Summer is (sadly) coming to an end, and you may have noticed your air conditioning unit was struggling to keep up with the heat or your electric bill was higher than last summer. Having maintenance done on your A/C unit can help keep costs low and give you a cool summer. Here's what we at Good Man & Associates recommend.
Air Conditioning Maintenance
l Have a professional come out and check out your system periodically. Ask for tips on how to troubleshoot between visits. Become familiar with your operating manual.
l Check the refrigerant level. If the refrigerant is low, there may be a leak that will need to be sealed.
l Cleanse the condensing unit pan of bugs, leaves and dirt with a hose. See the operating manual to locate it.
l Oil the blower motor and fan on both the condensing and the evaporation units annually. Again, your operating manual will describe how to do this and what type of oil to use.
l Check the tension on the condensing and evaporation unit blower fan belts each spring. If the belts have more than an inch of give, they will need to be adjusted.
l Inspect the blower ducts and joints for leaks and insulation slippage annually. Rejoin leaking ducts with duct tape and reposition insulation.
l Clean or replace air filters in both window (monthly) and central units (quarterly).
l Clean window units, particularly the evaporation coil and fan blades. Oil the blower motor and the fan.
l Check the joint between the window frame and the unit to be sure it is properly caulked and weather-stripped annually.
l Inspect the blower motor fan blade for mold and/or mildew. If there’s heavy buildup call your A/C contractor for treatment.
l To kill and control algae, mildew and mold in your condensation drain pan and drain line you can place "Algae Strips" (available at hardware stores) in the condensation pan.
l Monitor your system by installing a thermometer in the supply duct and checking the temperature every two weeks.
Help your A/C to work at its maximum efficiency by:
l Set your a/c fan speed on high except in when it’s humid.
l Use a whole-house attic fan at night and when the outside air is cooler than the inside.
l Don't crank your thermostat as low as it can go when you turn on your air conditioner.
l Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer.
l Don't place lamps, TVs or other electronic equipment near your air-conditioning thermostat. The thermostat senses heat from these appliances, which can cause the air conditioner to run longer than necessary.
l Use an interior fan along with your window air conditioner to distribute cooled air more effectively through your home without a substantial increase in your power use.