The days are getting longer, and temperatures are on the rise. Many families will turn to their air conditioner for relief. It's hard to imagine a time before air-conditioning, but cooling your home can have a drastic impact on your electric bill. Fortunately, you can save some serious cash by performing simple routine maintenance on your air-conditioning unit.
Safety Always Comes First
Always use caution when working on electrical components. If your air conditioner is a window unit, simply unplug it. If you're servicing a central air-conditioning unit, the first thing you'll need to do is turn off the circuit breaker. As an added precaution, turn off the breakers for the furnace and the air handling unit. Next, find the weatherproof box near the unit to turn off the condenser. Wait at least 30 minutes for any stored energy to be discharged.
Clean or Replace Filters Often
A dirty filter doesn't just affect the efficiency of an air-conditioning unit; it can also affect the health of your family. Any mold growing on your filter can easily spread throughout your home. Once mold infiltrates your home, you'll need a professional mold remediation service.
To prevent the spread of mold and allergens, clean or replace filters once a month. Window units often have permanent filters. Remove the filter, soak it in equal parts of white vinegar and hot water, and allow it to air-dry before reinstalling.
If you have a central air system, remove the metal panel on the face of the unit. Discard the current filter and replace it with a new one.
Be Aware of Clogged Condensation Lines
The condensation produced by your air conditioner is transported away from the unit via condensation lines. Clear any blockages with a plumbing snake or industrial shop vacuum. Prevent future problems by using an algaecide. You can also flush condensation lines with bleach and hot water.
Coils and Fins Need Maintenance Too
Clean the coils on the outside of your air conditioner to prevent clogs. Soapy water works great. For really dirty units, consider using a commercial grade coil cleaner.After cleaning the coils, use a soft, damp brush to clean the air conditioner's fins. Don't panic if you notice bent fins, you can straighten the fins with an inexpensive fin comb.
Give Your Outdoor Unit Space
Pull weeds and clean up the area surrounding your central air unit. Check to see if the slab your unit sits on is level. Debris or an uneven slab will make your unit less efficient
Consider A Thermostat Upgrade
There are many benefits for homeowners who upgrade to a digital thermostat. These programmable thermostats optimize the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Seal Leaky Ductwork
Repair any damage to ductwork with duct tape. Leaky ducts are detrimental to the efficiency of your HVAC system.
Regular home maintenance can stop small problems from evolving into much larger problems. With a little effort, you can save money and make your home safer for your family.