5 Tips to Help Your Air Conditioner Keep You Cool All Summer
Air conditioners make it possible to live in even the hottest parts of the United States. In fact, it makes living in many parts of the country more possible. If you take care of your heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) unit properly, it should last between 12 and 15 years. There are things you can do to keep it running smoothly and keep your home comfortable all summer. This is good because when you need air conditioning repair services, it is always at the worst time (it is the hottest week of the year and your in laws are visiting, for instance).
Maintenance Tips to Keep the Air Conditioner Repair Companies Away:
- Check and change your air filters on a regular basis. At least once a month, you should check the air filters in your air conditioning unit. If you find that it is clogged with dust, dirt or other debris, you should replace it. If you live in an urban environment, in a sandy or dusty part of the country, you will need to change the filter more often. At the very least, the filters should be changed every three months. In the first place, it is much cheaper to replace your air conditioner’s filters than to pay for costly air conditioner repairs or to replace the entire unit. A dirty and clogged air filter can pose a fire hazard as well. House fires have been known to have been caused by air conditioner filters that were very clogged and dirty.
- Clean out the vents. At least a few times a year, you should go through and dust your vents. All of that dust, dirt and debris that you find in your HVAC filters went through the vents to get there. if it has been a long time since your has a chance to clean out your heating and air conditioning vents, you may want to hire a professional air conditioning repair company to do a thorough cleaning of your ducts and vents. You should do that once a year anyway.
- Watch your condensing unit. Depending on where you place your air conditioning condenser, you should make sure that it is kept free of debris such as leaves and twigs. When heating and air conditioning contractors install your HVAC unit, make sure there are not plants or trees too close to the unit. Also, do not put any of your outdoor furniture near it. You need the area around the condenser to be clear so that air can freely flow in and out of the unit.
- Have the freon level checked. In theory, you should never need to replace your freon because it is not consumed by your air conditioning unit while that is being used but even the tiniest leaks will cause the coolant to be lost. You should have experts in air conditioning repairs come out to your house and check for these leaks. If you have a maintenance plan with one of the local air conditioner repair companies, that should be a part of their annual inspection of your unit.
- Have everything checked. When the expert in air conditioning repairs looks over your HVAC unit, have them look at your coils and electrical controls. You should also have them calibrate your thermostat.
There are some more things you can do that will proactively prevent needing costly HVAC repairs that do not fall under the maintenance umbrella.
Place your thermostat correctly. You may not realize it but lights and lamps give off a lot of heat. If your thermostat is placed too close to one of them, your thermostat may think it is hotter in your home than it is and run when you do not want it to. Keep it away from lamps. You may also want to put in a programmable thermostat to save money and energy. They can save you as much as $180 every year on your utility bills.
If you have an attic, install a good fan to keep your home cooler. This takes some of the pressure off of your air conditioning unit and can shave another 10 to 12% off of your utility bills.