It’s always been there when you’ve needed it, quietly working in the background, to provide you with refreshing coolness. You’ve probably even taken it for granted a time or two. And this time of year when temperatures start reaching the nineties the last thing you want is your AC to quit.
But knowing just a few tricks can help ensure that your air conditioning unit will be working when you need it most, and save you money on repairs, or high energy costs.
1. Regularly Replace Your Filters
For the purposes of energy efficiency, and allergy relief, it is recommended that you routinely replace your air conditioners air filters at least once per month.
Replacement filters should fit snugly within the provided opening to avoid any efficiency loss. Low efficiency filters, those with an ASHRAE Dust Spot rating of 10 to 20 percent, should be replaced more often than higher efficiency filters.
Other types of filters on the market include reusable ones. These filters can easily be washed with your common garden hose. All filters, no matter the type, come in a variety of sizes and efficiency levels. If you’re not sure which filter is right for you, be sure and ask your air conditioning repair technician.
2. Clean Your AC’s Coils
Over time, your air conditioner’s evaporator coil, as well as its condenser coil will become a magnet for dirt and other airborne particles. Regularly replacing your filter, as mentioned above, will help prevent your evaporator coils from collecting dirt too rapidly which reduces your air flow.
Your air conditioner’s condenser coil can all become dirty if the outdoor environment is especially dusty or there is nearby vegetation.
3. Dust Your AC’s Aluminum Fins
You can do this by purchasing a “fin comb” at your local hardware store. Depending on the condition of your air conditioner’s aluminum fins, you may need to repeat this method a second, or a third time. You can also use your vacuum cleaner’s hose as long as you have a brush or comb attachment.
4. Unclog Condensate Drains
Your air conditioner’s condensate drain, or line, should be unclogged annually to ensure your unit is capable of reducing the humidity within your home. The best methods for doing this include, passing a stiff wire through the drain itself, or using a high pressure dry vacuum to suck out the dirt.
5. Air Sealing
If you’re experiencing higher than normal energy bills or a loss in the efficiency of your air conditioning unit, you may want to consider air sealing any holes, even small ones, by using the following technique.
In order to properly air seal the holes within your home, you’ll need to first purchase a tube of good quality caulk, and some foam gasket sealant. Now, run a thin bead of caulk within the hole, and immediately apply the foam gasket so that the two mesh. Repeat as needed.