Everybody loves summer but not the heat that threatens to bake everything inside our homes. During such times, the AC is usually our most reliable source of help. However, it is not uncommon for air conditioners to breakdown when needed most. The following are tips to make sure your AC serves you effectively this summer.
Protect your unit from debris
The venting system being located on the outside of your home is prone to blockage. Adequate airflow is essential for the smooth running of your AC. If the vents are blocked, your air conditioner will be strained reducing its efficiency. This will not only translate to higher power bills, but it can also lessen the lifespan of your unit and make it more susceptible to breakdowns. Always ensure that you trim shrubs, grasses or branches around your air conditioner to ensure a proper airflow. It is necessary that you leave a space of about two to four feet between any vegetation and your outdoor unit.
Check the filter
The function of the air filter is to improve the quality of air that gets into your home. It filters off dust, dirt particles and allergens present in air sucked from the outside. Air filters should be changed once a month because they are easily clogged by dirt. HVAC experts note that clogged air filters are one of the leading causes of AC breakdowns. Moreover, a dirty filter can endanger the health of your family and increase the running costs of your system. The filter has a screen like appearance and is easy to locate. Most HVAC systems have filters located inside the blower area or in the ceiling air grille.
Keep your unit in the shade
The location of your outside unit matters and can affect its longevity and performance. A unit that is exposed to direct sunlight is forced to work harder than one located in a cooler area. The reason is that an AC has to cool the air around it before blowing it into the house. Shaded areas have cooler air which requires little or no cooling. Ideally, it is best to have your unit located on the northern side of your home. However, you can provide shade by constructing an awning or planting trees. The U.S Department of Energy says that shading your AC by planting trees can increase its efficiency by as much as 10 percent.
Even if you are a DIY person, it is important to have your AC inspected and tuned up by a professional before summer begins. An HVAC technician can do a thorough cleaning of your system, replace worn out parts and make repairs to prevent a breakdown. They can identify and address minor issues before they cause major problems that can be difficult to fix. When choosing a professional company, ensure that they are licensed and insured so that your properties are covered against damage. You will also realize that experienced professionals do a better job than those who are just starting out.
Replace old AC models
If your AC is older than fifteen years, it probably needs to be replaced. Older AC models are less energy efficient and more likely to break down than newer models. When upgrading, choose an AC that has an energy star. Energy Star rated equipment can cut your power bill by as much as $115 per year.