Published on November 7th, 2019
Whether you have air conditioning in one room or throughout your entire home, it’s important to ensure that you’re not making the system work any harder than it really needs to.
Air conditioning is important for keeping your home at the optimum, cool temperature throughout the summer months, and for homes located in particularly warm climates, it’s often required for most of the year.
Whether you use your air conditioning unit sparingly, have it running almost every day, have it in one or two rooms around your home or in every room, making it work too hard – even unwittingly – can lead to a higher risk of breakdowns and could be costing you more than you need to spend when it comes to your utility bills.
The good news is that when you know how to conduct simple maintenance and checks, you can ensure that your air conditioning stays running smoothly and as efficiently as possible all year round – keeping your home at the right temperature and your energy bills as low as possible.
Understand How Your System Works
In order for you to take the best care of your air conditioning system, it’s crucial that you first understand how it all works. Most central air conditioners are made up of two basic parts: an outdoor unit known as a compressor or condenser that sits next to your home, and an indoor unit, known as an evaporator, which is located in a central duct close to your furnace.
If your home has a heat pump rather than a furnace, your indoor unit will be located in the air handler. The basic parts will usually be the same, but if in doubt, the best way to go about it is to check the owner’s manual to find your way around the system.
1. Replace If Necessary
If your home is running an older air conditioning system that’s prone to faults, then it may be more economical for you to replace and upgrade to a newer system, rather than continue to try and maintain it and pay for repairs to be made.
In addition, this may also be a good time to consider overhauling the entire HVAC system in your home and look at the best heating and air conditioning units in order to improve both reliability and efficiency.
2. Schedule Professional Maintenance
When it comes to HVAC systems and both the heating and cooling units in your home, professional maintenance and checks are just as, if not more important than all the DIY steps you can take to keep everything working.
The key here is to avoid only calling out a professional when you feel that something is wrong with your air conditioning unit; by scheduling regular checks, you can keep on top of any potential issues and make sure that problems are dealt with before they get bigger.
Ideally, you should schedule regular HVAC maintenance services from a company like Semper Solaris, and ask them to perform checks for both your heating and cooling systems twice yearly; once in the spring and again in the fall, preparing your system for the upcoming seasons with heating and air conditioning repair if needed.
Semper Solaris offer a wide range of maintenance and repair services for heating and cooling systems that you can schedule for almost any model.
3. Keep It Clean
Keeping the system and the area around it clean is one of the most important factors when it comes to maintaining your home’s air conditioning.
You should regularly vacuum the fins of your air conditioning unit clean with a soft-bristle brush; bear in mind that it’s important to be extra gentle as these are quite fragile and can easily be bent or even crushed when cleaning.
Check your owner’s manual if you are unsure how to get to them; many units will require you to unscrew and lift off a metal box first.
4. Get A Programmable Thermostat
Getting a programmable thermostat isn’t just ideal for keeping your energy usage and bills down low – it can also help keep your home’s air conditioning system in best condition, by ensuring that it is only being used when needed.
In fact, a programmable thermostat is a must-have for many homeowners with today’s modern AC technology.
It will allow you to set the best temperatures for varying times each day, automatically lowering the temperature when you need it most, allowing you to manage your home’s cooling without constantly turning the dial.
5. Quiet A Noisy Air Conditioner
A noisy air conditioning system can be quite the distraction in your home, but the good news is that most of the time you can do something about it.
If you are using a newer condenser, most of the noise is probably down to the compressor unit, as fans on newer units tend to be very quiet – even silent.
The best thing to do in this situation is to get in touch with the manufacturer to find the best sound blanket for your model or search online for a universal blanket that is safe to use with your unit.
Bear in mind that this will usually be the best solution for newer noisy units and is unlikely to work as well with an older one.
6. Fix Blockages
If you’ve noticed that there’s pooling water around the furnace when you have your air conditioning unit running, then this is usually sign that you are dealing with a clogged condensate drain tube.
Air conditioning condensation can lead to a host of problems if left unchecked; the condensation from the coils contain bacteria that can form slime, which clogs the drain tube and can lead to leaks. Cleaning the tube out regularly will usually solve this problem.
7. Replace Filters
Air conditioning filters should be replaced regularly – how often will usually depend on how often you use the unit throughout the year.
You should first turn off the power to the furnace using the switch or main panel, then remove the furnace filter and check it for any buildup of dust and dirt.
Cleaning the filters may be sufficient if there is not a lot of build-up, but if it’s very dirty, you will need to replace them.
8. Check The Size
It’s also worth considering whether or not your air conditioning unit is the right size for your home. This is because air conditioning units are carefully sized to the amount of cubic feet that they will need to cool, which is particularly important to keep in mind if you are in the process of purchasing a new air conditioning system for your home, or renovating your house to make rooms smaller or larger.
If an AC unit is designed for a smaller space than the one it is in, it will have to work much harder to cool the air. As a result, it will struggle to meet the demands of the thermostat and end up wearing out much faster compared to if it was in a smaller space.
The air conditioning unit is one of the most important systems in your home if you’re living in a warm climate or have hot summers, and need to stay comfortable and cool.
Keep these tips in mind when it comes to maintaining and caring for your AC unit to keep it working efficiently for longer.