How To Make Your Air Conditioner Last Longer

By Austin Heyen, Head of Aurora’s HVAC division

July 28, 2019

  • Always work with a reputable contractor. The air conditioning contractor that you choose to work with can have a big impact on how long your system lasts. If you work with a low-cost, low-quality contractor for your installation, your system might have operational problems from day one that plague the system for the rest of its life. In addition, a low-quality contractor might rush through maintenance and repair calls or even misdiagnose your system and make unnecessary and expensive repairs. By working with a high-quality and reputable contractor like Aurora’s, you can be sure your system is in good hands throughout its entire operating life, including during its installation, annual tune-ups and repairs.

  • Schedule a tune-up every year. Speaking of tune-ups, it’s essential that you schedule a tune-up for your air conditioner every year if you want your system to last as long as possible. Air conditioners are like cars in the sense that they work better and last longer if they are well-maintained. In the same way that you need to periodically change the oil, rotate the tires and add fluids to your car, your air conditioner requires maintenance tasks that should be taken care of during professional tune-ups every year. In fact, many air conditioner manufacturers will void the warranty on your system if you neglect to schedule annual maintenance.

  • Change your air filter regularly. The single most important maintenance task that you are responsible for when it comes to your air conditioner is to change the air filter. Dirty filters are responsible for many of the most common short- and long-term problems that develop with air conditioners, which is why keeping a clean filter installed is one of the best ways to make your air conditioner last longer. Many air filters only last for 30 days, while others can last a few months. Either way, we suggest that you at least check on your filter every month and change it when it’s dirty.

  • Use your thermostat wisely. Anything you can do to limit your air conditioner’s workload will lead to less wear and tear and a longer operating life for your system. One of the best ways to do that is to use energy-saving thermostat settings. When you’re at home, use the highest temperature setting that your family is comfortable with. When you leave the house for the day, raise your thermostat by 3-5 degrees to save energy while your home is empty. Over time, settings like these will save you energy and help keep your air conditioner in good shape. To make your life easier, install a programmable thermostat that will change your home’s temperature levels automatically based on your family’s schedule.

  • Ensure your system has good airflow. In order to keep your home cool while exerting a minimum amount of effort, your air conditioner must have good airflow. If something is blocking airflow through your system, or if air is escaping your ducts, your air conditioner will have to work much harder and longer than usual during every cooling cycle. This added effort will add up to a lot of extra wear and tear over time, which will shorten your system’s operating life. In order to help ensure good airflow, keep all of your home’s vents open and clear of obstructions, clear away plants and debris within a few feet of your outside unit, check and/or change your air filter every month and have your ducts inspected for leaks by Aurora’s HVAC technicians.

If you have any questions about how to make your air conditioner last longer, or if you’d like a cooling system serviced or installed in your home, contact Aurora Plumbing, Electrical, Heating and Cooling. 701-242-7202.



Does Switching Back and Forth Between Heat and AC Hurt Your HVAC System? 

By Austin Heyen 

May 30, 2019 

Spring in the Midwest can give us quite the temperature variation; it’s hot one day and cold the next. Sometimes we get all four seasons in one week. It can be a challenge to regulate your home’s temperature. During the day you may need to turn your air conditioning on, but at night you may find that it is too cold to fall asleep. Because of this many homeowners switch units back and forth between heat and air conditioning. 

But will this switching back and forth damage your unit? 

The good news is, NO! Generally, doing this will not cause any problems with your system and inherently it isn’t bad for your unit. There are a few important things you should know before switching back and forth. 

Because of the demands that switching back and forth puts on your HVAC unit, preventative maintenance of your HVAC system becomes even more important to make sure everything runs smoothly. Here are some more tips to ensure that you are switching between heat and air conditioning in the safest way possible. 

● Let your unit completely finish its current cycle before switching it. Once it has stopped, shut your unit off completely. 

● Wait five or more minutes between turning off one system and turning on the other. If you switch them too quickly an electrical issue could arise and you are at risk of tripping your breakers. 

● Make sure you don’t set the temperature to something drastically different right away when switching between systems. Raise or lower the temperature by just a couple of degrees at a time. This will keep your system from overworking, and it will help it operate more efficiently. 

If you find it hard to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, contact the professional technicians at Aurora Plumbing, Electrical, Heating and Cooling. We are available to inspect your system, make any necessary repairs and tune-ups, and offer advice on the best way for you to stay comfortable in your home. Also, keep in mind that your HVAC system is an investment and it is important to keep it operating efficiently. Please give me a call at Aurora if you have any questions, 701-242-7202.

Sniffling, Sneezing, Watery Eyes - Help your Allergies, Optimize your HVAC System

May 18, 2019 

By Austin Heyen, Head of Aurora’s HVAC Division 

Have you ever considered that optimizing your HVAC System may improve or alleviate asthma and allergy symptoms? There are many easy options to reduce allergens and improve indoor air quality.  

Schedule Annual AC Maintenance 

Indoor air pollution includes mold, dust mites, pet dander and pollen. Your HVAC system’s air filters are designed to trap the majority of these allergens when they become airborne, but they can still affect you, causing allergic reactions or asthma attacks. Additionally, your HVAC system can harbor mildew and mold, which can end up in your indoor air during the air conditioning cycles. That’s why annual maintenance is so crucial, especially for someone with asthma or allergies. 

Know Your Filter 

Since the air filter is such a crucial player in reducing indoor allergens, you need to invest in a quality filter capable of trapping even the tiniest particles. An air filter’s effectiveness is measured using a MERV rating, or a minimum efficiency recording value. MERVs range from one to twenty, with the higher numbers offering the highest level of filtration. Not every air filter is recommended for any system, however. Higher air filter efficiency tends to add stress to the system. At Aurora, we are happy to guide you to the perfect filter for your system and personal preferences. Call us at 701-242-7202. 

Add Whole Home Air Purifiers  

While centralized HVAC systems work best with medium to high-efficiency air filters, adding an air purifier with a HEPA filter is the smartest option for trapping those allergens your HVAC can’t handle alone. Whole-home air purifiers are great for anyone suffering from severe asthma or allergies because they improve the entire home’s air quality, helping everyone in the family to breathe easier. 

Control Humidity 

In addition to air purification, it’s important to maintain ideal humidity levels inside the home in order to alleviate allergies. Humidity, in particular, is a major trigger for many asthma sufferers. Having a dehumidifier installed can help to keep those humidity levels in check.  

Keep Your HVAC Systems Maintained 

One of the best and most cost-effective ways to optimize your HVAC system is to schedule annual maintenance service. This should include having your air filters changed and the ductwork cleaned in order to improve airflow and keep the system running efficiently. Don’t suffer from allergies and asthma. Call Aurora at 701-242-7202 to discuss optimization solutions for your HVAC system. Whether you opt for an annual HVAC tune-up or a new indoor air quality product, we can have your family breathing better in no time. 

MAKE SURE YOUR AC IS READY FOR SUMMER TEMPS

By Austin Heyen, Head of Aurora’s HVAC Division

Have you run your air conditioner yet this year?  Believe it or not, the temps will be heating up and we are going to need to run our AC units.

If your AC has developed any issues over the winter, the best thing you can do is refrain from using it until you’ve had it tuned-up. Instead of waiting just before the summer returns, however, you can get that maintenance check out of the way anytime before summer.

A few reasons to service your AC unit:

CLEAN=EFFICIENT

Check your air vents. If you can see dust there, just imagine how much could have formed inside the ducts and in the sensitive components of your air conditioner. Turning on your AC for the first time in several months, some of that dust might even come out and leave a bit of an odor.

The U.S. Department of Energy has found that nearly 25 to 40 percent of the energy used by your AC is wasted due to excessive dust in the system. The dust that can build up on the air conditioning coils and other parts of the system can reduce the AC’s cooling potential.

While air filters are put in place to help prevent this problem in the first place, dust manages to find its way inside the system through other entry points. Plus, if the filter gets too dirty for a prolonged period of time, it will be less effective in filtering out dust.

A little maintenance now saves time and money in the long run

There will come a time when you start running your air conditioner consistently. Soon after that, there will come days so hot that you’ll be very thankful to have a fully-operational air conditioner. The worst possible thing that could happen at that time? The AC breaks down and it’s likely to happen during the hottest part of the season, especially if the unit hasn’t received any maintenance since the year prior.

The most common issues that can cause a malfunction include refrigerant leaks, frozen evaporator coil, dirty condenser coil, broken blower motor or fan. Luckily those issues can be prevented with a quick tune-up.  Give us a call at Aurora Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling. We’d be happy to make sure you’re AC unit is ready when the temps start to rise.