Maintaining your Air Conditioner to prepare for Summer

Summer is officially here, and it’s one of the hottest in history. With temperatures regularly reaching 90 degrees, there are few better ways to beat the hot dog days of summer than an air conditioner. Hot summers would be unbearable without climate control, and the last thing anyone wants is their A/C unit to malfunction or break during the summer heat. However, with many people running their air conditioners on full blast all summer long, wear and tear is guaranteed.

To make sure you don’t end up having to make an expensive emergency air conditioning purchase, make sure you are running your unit as efficiently as possible. Air conditioning is something many of take for gratitude and it can be easy to forget it has to be maintained just like any part of your home. If you feel your air conditioner isn’t working as well as it should be, try this simple tricks first before calling someone to check your equipment:

  1. Check your air filters

Air filters are what keeps dust, allergens, and other nasty things from coming into your home through the air conditioning. Replacing them once a month can prevent clogging, which could cause your A/C unit to work extra hard without actually cooling you more. In fact energy.gov reports that just doing this can save you 5-15% energy consumption.

  1. Keep your A/C in the shade

The cooler your air conditioning unit is, the less energy and work is required to cool the air down. This means lower energy bills and a long life for your unit.

  1. Keep your thermostat away from heat sources

Heat sources such as lamps, ovens, TVs, or non-shaded windows can heat up the thermostat and trick into thinking the house is warmer than it is. This will cause your A/C unit to work harder than it has too and wear out faster.

  1. Clear obstructions from A/C unit

Your air conditioning unit works by sucking in air around it and cooling it down. Trim plants and remove weeds around it to ensure adequate airflow. If you have a split system, make sure you check all components for obstructions.

  1. Clean the vents on the side of the A/C unit

Similar to the previous tip, making sure the vents on the side of your compressor are clear can help it work more effectively and prevent things from damaging the coils inside. You should check and clean your conditioners evaporator coil every year. If any of the coils are bent use a fine comb or other very thin object to straighten them. Be careful not to over bend them.

  1. Check seals on window mounted systems

If you have a window mounted air conditioner make sure its seals are tight and not leaking to prevent cool air from escaping outside.

  1. Wash your outdoor compressor unit

Sometimes things will get so clogged up that you cannot easily remove them by hand. With the system turned off, use a high pressure hose to spray the compressor from the top down to remove anything clogging the system.

  1. Have an HVAC professional check your A/C unit

Even the best cared for air conditioning units need a tune up every so often.  Call an HVAC professional to inspect and clean your unit on a regular basis so it lasts for years to come.