An air conditioning unit is one of the most important appliances in every homeowners house. It keeps the temperature comfortable for the entire family during those hot summer days. So it is critical you exactly understand how to properly care for this valuable system.
1. Change your air filter every 3 months. The importance of changing the air filter in an air conditioning unit can be compared to changing the oil for your car. However, if you live where it is windy or there’s frequent construction going on, or perhaps if you suffer from allergies, you might need to change the filter more often.
2. Monitor if your air conditioner is cooling efficiently. You can measure if your cooling unit is working properly by comparing the temperature of the air blowing out of the vent to the temperature of the air going back into the return air vent. There should only be be 15 to 18 degrees (F) difference between these two temperatures. A higher difference could indicate an issue with the filter, while a lower difference could also spell trouble. Either way, your appliance is using a lot of extra electricity if it’s not running efficiently. Be sure to get regular maintenance checks.
4. Protect your ducts. If you’re doing some home improvement projects and knocking down walls, tape temporary air filters over the return air vents on the wall. By doing this you will prevent dust from getting into your ductwork.
5. Check ductwork for leaks. Inspect to see if there are holes where air escapes. There are two common types of ductwork: flexible ducts and rigid metal ducts. The former is often used because it is faster to install, but it doesn’t last very long. The latter lasts longer. If you have holes or leaks, call a professional HVAC maintenance company to take care of it.
6. Clean the outside unit annually. Dirt and debris build up on the outside unit could block airflow and would make your air conditioner work harder. It is recommended to have its exterior washed annually or semi-annually. Gently rinse it so the water cleans between the thin metal fins on the condenser.
7. Secure the outside unit. Keep your AC out of view with hedges or a fence that will provide shade for high efficiency. However, be careful not to block the airflow. You can also bolt it down to the concrete base.
8. Get in touch with a professional HVAC company. Whether you need a new AC installation or need some repair service, it is always best to hire a certified professional to do the job. Highly trained technicians will make sure your AC unit is working as it’s supposed to.