Did you know that the Americans paid nearly $30 billion for their air conditioning systems in 2017 alone? Heating or cooling a property contributes greatly to your energy bill, but you can save a lot of money if you learn how to maintain your AC unit.
AC maintenance doesn’t’ require a lot of time or effort from your behalf. It will also bring a lot of benefits. For example, a well-maintained AC system requires fewer repairs and allows you to use it for many more years, in comparison with units that are not serviced periodically. Keep reading to learn how to maintain your AC unit.
1. Close Your Windows and Doors when Running the AC
You probably think that it’s a good idea to keep the windows of your house open during the summer, to allow fresh air to come inside. However, this can be a mistake if you also run the AC unit. All the coolness produced by your air conditioner will slowly escape through the windows, making your unit work overtime.
When the AC unit works too much to keep your house cool, it will also be more predisposed to breakdowns and damage. By closing the windows and doors of your house, you will have a cool house and a long-lasting air conditioner.
2. Use A Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are great if you don’t spend the entire day at home. For example, you can program your AC unit to start producing coolness 30 minutes before you arrive home from work. While you’re away, the AC will be idle and it will conserve energy. As a result, you’ll enjoy a cool house when you arrive home and also pay less for your energy bill.
As another piece of advice, try to avoid major temperature swings in your house. Set a base temperature on your thermostat and just leave it there. If you constantly fiddle with the indoor temperature, you will make the AC unit work too much and this can greatly reduce its service life.
3. Change or Clean the Filters Regularly
Each AC unit is equipped with filters that make the air blown in your property cleaner and safer for you to breathe. However, these filters can get very dirty after a while, especially if you run your AC unit on a regular basis. The filters can get clogged with dust, dirt particles, hairs, lint, and other impurities. You need to clean or replace these filters once a month.
Replacement filters are not expensive and you can obtain discounts in you buy them in bulk. Also, your AC instruction manual has a detailed guide on how to replace the filters. Not only that you’ll breathe fresher air if you do so, but the AC unit will also work better.
4. Upgrade Your AC Unit
Especially if your air conditioning system is 10 years old or older, now it would be a good time to upgrade it. Components for AC units are developed regularly and they’re increasingly safer and efficient. Updating your system with a more recent component can make your AC run smoother and consume less energy.
Obviously, the best way to do this is by calling a professional. An AC expert knows what types of components you need and how to procure them. Although an upgrade might cost several hundred dollars, you’ll ensure that your AC system is working correctly and it doesn’t use a lot of energy in the long run.
5. Clean the Evaporator and Condenser Coils
Just as the air filters, the coils of your AC unit can also become dirty, especially the evaporator and condenser coils. The outdoor coils can get clogged with a lot of dust, debris, and even dead leaves. This will make your unit work harder and consume a lot of energy, On top of that, dirty evaporator and condenser coils also reduce airflow, so your house won’t be as cool as needed.
Cleaning these coils is not complicated. You can vacuum them with a portable vacuum cleaner or use a brush with soft bristles. You might need to unscrew some metallic components to reach the evaporator and condenser coils, but this can be done quickly with basic tools, so it’s not difficult.
6. Make Sure That the Condenser Is Not Blocked by Plants
The AC condenser is a large unit placed outside, usually somewhere in your yard. It optimizes airflow and ensures that you feel warm inside during cold winter nights and cool during hot summer days. However, the condenser can get blocked by plants, boxes, dog houses, etc.
Restricting the airflow for your condenser can put a lot of stress on your AC unit. Ideally, you want at least 2 feet of space around your condenser unit. Make sure that you remove any objects in front of it and trim those plants that might get in the way.
7. Find Gaps and Get Rid of Them
Almost every house has some sort of gaps which allow a lot of air to escape. This might not seem like a big problem at first, but remember that these gaps will only make your AC unit work harder. Inspect your walls, doors, windows, and even the attic to see how many and how big your gaps are.
If you do find them, filling them up is usually an easy job, especially if you use a spray insulator. This type of spray can be bought from most home improvement stores and they will fill the gap completely, preventing air from escaping. As a result, you have a more comfortable house and don’t pay extra for your energy bill.
Now You Know Everything About Basic AC Maintenance
As you can see, there are a lot of things you can do when it comes to AC maintenance. To keep yourself organized put one of these tips into practice every day or week. By doing so, you’ll ensure that your AC unit works smoothly without consuming too much energy.
Also, check out our article on why AC maintenance is important so you can learn more about your HVAC system, its components, and how to optimize it to the fullest!