Posts

Are you running your home AC during the winter months?

So the cold weather is here… kinda.  Even though we have officially entered winter, there are plenty of winter days here in Oklahoma that will tempt us to turn on the air conditioner.  If it is sunny and 60 outside, chances are it’s heating up well over 75 in your home and that can lead to us feeling a little stuffy.   Add to that some holiday cooking, and we can see that thermostat moving quickly to the 80s.  What to do?

Well, back in the day, I know it might be hard to believe, but we would actually open the windows.  That’s right kids!  We opened the windows.  I know that sounds snarky but I really think people have forgotten about this option, much to the enjoyment of your neighborhood HVAC professional.  Also, today’s homes are not really designed for this.  In the early 20th century, homes were built with lots of windows and often had a “whole-house fan” that people would run, with the windows open, to keep everyone reasonably cool.  I’m always happy to tell buyers about this feature when we come across a functional unit.

So, even though we don’t have as many windows, I’m recommending using them next time your home gets stuffy this winter; for the following reasons:

  1. Compressors are designed to run in hot weather.  They are lubricated with summer grade oil.  When you start your AC in the winter you are putting a terrible strain on the compressor and likely shortening its life.  I know you don’t want to buy another AC unit this spring.
  2. Windows left shut and not operated year after year, lose their lubrication, and when I open them at inspections, the springs often do not operate.  The next time you sell a home, you are probably going to be asked to fix that.  Using them frequently will keep them functional or at least remind you to lubricate them occasionally.
  3. Using your windows instead of your AC saves you money — immediately.  Open a couple of windows, and turn your fan to “on” at the thermostat.  It will circulate the stale air, introduce new fresh air, and cool down your home.  It will take a little longer, but you avoid risk of damage to the compressor.  Also, it is a lot cheaper to run a fan than a compressor.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

Moisture Intrusion: Part 1 of 2

rainonroof

Moisture Intrusion left unchecked can lead to structural defects in a home over time, as well as health problems for the home’s family.

Some common moisture-related problems include:

  • structural wood decay
  • high indoor humidity and resulting condensation
  • expansive soil, which may crack or undermine the home’s foundation, or softened soil, which may lose its ability to support an overlying structure
  • metal corrosion
  • ice dams, which form in roof gutters that are undersized or obstructed and water isn’t allowed to drain properly
  • Mold growth. Mold can only grow in the presence of high levels of moisture. People who suffer from the following conditions can be seriously or even fatally harmed if exposed to elevated levels of airborne mold spores: asthma, allergies, lung disease and/or compromised immune systems.

Note that people who do not suffer from these ailments may still be harmed by elevated levels of airborne mold spores.

So now that we are entering the rainy season here in Oklahoma, take a few minutes after the next big rain and make sure you homes outer shell is doing its job.  Make sure your gutters are cleared and draining properly.  Make sure your downspouts are taking water well away from your foundation(we recommend 4-6 feet if possible.  Maybe you can add those gutters this spring that you have been meaning to for years.  Believe me they pay for themselves over time.

Check the indoor systems as well.  Bathrooms and Kitchens have a lot of water going through them.  Keep an eye out for moisture around showers and dishwashers.  Look under those bathroom and kitchen sinks.  Yes I know it may take a few minutes to clear all that stuff (I see it every work day-believe me), but as I found out not too long ago, all those products under there may keep you from noticing a leak that may cost you in repairs and impair indoor air quality.

As we crank up the A/C with the rise in temps and humidity, make sure your condensate drains are doing their job and taking the moisture to the drain.

Have a safe spring!

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com
We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Guthrie, Cashion, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Chickasha, Midwest City/Del City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2

http://www.home-runinspections.com/

 

Should you cover your A/C unit for the Winter?

coveredACunit

People tend to have firm opinions about whether or not they should cover their air conditioner for winter, so here’s the skinny on both sides:

Benefits of Covering:

  • Protects your condenser from the elements
  • Provides cover from ice, debris, snow, etc.
  • Prevents your AC from getting “weather-beaten”

Benefits of Not Covering:

  • Deters animals from seeing your AC as a cozy, protected home for the winter
  • Prevents moisture from collecting inside your unit
  • Allows for ventilation

So how can you get the benefits of covering your air conditioner without dealing with the all of the potential consequences? One of the easiest ways you can do this is by just covering the top of your unit. Ideally, you want to prevent damage from above while also allowing for ventilation. You can either use a piece of plywood to protect the top of your unit from falling ice as well as snow accumulation, or you can duct tape a garbage bag around just the top of your system to allow ventilation from the sides as well as cover from the top.  From Arcticac.com

Remember, if you decide to cover your unit, you should make a reminder to yourself to remove the cover in the spring.  You will likely damage your condenser unit if you run the A/C with the cover still in place, obviously costing you far more than any savings reaped from the cover. You may remove power from the outdoor unit as a safety (at the home service panel, if marked, or at the unit disconnect).

Based on the information here and my personal experience, I recommend that you just leave it uncovered.

Scott Price, CPI, #1532
Certified Home Inspector
Home Run Inspections
405-905-9175
homeruninspections@icloud.com

We cover all of the bases!

Serving the Oklahoma City metro and surrounding areas including Edmond, Yukon, Moore, Norman, Midwest City, Bethany, El Reno, Shawnee, Harrah, and more.

Schedule Inspections Online at:
www.Home-RunInspections.com
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/homeruninspections
Follow us on Twitter: www.Twitter.com/HomeRunInspect2