Taking care of your air conditioner during the summer is important to ensure that it runs efficiently, saves energy, and has a longer lifespan. Here are some tips on how to take care of your air conditioner in the summer:
Schedule an Annual Tune-Up: It is recommended that you invest in an annual tune-up before the hot weather arrives. A tune-up will include tightening all electrical connections, lubricating fans, cleaning the system, checking the coolant levels, and diagnosing any issues that may arise. A tune-up will improve the energy efficiency of your air conditioner and help avoid major breakdowns.
Change the Air Filter: Your air conditioner moves air through your home in a regular cycle, and before the air returns to your air handler, it goes through an air filter. As the air filter fills with allergens and dust, it gets clogged up, which limits the airflow moving to the handler and causes your system to strain and run inefficiently. Extend the life of your air conditioner and keep its energy efficiency at peak performance levels by changing the air filter regularly.
Clean the Return Air Ducts: Duct covers that are clogged with lint, dust, and dirt block airflow and force your system to work harder, shortening its lifespan while harming its efficiency. Vacuum these ducts every time you clean the room to ensure that there is adequate airflow reaching your HVAC unit.
Check the Pipe Insulation of Your Air Conditioner: Inspect the insulation covering the coolant pipes each summer, and replace them if necessary to keep the air conditioner running efficiently.
Pay Attention to the Ductwork: Even the ductwork in new homes can be dirty, as construction debris and dust naturally collects inside them. When the air turns on, fine particulates drift into the home and lower your indoor air quality. They also drift back through your air conditioner system on the return air side and start to hamper airflow. Have the ducts professionally cleaned as needed to improve indoor air quality and make your system more energy efficient.
Give Your Wiring an Inspection: Check the wiring in the condensing unit for any signs of overheating or wear. If you see scorched, frayed, or damaged wires, call a professional to repair the damage.
Clean the Outside Compressor: The coils can get dirty, which means they will struggle to absorb heat effectively. You can clean the evaporator and condenser coils with a garden hose, but be careful to not get any electrical connections wet. Remove any grass, weeds, or old leaves from the winter that accumulate near your air conditioner and avoid landscaping within two feet of the unit.
Give Your System a Break: Going easy on your air conditioner will keep your monthly energy bills low. Upgrade to a smart thermostat, use fans, close blinds, and turn off lights when not in use. This will reduce the workload on your air conditioner, making it more energy efficient and extending its lifespan.