Doug Bailey Real Estate, LLC

AC: tips and policies

Changing your air filters will help keep your house comfortable and clean. Some people remind themselves to change their filter every time they pay their electric bill because it will save them some money to do so.

In addition, most of our leases require that the filter be changed every 30 days. If you have animals you need to check more often.

Throw-away filters usually cost less than $1 at the grocery store or Home Depot. Get the right size. If the filter does not fit neatly inside its enclosure, the air will go around and the purpose is defeated.

Filters are an attempt to keep household dust, lint and hair from getting to the coils inside the air handler. If dust, lint and hair get inside the air handler, the coils clog up and the air conditioning system becomes less efficient. Eventually the motors will be overtaxed and burn out.

If you do not know where the filters are, give us a call. They are usually behind the grill at the return air duct or inside the air handler (often called the furnace because, we suppose, at one time they only circulated hot air. Now they usually circulate both hot and cold air).

Sometimes the furnace/air handler is in the attic and the filters are up there too. They can be a headache to change, but do not add filters to the return air ducts you can get to easily when there also is a filter inside the furnace. If you have some doubt, give us a call and we will have someone check it out.

If you have a window unit, it too has a filter that should be cleaned or changed.

You should also keep the outside unit (the condenser) clear of leaves, vines and dust. Wash it down with a hose or sweep with a broom. Be careful not to damage the fins.

Avoid thermostat wars. Most AC servicemen will advice you to set the thermostat and leave it alone. In Dallas in mid-summer, there is probably no savings in your electric bill by raising the thermostat when you leave the house and then lowering it when you come home. The reason is that the AC system has to cool down the walls, the floors, the furniture, in short, everything inside your home, before it can cool down the air.

Most residential air conditioners can only lower the inside temperature 15-20 degrees from whatever it is outside. If the walls, floors, ceilings and your furniture have got to be cooled down in addition to cooling the air, it will take longer. In Dallas, in July and August, it can't be done.

The other problem with adjusting the thermostat too often is the potential to damage the motors that run the system. It takes a surge of power to start those motors and if you catch the motor in the wrong phase of the cycle, it will freeze and sometimes short out completely.

Repair request form
Home page for Doug Bailey Real Estate, LLC, 10729 Audelia #212, Dallas., Tx 75238. Phone 214-340-8360.

    Top tips
    • Change the filter every month
    • Keep outside unit clean
    • Don't play with the thermostat. Set it and forget it, especially in mid-summer.
    • If your AC won't come on, switch the thermostat to fan. If the fan doesn't come on, check the circuit breaker
    • If your AC is blowing air but the air is hot, turn it off and call us.
    • If you changed the filter and the AC won't come on, check for a switch on the frame of the air handler door.