Christmas is coming and you know what that means? Summer’s coming with it. Before we get hit with those “How hot is it?” kind of days, make sure your air conditioner unit is prepared to keep you and your family cool. Getting your air conditioner in tip-top shape for summer means three things, efficiency, lower costs and fresh arctic breezes.
As you might have guessed, most of the work in preparing your air conditioner comes down maintaining a steady airflow, as well as a bit of spring cleaning!
Here are a few key areas to consider, so you can be sure your air conditioner unit is running at 100% before the summer heat sets in.
Clean and Change Your Filters
Many people don’t know this but air conditioning filters need to be changed regularly and in the interim, a quick clean goes a long way to preserving your air flow. Filters are easily clogged and a build-up of debris can restrict airflow, meaning your unit will have to work harder to push out air. That’s power and money you don’t need to spend.
On central units, the filter is usually found behind a metal panel on the face of the blower – simply unscrew the panel and replace the filter. On window units, the filter is usually found on the face of the unit, behind a metal panel. Window units usually have permanent filters which require cleaning. After unscrewing the panel, clean the filter with a mixture of vinegar and water and allow it to dry out before refitting.
Clean the Condenser
Outdoor units tend to be more durable than their indoor counterparts, despite this, it’s important to check for dirt, leaves and twigs and anything else that could have built up over time. After removing foreign objects give the unit a good hose down.
You can make your life easy by mowing any grass or trimming any branches around the unit. Be sure to check that the concrete slab is steady and level, as an incline may mean the condenser has to work harder to make up air pressure. During the summer you should check the unit every week, hot temperatures and debris don’t mix!
Clean the Condenser Coils
For central air conditioning units, it is particularly important to check the condenser coils. The condenser should look like a fan with a cover, with vents or grills on the sides. To get to the coils you will have to remove the front and side panels as well as the protective grills.
You can use a coil brush or other soft brush, or even vacuum the coils from the outside of the unit. Heavy debris may require a commercial coil cleaner, which needs to be sprayed from the inside, away from the electrical components of the unit. If in doubt when using a liquid, cover the electrics with a plastic bag.
Check for Leaky Ducts or Pipes
Look for loose panels, loose joints and small holes in ductwork. You would be amazed how much a tiny leak can affect the efficiency of your overall system. Small leaks can be sealed with rubber or fabric-based tapes, but larger problems may require professional refitting.
The condensation line is another spot to check. This is the pipe that removes condensation from the unit. The moist conditions can create a perfect environment for algae to grow and clog your line. So if you suspect drainage problems, try unscrewing the pipe and cleaning it with an algaecide, which is available at most pool stores.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can do you wonders. Not only does it keep your home at a comfortable, constant temperature, but it can save you a lot of money by levelling out the temperature when the room is at an optimum. Without a programmable thermostat, you’re likely going to be turning the unit on and off regularly, which means your poor-old air conditioner has to work harder for the same effect.
A programmable thermostat can also be really convenient, you can set it to be off while you’re at work, and to turn on a few minutes before your in the driveway. What’s better than getting home to a nice, cool house on those hot summer afternoons.
If you are having issues with your AC system or would like to know more about installation, maintenance, or replacing filters, get in touch with HunterCON today. We pride ourselves on providing fast and efficient service of the highest quality.