Do you take your air conditioner for granted? It’s easy to do, but thinking that the cool air will be there when summer hits might set you up for major disappointment. The truth is, air conditioning systems need TLC just like any other part of your home. The more you care for it, the better it will work, and the more money you will save in the long run!
Here are five simple acts of maintenance you can do to keep your A/C humming all summer long!
Change Or Clean The Air Conditioner Filter
Cleaning or replacing your heating and air conditioning filters are something you can easily do yourself, and this is good because it’s also one of the most important parts of air conditioning maintenance! When filters become clogged with hair, dust, and other particulate matter that has been sucked into your HVAC system, the air flow becomes restricted, causing the system to run much harder than it needs to. The air can also recirculate some of that dust throughout the home, triggering asthma and allergies.
Usually, you’ll find the filters inside the blower compartment of your air handler, behind return air grills, or in a special slot in your HVAC system. Check the door to the inside of your system or the system’s maintenance manual for more information specific to your needs.
Inspect The Thermostat
The thermostat might seem too technical a piece of equipment for the average person, but you can do some simple maintenance steps to make sure that it continues to work properly. You can clean the dust out of the thermostat with a soft brush, check the inner workings for any corrosion or loose parts, and read the owner manual to understand how your specific model works.
If you still have a mechanical thermostat that uses mercury, consider upgrading to a programmable one. It’ll save you time, money, and energy (just in case you forget to turn off the cold air when leaving the home!). You’ll want to keep your thermostat no more than 8 degrees below the outside temperature, and a programmable thermostat takes much of the constant fiddling out of the equation.
Clean The Outside Of The Air Conditioner
The winter snow can’t hide those autumn leaves forever! Keeping the system clean outside is just as important as keeping it clean inside, and by cleaning the grill, you can increase your system’s efficiency and prevent future breakdowns. Check for any blockages and clean the space around the unit, pulling weeds, trimming back vines, and generally your A/C plant free. If there are any panels missing, have them replaced them ASAP – they are there to protect important electrical components that shouldn’t be exposed to the elements.
Clean Your Drain Line
A central air conditioning system will come equipped with a tube that drains condensation from the air handler to the outside. Sometimes, waterborne organisms like algae can grow inside it and clog the drain, leading to water pooling where you don’t want it. Don’t be alarmed if this happens; you can easily clear the drain line of potential growth by pouring household bleach into the line from the outside. If it’s a more stubborn clog, you can also use a wet-dry vacuum to suck anything out of the tube.
Do A Visual Inspection Of Air Conditioner Lines And Wiring
Refrigerant leaks are not just bad for the system, they can be bad for you and your family’s health. Check to see if the lines are insulated; if not, or the insulation that is there is crumbling, call a professional for air conditioning services.
The earlier you notice these problems, the better position you’ll be in before the summer heat starts!