One of the biggest energy expenses for most Americans is heating and cooling their home according to the U.S. Department of Energy. For some areas, there are a few times a year when these costs seem to level out a bit, but this doesn’t usually last.
As warmer weather gets closer, now is the time to get a home’s air conditioning unit ready for summer. This may include a new AC Installation or just a tune-up. Along with these professional services, there are a few things a homeowner can do to get their unit ready for summer too. Keep reading to find out what these steps are.
Change the Filters
This is one of the easiest, fastest, and most affordable ways to ensure an air conditioner continues to operate properly. It is also something that most air conditioning technicians recommend a homeowner to do every three months, or so. The frequency a person needs to change their AC systems’ filters depends on their home environment, along with the type of filters they use. By changing the filters, a homeowner can also help to reduce the need for AC repairs.
Clean the Condensation Lines
The pipe responsible for carrying condensation away from the unit may get clogged. If a clog occurs, it may back up into the air conditioner or even into the house. If this happens, a homeowner will be dealing with a huge mess along with a rather large repair bill. To help prevent this, find where the pipe drains out and be sure that it is draining properly.
Have a Programmable Thermostat Installed
If a homeowner doesn’t currently have one, they can see significant energy savings by calling the professionals to install a programmable thermostat and set it to reduce how much the AC or heater is used when it isn’t needed. This can save a lot of energy usage. One of the best things about programmable thermostats is that they are simple to install and easy to use.
Clean the Coils on the Exterior Unit
During the colder months of the year, the outside unit for a home’s air conditioner is typically inactive, just collecting mud, dust, and other debris. This can be especially true if the outside unit isn’t protected with a cover. All of that can clog the unit, causing the AC to run sluggishly.
For a lightly soiled unit, just disconnect the power and spray the outside down using a garden hose. For a unit that is more heavily soiled, contact the technicians to come out and clean it for you. That way, you know it is done properly.
Clean the Unit’s Fins
Cleaning the fins on the exterior unit will also help it run more efficiently. Cleaning the fins is something that must be done carefully. To do this properly, use a soft brush, like a small car cleaning brush or a toothbrush to gently clean each fin. Make sure not to use too much pressure because this may cause the fin to bend. If there are some fins that are bent or damaged, there are several tools available that can be used to straighten them back out.
Inspect the Concrete Slab
Once the outside unit is clean, use a level to ensure the concrete slab isn’t tilted or unlevel. If it is, the unit must work hard to keep the house cool. If the slab is not level, a homeowner can try to fix it on their own. Try to pry the slab up, off the ground with a board and add some gravel under it. Just remove the port and check to see if it is level. If this doesn’t seem to work or provide the desired results, it may be time to call the professionals.
Remove Debris Around the Exterior Unit
High grasses, leaves, and plants that are located near the outside AC unit can reduce its efficiency and performance. Before turning the AC on, be sure to cut the grass, remove any debris, and think about removing any plants that are blocking the unit. During the summer, it is a good idea to check the unit for debris at least one time a month.
Check the Ducts for Leaks
Sealing leaky ducts can help to save a homeowner a significant amount of money when it comes to heating and cooling their home. If there are leaks in a home’s duct system, the unit has to work harder. Even if the ducts are only leaking 20% of the conditioned air that is passing through them, the system still has to work up to 50% harder.
To find out if the air ducts are leaking, look for disconnected joints. These are separated pieces or small holes in the ducts. If there are leaks, it’s a good idea to get ahold of the professionals to come in and seal those leaks the proper way.
Schedule a Professional Tune-Up
One of the best things a homeowner can do to get their AC unit ready for summer is to schedule a professional tune-up. The professionals can find any underlying issue with the system and make the needed repairs quickly. This is going to ensure the system continues operating efficiently and that bigger problems don’t develop in the future.
It is recommended for a person to schedule a professional tune-up at the change of seasons – usually during the spring and fall – to ensure the unit doesn’t have any major issues. This is going to minimize problems during the hot or cold months of the year and ensure the system is able to keep everyone inside the home comfortable, without having to work too hard. Being informed and knowing how to prepare an air conditioning system for summer will provide an array of benefits, saving money to a higher level of comfort. Contact the professionals at Accurate Electric Plumbing Heating & Air today to learn more about the AC services available and the many benefits offered.