Americans love our air conditioners. At least two thirds of all homes around the country have it. At least 5% of electrical usage in the United Staes goes for the collong if our homes. Homeowners spend about $11 billion on air conditioning every year. If you want to avoid needing costly repairs done by the air conditioning company, you can do some maintanance at home.
Home Air Contitioning Maintenance Tips
Check your air conditioner’s filters.Dirty and clogged filters prevent your air conditioning unit from working at its peak level. The best thing you can do to keep your air conditioner working as efficiently and effectively as possible is to check the filters from time to time. When they are clogged with dirt, dust and other debris, the air flow is blocked. You may be able to clean some kinds of filters. Some can be reused but others need to be replaced. Check with the air conditioning company to see which kind you are using. When you replace dirty and clogged filters, you can cut the amount of energy your unit is using by anywhere from 5 to 15%. This does add up.
Check the air conditioning coils.Your air conditioner’s coils (for the condenser and evaporator) are magnets for dirt and dust. Even when you clean or replace your air conditioner’s filters often, some dirt and dust find a way into your unit where they get stuck on the coils. At least once a year, you should check and clean the coils in your air conditioner unit. When the coils are dirty, it makes it harder for the unit to effectively cool your home. This causes the unit to use a lot more energy and you will see that when you get your electricty bill.
Maintain the coil fins.All condenser and evaporator coils have fins. These aluminum pieces are easily bent by the air that flows past them. This can block the air from circulating properly and cause your unit to become less efficient and effective. You can buy a tool from an air conditioning company or hardware store that is simply called a “fin comb” which can be used to put the fins back into their normal position. From time to time you should check this and perform that simple maintenance step. This will prevent you from calling for the AC repair company.
Check for clogged drain channels./strong>These are easy to deal with. Every now and again, you can clear these channels out by pressing a wire through them. When the drains are plugged up, you will notice a higher level of humidity in your home that makes it less comfortable to be in.
Get your unit ready for winter. if your air conditioning unit is kept outside, you need to cover it before the start of winter. This will keep a lot of debris from falling on it and getting into the internal mechanisms. If you rely on window units, you should take them out of your windows and store them someplace safe in your home.
Even if you follow all of these steps and are religious in checking everything on your air conditioning unit, sometimes you will still need to call in a professional air conditioning contractor. If your unit is more than 20 years old, for example, it may be time to think about replacing it. New and more energy efficient air conditioning units can cut anywhere from 20 to 50% off of your electricity bills so getting a new unit may very well pay for itself over time.
Although it is recommended, only 42% of homeowners actually have their units services and maintained by an air conditioning company once a year. Having a professional come out and check you unit is a good thing to do every spring. They can check to make sure everything is working correctly but also fix any problems they find. They ay be able to spot problem areas when they are still small and easy to fix which is a lot better than waiting for the to grow so big that you need to replace the entire unit. It it better to get to these issues early.