One of the last things you want during the heat of the summer is for your air conditioner to stop working. While you should have a professional HVAC technician come out once a year for air conditioning maintenance, you don’t have to leave looking after your air conditioner to the professionals every time.
Read on to learn about some simple things that you can do yourself throughout the year to give your AC that extra bit of TLC.
Within your air conditioning unit, there’s an air filter. Over time, the air filter can become dirty and will either need to be replaced or cleaned. This should be done every three months – if you own dogs or cats you may need to change or clean it monthly. There are many different types of air filters, and they all range in price.
If you opt for the cheaper ones, you may find that they need replacing after three months rather than just cleaning. Although it may be pricier at the time, you’re better off investing in a more expensive air filter as it will be better quality and you’ll only have to clean it rather than replace it.
You want to make sure that your air conditioner is working to its full capability. To measure your air conditioner’s cooling efficiency, you will want to take the temperature of the air blowing out of the vent and compare it to the temperature of the air that’s going into the return air vent.
The two temperatures should have a difference of between 15 – 18 degrees Fahrenheit. If the difference is lower, there’s a possibility that your air conditioner is low on refrigerant. If the temperature difference is higher, your AC may have a clogged or dirty air filter. When your air conditioner is not running efficiently, it’s using up a lot of energy and will be costing you more money.
People often think that turning the thermostat down will make their home cool faster – this isn’t the case. Lowering your thermostat just makes your AC work harder and for longer. Keep your thermostat set to a normal temperature.
The outside unit of your air conditioner is just as important as the indoor unit. Debris and dirt can collect on your outside unit so you must clean this at least once a year. Leaving dirt and debris to build up can block the airflow – this makes your air conditioner work a lot harder and will cost you more in energy.
Over time, the condenser and evaporator coils can collect dirt – the dirt that builds up affects the air conditioner’s airflow. The outdoor condenser coils can also become dirty due to dust and foliage. You should clean the coils every year, so your AC’s airflow is not affected.
If your AC has a clogged condensate drain, the moisture that your air conditioner creates has nowhere to go. If you notice any wet patches around your ACs indoor unit, there’s a chance that you have a clogged condensate drain. To unclog the drain you can pour a mix of household bleach and water down the drain line.
If you’d like some more air conditioner maintenance tips, have any questions about taking care of your air conditioning unit, or need help doing so, just reach out to the AC experts at Lightfoot Mechanical!