Spring is just around the corner which means that summer will be here before you know it! Now is the time to make sure that your air conditioner is ready to handle those hot summer days and muggy summer nights.
Air conditioning units do more than just cool the air inside your home, they actually “condition” the air as well by removing dirt and other particles, such as dust through the air filter. This is why it is important that the air filter is kept clean on a monthly basis and replace them every three months if you have the disposable type. Be sure to buy the correct size replacement filter and insert the new filter in the proper direction of the air flow indicating arrows. Replacing filters improves the performance of your air conditioner and reduces energy consumption between 5% and 15%. When filters are not changed routinely, your air conditioner has to work harder to cool your home and this ultimately may compromise the life span of your air conditioning unit.
Simple outdoor yard maintenance helps your air conditioner run properly as well. When you mow the lawn near the unit, be sure to avoid blowing any grass trimmings in the direction of your air conditioner. It is a good rule of thumb to maintain about a one foot area clear of the air conditioner unit so that no debris find it’s way into the unit that could cause problems. Occasionally rinsing down your outdoor air conditioning unit with a common garden hose is another simple maintenance tip. You can gently run a stream of water over the fan blades to rinse off dirt and other sediments that may have collected on the blades. If at all possible, have your outdoor air conditioner unit in a shaded place, since air in a shaded space is typically 5 or 6 degrees cooler compared to the air in a non-shaded space.
Changing our behavior in regards to how we live during the summer can affect our energy bills. A good tip is to not have your air conditioning unit on when the outdoor temperature falls below 68 degree Fahrenheit; this may cause the compressor to fail. In addition, purchasing a programmable thermostat will help to reduce summer energy costs. Program the unit to turn off when you leave and turn back on about 30 minutes prior to you returning home. Another good energy saving tip is to raise the temperature settings a little higher than you normally keep your thermostat at. It has been found that every degree of temperature can become up to a nine percent savings or decrease expense in cooling costs. It is best to have the air conditioner fan set to the position versus the on position because it is not necessary to have the fan run constantly. And, using ceiling fans to help move the cooled air in your home can make it more comfortable with your air conditioner set to a higher temperature than in summers past.
We are all busy with hustle and bustle of daily life but it is important to set aside the time now and go through your home to ensure that the ductwork is properly insulated, especially in the attic. You don’t want to be cooling your attic space! Be sure that there is no furniture covering up the vents in each of your rooms. Inspect the weatherstripping around your doors and windows to see if it needs to be replaced. Ensuring that your windows, doors and fireplace dampers are completely closed helps to prevent cooled air from unnecessarily escaping your home too. Lastly, if you limit doing laundry and using your oven to early morning or late evening this will help to keep your home cooler during the day when the outdoor temperature is typically at it’s warmest.