Your air conditioning is responsible for keeping everyone in the house cool during the hottest times of the year. You should be aware that the AC is a complex system that requires care and maintenance. You can take a few basic steps to keep your AC working efficiently.
Clean the AC Regularly
The first step is to clean the AC regularly. All of the vents and registers inside of the house should be kept free from dust. Vacuuming them can help. Removing the vents and wiping them down is more effective. It is also important to clean out dust and debris from inside the unit whenever possible. This will stop dirt from insulating or damaging the coils and other parts. A simple cleaning every couple of weeks can keep your AC working efficiently.
Change Filters Frequently
You should never skip changing the filters in your HVAC system. Old filters can become coated in dust and dirt. This prevents air from moving through the filter. The result is that air will start to move around the filter. This lets dirt and debris get inside the system where it can start to do harm. You should change the filters every 30 to 90 days depending on how much it is used. It is also a good idea to purchase pleated filters whenever possible. These do a better job of capturing dirt, debris and allergens.
Keep the Outside of the System Clear
Your HVAC system relies on a constant flow of air to work efficiently. Something simple that can block the flow of air is an obstruction leaning against the outside unit. This could be a piece of furniture, tools or even branches from overgrown shrubs. You need to get outside and make sure the area around the unit is clear of any obstructions. The unit should be checked at the start of the summer and again at the end of the season.
Avoid the Coldest Settings
A very simple step that you can take to keep the air conditioning working efficiently is to avoid the coldest settings. The coldest settings are usually unsustainable for your system because they are so low. This causes the air conditioner to shut off briefly after the lowest temperature is reached. The air will warm up fast afterwards causing the AC to turn back on. This constant cycling on and off can start to wear down or damage the system over time. The AC in your home should be kept at moderate settings.
Call for Repairs If Anything Seems Wrong
Your AC system can show signs that something is going wrong. You need to pay attention to these signs. Some clear signs are if the system stops cooling down the house, if weird noises or odors start or if you start to see leaks outside that are not from the condensate lines. Another sign is if the system shuts down suddenly and for no reason on a regular basis. You need to call for professional air conditioning repair as soon as you notice any problems.
Schedule Professional Cleanings Annually
A large part of your HVAC system is the ductwork running through your house. The ducts can develop holes, come apart at the joints and even begin to corrode. They can also collect a large amount of allergens, dust and potentially pest droppings that could reduce indoor air quality. You will want to call an air conditioning repair service at least once every year for a professional cleaning of the ducts and AC.