The closer we get to spring, people are already thinking about shutting down the heat and cooling their home down once the weather turns warm. This means that for most people, taking a little time to consider the condition of your air conditioning unit should be at the top of your list of things to do before the heat waves arrive. Most homeowners never take time to think about their air conditioning until the heat of summer arrives and suddenly, the unit fails to cool the house. In the hot summer months, there is probably not much that is more unbearable than being stuck inside a house with temperatures higher than they are outside. To help avoid a hot situation this summer, here are a few great tips to ensure your air conditioning unit stays cool all summer long.
Tip # 1 Filter Replacement
One of the simplest, and most important thing to do for your air conditioning unit to change the filter. This needs to be taken care of monthly during warmer weather when you use the unit non-stop and should also be done at least once in the spring and fall to make sure the filter is clean. A dirty and dust filled filter causes an air conditioning unit to work extra hard and it also causes dust and allergens to flow through the air in a home. Not only can this cause your unit to shut down, but if you or someone in your home has allergies, it can cause breathing problems including asthma attacks. The proper indoor air quality is important especially for those who already have breathing difficulty from diseases including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, lung cancer or asthma.
Tip #2 Vacuum Inside/Hose Outside
At the end of the winter season when warm weather starts creeping into the atmosphere, it’s a good idea to go ahead and shut your furnace off and take a little time to make sure your air conditioning unit is clean and free from dirt and grime that can build up over the year. You already know to change the filter, but it’s also a good idea to take a vacuum and try to suck up any dirt and dust that may be lodged inside the unit before you turn it on. With a new clean filter and taking time to vacuum the unit itself to remove dirt, the air circulation can circulate smoother. Be sure to check the condensation tubing to make sure nothing has built up inside. A little solution comprised of a small amount of bleach and water can be poured into the tubing to clear it out. Be sure to turn your heat on after cleaning with bleach to help everything dry up before you use the unit again. You should also check outside to make sure grass filings and debris have not gotten stuck in the outside unit. Taking a water hose and spraying the unit can dislodge any debris that may be stuck inside the unit that could block your airflow and cause the unit to stop working, or to work sluggishly. Be sure to clear weeds, shrubs and other growth from growing into the unit. While this may seem simple to do on your own, some parts are delicate and it is always a good idea to call a licensed air conditioning specialist to take care of the preventative maintenance for you.
Tip #3 Wiring Check
You may not be an electrician, but doing a visual check of the wiring leading to and from your air conditioning unit is important. You will want to remove the access panel to the condenser and check for frayed or burned wires. If you find any wiring that needs to be repaired or replaced and you are a licensed electrician and know how to work with wiring and feel comfortable doing so, then go ahead and replace what needs replaced. If you are not experienced or not licensed to work with wiring, then you need to call a professional heating and air contractor to repair things for you.
Having an air conditioning unit that is well maintained will ensure that it runs smoothly, efficiently and will use less electricity which will help save on your monthly cooling bills during the spring and summer. Making sure the unit is well maintained will also help it last much longer than units that are not taken care of as needed.
Some maintenance work can easily be taken care of by the homeowners, but other work needs to be done only by a licensed and trained professional. Professionally licensed air conditioning contractors will be able to check your unit before the hot season begins and make sure it is ready to go and will last all summer long. It only takes a little work to make sure an air conditioning unit will last for years to come, and most importantly, that you won’t be stuck in the heat when the temperatures begin to rise this summer.