Your air conditioning unit is the key to your personal comfort on those long summer days and hot summer nights. Taking proper care of your air conditioner throughout the hottest season will ensure that your AC continues to run reliably. Follow these tips to properly maintain your air conditioner this summer.
Change the Air Filter
The air filter on your air conditioning unit is actually the same filter that services your furnace. Every time you run your HVAC system, the air filter cleans the air that flows through the return air duct and into the blower.
The air filter needs to be replaced every 3 months as long as the HVAC system is in use. Replacing the air filter on a regular basis prevents dirt and pollutants from building up inside the system, which can cause the air conditioner to run harder than necessary. If you've been using your furnace all winter, replace your air filter before you start running the air conditioner this summer.
Keep Out the Weeds
Weeds, dirt and other debris can build up inside your condenser and cling to the coils, causing your air conditioner to lose efficiency, run more than necessary and overheat. To prevent this from happening, keep the area around the condenser clear of any organic matter that might get caught in the condenser fins. Keep all plants, flowers, shrubs and grass at least 2 feet from the condenser. Clear the area around the condenser on a monthly basis throughout the growing season.
Clean the Condenser
To further protect the coils inside the condenser, clean the condenser at least once this summer. To do this, turn off the unit and cut the power to the air conditioner. Remove the grated lid from the condenser, then use a shop vacuum to suck up the leaves and debris inside the unit. Next, turn on the hose and release a strong jet of water into the condenser, cleaning the coils. If you've never done this before, the coils could be especially dirty. In this case, use coil cleaner to wash down the coils more thoroughly.
Program Your Thermostat
Modern thermostats can be programmed to run less often when the house is empty, and more often when the house is occupied. This prevents the air conditioner from running needlessly when no one is home, and can extend the life of your air conditioner over time. Make regular use of your programmable thermostat, and if you do not own a programmable thermostat, consider getting one installed.
Get a Tune-Up
Contact an air conditioner repair person to check your air conditioner before the summer begins. He or she will lubricate the parts of your air conditioner, check the refrigerant, check the ducts for leaks and make recommendations for repair. This will help prevent your air conditioner from breaking down during the heat of the summer.
Air conditioning units need extra care and maintenance throughout the summer because they work hard to keep your house cool. Taking care of your air conditioner will help ensure that your AC will continue to do its job when you need it the most. For more information, contact a company like Tropic Air Conditioning INC.