Keep Your Air Conditioner Operating Efficiently
It pays to keep your air conditioner operating at optimal levels. You are less likely to have mid-summer break-downs and more likely to prolong its life. Your house will be more comfortable. You will have fewer allergens like mold, mildew, and dust thriving in your home. If those are not good enough reasons to keep on top of your HVAC maintenance, consider your energy bills. Regular air conditioning maintenance will keep your power bills lower because your system is performing efficiently.
Things You Need to Do to Get Your Air Conditioning System Ready for Summer: Checklist
Keeping up with your air conditioning maintenance is fairly simple. Some things you can do yourself, and other things you will need a licensed professional to handle. Here is an easy checklist for getting your air conditioner in shape for the long, hot summer:
1. Contact a Reputable HVAC Service. Contact a licensed professional HVAC maintenance service and arrange for an annual service contract. Under most service contracts, the technician will schedule a visit to your home and thoroughly evaluate your system. In the spring, the technician will tune-up the air conditioner. This entails a careful inspection of the air conditioning coils, refrigerant levels, and mechanical devices inside and outside the home. The technician will replace filters, clean the fans, condensers, drains, and other parts, and make any minor repairs necessary to ensure it is working properly. If major repairs or replacement is warranted, the technician will advise you and make recommendations suitable for your home.
2. Use a High-Efficiency Pleated Air Filter. Keep your air filters clean and fresh. Change them every 90 days. Clean air filters will help your air conditioner circulate the air through the house, and clean filters will keep particulates out of the mechanics. Keeping the air filters changed will also keep allergen levels down in your house and maintain a healthier home environment. Note that some air filters allow larger particulates to flow through, while others are more tightly woven to filter out smaller particles. Tighter weaves will filter out more particles, but the air conditioner will work a little harder to circulate the air through those filters.
3. Clean the Leaves and Debris off of the Outside Equipment. To keep your air conditioner working well for many years, you need to clean the leaves and debris that may have accumulated on the outdoor condenser equipment over the wintertime. To function properly, the air conditioner needs to blow the hot air from the house out. If the fans are blocked, the air conditioner cannot expel the hot air. Eventually, it will burn itself out, and you will need a new condenser. If after sweeping the leaves and grass off of your unit it still appears to be infiltrated with debris, you can try to remove it with a shop vac and then hose it down with a garden hose. Before doing that, you need to be sure to shut off the power entirely. You can do that by turning it off at the air conditioner’s power box, or turning it off at the breaker box.
If you notice that the condenser fins are bent, your licensed HVAC technician can probably repair them by straightening them with a special tool for that purpose. The technician should also remove the top of the condenser and the fan assembly to thoroughly clean the inside of the unit.
4. Cut Shrubs and Plants Away from the Outside Equipment. Clear at least a two foot area around all outside equipment. This will ensure the system has adequate air circulation, help prevent debris from accumulating in the machinery, and provide good access for regular air conditioning maintenance by you or your HVAC technician.
5. Seal Air Leaks around Door and Windows. Get out the caulk and spray foam insulation. If needed, replace the weather-stripping around doors and windows and increase the attic insulation. Keeping hot, humid air from leaking into your house reduces the burden on your air conditioning system. The same leaks that let cold air in during the winter let the summer heat in during the summer.
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat. You can buy a programmable thermostat at most big box home stores. They are inexpensive. Once programmed to fit your schedule, a programmable thermostat can save you from paying to operate your air conditioning system when no one is home. Some of the new models are “smart”, in that they will learn your routine and set themselves.
Contact an Experienced Air Conditioning Maintenance Service for More Information
One of the best things you can do to prolong the life of your air conditioning system and keep your home comfortable in the summer time is to make an appointment with a reputable HVAC service. A qualified technician can do the work that requires the skill of a qualified technician and advise you on the things you should to do to keep your system performing well all spring and summer long.