The U.S. has more air conditioners in homes than any other country in the world. We think that’s something worth celebrating because it means more families are living comfortably in the summer heat. But if your air conditioner isn’t running properly, that comfort can quickly vanish while you’re left with unrelenting heat.
Don’t let that be your reality this summer by learning these helpful air conditioning maintenance tips.
Get Your Air Conditioner Serviced Ahead of Time
The best way to make sure that your air conditioner is running the way you want it to by the time summer rolls around is to get summer AC maintenance ahead of time. Make sure it’s working properly long before you need to use it.
Small common AC problems can turn into much larger and more expensive problems the longer you wait. Plus, you don’t want to have to deal with that problem when it’s blisteringly hot out.
Call in a professional to make sure that everything is running smoothly when things start warming up in the spring. You should be using your air conditioner a little by that time and start to notice any little issues to point out to the HVAC man.
Do Monthly Filter Checks
There are things you should be doing to keep your air conditioner operating properly even without the help of a professional. To keep your air conditioner running its best all summer long, you need to check your filter monthly.
Dirty, clogged filters have trouble drawing in the air which makes your residential AC system run less efficiently. That results in a higher electric bill and a hotter house.
You can either clean the filter or buy a new one from an HVAC professional who specializes in replacing AC unit parts.
Clean Around the Condenser
Your outdoor AC unit condenser needs to have an area clear of debris in order to function properly. There should be no dirt, sticks, or even plants surrounding it. Take a little time to make sure it’s totally clear about once a month or whenever you notice it. It should have a total 4-foot radius of clear area.
You should also make sure that the condenser is properly shaded at all times. Otherwise, it overheats and has trouble working. This can be achieved by its placement in relationship to the house, an awning, or even clever landscaping with trees, bushes, and vines.
Vacuum the Vents Monthly
Clean vents are just as important to air conditioner function as clean filters. Inspect and clean your vents regularly. Pet fur, dust, dirt, and other debris can all end up in your vents and need to be removed.
It’s also a good idea to make sure that your furniture hasn’t slipped over any vents as this can make it difficult for air to move through them.
Clean Your Coils
Just like the vents and filters, your coils need to be clean for your air conditioner to work right. The coils need to be able to absorb heat in order to cool the air, and they can’t do that as well when they’re covered with dirt and debris.
All you need to clean the coils of your AC is a damp cloth. Make sure to get deep within the slots so that you don’t have to redo the cleaning as often.
While you’re cleaning, it’s also a good idea to straighten the fins of your coils. The thin metal that the coils are made of is prone to bending in towards each other. When the gaps close up from the bending, air can’t move through the coils. A simple butter knife (don’t insert too far!) can reshape your coils.
Keep Doors and Windows Closed
Not only will closing doors and windows keep bugs out in the summer, it’ll keep your air conditioner in better working condition too!
When you leave something open, nice cooled air can escape the house and hot air from the outside comes flowing in. Then, your air conditioner has to work all over again to cool down the new hot air.
Your energy bill will suffer if your air conditioner is constantly having to boot up and cool down the air again, and your air conditioner may have a shorter lifespan because it has to work harder.
Keep Your Thermostat In a Good Spot
One aspect of air conditioner tips is something that you may not think of very much. The thermostat!
It may seem pretty basic, that if your thermostat is adjusting temperatures then it’s working fine, but there’s more to it. You need to keep your thermostat in a good spot so that it can get an accurate temperature reading of the room.
If your thermostat is in a spot bathed in sunlight, it will always think that your house is hotter than it is. It will tell your air conditioner to work harder to cool down the house when it’s already cool enough!
Set Your Thermostat To a Good Temperature
You should also be mindful of your thermostat settings. Keep your air conditioner running for the whole summer, but don’t have it too low in comparison to the outdoor temperatures.
The best temperature to have your air conditioner set to during the summer is about 78 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a warm, humid area you definitely shouldn’t set it above 80 in order to avoid mold growth.
It’s also smart to use an automatic, smart thermostat so that you don’t have to remind yourself to manually adjust the air conditioner.
Consider An Upgrade
If your air conditioner isn’t working as well as it used to even after you follow all these maintenance tips, it may be time for an upgrade. You can either upgrade by replacing AC unit parts, or you can hire a professional to install a whole new air conditioner in time for the hot summer.
Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips to Live By
By following these air conditioning maintenance tips, you can feel certain that your AC unit will keep you cool all summer. Get regular yearly checkups early, keep things clean, and make sure that your thermostat is placed optimally for the most efficient air conditioner use.
Are you ready to schedule that yearly air conditioner service? Contact us for a quote today!