Whether you are a first time homeowner or just getting into the swing of home maintenance, knowing more about your air conditioner can save you money and maintain comfortable, consistent temperatures inside your home. Certain HVAC maintenance and home improvements are invaluable to air conditioner performance during the summer.
What You Should Know About Your Air Conditioner
These nine tips can help you make informed decisions about air conditioner maintenance and improve the overall efficiency of your system:
- Replacing filters. A clogged filter reduces air flow through the system and may prevent cold air from getting to your air registers. Depending on your operational needs, you may need to replace your filter every one to two months. Always replace the filter with a recommended disposable or reusable one. Check your user manual for specifics.
- Identifying and fixing leaks. Air conditioner system leaks can dramatically reduce airflow and overall efficiency. To find leaks, try using a stick of incense. Watch the smoke as you move the stick close to your window unit or near air duct connectors in the attic. If you see the smoke move around the seal, you have a leak.
- Using a thermostat appropriately. Manually operating your thermostat often takes too much time. You even may forget to change the settings when you leave. Invest in a programmable thermostat that allows you to maintain energy efficient temperatures throughout the day. Some new thermostats let you schedule the air conditioning to reflect when you are home, asleep, or away.
- Insulating your home. Insulation can enhance your home’s energy efficiency. Attics, crawl spaces, windows, and doors all need appropriate insulation to keep your air conditioning unit from overworking.
- Maintaining your unit over time. Regular maintenance will improve performance and extend your unit’s lifespan. Work with a local HVAC company to arrange an annual tune-up. Repair or replace components as needed.
- Cooling your home. Don’t make your air conditioner do all the work. Take some additional steps to reduce the strain on your system. Close the blinds when the sun is bright, use ceiling fans for circulation, and avoid running the AC when windows and exterior doors are open.
- Improving airflow. Keep interior doors and air registers open to allow the air conditioning system to do its job. AC systems work best when they can distribute air evenly across air supply vents.
- Keeping the unit efficient. Always check indoor and outdoor units for debris, dirt, and other risk factors. Clear the outdoor unit of limbs and debris. Keep all runoff pipes clog-free.
- Repairing or upgrading your unit. Repairing your unit may not make sense in some cases. New technology renders old technology obsolete within 10-15 years. Perform a cost-benefits analysis of repairing your old equipment versus investing in a new, more energy efficient one.
Air conditioner maintenance is an important part of home ownership. With these tips, you can maintain improved air conditioner performance every summer. Want to learn more about how to lower your cooling and heating bills? Contact us today to discuss HVAC upgrade options.