. Baaker suggested having someone familiar with your particular thermostat come in and educate you on all the features and functions. “I do recommend you call your favorite professional and have them go over it with you in detail so that they might let you know if there are any slight variations or something that you can do better for your system for its performance.”