Maintenance Tips for Air Conditioning Systems
With the heat and humidity of the East Coast, it is hard to stay comfortable during the summer without an air conditioning system. While they are expensive to replace, they make our lives so much more comfortable. The best way to extend the life of your air conditioning system is to be mindful of its use and to perform general maintenance on it regularly. Just like a car needs an oil change, your a/c system needs some TLC too. Here are a few maintenance tips for air conditioning systems. If you have other questions you can contact Weather Crafters!
- Be Mindful
The easiest way to kill an air conditioning unit is to overwork it. Even on the hottest days, your unit can only produce a certain amount of cool air. One maintenance tip for air conditioning systems is to help your system out by making sure that none of that air is wasted by ensuring that all windows are secured and that there are no spaces that cool air can escape through. Having good insulation can help both your air conditioning and heating systems function more efficiently. Having an energy audit completed – either with a checklist or by an energy auditor, can point out places that air may be leaking. Another easy way to save your air conditioning system some work is to plan ahead. Purchasing a programmable thermostat will save you money and place less stress on your system. If no one is home during the day, set the thermostat to a higher temperature and then have it cool back down just before you get home in the afternoon. You don’t need to make it a lot warmer when you are gone, just a few degrees. It is much easier for your air conditioning system to maintain a temperature and change a few degrees, rather than turning it off. If your system is off during the day, it will have to work a lot harder to bring the temperature back down.
- Air Filters
Changing the air filters of your air conditioning system regularly is key to a longer life for the system. One of the easiest maintenance tips for air conditioning systems is to change the filter. Filters can become clogged with dirt and dust, and this causes build up on the fan. Once the fan becomes weighed down, it operates less efficiently and puts more stress on your air conditioning system. The frequency with which an air filter needs to be changed depends on how often the air conditioning system is used and how much debris the filtering is actually filtering. The less you run the a/c system, the less frequently a new filter is required. Pets, smoke, and the environment can also factor in to a filter’s life span. Pet hair and dander, smoke from cigarettes and fireplaces, and dust from outside are all things to consider. If you live in a home that deals with these things, you probably need to change the filter every 3 to 6 months, although this can vary. Ask your HVAC specialist, or check the instructions on your filter for more information on when to change the filter.
- Air Ducts
Air ducts are the pathways that bring cool air to your home. If they become blocked or obstructed, the air can’t move freely and this puts more stress on your air conditioning unit. Two signs that you have blocked ducts are if different rooms in your home seem to be different temperatures, and if your air conditioning bill is higher than usual. Here are a few simple ways to check that your ducts are not blocked. Start by walking through your home and looking at each of your air vents – is it fully open? Are any of them blocked by furniture? Remove any dust or debris from the vent. You can also manually check the dampers. These are used by the system to control how air flows into your home. Dampers may sometimes close by themselves, limiting the air flow into your home. If you aren’t sure how to check the dampers, contact Weather Crafters, and we will be more than happy to help.
- Preventative Maintenance
Most HVAC companies will give you the option to schedule preventive maintenance. While this may seem like an unnecessary expense, it will save you money in the long run. Most visits for repairs or breakdowns will cost at least double what a preventive maintenance visit will cost. It will also prolong the life of your air conditioning system. A new unit can run between $4,000 and $8,000. Spending the money for preventive maintenance can significantly extend the life of your system. It is easy to schedule. A trained HVAC specialist will come out to clean and make adjustments to your system. This will also give them a chance to troubleshoot the system and look for anything that may cause problems in the future. It is much easier to catch a small issue and fix it early on, rather than wait and have it snowball into a much bigger problem.
We hope that these maintenance tips for your air conditioning system will help you to extend your system’s life span, and to save you a few dollars as well. Please feel free to get in touch with Weather Crafters with any questions. We are more than happy to help you stay cool!
If you’d like more information on maintaining your air conditioning system, check out https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/maintaining-your-air-conditioner