Most homeowners don’t think much about their AC unit until that first sweltering, sticky day of the year. Then the only thought is about flipping the switch to get the cool air circulating throughout the house. But without some regular TLC, you could be shortening your air conditioning system’s life and paying too much for the level of comfort you are getting from the system. But with a few simple tasks on your part and regularly scheduled service from your HVAC pros, your air conditioner will serve you well for many years to come.
Inspecting Air Filters
Many homeowners believe that the air filter on their HVAC system is designed to clean the air that is in their home. And while the filter does help remove some dust and dirt from the air, that is not its primary function or goal. The reason the air filter is so critical is that it is supposed to stop excess dust and debris from entering the air condition unit and damaging the tiny, delicate components. Keeping the air that you are breathing dust-free is just an added bonus.
Now that you know why the air filter is there, you need to know how often to check it. As a rule, it is best to check the filter once a month. A quick visual inspection will tell you if it needs to be replaced or if it has more life left in it. A clean filter is smooth and dust-free. But as the filter traps the dust and dirt in the air, it becomes fuzzier and covered in dust. This is your indication that it is time to replace the dirty filter.
If you leave a dirty filter in your AC unit, the dust build-up will reduce the air flowing through the unit and cause the motor to be overworked. So you are essentially wearing out your air conditioner more rapidly than you need to be. And because the motor is working harder to move the air, you will notice that your electric bill is increasing. But the worst part is that your home will not be as cool and comfortable. So check the filter each month and replace it as needed to help extend your air conditioner’s life and increase your comfort level.
The part of your air conditioner that is outside will also need some regular care. Each time you cut the grass or trim around the unit, bits of grass and leaves will gather around the condensing unit and block the fins that disperse heat. By brushing or blowing this debris away, you will increase the unit’s efficiency and the comfort level of your home.
It is recommended that you maintain two feet of clearance around the condenser unit for maximum airflow. It is not uncommon for plants and shrubs to grow vigorously and encroach on that two feet of clear air space over the summer months. Taking just a few minutes to trim plants away from the AC unit will help reduce the stress placed on your unit. it and prolong its faithful service to you and your home.
Update The Program
If you have a programmable thermostat, you will want to review the settings for the warmer months. You might find that your routine or schedule has changed, and that will require some updates to the thermostat’s programming.
An Annual Check-Up
Just like humans, your AC system should be getting an annual check-up. This can be handled with one call from the pros at Gordon AC & Plumbing. We call this visit a maintenance tune-up. During a tune-up, we check out all of the components and make sure that everything is operating correctly and efficiently. Electrical connections, coolant lines, breakers, motors, and much more all work together to keep your home cool in the summer. This is the best time to find and repair small issues before they grow into more expensive problems. And after a winter of rest, it is a good idea to make sure that the entire system is ready to be called into service.
For any questions about the care and maintenance required to keep your AC system functioning flawlessly, call (318) 202-9144 to speak to an Gordon AC & Plumbing professional.