Summer is here and the temperatures are going to climb quickly. Soon, the time will come to turn that air conditioner on and hide indoors. We all know that AC is the one necessary creature comforts in summer but our main aim is to keep its use to the minimum, to save on the bill. According to Energy.gov, cooling and heating account for more than 50% of home’s energy use.
In addition, people are often faced with high costs of AC repairs in the summer due to lack of maintenance during the winter months. It is necessary to occasionally turn your AC on in winter to preserve its airflow and make sure the system is cooling the house properly. Since the system has likely not been turned on for months; you might experience some loss of cool air.
Following are a few tips on how to prepare your conditioner for summer:
Change the AC Filter
Replace the filter. Usually, an AC filter needs to be cleaned every month and must be replaced after every 3 months for optimum performance. The filter is the barrier between the AC’s mechanism and debris resulting in a fine layer of dirt accumulating over time.
Clean the Outside Unit
The outside unit is the most susceptible to environmental elements and must be inspected and cleaned weekly`. There are many corners that attention such as obstructions around the grill and leaves stuck in the coils. Once you have brushed down all the debris and dirt, hose down the coil and clean the fins with a small brush.
Clean the Condensation Lines
Blocked condensation lines are common in central AC units. This is due to moisture depositing onto the evaporator coil. This water is transported through the condensation pipe into the drainage area. However, when the water backs up in the pipe, it retreats back into the AC which can cause untold and expensive damages to the entire system. This can be easily avoided by taking one maintenance step – make a solution of warm water and bleach, and run it down the pipe to remove any possible obstructions.
Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat helps significantly with energy savings. The automatic setting allows the AC to work according to the temperature inside the house. They can also be programmed to turn down when you are at work and back up again when you are home or control the system while on vacation.
A common reasons that AC malfunctions is due to its condenser unit installation. When this system is placed in the open and near trees, the coils and fins often get clogged with leaves and debris. If this is the case, it may be worth considering re-installing the condenser unit in a shaded area. You will immediately feel a change in the air flow.