Having just come through winter, many people are looking forward to warmer weather. Spring is just around the corner, and it won’t be long before summer is here, along with temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Right now, that probably sounds marvelous, but with the heat comes all kinds of problems; poor sleep, irritability and higher utility bills. The average householder knows that the AC unit under a foot of snow will be called into service very soon.
So will it be ready for action? Air conditioning is one of those things that many people do not think about, until they break down. Like all of the appliances in your home, your AC unit needs regular maintenance to function properly when you need it the most.
The trick is knowing what you can do to prevent an expensive AC repair call. Here are some tips to get you started.
Book an Annual Tune-Up
Contact your local AC technician in the spring and book your annual tune-up. The technician will perform all the necessary maintenance tasks and give your system a once-over to ensure everything is functioning well. This will reduce the possibility of things going wrong during the hottest months of the year.
Make Monthly Checkups a Family Chore
Get the whole family outside to carry out the monthly maintenance tasks necessary for your system.
The first job that needs to be done is cleaning the filters. They must be taken out and given a good wash to remove any dust or other dirt clinging to the filter.
Next comes clearing any brush around the evaporator unit (the big box outside). Any shrubs or vines growing around the evaporator must be cut back to ensure unrestricted airflow around the unit. It needs airflow to cool the liquid inside the pipes.
Look at the unit and make sure there are no water leaks. If the aircon is leaking anywhere, the leaks must be fixed before damage occurs.
Lastly, check all the air vents are open, clean, and free of debris. Also make sure all supply and delivery vents are clear.
Don’t Make Your AC Work Harder Than It Should!
Make sure that your windows and exterior doors all seal correctly. The last thing you want is your cold air leaking out. Teach everyone that the door must be closed immediately when coming in from outside.
If you have windows that face the sun, cover them with blinds or put up shades on the outside. This keeps the sun from heating the room and makes it easier for the AC to keep the air inside cool.
If your system has to run almost continuously, the energy costs on your utility bill will climb astronomically. If you have been careful with insulation and keeping doors and windows closed, but the energy costs continue to rise, it may mean that your unit is coming to the end of its life.
The bottom line is: look after your AC system, and it will look after you. Regular maintenance and an annual tune-up will see you chill your way through mid-summer instead of gently melting away while waiting for a repair technician.