Keep your A/C in Shape
Like your car, your air conditioning unit will operate better and more efficiently when properly maintained and cared for. Energy efficiency, cooling efficiency, and cost-effectiveness all improve when you are operating a properly maintained air conditioning system. Here are some tips to keep your cooling system in tip-top shape.
1. Keep your filters clean.
The single most important maintenance task any system owner can perform is to keep the unit’s air filters clean and fresh. Changing your air filters can increase your unit’s efficiency by 5-15%. A dirty filter can clog and block airways, diminishing airflow and allowing dirty air to bypass the filter and flow back into the coils. This could create even more maintenance issues.
Some types of filters are reusable, making cleaning them vital to the operation of your unit. Others need to be replaced on a regular basis. Check with your system’s manufacturer recommendations to discover which type of filter you have and how to properly clean or replace it.
2. Clean your coils.
Your unit’s evaporator and condenser coils collect dust and dirt over time. A clean filter prevents this from happening too quickly, but it will happen eventually. To keep your coils clean, you need to keep your filters clean. You also need to keep any dirt and debris away from your coils, especially in outdoor units. Trim back any foliage that may be growing around the unit, and check every year to make sure that leaves, dirt, and other debris have not gotten on the coils.
Make sure your indoor unit’s coils are free of dust and dirt. This may require a technician to be able to access and clean it properly.
3. Clean and inspect your ducts.
Dirty, unfiltered air in your ducts can cause your unit to lose efficiency. Check ductwork for leaks periodically. Leaky ducts can lead to lost air, less cooling, and an overall inefficient air conditioning system. Most reputable air conditioning companies will inspect your ducting while they are out to maintain your system, just ask!
4. Keep track of your thermostat.
Make sure your thermostat keeps an accurate temperature. Setting your thermostat between 76 and 78 degrees when you are home and higher when you are away will force your unit to run less, making it more energy efficient and keeping cooling costs down. Installing a programmable thermostat will also save wear and tear on you unit. Setting your thermostat at a higher temperature when you aren’t home can cut as much as 3-6% off your cooling bills, and a programmable or a smart sensing thermostat on your air conditioning system can avoid the “oops, I forgot to reset the temperature” problem.
5. Unclog your drains.
Your condensate drains can get clogged with dirt, debris, and hard water deposits. Clogged drains can prevent your air conditioning unit from properly removing moisture from the air. This can cause discoloration and damage of your walls, furniture, and carpets. It also creates the perfect environment for mold and mildew growth in your ductwork. Avoid clogged condensate drains in your air conditioning unit by having an annual maintenance on your system.
Your air conditioning unit’s ability to cool your home, reduce extra humidity, and keep your wallet from becoming a cool, dry place devoid of cash all depends greatly on how well you maintain it. A properly maintained air conditioning system can keep you cool and comfortable without being a cash drain. Don’t be afraid to contact a professional to inspect and maintain your air conditioning system. Keep your cool by keeping your cool clean.
For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.
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