Most of us take our heating and cooling system for granted our entire lives until something goes wrong as we know it. So when the electric bill arrives we expect it to be right at the top or right at the bottom of the bill. We don’t think everything needs to be fixed right away to get rid of the monthly bill, so making sure you are saving money with your HVAC system each month will help you to stay ahead of those costly bills.
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that energy-efficient old air-conditioning units can cost you twice to run. If you replaced your valuable old cooling unit with a new, energy-efficient model, you could save as much as 34% each year. No matter what investment you make into that new unit, you will start seeing savings.
If you are sick of your broken air conditioning system, you can fix it yourself. The first step is to find out how to replace your system correctly.
There are two basic types of broken air-conditioning units. These include the outdoor unit, which is the outside unit, and the indoor unit that is found in your home. Both have specific steps you need to take to ensure mistakes don’t occur so you don’t have the system break down and become a total loss.
To begin, count your main refrigerant lines and determine how many lines run in your system. Check your main unit. This is located in a garage, crawlspace, or basement. It is easier to get to and test the unit before moving it to the main area of your home. The central unit is typically found in a central area of your home or an attic or crawlspace. If you can’t find the unit, call an air-conditioning repair service to check your system.
Remove the service panel on the main unit. You should have a voltage meter and a few watts of power available on the meter. If you don’t have the power available it will be a short process. The most effective method is to get a voltmeter on the voltage meter located near the main panel. Once you buy a voltmeter, plug it in and connect it between the voltage meter and power outlet. Then you need to measure the voltage generated by running the furnace switch for a few minutes. If you have a furnace that has built up some insulation, your power level might drop. If the voltage stops dropping between the main unit and the voltage meter, you have some help or need to start over. Take a reading using the voltmeter attached to the voltage meter that is on the main panel. Also, take a reading if you are using the home’s electrical system to measure voltage.
If the resistance reading is shorter than the voltage level your meter gives, you are running over the time limit. Next, find the leads on the main unit or find a picture of the main unit on the Internet. Put the leads in the meter and connect the meter to the main panel that is located outside of your home. You may need a voltage meter on the sub-panel and a voltage meter on the panel you are installing the front panel.
Once you have the reading from the meter, add the voltmeter one level up on your rating velvet. You should have a problem seeing a reading if the velvet is too high. Check the furnace’s float switch, which is found on the front wall near the furnace or directly in the heater/cooler compartment. The float switch is connected to the igniter. Make sure the switch is to the right of the furnace. If your system is not properly grounded, you should add a wire to the main panel that is marked ” umbrellas open with wires attached as do all smoke detectors”. Connect the wire to the small hole prior to adding the float switch. Turn the circuit. Allow any loose wiring to be removed and tighten the two screws on the cover by turning clockwise.
The Department of Energy and The National Fire Protection Association both recommend testing all smoke detectors every year. According to The National Fire Protection Association, there should be a test conducted every six months in the areas of the Across America where you have a high risk of fire. Most communities have optional public testing available at fire department inspection bureaus and you can ask your fire department to test your system as well. A good idea is to schedule a test at the same time the other public testing is done in the same geographic region.
Scheduling a full public inspection at the same time as the public inspection will let you find any issues before they become a problem. By the way, all public inspections will include a visual inspection for any flammable exhaust leaks.
Once you are able to see all the vents, return the main panel, and do the inventory. Go to each vent and make a note of the number or letter inside the vent.