Is Your AC Unit Ready For Summer?
$11 billion. That’s how much American homeowners collectively pay every year to run their air conditioning systems.
But here what’s even more surprising. The seemingly small percentage of energy consumption that goes to air conditioner use: 6%!
That’s right. This means that only 6% of an average U.S. household’s energy bills goes towards cooling. But all homes combined, this small portion already translates to potentially more than a thousand dollars every year.
But it doesn’t end there.
A faulty AC unit can quickly rack up the costs even more. Not to mention the price that comes with repairs, and the inconveniences and frustrations it brings.
So… How do you avoid all these issues? By making sure you prep your air conditioning system before the summer rolls in!
To make the preparation even easier for you, we’ve compiled this list of tips for preparing your AC before the warm days come.
Start with the Thermostat
A problem-free thermostat should turn the air conditioner on within just a few seconds. And when you adjust it to the “cool” setting, it should only take a few moments to feel the comforting coolness it brings.
If this isn’t the case, take it as a signal your thermostat may need resetting. Best thing to do? Have your AC unit checked and serviced.
The last thing you want is to have a non-working air conditioner when it’s already summer. Also, delaying inspection way into the season can mean you’d have to wait for several days, since it’s usual for AC technicians to have fully-booked schedules.
It’s hard to imagine anyone can last for several days of uncomfortable, even sweltering heat! So, make sure your thermostat works great.
Time to Change Filters
After having left it for several months unused, your AC unit needs a new filter. Or a clean one, at least.
Operating your air conditioner with a filthy or old filter can mean 5 to 15 percent more energy use.
Okay, so this may seem small. But in the long run, it can mean a waste of cooling dollars that you could’ve otherwise used for more important stuff. Like a new filter that helps make indoor air quality better!
Keep in mind that in the cooling season, AC filters need at least a monthly replacement (or washing). This lets the system efficiently suck in more air, giving you a steady stream of comforting, cooling air. Too much dirt and debris in filters not only mean poor cooling, but potential spread of pollutants too.
And in case someone in your household has allergies or asthma, the AC filter may need more than a once-a-month changing.
A Clean Unit Is a Money-Conserving Unit
Don’t forget that your air conditioning system has an outdoor unit too, and this needs cleaning as much as the one inside your home. In fact, the external component needs more attention, since it takes the brunt of external elements.
For regular at-home maintenance, a brush, cloth, and some warm soapy water can do the trick. Make sure you get rid of anything that blocks the grills and the surrounding area. Oh, and don’t forget to turn off the power completely before you start spraying the coils with water.
Thermostat Change Is for the Best
What does your existing AC unit thermostat look like? Is it round?
If so, then what you have is most likely an outdated mercury switch thermostat. It’s time you consider swapping that out with new technology, not only for greater energy efficiency, but also because of the potential dangers of mercury.
Here’s an incentive you don’t want to miss:
A digital, programmable thermostat makes cooling more efficient, possibly saving you up to $100 every year! How’s that for savings?
Ceiling fans can also help with more efficient yet affordable cooling. These devices boost air circulation, spreading the conditioned air faster throughout your home. Plus, they can help lower your dependence on the AC, especially during days that aren’t that hot.
Clogs Are Never a Good Thing
If you have a central AC unit, you should pay closer attention to its evaporator coils. These parts deposit moisture, and that moisture is something you need to get rid of.
Aside from moisture, dirt and debris can also clog the lines. You should get these out, or you risk having fluid backing into the air conditioner itself. And when this happens, you’re looking at not just expensive AC damage, but dreaded water damage too!
If you’re not that confident with your DIY skills, it’s best you leave this in the hands of professional AC technicians.
Keep the Fins Clean
Your AC unit comes with fins that sit outside. To keep your air conditioning system running efficiently and at its peak, you need to clean these too.
A brush with soft bristles, much like a toothbrush, can properly but gently remove dirt build-up on the fins. It’s important you clean it gently, because the thin metal can easily bend or get dents.
Get Rid of the Debris
Anything that blocks the air conditioner pulls its cooling efficiency and performance down. And that means anything that obstructs the indoor or outdoor units.
For the indoor unit, this can mean large furniture blocking the vents. Of course, there’s the dust that may have accumulated on the device too.
For the outdoor unit, this can mean high grass, piles of leaves, weeds, plants, and any other type of debris. Get rid of all these so that the AC can suck in air (it’s much like breathing to them) easily.
During the cooling season, you’d want to do a monthly check for these obstructions.
Nothing Beats a Professionally-Maintained Air Conditioner
There’s just so much you can do for your home’s AC unit. The rest you should delegate to professional, licensed HVAC mechanics.
Scheduling your space cooler for an assessment before summer gives you the time for needed repairs.
In other words, you can rely on a fully-functional, problem-free air conditioner by the time that the Indiana summer days roll in.
Stay Chill and Save on Bills with a Well-Prepared AC Unit
Preparing your air conditioning system early can make a huge difference in comfort, convenience, and cooling bills. If you need people you can trust to make sure your AC works at its peak, we can help. Contact us now to schedule your space cooler for inspection and maintenance.
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