Without regular air conditioner maintenance, your unit can make summer extremely uncomfortable.
Especially down in the South, you cannot afford to have your air conditioner break down as soon as temperatures go up.
With a few simple steps, you can keep your air conditioner running smoothly season after season.
Follow these 9 steps to keep your AC running and to maximize comfort during the hottest days of summer.
1. Regularly Replace Your Filters
You can’t have an efficient AC unit with a dirty filter. As your unit blows air through your home, dust builds up on the filter, making it harder for air to blow through.
This causes your unit to work harder and longer to achieve the same temperatures, causing unnecessary strain, and eventually damage.
Simply replace your filters every 3 months. In summer, especially in really hot areas, it’s best to replace them monthly. Make it easy by setting a monthly reminder.
2. Set a Timer During Peak Season
Make sure you are giving your unit a break every day, even during the summer. When leaving the house for a few hours, make sure to turn the temperature up a few degrees.
You don’t need a cold house when no one is going to be home for a while. Running it on full blast for 24 hours a day will wear out your unit quickly.
If your thermostat is old, you can replace it with a modern one that allows you to set an automatic schedule. You can adjust the temperature while you are at work, or late at night when everyone is asleep and unlikely to notice a slight temperature change.
New thermostats can also connect to your smartphone, allowing you to adjust the temperature while you are away. This is especially helpful if you forget to turn it off when you leave, or if you need to turn it on when you are heading home.
3. Keep the Doors and Vents in Your Home Open
Another simple preventative measure to take to maintain your unit’s lifespan is to keep the vents and interior doors of your house open.
Keeping bedroom and bathroom windows open promotes airflow. This allows the entire house to be cooled together, giving your thermostat a more accurate temperature reading.
When privacy is needed, leave the doors slightly cracked to ensure airflow.
4. Clean It Off
Your air conditioner lives outside of your house, making it susceptible to the many elements. Debris can easily build up outside and inside the unit, which can turn into bigger issues if ignored.
To clean it off, it’s best to disconnect from the power source. Remove leaves, sticks, plants, and rocks. You can brush off or vacuum dirt and debris from between the “fins.”
Make sure plants and trees are not growing too close to the unit. Trim them back, so they are at least 3 feet away.
5. Clear the Drains
When air is cooled, it often causes condensation. This water needs to go somewhere, which is why a drain directs the water away from your home.
Ensure the drain is clear of blockage by running a drain auger or stiff wire into the opening to loosen and remove debris.
6. Stop the Leaks
Cold air travels through metal ducts to each room in your home. But if your ducts have holes or gaps in them, air will escape. As a result, some rooms in your home will never get enough cool air.
This causes some rooms to be very cold, as they get extra air, and some to be much warmer. Not only is this frustrating for you, but again causes the unit to overwork, trying to cool down each room.
It can be difficult to find holes in ducts. You’ll need to check around the sealed duct connections. If you find a leak, seal it off with foil tape.
7. Insulate Ductwork
Everywhere that the cool air travels should be insulated to keep the air cool.
Check where the lines enter the home. Add spray or foam insulation to these lines. You can also add insulation to your ducts that run through warm spaces, such as attics, to protect the cold air inside.
If you have an unfinished basement, you should be able to access the ducts and feed lines to add insulation as well. Spending just a few dollars on this insulation will boost energy efficiency and save you money over time.
8. Schedule a Tune-Up
It’s worth having a professional examine your unit every year. They can maintain components you didn’t even know existed, such as coils, belts, blowers, and bearings.
This can be far more cost-effective than having your unit die at an inopportune time and needed it to be replaced. On top of that, your unit will run more efficiently each year, saving you money on energy costs, which can more than pay for this service.
Residents near Agusta, GA, or Aiken, SC can schedule a tune-up today.
9. Upgrade to a More Efficient Unit
Speaking of replacing your unit, it will be much easier to maintain a newer air conditioner than one that is 30 years old.
If you have an older unit, you should consider replacing it as soon as you can. Energy companies often offer rebates for those upgrading to a more efficient unit.
Plus, they’ll be more effective, keeping you comfortable all year long. They may also be quieter, and less of an eye-sore in your yard.
If your unit needs regular repairs to keep it running, you know it’s time for a replacement.
Get Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance
Performing regular air conditioner maintenance isn’t that hard. Even those who aren’t very handy can keep their units running longer and more efficiently.
You can also take preventative measures to stop issues before they start, such as insulating your home and upgrading your windows and roof.
But the best way to keep your unit performing properly is to have a certified technician examine and tune-up your unit. You can schedule a tune-up today to ensure you are ready for the coming season.