Air conditioning is often one of the most expensive contributors to energy costs in the average household. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most temperamental services. The 25 tips below are simple, easy to do at home and can help maximize the quality of the air conditioning services in your home.
List of 25 AC Maintenance Tips:
Do Some Research On How Your HVAC Unit Works
The standard modern air conditioning unit is comprised of an outdoor unit and an indoor unit. Unless you live in an apartment or condo complex, the outdoor unit typically sits outside your home next to one of the exterior walls. The indoor unit, also known as the evaporator, is the main duct that is located inside your home near your furnace.
Make It A Priority to Clean Your AC Units
You should make it a priority to continually inspect the two basic parts of your AC services unit to make sure that they are clean, working properly and free of debris. You can use a vacuum with a simple hose attachment, a damp rag and a brush with soft bristles. You may have to use a screwdriver to remove the covers on each part of the unit. Be as gentle as you clean the unit!
Remove Debris Buildup
Every year you should lift the top of the exterior unit and remove larger debris such as leaves by hand.
Invest In A Programmable Thermostat
While you may not want to spend money on your AC unit, a programmable thermostat is one of the simplest ways that you can actually end up saving a good deal of money on your monthly bills. These thermostats allow for automatic cooling as the temperature rises and falls. Many smart home thermostats also allow you to change the temperature from your smartphone, ensuring you never leave the AC blasting while you are at work or out of town.
Do A Complete Pre-Summer Check
The summer months take a toll on your AC system. The best way to keep it running efficiently and keep you cool is to use a simple checklist to assess your system before a problem occurs. You may also want to schedule an annual appointment with an AC repair service professional to check your indoor unit, outdoor unit, vents, and ductwork prior to the hottest months of the year.
Replace Your Filters
Replacing your AC filters is probably one of the most boring household expenses you have. However, pulling out the filter and checking it for buildup can help you avoid a lot of problems and maximize the flow of cool air in your house, saving you money on your electric bill.
Monitor Your Exterior Unit For Sinking
Many homeowners don’t realize that exterior AC units can sink or “settle” over the years. This is especially true in yards that tend to collect rainwater or areas with a lot of rain. There’s no real problem if your exterior AC unit has sunk a little. However, you want to make sure that all of the lines are level and that the unit itself is staying dry and isn’t settling in pools of collected water. If you notice severe sinking, you may want to call a professional AC repair company to evaluate the issue.
Check That The Unit Is Level
Just as the pad can sink, it can begin to lean to one side or the other. Use a professional level to make sure your unit isn’t leaning in order to make sure it is working at its prime.
Keep The Drain Tubed Unclogged
A clogged drain tube can make all of the AC services in your home feel sluggish and can also lead to a buildup of bacteria-filled water. You can unclog the drain tube by simply pouring one cup of bleach down the drain and then slowly pour about a gallon of warm water down it.
Try A Duct Or Vent Booster In Warmer Rooms
Many older or forced-air AC systems often leave the home with a room that always seems to be warmer than the rest of the house. Adding a vent booster or duct booster in warmer rooms helps to increase the flow of cool air. In-line duct boosters are excellent because they automatically turn on whenever your cooling system is running.
Close Vents In Low-Traffic Rooms
Many homes have rooms that are not used as much as others. You can maximize your air conditioning services by slightly closing the vents in rooms that aren’t being actively used. This is often a basement or a spare room.
Consider An Attic Fan
Ever wonder what people did before air conditioning? A whole-house fan, also called an attic fan due to its general location, cools the house by drawing the cooler air from outside in via open windows and screen doors. While these fans won’t replace your AC services, they can easily clear your home of warm, stagnant air in a matter of minutes.
Treat Yourself To A Quieter AC Unit
If you are dealing with noisy air conditioning services in your home, you may benefit from a compressor sound blanket. These simply go over the outdoor unit to quiet any noise. You can find information from the manufacturer of your unit or call a professional AC repair services company to learn more.
Keep Curtains and Blinds Closed
Many people want a lot of sunlight in the home for bright views. During summer months it is easy for sunlight to quickly warm a home. Keeping curtains and blinds closed when you are not home or not in a certain part of the house keeps the cool air in and warm air out.
Deep Clean Your Unit
Air conditioning units naturally pull in the air that may contain dust and debris. Gently scrubbing the unit with a soft-bristle brush and a gentle cleanser can get rid of a lot of this buildup.
Realign Bent Fins
The delicate “fins” that line your outdoor unit are responsible for pulling in air to be cooled. These can easily become bent, damaged or crushed together over time. Take a standard butter knife and insert it in between the damaged funs about ½” to gently realign the fins as close to their original shape as possible.
Invest In A Fin Comb
If your fins have a lot of damage, you may want to invest in a fin comb.
Air conditioning can become stagnant if there is damaged insulation. Checking that the insulation can save money and make AC more efficient.
Double Check Your Outdoor Unit Is The Correct Size
Air conditioning units are specifically sized to be proportionate to the square footage they will be cooling. An AC unit that is too small will have to work overtime to keep up with the amount of space.
Attempt DIY Air Condition Repair When Possible
AC technicians can be very costly. If you or someone in your home is comfortable working on the unit, you can usually do basic air condition repair at home for just the cost of parts.
Check For Leaks
At least once a year you should inspect your entire home for leaks. These tend to be by the windows or doors. You do this by lighting incense and walking around your home’s exterior to see if the smoke is being sucked toward the outside. This likely means there is a leak.
Clean The Unit’s Evaporator Coil
There is an evaporator coil door inside the blower on the home’s interior unit. Use a damp rag to clean remove dust from the coil and then use a no-rinse coil cleaner to gently clean the coil.
Consider A Garage Unit
If you work frequently in your garage, consider investing in a garage unit that can run separately from your home’s unit.
Wrap Your Outdoor Unit After Summer
You can extend the lifespan of your home’s exterior AC unit by covering it with plywood or another approved type of wrap during colder months.
Dispose Of Old Units Properly
Finally, if you find yourself needing a new AC unit, make sure you speak to your city’s waste management authorities before you simply throw it in the trash.