DTE Energy, in its spring 2013 Energy Smarts of Michigan, predicts a hot, humid summer for southern Michigan, followed by a warm, dry autumn. In the article, the owner of top local heating and cooling company Thornton and Grooms offers tips to homeowners who want to have a comfortable summer.
Dave Knight, owner of Thornton & Grooms, lists things homeowners should do to be ready:
- Have your unit tuned up before the weather turns warm to ensure the system is operating correctly, the thermostat is functioning, and the refrigerant levels are where they should be.
- Replace your air filter monthly to help keep indoor air, and the interior of your air handler, clean.
- Turn off the humidifier. “Otherwise,” Knight says, “air won’t circulate through the ductwork.” Clean the humidifier pad as well to remove any buildup of dirt or mold that can accumulate through the winter.
- Switch the thermostat setting to “cool” instead of “heat”. If the setting is not switched, the air conditioner can’t do its job properly.
If a tune-up reveals that your air conditioner should be replaced, is extremely inefficient, or is nearing the end of its lifespan, Knight recommends the following:
- Do your research. Contact a qualified contractor and check their references.
- Visit energystar.gov to learn about prices, warranties, and recommendations for high-efficiency systems.
- Look for options beyond traditional air conditioning systems, such as ductless split systems that don’t require ductwork. “Ductless units are excellent for older homes, especially bungalows and homes without ductwork,” states Knight.