Having central air conditioning when the weather turns scorching hot can be a big benefit for your entire family. However, it’s necessary to prep your home air conditioning system to endure the long summer months ahead. By following the tips that we will provide below, you can work to increase the efficiency of your air conditioning unit and reduce your risk of experiencing a major breakdown in the middle of the hot summer.
Change Your Air Filter
One very important component of your home air conditioning system is the air filter. This helps to trap unwanted allergens and debris from the air inside of your home. When this filter becomes clogged, the system will have to work harder to blow air through your venting. In addition, your air quality will suffer.
It’s advisable to remove the existing air filter. Hold the filter up to a light source and see if you can see through it. If you can’t clearly see through the air filter, it’s time to change it. Most air conditioning professionals recommend changing your air filter every three months. Those who have multiple pets, bad allergies, or young children should change their air filters more often.
Clean Your Evaporator Coils, Drain, and Drainpipe
Next, you’ll want to remove the indoor access panel to your air conditioning system. Use a no-rinse specialty cleaner to remove the excess debris and allergens off your evaporator coils. Once cleaned, it’s time to move onto the drainpipe and drain.
Foreign debris and hard water can get stuck in your air conditioning system’s drainpipe and drain. Over time, this unwanted build-up can turn into a clog that completely stops the moisture from draining in your system. This can result in a backup of water inside of your air conditioning unit and eventually into your home. It’s best to use a bleach solution to clean your drainpipe and drain.
Clean Your Outside Unit
Once you finish up cleaning your inside unit, it’s important to clean your outside unit as well. Be sure to disconnect the power to the unit before starting. Use a wet-dry vacuum to suck up loose debris inside of the outdoor unit. You’ll want to use a cleaner that is specifically designed for the condenser coil.
While you’re cleaning your outdoor unit, it’s necessary to straighten out any fins that you notice are bent. You can do this manually with a fin comb that you can grab at your local hardware store. Only use the hose when spraying off your outdoor unit. A pressure washer will end up damaging the sensitive fins.
Check Your Vents
Take a few moments and walk through each room in your home. Identify where the vents are. Each room should have at least one supply vent and one return vent. Bigger rooms, such as a large living room, may have multiple vents. As you evaluate each vent, make sure that it’s fully open.
Assess whether the vent has room for free airflow around it. If your vent is behind the couch, it’s not going to have adequate airflow. This inadequacy could result in uneven cooling of the rooms in your home. Take the time to look at the airflow around each vent and move any objects that could potentially be blocking it.
Program Your Thermostat
Most newer air conditioning systems come with a programmable thermostat. This allows you to set the temperature throughout each day of the week. If your system doesn’t have a programmable thermostat, you should consider installing one. They can help you to save more money on your monthly power bills by having your system operate at a more energy-efficient level.
Think about what your day-to-day schedule looks like. Program your thermostat to be set at 78 degrees when you’re home. Whenever you’re not going to be home, it’s best to increase the thermostat temperature to about 88 degrees. Ideally, you’ll program the thermostat to increase the temperature about an hour before you leave your home. You’ll also program it to decrease the temperature about an hour before you return home.
Evaluate Your Ductwork
Now is a good time to check over the ductwork that you have access to. You’ll want to identify if there are any leaks in the ducting. It doesn’t matter if a leak is super small or super big. It needs to be taped up appropriately. Leaks can cause you to lose a large portion of your cooled air, leading to higher energy costs.
When taping up these leaks, be sure to use foil-backed tape that is recommended for ducting. Using plain masking tape or duct tape will result in the tape falling off after only a few weeks. Since the tape will be dealing with both cold and warm air, it’s vital that the tape you use can withstand extreme temperatures.
Insulate Your Coolant Lines
There are copper lines that transfer the refrigerant from the inside of your home to the outside air conditioning unit. These are called coolant lines, and they need to be checked over as part of your summertime system maintenance. Each coolant line should have insulation around it to avoid energy loss. You can use the black foam insulation sleeves or even wrap the lines in foam insulation tape. For best results, make sure that every inch of the coolant lines has insulation around them.
Have a Professional Air Conditioner Tune-Up
In the early spring, you should be setting up an appointment with your local air conditioning professional to have a tune-up performed on your system. During the tune-up, your air conditioning professional will lubricate parts, assess the condition of each part, fine-tune your refrigerant charge, and much more.
Having a professional evaluate your system will help to alert you of any parts that are reaching the end of their lifespan. In addition, having your air conditioner tuned up at the start of each hot season will help to extend the lifespan of your existing components. Skipping your annual tune-up will result in premature system wear and your overall air conditioning system is unlikely to last through its manufacturer’s estimated lifetime.
Test Your System
Once you’ve completed all the maintenance steps above, it’s time to give your system a test run. This will help to burn off any dust inside of your system and alert you to any problems with your system early on. Test run your system for an entire hour. You’ll want to pay close attention to any odd smells or weird noises.
High-Quality AC Service
Having an experienced professional that you can call to assist with your air conditioner maintenance is a must. Bardi is here for all of your cooling, heating, and plumbing needs throughout the Norcross, GA, area. We’ve been serving the area for over 30 years. Give us a call today so that we can get your air conditioner prepped for the hot summer season ahead.