When summer is at its peak, few feelings are more satisfying than walking into a home cooled by a central air conditioner. Refrigerated air conditioning is a luxury that many homeowners are now investing in, as it can improve energy efficiency and help keep your electricity bills low. However, since repair costs for this unit can be considerable, learning a few tips about how to keep it running at peak performance can help save you time and money in the future.
Block out Sunlight
The warmer a room is, the harder your central AC unit has to work to cool it. This means that rooms with large windows, which let in sunlight for much of the morning, may take longer to reach optimal temperatures. This can result in more cycles for your unit and greater wear and tear on the system.
To help your system run with greater ease, use heavy curtains on large windows so heat from the sun does not raise the room’s temperature during the morning. The cooler the room, the fewer cycles your unit will need to run.
Improve Air Flow in Your Home
You can put less stress on your central air conditioning unit by creating a greater path for airflow. The wider the path, the more efficiently your system can run, so when you have your AC turned on, keep your home’s interior doors open. Open and secure bedroom doors and other rooms where the unit’s vents are located. Closed rooms take longer to cool, which means your system will have to run for a longer time. Keeping doors open helps to improve air flow and cool spaces more quickly.
Change Filters Often
Keeping your unit’s air filter clean can go a long way in keeping it running at top performance. When the filters are clogged with hair, dirt, or dust, this means the unit has to work harder to move the cooled air around your home. The resulting air may also not be as pure as it should be and might contribute to allergies and other respiratory issues.
Your local AC technician can help you decide which brand of air filter is the best choice for your home and individual needs. He or she can also let you know how often you should have your filters changed and why.
Keep the Condenser in Good Condition
Your AC’s outdoor condenser is an important component in the unit’s overall health, so it is important to check it at least once a month and ensure that it is functioning properly. Summer storms can cause twigs and other debris to collect at its base, and this should be swept away afterward.
When it comes to air conditioning myths, one of the most common is that AC outdoor condensers need little in the way of preventative maintenance. However, since the unit is responsible for pulling in air from outside, it needs to be cared for in order to work efficiently. Have your condenser checked and cleaned by a professional HVAC tech at least once a year.
Have Refrigerant Levels Checked
One important aspect of keeping your central air conditioner running efficiently is to ensure that the refrigerant levels are correct. If the levels are imbalanced, the unit may not function efficiently and may cause serious damage the compressor. Since the compressor is one of the main components of your system, if it becomes damaged, the entire unit may cease to function.
Only a professional HVAC tech should inspect your air conditioner’s refrigerant levels. The liquid inside the unit can be dangerous if not handled properly, so it is best left to an expert.
Your central air conditioner can be the heart of your home during the hot summer months, so keeping it running at the top of its game is key to staying cool. A healthy unit can lower your energy bills and keep you happy and comfortable all summer long.