Stan Johnson with Stan’s Heating and Air Conditioning gives us some cool tips for beating the heat during the dog days of summer.

It is summer time in Austin, TX which means it is time to think about your air conditioning equipment and doing everything you can to prevent breakdowns and minimize electrical consumption.  A study done a few years ago determined that running an air conditioning unit in Central Texas is like driving a car over 70,000 miles per year!

Find a reputable contractor and ask about their maintenance program.  Get them to send you information on what is covered, what it costs, how often they come and what other discounts or advantages are offered by being in their program.  Not only do you decrease the possibility of a breakdown you will also likely reduce the utility bill for your Austin, TX home.

There are things you can do yourself to keep your unit running and trouble free.  Changing filters is the most important task that can be taken care of by the homeowner.  If you have one inch filters we recommend MERV 8 rated filters that you can buy locally.  We do not recommend higher MERV ratings because they restrict airflow and can increase your bills and strain equipment.  If you really want higher rated filters you need to go to duct mounted media filters or electronic air cleaners.  Contact your air conditioning contractor for costs.  You also need to make sure there are no signs of fire ants around your outdoor units.  They get in electrical components causing major repair bills.  Also make sure to keep bushes, vines and other items that might block your outdoor condenser at least  six inches away.  Restricting air flow across the outdoor coil raises pressure, reduces capacity and increases utility bills. None of us want a higher energy bill on our Austin custom home!