As summer months approach and temperatures and humidity rise in Sarasota, FL, it is time to get your air conditioner ready for hot weather. These five simple tips will help reduce untimely breakdowns that require air conditioner repair.
Clean the Air Filter
The simplest do-it-yourself air conditioner maintenance task is to clean and replace filters regularly. Clogged and dirty filters affected air circulation and can eventually cause breakdowns. Dirt on the cooling coils reduces efficiency and makes a unit work harder. Clean filters reduce energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.
Every air conditioner, from portable units to central heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, has a filter. Most filters can be cleaned and reinstalled. A few types must be replaced rather than cleaned. Most filters for central systems are located either in the furnace blower or the return air duct grille.
Reusable filters can be either vacuumed or washed with mild soap and water, dried and reinstalled. Filters should be cleaned every one to three months depending on how much the unit is used and the environmental conditions of your area.
Schedule a Seasonal Tune-Up
Most manufacturers recommend seasonal check-ups as part of routine air conditioner maintenance. Inspect air conditioners in the spring before hot weather arrives and furnaces in the fall before cold weather comes to ensure that all major elements are working properly. Regular maintenance can prolong the life of the system.
Aqua Plumbing & Air’s licensed HVAC professionals are trained to work on any model and brand. Tune-ups include:
- Checking and adjusting refrigerant levels
- Oiling all moving parts including fans and blowers
- Inspecting wiring and connections
- Leveling and calibrating the thermostat
- Ensuring that the unit to cycles on and off properly
- Inspecting and cleaning drains and tubing
- Inspecting and cleaning compressor, condenser and evaporator coils
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Temperatures on traditional spring-type thermostats can be manually set back to reduce the cooling load so the unit does not cycle on as often. The temperature must then be reset to resume cooling.
Programmable thermostats automatically cycle down when you are not at home and return to desired settings before you return. You save money and energy by not cooling your space while you are away, yet are able to return to a comfortable indoor environment.
Clean Outdoor Components
The outdoor cabinet of a central HVAC system is usually located on the ground outside the building. Leaves, dust and debris on the housing impede air flow. Regularly cleaning allows the unit to work efficiently. Clip grass and keep the area weed-free.
If the unit is in full sun, plant shrubs near the unit to provide shade. Shrubs and plants placed around a building create a cool zone which reduces peak temperatures between 2 and 9 degrees. Even a slight drop in temperature can reduce the load on the system.
Purchase a Maintenance Agreement
Maintenance agreements take the worry out of keeping your system working properly. Agreements usually include seasonal check-ups for furnaces and air conditioning units, replacement parts, service calls and priority scheduling. Aqua Plumbing & Air offers three plans so you can select one that best suits your needs.
Written by John Miller