Why is Water Dripping from My AC Ductwork and How Can I Fix It?

If you’ve noticed water dripping from your AC vent, you’re likely dealing with an issue that needs immediate attention. Water leakage can cause damage to your home and indicate a problem with your air conditioning system. 

Here are some common reasons you may notice water dripping from your AC vent or ducts, how to fix it, and who to call when you need some help.

Flex ducts in the attic of a home in Columbus, Ohio.

What Does the AC Vent Do?

AC vents are the metal pieces that connect the ductwork to the walls, releasing cooled air. The air ducts, or ductwork, is the system of metal shafts the air travels through to get to the different parts of the house. So, if you think you notice water dripping from your AC vent, it’s likely stemming from the air ducts.

Together, these systems play a crucial role in an air conditioning system by distributing cooled air throughout the home and returning warm air back to the system for cooling. 

There are typically two types of vents in an HVAC system:

  • Supply Vents: These vents blow the cooled or heated air from the AC system into various rooms, helping to maintain the desired temperature throughout the home.
  • Return Vents: These vents pull warm air from the rooms back into the AC system, where it is cooled again before being recirculated. They also help to maintain proper air pressure and circulation within the system.

There are three common types of air ducts in an HVAC system:

  • Rigid Ducts: Made of galvanized steel or aluminum, these ducts are durable and provide structural integrity.
  • Semi-Rigid Ducts: These ducts are more flexible than rigid ones but maintain a defined shape, offering a balance of durability and ease of installation.
  • Flexible Ducts: Constructed from a steel wire coil covered with plastic, these ducts are versatile and easy to install in tight spaces but can be prone to kinks.

By facilitating the flow of air, AC vents and ducts work together to ensure efficient temperature regulation, contributing to the overall comfort and air quality of your living space.

Why is Water Dripping from My AC Ducts?

Oftentimes, when you find water dripping from your AC unit or ductwork, it can be due to a lack of maintenance. Without regular checkups and cleanings, your system can build up dust and debris in the drain line or air filters, impacting the quality of air flow and water drainage. Here are some common reasons your vent is leaking, and how you may be able to fix it.

Technician removing dirty air filter and replacing it.

Clogged Condensate Drain Line:

  • Cause: The condensate drain line is responsible for carrying away the moisture that the AC system removes from the air. If this line becomes clogged with dirt, algae, or debris, water can back up and leak from the AC vent.
  • Solution: Locate the drain line and use a wet/dry vacuum to clear the clog. You can also use a mixture of water and vinegar to flush the line.

Improper Installation or Insulation:

  • Cause: If the AC unit or ductwork is not properly installed or insulated, it can cause condensation to form and drip from the vents.
  • Solution: Check the insulation around the ductwork and AC unit. Ensure that everything is properly sealed and insulated. If you’re unsure, it may be best to contact a professional HVAC technician.

Frozen Evaporator Coil:

  • Cause: When the evaporator coil inside the air handler unit freezes, it can result in water dripping once the ice melts. This can be caused by restricted airflow (due to dirty filters or blocked vents) or low refrigerant levels.
  • Solution: Turn off the AC unit to allow the ice to melt. Check and replace air filters if necessary and make sure vents are unobstructed. If the problem persists, it could indicate a refrigerant issue that requires professional attention.

High Humidity Levels:

  • Cause: In very humid climates, the AC system may struggle to handle the excess moisture, leading to condensation and dripping.
  • Solution: Consider using a dehumidifier to reduce the humidity levels in your home. Ensure the AC system is appropriately sized for your space.

Before and after dirty air condenser versus brand new unit.

Dirty Air Filters:

  • Cause: Dirty or clogged air filters can restrict airflow, causing the evaporator coil to freeze and subsequently drip water when it thaws.
  • Solution: Replace the air filters regularly to maintain proper airflow and system efficiency.

Hazards of a Dripping AC Vent

Ignoring water dripping from your AC vent or ducts can lead to serious consequences, not only to your home but also to your health.

Addressing the issue promptly by clearing clogged drain lines, ensuring proper insulation, replacing air filters, monitoring humidity levels, and contacting a professional if needed can prevent these costly and hazardous problems. Some potential hazards involved with a dripping AC unit include:

  • Structural Damage
  • Mold and Mildew Growth
  • Reduced Air Quality
  • Damage to the AC System
  • Increased Energy Costs
  • Fire Hazard

By taking timely action, you can protect your home, health, and wallet from the negative impacts of unchecked water leakage.

When to Call a Professional

If you’re unable to identify or fix the problem on your own, it’s advisable to contact a professional HVAC technician. At TemperaturePro Columbus, we offer expert AC repair services and our technicians are all highly trained and certified. We can inspect your AC system to prevent further damage and get it back to operating safely and efficiently. 

By understanding the common causes, potential solutions, and who to call when you need a hand, you can make sure the water dripping from your AC vent or ducts is solved rapidly and accurately!

How Often Should You Be Cleaning Your Air Vents in Your Home?

Air vents play a crucial role in maintaining the air quality of your home. They help circulate fresh air throughout your living space while removing stale air, dust, and other pollutants. However, over time, these air vents can become clogged with dirt and debris, reducing their effectiveness and contributing to poor indoor air quality. In this blog post, we will explore how often you should be cleaning your air vents in your home.

When to Clean Your Air Vents

The frequency of cleaning your air vents depends on several factors, including the number of occupants in your home, the presence of pets, and the level of air pollution in your area. However, as a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to have your air vents cleaned at least every three to five years.

If you notice any of the following signs, it’s time to have your air vents cleaned:

  • Dust and debris buildup around the vents and registers
  • Reduced airflow from your HVAC system
  • Strange odors or musty smells coming from the vents
  • Increased allergy symptoms or respiratory issues when indoors

Benefits of Cleaning Your Air Vents

Cleaning your air vents regularly has several benefits, including:

  • Improved indoor air quality: Removing dust, dirt, and other pollutants from your air vents helps improve indoor air quality, reducing the risk of allergies and respiratory issues.
  • Energy savings: When air vents become clogged with dirt and debris, it reduces airflow, making your HVAC system work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. By cleaning your air vents, you can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, leading to energy savings.
  • Prolonged HVAC lifespan: A well-maintained HVAC system lasts longer than one that is neglected. By regularly cleaning your air vents, you can reduce the workload on your HVAC system, reducing wear and tear and prolonging its lifespan.

DIY vs. Professional Air Vent Cleaning

While it’s possible to clean your air vents yourself, it’s often best to hire a professional. Professional air vent cleaning services use specialized equipment to clean your vents thoroughly, removing all dirt and debris from the ducts. They also have the expertise to identify and repair any potential issues, ensuring that your HVAC system runs at peak efficiency.

If you do choose to clean your air vents yourself, make sure to follow these steps:

  1. Turn off your HVAC system: Before you begin cleaning, turn off your HVAC system to prevent dust and debris from being blown into your living space.
  2. Remove vent covers: Use a screwdriver to remove the vent covers from your air vents.
  3. Clean the vent covers: Wipe the vent covers with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
  4. Vacuum the air ducts: Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to remove any dust or debris from the air ducts. Be sure to vacuum as far into the ducts as possible to ensure that you remove all dirt and debris.
  5. Replace the vent covers: Once you’ve finished cleaning, replace the vent covers and turn your HVAC system back on.

In conclusion, cleaning your air vents regularly is essential for maintaining good indoor air quality and prolonging the lifespan of your HVAC system. While it’s recommended to have your air vents cleaned by a professional every three to five years, you can also clean them yourself if you follow the proper steps. Remember to pay attention to any signs that indicate that it’s time to clean your air vents, such as dust buildup, reduced airflow, or musty odors. With clean air vents, you can enjoy a healthier and more comfortable living environment.

Breathe Easier with These HVAC Maintenance Tips

Taking care of your HVAC system makes good sense. With proper care, you can not only prolong the life of the system, but you can also improve the air quality of your home. Here are some tips for keeping your home’s HVAC system in top shape.

Ceiling fan with large yellow fan blades

Fresh Air

Your home’s HVAC system does more than heat and cool your home. This Old House points out that because air flows through it, it can act as a filtration system, removing contaminants (think: animal allergens, cleaning products, gas appliances) that can pollute your home’s air and trigger allergies. By keeping your home clean and well-ventilated, you can improve the air quality you and your family are breathing. While there is no substitute for having routine maintenance from a professional HVAC technician, you can perform simple duties to help keep your system running smoothly.

Filter Well

Your first line of defense against those tiny, yucky particles is in your home’s HVAC system. Every system has some sort of filtration, and some experts suggest installing a high-efficiency pleated air filter. Choosing a high-quality air filter can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system, and changing it regularly can extend its life. A clogged filter makes your system work harder, and Bob Vila explains that when airflow is slowed, your furnace can overheat and be damaged, while also potentially raising your energy bills. The filter should be replaced at least every 90 days. It’s essential to select the right filter size when making your replacement and keep in mind that most filters go by nominal size, which is the actual size rounded up. You can mark the filter size on the exterior of your furnace or write it on your filters so it’s easy to see. You should have your replacement filter on hand before removing the old one.

Set a reminder on your phone or mark your calendar when it’s time to update filters. Remember that 90 days is a rule of thumb, and if you live with pets or people who have allergies you may need to replace filters more often. Another suggestion is to keep an eye on air vents in your home. If you see mold or other pollutants collecting, it’s time to get busy with your maintenance.

Check Lines

Another basic routine check on your HVAC system is to ensure your refrigerant lines are in good shape. You should check them monthly. There is also a condensation drainage hose that should be cleaned annually with a bleach-water solution to prevent the buildup of debris and mildew. If your furnace has a built-in humidifier, you can turn off its water supply during summer months. In the fall, you should replace the humidifier filter and turn the water supply back on.

Tidy Units

Your home’s air conditioning and heating units can each benefit from simple, routine cleaning. DIY Network recommends turning off the units with the machine’s on/off switch as well as at your breaker box. Then, give them a good vacuuming to remove debris. You’ll probably notice your air conditioner collects leaves and other outdoor bits and pieces, and the furnace collects dust and lint. Clean each thoroughly while they are shut down, then start them back up again.

Run Ceiling Fans

Another way to improve the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system is to run ceiling fans during warm weather. Ceiling fans keep the air circulating, working on the same principle as a cool breeze in the summer. According to some research, ceiling fans can make a room feel five degrees cooler, which means you can turn up your thermostat while you enjoy that light breeze.  Using your ceiling fans can mean reducing energy bills as much as $30 per month, as well as reduce the wear and tear on the HVAC system. Remember to turn off your ceiling fans when you aren’t in the rooms to enjoy the biggest savings.

Your home should be a haven for your family, and with an efficiently running HVAC system you can all breathe easier. Keep your system well-maintained with these simple DIY tips. You’ll enjoy cleaner air while saving money and energy.

Why Is My Air Conditioner Blowing Hot Air?

Is your A/C blowing hot air? Be prepared before the summer heat wave hits!


For immediate help, please call us at (614) 344-8518


But in the meantime, don’t hesitate to attempt an at-home diagnosis. Here’s a list of potential reasons why your home air conditioner isn’t working properly:


  1. Your thermostat isn’t on the right fan setting

This is the simplest fix, and we know what you’re thinking- but seriously! It happens to the best of us.


Double-check that your thermostat is set to “cool” to keep your fan running cool air, or set to “auto” so that your fan automatically runs when your house needs cool air.


If your thermostat is set to “heat,” you have your answer! Even if it is set to “on,” this means that your fan will keep blowing air even when it’s not cooling.


  1. Dirty air filters


Air filters should be changed every 60 – 90 days. When your filter has been collecting dirt, dust, allergens, etc. for 90+ days, it clogs up, restricting airflow and becoming useless & hazardous to you and your family’s health. It can even prevent your AC system from cooling properly.


Make sure to check your air filter every two to three months, more often if you have pets or serious allergies.


  1. Refrigerant leak


Refrigerant is a liquid responsible for absorbing heat from the air in your system. Low or leaking refrigerant means that your air system will blow much warmer than normal. If your AC unit is low on or leaking refrigerant, call an HVAC technician ASAP. The longer you wait, the worse it will get- and refrigerant leaks can be a serious health & environmental hazard.


Don’t hesitate to call us if you think this may be the issue (614) 344-8518!

  1. Circuit breaker needs to be reset


Both your outside & inside units have their own breakers. If your outside breaker flips for any reason, the inside unit will blow air at the outside temperature- meaning that in the summer, it’s HOT.


Check the breaker box and if this seems to be the problem, simply reset the circuit breaker. If this happens again, do not reset the breaker once more & risk damaging your system. Just call an HVAC technician!


  1. Disconnected or damaged return duct


If your return duct is either disconnected or damaged, it will suck in unconditioned air from outside, from your garage, or from your attic space, and blow into your home. That means stale, musty, hot air is circulating throughout your house.


This problem will also require the help of a professional. Call (614) 344-8518.


These are just a few of the many reasons your AC unit is blowing hot air throughout your home.


If you’re in the Columbus area and need help diagnosing a problem with your home’s air conditioning system, call TemperaturePro Columbus at(614) 344-8518 and we’ll have an experienced HVAC technician sent to your home as soon as possible!

Landscaping and HVAC: How What You Plant Can Help Your HVAC System Become More Efficient

Few homeowners give their HVAC system much thought when it comes to landscaping their properties. That’s really too bad, because the right plants, carefully situated in relation to the outdoor component of the air conditioner, can contribute in a positive way to the operation of your system. Not only can planting well-chosen plants in a strategic location improve efficiency, but a carefully thought-out landscaping scheme can also protect your system. Let’s look at a few of the ways trees and your HVAC system can work together.

How Shade Trees Contribute to Efficiency

You know that shade trees keep your home cooler, just as you feel cooler when you stand under a sheltering tree out of the hot sun. But you may not understand exactly how this works in a home’s interior.

It’s a fact that planting trees so their shading canopies deflect the sun will keep your home from heating up as much as homes without tree canopies do. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that a strategically planned landscape can reduce air conditioning expenses by anywhere from 15 to 50 percent.

But that’s not all trees do. In addition to blocking the sunlight from heating the roof, trees also create a cool aura around the home. Trees pull moisture from the ground, which transpires through the leaves, slowly evaporating and cooling the air around them. This mist-laden air is sometimes six degrees or so cooler than the air further away from the trees. As you can see, you can create something of a cool zone around your home by planting trees.

Some homeowners also plant smaller shade trees to shade the condenser (that’s the outdoor component of your air conditioner). While you don’t want leaf debris and twigs falling into the unit and impairing its performance, some shade will contribute modestly to keeping the condenser cooler as it works hard on hot days.

And don’t forget shrubbery. While you’ll likely keep them trimmed below the roof line, shrubs can help keep sun from penetrating the home through windows.

Here are some points to consider as you select shade trees for your home.
  • Avoid fast-growing trees such as silver maple, mulberry, chinaberry or members of the poplar family. While you’ll get shade faster with fast-growing trees, they are usually brittle and break easily. Silver maple and cottonwood also need a lot of water.
  • Rule out trees that shed. You don’t want fibers such as that from cottonwoods clogging the condenser and preventing your air conditioner from exhausting warm air properly. You may also want to avoid trees such as mulberries that could drop fruit through the protective grating over the condenser.
  • Avoid coniferous trees. Coniferous trees have leaves all year long; deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall. You’ll want leaves gone so sunlight can reach the house in the winter when it’s colder.

It’s also important to think about how large the plants will grow. Most of us have made the mistake of underestimating the mature size of plants, in terms of how close we plant to the house or in proximity to each other.

Choosing the Right Plant Material

It’s important that you choose the right kinds of trees and shrubs for your landscape. If you’re a novice in these matters, you can consult with horticultural professionals from the local extension office, a botanical garden or a good plant nursery about selections for your yard. Better yet, hire a landscaping professional to help you choose and situate your trees to best advantage.

Often, native plants are the best choice. They usually thrive better, with fewer disease and pest problems, than exotic species. Whenever possible, choose drought-tolerant species so that your water bill isn’t out of sight.

Speaking of water, you will have to water generously until your new plants are established, but generally, after a couple of years, you can cut back as the roots grow deeper and can find moisture in the water table.

Deciding Where Trees or Shrubs Should Go

Once you’ve determined which trees and shrubs you want to use in your landscape, you’ll need to decide where to plant them. Here are a few key rules to adhere to:

  • Don’t plant too close to the house or condenser. Trees planted next to a house can cause problems with the roof. If tree limbs start touching the roof, you’ll need to keep them trimmed back. Also, the roots of trees planted too close to the home may be a problem, undermining the home’s foundation or growing into the plumbing pipes and clogging them. A good rule of thumb is to maintain about 10 to 20 feet between the tree and the home’s exterior.
  • Shrubs obviously can be closer to the house, but do plant them so you can get into the space between the shrubs and the home to trim them. You might want to avoid planting shrubs with thorns or prickly leaves against walls or around the condenser, as you will need to clean windows, and the HVAC tech will need access to the unit.
  • When you plant shade for the condenser, make sure you allow for at least a 2-foot space between the shrubs and the unit. Plants shouldn’t interfere with air flow.
Miscellaneous Considerations

Garden structures. Aside from plants, you should also create a plan for garden structures, such as walls, tool sheds, entertainment areas, furniture and the like. It’s always best, whenever possible, to locate these structures away from the HVAC system so as not to affect air flow. If you want to erect a structure to provide some shade to the condenser or to conceal it, you might consider a trellis or arbor, where you can grow vines or climbing roses. These plants will allow air flow, while concealing the presence of the condenser in an attractive way.


If you’re into xeriscaping (the type of landscaping that uses minimal water or irrigation), you may have planned to eliminate grass and put down plastic weed barriers with gravel or pebbles on top of them. If you have these pebble- or stone-strewn landscape areas near the condenser, be sure to weed or cut any grass that grows there by hand. Using a weed whacker can propel pebbles into the condenser and may harm it.

Mowing grass

If grass grows next to the condenser, it should be dispersed away from the condenser during mowing. Grass can clog the unit and affect air intake.


Adding trees and shrubs to your landscape in a pleasing, well-thought-out design is a great way to enhance your property values, while also boosting the efficiency of your home by making it cooler and more comfortable. Your air conditioner will also last longer, since the parts won’t need to work so hard to reach temperature set points in the hot, hot summertime.

Furthermore, trees help reduce your carbon footprint, as large, mature trees actually help remove a significant amount of greenhouse gases: as leaves breathe, they draw the gases into the tree and deposit them into the ground through the roots.

So get going and start planting, and those trees and shrubs will be enhancing your comfort and efficiency before you know it.

For all your HVAC needs, contact TemperaturePro Columbus today!

Everything You Need to Know About SEER Ratings

If you’re in the market for a new HVAC system, you have a lot of options to choose from. There are many different sizes, brands, and options to decide on and for most people this process can be very frustrating. How can we make this process simpler and help you decide based on the factors that actually matter to you? Introducing: SEER ratings!

What Does SEER Mean?

SEER or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio is a metric used to determine how efficient a given AC unit is. It is a ratio that measures how much cool air is created for each unit of electricity used. Thus, the higher the SEER rating, the more energy efficient the unit is. Most importantly, the more efficient the unit is, the more money you can potentially save in long-term energy costs!

SEER ratings are a critical factor to understand when choosing a new unit and can help you save hundreds of dollars. If you are a proponent of going green and helping the environment, a high SEER unit reduces waste and emissions compared to a lower SEER unit. However, the higher SEER rated units are more expensive, so it’s important to consider your unique needs and goals.

A simple way to help you understand SEER ratings is to think about the Miles Per Gallon (MPG) your car gets. You can buy a car with high MPG, but depending on how you drive and terrain, it will vary in efficiency. The same is true with a high ranking SEER AC unit. It is important to understand that efficient habits will improve any system’s performance.

The Bottom Line

All said, SEER ratings are important when considering long term efficiency and environmental impact for your unit. Higher SEER units will be more efficient but more expensive. Ultimately, it comes down to personal choice and your values for your home and family. We recommend exploring many different options when it comes to finding a new unit. Make sure to call your local TemperaturePro Columbus with any questions!

5 Things To Do When Your AC Goes Out

Summer is here and the heat is showing no signs of stopping. Now is the time to make sure that your AC unit is performing properly. Has your AC broken recently or is it not being cooperative? Check out the following tips to get it back up and running!

  1. Check Your Air Filter

Your air filter is like the gatekeeper between hot, dusty air and clean, cool bliss. It’s crucial to make sure you regularly replace your filter to keep it clean. A dirty or clogged filter will restrict air flow and cause your unit to malfunction. Studies have shown that dirty air filters can reduce your AC’s efficiency by up to 10%!

  1. Check Thermostat Batteries

Sometimes it’s the simplest solutions that are often overlooked. Replacing your batteries might be the only thing you need to fix!

  1. Check The Circuit Breaker

First locate you circuit breaker in the breaker box, then flip the switch on and off and see if your issue is fixed. Circuits can get messed up all the time so this can be a quick an easy fix if you know what to look for. If, however, you don’t notice any changes after flipping the switch, you might want to call an electrician to see if you have a more complex issue.

  1. Check The Coil On The Outside Of Your Machine

Although it can sometimes be hard to find, a clean condenser coil is what keeps your AC running efficiently. If you find that your condenser coil is covered in leaves, grass, or other debris you could break out the hose and gently spray it down. Sometimes all it takes is a little cleaning and maintenance to keep you AC performing at the top of it’s game.

  1. Call Your Local TemperaturePro Columbus!

Your local TemperaturePro Columbus will always be here for you! Our certified technicians work quickly, effectively, and do the most to keep your services affordable. We take pride in our work and hope to keep you comfortable and cool throughout the Summer!

5 Ways Great AC Can Improve Your Life

  1. No more sweat stains!

Ok, ok, we know it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out air conditioning makes you sweat less. Climate control has saved millions from embarrassing sweat stains and uncomfortable clingy clothes. But how annoying can sweat really be? Well, deodorant producer Sweat Block sites that the average human sweats around 278 GALLONS each year and over 360 million people worldwide suffer from overactive sweat glands. That’s A LOT of sweat! I wonder how much more it would be without AC… Let’s not find out!


  1. Clear your skin!

Throughout all fashion trends in modern times, one thing has kept its style – clear and healthy skin. People spend hundreds on creams, serums, and other expensive concoctions, but ignore other factors that could be negatively affecting their skin! By choosing the wrong AC system, you put yourself at risk of living in a moisture-free environment. This leads to dry skin, which can worsen conditions like eczema, rosacea, or psoriasis. Even if you do not suffer from any of these conditions, dry air can send the skin’s natural balance out of whack, causing it to itch and flake. The good news is that even though this problem is hard to detect, it is easy to fix! Consider using a humidifier to improve the indoor air quality of your home and ultimately improve the quality of your skin!


  1. Increases productivity

Do you know that feeling when it’s so hot that all you want to do is lie down and not move… at all? Yeah, we know that feeling, too. A study conducted by the Helsinki University of Technology found that productivity increases between the climate controlled temperatures of 69.8 and 71.6 degrees fahrenheit. More so, AC can actually save you MONEY! A Cornell study by professor Alan Hedge found that a more comfortable thermal zone saves employers about $2 per worker, per hour. That’s savings of $800 a week for a company of only 10 employees! Well, there you have it…  AC can increase productivity AND save you money!


  1. Reduce unwanted bugs

Summertime means heat, and with that heat comes bugs. And we don’t like bugs. We’re guessing you don’t either, especially when they are sneaking into your home like James Bond on his tippy toes. Good news is, you can use your AC unit as your own personal bug destroying infantry! Creepy crawlies tend to be attracted to warm and moist climates. Keeping your AC unit set to 77 degrees or below can repel roaches and other pesky insects from your home. In addition, one of the simplest ways to keep bugs out is to keep windows and doors shut. Make sure you are comfortable with your AC so there is no chance of insects creeping in. With these easy tips, you should be well on your way to keeping bugs out of your home… and that’s definitely a good thing!


  1. Clean air

*Breathe in. Breathe out.* Chances are that if you are reading this in the comfort of your own air-conditioned home you just inhaled some premium, good ‘ol fashioned O₂. Good stuff, right? Well, there’s lots more where that came from – especially if you have an air scrubber with your AC unit. These powerful machines take all the pollen and pollutants out of the air to ensure you are breathing safe, clean air. Temperature is all-important when dealing with an AC system, but indoor air quality can make or break your environment. Nobody wants to breathe in musty air, and nobody should have to! Clean air can help with allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues, so crank the AC and breathe easy!


Now that you know exactly how proper air conditioning can improve your life, it is time to take a step back and evaluate your HVAC system. Does your system meet all of your needs, or is there a little left to be desired? If you are not satisfied with your current HVAC situation, call us. TemperaturePro Columbus’s experts will have you sittin’ pretty in your own home in no time!

How to Make your Cooling System More Efficient this Summer

While you can’t do anything about the heat outside, you can achieve lower air conditioning bills by preparing your cooling system and your home for hot weather. A well-maintained cooling system and a house that resists heat gain will put you on the fast track toward summer energy savings.

Prioritize the Cooling System

Getting your HVAC system into top cooling condition won’t take long. The licensed professionals from TemperaturePro Columbus will go through it carefully, cleaning and adjusting the components, testing the electronics, and checking the refrigerant pressure. Each of these elements of a tune-up immediately improves the efficiency of the system.

Beyond cutting your energy bills, a clean system will:
  • Run dependably. All air conditioners use an evaporator coil that houses the refrigerant used to extract the heat. A dirty coil won’t be able to absorb as much heat because the dust insulates it. The coil may start to freeze over, which stops cooling altogether and contributes to compressor failure.
  • Sometimes mold and biofilms grow on evaporator coils, and besides slowing heat removal, its presence can be a health hazard.
  • Run safely. Whenever the electrical contacts and components are overly dirty, they won’t conduct electricity as quickly. Heat builds on the parts, sometimes to the point where they or the wiring starts a fire. An HVAC pro will remove the dust and oxidation and apply nonconductive lubricants to protect these parts.
  • Run efficiently. Improper refrigerant levels aren’t uncommon in cooling systems. A low level may cause the evaporator coil to freeze over and it will drive up energy costs. The technician will look for leaks in the refrigerant lines before adding more to bring the level within the range the manufacturer requires.
  • Run clean. Undetected ductwork leaks can drive up energy costs in proportion to their size. Uncomfortable rooms or dust that collects near the registers often indicate problems with the ducts leading to that room. Unless they’re fixed, leaking ducts will continue to drive up energy costs and degrade indoor air quality.
Homeowner Maintenance Chores

Make it a point to check the air filter throughout the cooling season. A clean filter promotes energy efficiency and protects the parts inside the air handler. Before selecting a new filter, check your owner’s manual to learn the maximum density you can use with your system.

Higher quality filters will trap more airborne particulates, but they could slow the air flowing through the air handler more than the manufacturer recommends. Check with your owner’s manual or your HVAC contractor before upgrading to a better filter.

It’s important to keep the outdoor condenser clean throughout the summer. It houses the condensing coil that exhausts the heat the refrigerant picks up inside your home. When the coil is clean, the heat dissipates more quickly. You may need to gently hose it off to loosen the dust. Pointing the lawn mower away from the condenser prevents grass clippings from covering the coil that also retard cooling.

It’s also important to keep vegetation away from the condenser and other objects that could slow the airflow through the coil. The condenser has a large fan that pulls air over the coil in order to cool it faster. When the airflow is blocked, cooling slows down.

Lower the Load

Besides the weather, the characteristics of your home that make your HVAC system run more often and longer are called its cooling load. Fortunately, you can lower the cooling load by identifying where your home has weaknesses in its shell that contribute to air leaks and heat gain.

Step 1: Get an Energy Audit

Licensed HVAC contractors and energy auditors can show you how energy efficient your home is and where to improve it. They use tools to find exactly where your home is losing energy.

The blower door test is the centerpiece of an energy audit, along with thermographic imaging. Blower doors use large fans surrounded by an adjustable metal frame that fits inside exterior door frames.

The auditing team gets your home ready by closing all the windows and doors and blocking off fireplaces and furnaces. When ready, they turn the fan on and as it pulls the air from your home, the auditors watch the pressure gauges closely to see how fast the pressure falls.

Homes that lose pressure quickly have few air leaks because the home’s exterior walls are tightly sealed. A building that doesn’t lose much pressure has leaks in its envelope, including the walls, doors, windows, foundation and attic.

As the auditors run the blower door fan, they use thermographic devices to pinpoint the leakage. Variances in temperatures show up as different colors, and if the temperatures are the same indoors and out, the auditing team may ask you to use your HVAC system to either cool or heat your home so that the incoming air temperature shows a stronger contrast with the indoor air.

The thermographic scan will also show you where your home needs more insulation, another quick and affordable effective way to cut cooling costs. The scan will also show the amount of heat entering your home through the windows, which occurs through air leaks, and as heat transfer through the glass and the frames.

Step 2: Adding Insulation

Since heat is always moving to colder temperatures, it’s moving inside your home in the summer and leaving it in the winter, primarily through the attic. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that most homes have from 16 to 20 inches in the attic to slow this heat movement.

The most common types of insulation are fiberglass batts and loose cellulose. Both types have similar insulating values and work well when there’s adequate room. Rigid foam board and sprayed foam insulating products, used primarily in smaller spaces, provide better protection against heat transfer, but they also cost more.

While adding more insulation can be a do-it-yourself project, it does require some knowledge and skill to install. Challenges include:

  • Working in an attic can be difficult and uncomfortable.
  • Protective clothing, eyewear and breathing apparatus should be used.
  • Care needs to be taken to avoid leaving gaps in the insulation that will conduct heat.

Using a contractor who specializes in adding insulation may not be an expensive project. They have access to wholesale pricing that homeowners don’t, as well as the equipment to do an effective job.

Step 3: Seal Air Leaks

Most air leaks are fairly easy to seal with caulk, expanding foam and weatherstripping. When buying the materials, read the labels carefully. Caulk high in silicon can be hard to remove once it cures. Some expanding foam products have a specific use around wiring, flues, or chimneys. If you’re not comfortable sealing around electrical fixtures, especially recessed lights or flues, ask a contractor for help.

In Summary

Lowering cooling bills is a two-step process whose most important element depends heavily on the maintenance you do and the work your HVAC pro provides. The second way you can achieve lower energy bills is to cut the demand for air conditioning by lowering its cooling load. Sealing air leaks and adding insulation are projects that will pay for themselves every day of the year. So contact TemperaturePro Columbus today to help lower your cooling bills!

Everything You Need to Know About Smart Thermostats

When programmable thermostats hit the market some 20 years ago, homeowners who installed them realized energy savings. Their only effort was to program the thermostat to match their occupancy patterns. Anyone coming home unexpectedly had to override the thermostat, which if entered wrong, could wipe out energy savings.

As Wi-Fi apps proliferated, HVAC engineers found that they could combine the best that programmable thermostats offered with the intuitive intelligence of smart technology. Since then, smart thermostats give homeowners the same energy savings, if not more, without the learning curve for both saving energy and staying comfortable.

The technology embedded in smart thermostats now gives you control of your home’s HVAC system from anywhere you can get an internet signal. Besides energy savings, you have complete control over your home’s comfort system. By choosing the right thermostat and apps, you will also have detailed insight into your system’s performance.

Energy Savings

Unlike the learning curve associated with programmable thermostats, smart devices teach themselves. Once placed, the thermostat takes a few days to learn your thermal preferences and occupancy patterns. Sensor technology simplifies changing the temperatures for unexpected occupancy.

If your electric provider uses smart technology, you’ll be able to track your energy use on an hourly basis from anywhere. You can see the relationship between outdoor temperatures and your HVAC system’s energy usage.

The data you access will show you when your HVAC system runs the most. If those time periods occur when your home isn’t occupied, you can easily change the indoor temperature wherever you are to save energy and money. Reducing the amount of work your HVAC system does also reduces the wear and tear, which lowers the cost of repairs and increases its lifetime.

Your utility company may also offer an incentive for you to upgrade to a smart thermostat. Their representatives can also help you find a time-of-use plan (TOU) that will likely save money on your electric bill. Electric providers base their pricing on peak and nonpeak hours. These plans encourage users to use more energy during off-peak hours when the utility company pays less for it. When demand is high, you pay considerably more for each kilowatt you use. Switching to a TOU plan could lower your monthly energy bill.

Integration with Smart Home Systems

Some smart thermostats are compatible with devices like Amazon’s Echo. You can ask Alexa to change the temperature from anywhere in your home, whether it’s in the kitchen as you cook, or from the bedroom on a cold, winter night.

Thermostats that work with smart home hubs can coordinate opening your garage door or exterior doors and changing the temperatures at the same time. This feature works especially well in a well-insulated and leak-free home, since they take less time to heat or cool.

Improved Comfort

Many models of smart thermostats offer remote sensors you can place in all your rooms. Most homes have one thermostat typically placed in a hallway. The temperatures throughout your home will vary considerably because their thermal loads differ from the conditions in the hall.

When you put a remote sensor in a room and it’s uncomfortable to you, you can set the thermostat to cool or heat the air to the temperature you want. Unless you have a zoned HVAC system in your home, this ability is likely to raise your energy costs, but it will increase your comfort and give you control over the thermal conditions in that particular room.

Learning Curves with Smart Thermostats

Unlike programmable thermostats, smart devices learn your habits within a few days time, which eliminates the need to program them based on home occupancy patterns. The Nest, for example, uses a sensor that detects when your home is occupied and when it’s empty. It uses those data to establish the temperature setbacks that save energy.

Sensors on smart thermostats have simplified programming. They can tell when your home is empty, and set the temperature back automatically. Should someone come home unexpectedly, the sensor will turn the system back on.

These thermostats also give you the ability to override any settings the current home occupant has specified from anywhere. You can also find thermostats that are password protected, which gives just the people you choose permission to alter temperature settings.

Major Brands
  • The first smart thermostat on the market was the Nest, and it’s still a market leader. It has a user-friendly interface and is compatible with most HVAC systems.
  • The Ecobee is another major brand with similar features as the Nest.
  • Honeywell, one of the nation’s oldest companies, also offers a smart thermostat at half the price of either the Nest or Ecobee without sacrificing any features. Other smart thermostat brands are available and a professional from TemperaturePro Columbus can help you choose which would work best for your home.
System Compatibility

You may have to do some homework to determine whether your HVAC system is compatible with specific types and brands of smart thermostats. Newer systems generally have greater cross-compatibility than older units.

Thermostat wiring is normally the limiting factor with regard to compatibility. An expert from TemperaturePro Columbus will help you discover which thermostats will work. Installing a device that’s not electrically compatible could damage your HVAC system’s control board.

Some manufacturers offer their own smart thermostats, and the advantages to these lie in their ability to report to you how the system is operating. You’ll receive alerts about when it needs professional maintenance, if a component isn’t functioning at full capacity, or even when to change the air filter.

Heat Pumps Are Special

During the summer, heat pumps work just like air conditioners, but that all changes in the winter when they switch to heat. Most heat pumps use an auxiliary heating coil to provide emergency back-up heat. This coil uses electricity to supply heat whenever the heat pump can’t warm your home adequately within a given period of time.

Electricity alone is the least efficient way to provide home heat, and unless your thermostat knows how to shut off the emergency heat setting, the cost of heating your home will increase.

When you choose a smart thermostat, be sure that it has the capacity to override the emergency setting. The technical term is an intelligent or adaptive recovery thermostat. You may also see the term “balance point” used with compatible smart thermostats. Your TemperaturePro Columbus technician will know the best brands and types of thermostats to use with a heat pump to maximize savings in the heating mode.

Bottom Line

You don’t need a smart phone to enjoy the benefits of a smart thermostat, and they are many, like energy savings, convenience, control and comfort. The technicians from TemperaturePro Columbus can help you select the most suitable for your HVAC system, lifestyle, and your energy saving goals. Contact us today!