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AC Maintenance

At what temperature should I set my programmable thermostat?

In Southwest Florida, your programmable thermostat will be used to cool your home the vast majority of the time. With that in mind, our advice is to program your thermostat to be at 78 degrees Fahrenheit while you are home, and 80-85 when you are at work or if you’ll be away for more than an hour or two. The temperature setting can vary based on user preference and comfort. For the two or three cold months of the year, we suggest setting your programmable thermostat between 65 and 68 degrees Fahrenheit when heating your home.

How often should I change my air filter?

You should change your air filter once a month or as needed based on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Several highly efficient filters are available that can extend the useful life. As the filter becomes loaded with dust and particulate, the air conditioning unit has to work harder, which means the power consumption increases. This bogs down the motor and can decrease the life of the unit. If you want your air conditioner to last longer and run more efficiently in the long run, it is very important to replace and clean your air filter regularly. If you neglect to regularly maintain your air filter, you will probably realize that your air conditioner will take a longer time to cool and will consume more electrical power.

Does United Mechanical, Inc offer a preventive maintenance agreement?

Absolutely! An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (or, at least it’s worth a few more ounces in your wallet when you save on your electric bill!) Routine air conditioning service is essential if you want to maintain your AC's peak performance. Here are 6 Reasons why United Mechanical's preventative maintenance agreement will save you money: 1) No service call fee, 2) 15% discount on Products, 3) Flat rate pricing – so there are no surprises, 4) No overtime or holiday charges, 5) Free estimate on new equipment, and 6) Your unit will be maintained properly to reduce energy costs & help prevent untimely unit breakdown.

How can I keep my air conditioner clean?

To keep your air conditioner clean: Make sure your outdoor unit is free of leaves and brush. Remove plants and other debris from within 3 feet of the unit in all directions. Make sure the air’s upward path in leaving the unit is unrestricted for at least 5 feet. Even if your air conditioning unit appears to be clean, most are loaded with pollen and dust. The longest a condenser should go without cleaning is 1 year, depending on how much it operates during the summer. If your cooling season is 4 months or more, annual air conditioning cleaning service is an excellent idea. Download 7 Ways to Lower Your Air Conditioning Costs for more money saving tips.

How does weather stripping help to lower my AC bill?

Make sure all doors and windows are sealed with weather stripping. Since every window and door is essentially a giant hole in your home, there are plenty of opportunities for air to escape!Here’s a little inspection you can do: On the next cold day, run your hand over the interior casing of a window. Is the woodwork cold? It shouldn’t be. If it is cold to the touch, gently remove a piece of the casing and take a look behind. You may be surprised to see just how “un-insulated” the space between the frame of the house and the frame of the window is. If one casing was not installed correctly, most likely none of them were and you are losing some of your cool or warm air…and money! Repairing your door and window casings is a fairly easy fix.

Home AC Troubleshooting

My air conditioning and heating bill is high. What are possible sources of this problem?

You may want to consider having a full diagnostic system check to ensure that everything is running correctly. Here are some common operating defects and possible problems: 1) If the air conditioning and heating system will not operate at all, the power may be off, controls may be improperly set, or the system may be inoperative. Confirm that the system has electrical power and that all of its control switches and thermostat are set to “on” and “cooling” positions. 2) If the air conditioning system operates but does not produce cool air, check the fan or compressor. Is one running without the other? Does the unit work sometimes, but not always? Be sure to take a second to observe operation before you cut power to the unit.

My A/C unit needs to be recharged. Is using the R22 refrigerant illegal?

You have probably heard that R22 refrigerant, Freon, is illegal. Some A/C companies are even telling their customers that it is illegal to have an air conditioning system that uses R22 as the refrigerant, and that they need to replace their system! This is totally NOT TRUE! The fact is that the United States and other nations have entered into an agreement (The Montreal Protocol) to progress towards the total phase out of production and usage of HCFCs (R22) in the future, by certain dates. This does not make it illegal to have the R22 refrigerant in your existing A/C system. If your existing A/C system uses R22 as the refrigerant, this should not be the deciding factor on replacing you’re A/C system. R22 refrigerant is like any product that is being phased out of production gradually, when the quantities become limited, the cost will increase. This will tend to make any repairs, requiring refrigerant, more expensive. However, it doesn’t mean you need to replace your A/C system.

Save Money

What's the best way to save money on a new or replacement HVAC system?

For residents in the Fort Myers area, our air conditioning specials can save you a ton of cash, typically up to $1,700 in rebates! Check those out first. Next, don't wait until your AC breaks and cannot be repaired which usually happens in the summer because it's working so hard. Plan ahead and try to purchase a new AC unit in the winter when demand is low and suppliers are trying to move inventory. And while AC financing provides convenient monthly payments, it will cost you more long term. Try to buy with cash if possible.

Save money and energy with FPL's guide to heating & cooling

  • Adjust your thermostat 
    • Set your A/C to 78° F or higher in the summer with your fan set to auto. Save 5% on monthly cooling costs for each degree you turn it up. 
    • Set your heat to 68° F or lower in the winter with your fan set to auto. Save 5% on monthly heating costs for each degree you turn it down. 
  • Consider purchasing and installing a smart thermostat. Average savings could add up to 3 percent of your total energy costs. 
  • Use ceiling fans to feel cooler 
    • Consider adding more ceiling fans – so you can feel cooler with your thermostat set higher. 
    • When leaving a room, turn off your ceiling fan. A fan that runs all the time costs up to $7 a month. 
  • Keep your A/C unit clean and clear 
    • Check your filter regularly for excess buildup of dirt, dust and pet hair. How often you change the filter depends on the type of filter you have, how often you run your A/C and the number of pets in your home. 
    • Keep leaves, shrubbery and debris at least 18 inches away from your outdoor unit.

Do you offer “green” air conditioning units?

Yes we offer green air conditioning units that meet high efficiency standards and save money. We'll with you to determine the best unit for your home, and see if you qualify for available rebates. To ensure that you are reducing your impact on the environment and saving money on energy costs, we suggest 1) increasing your attic insulation 2) Installing radiant heat barriers 3) Installing and using a ceiling fan. Download our free eBook to learn more about green air conditioning units.

Should I keep my air vents open or closed to save money?

If you decide to close the vents, especially in the rooms you don’t use, you’re wasting money. Each room has heating and cooling vents as well as cold-air returns to keep the air moving. When you close your vents, return ducts can also start pulling in outside air from improperly sealed vents, windows, and doors. With too many air vents closed, your AC system works harder, and this decreases your efficiency. To increase the efficiency of your system and save money, keep your vents open.

Best Air Conditioning Company

How can I find a reputable and qualified air conditioning service company?

Finding a company that is licensed, insured and certified, as well as a company that doesn’t overcharge can be a struggle. Especially if you are a stressed-out homeowner that needs service now. It is very important to us at United Mechanical that we are here to guide you to make the right decision when you are choosing a reputable and qualified air conditioning service company. We offer a FREE eBook that shares with you the guidelines to ensure you choose the best air conditioning company in Southwest Florida.

What makes United Mechanical, inc. experts in the field of heating & air conditioning?

  • We have been in the heating & air conditioning business since 1987. 
  • Many of our technicians are NATE certified.
  • We're passionate about saving you money. We don't just want to make a sale.
  • Our technicians are well trained at UMI University and are NOT paid on commissions so their motivation is your satisfaction, not money.
  • Learn more about how we aim to do every job R.I.G.H.T, every time.

Recommendations

We only refer our customers to companies we know and trust. Here are some we recommend:

  • Coastline Window Cleaning for window and roof cleaning.
  • Larue Pest Management for pest control.
  • Ron's Painting for interior and exterior painting.
    “I have had the opportunity to work with Ron and his team from Ron’s Painting on several occasions.  The experience has been first rate!  Ron is a dedicated professional and is one of the rare owners who actually sees to the work himself.  Ron and his team were both thorough and prompt in their work.  I would not hesitate to use Ron’s Painting again and have recommended them to several of my friends and neighbors!”

Want to know more about our services?
Call (239) 939-2032 or contact us today!

Serving Southwest Florida including Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Lehigh Acres, and Lee & Collier Counties.