Many of us probably wonder how we ever survived the hot days of summer before central air conditioning. But as with all great things comes responsibility. If your A/C system is not maintained on a regular basis you will experience decreased system efficiency which can result in higher than normal electric bills and a shorter lifespan.
Below are 5 tips to help homeowner’s reap the benefits of their A/C systems this summer:
- Change air filter. The air filter is a very important part of your air conditioning system. It should be changed each month or twice per year depending upon the type. Some electronic filters require comprehensive cleanings twice per year. A clean filter will prevent dust and dirt from building up in your system, which can lead to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure. According to Energy Star a division of the EPA, dirt and neglect are the top causes for cooling system inefficiency and failure.
- Schedule a preseason check-up for your air conditioner. Maintenance on your system ensures that it is running efficiently and safely. Have a preseason check-up can also prevent more serious repairs down the road. A technician may be able to fix a small problem that if left unchecked could become a major repair. (Hint: If you sign up for a maintenance agreement with your HVAC professional they will notify you about your seasonal check-up so that you don’t forget! And often times if you have any repairs that come up, you will not only get priority service but discounts on repairs as well).
- Have your air ducts checked and cleaned. This will not only provide your home with cleaner air but will also help your A/C system’s efficiency. The dust and dirt and debris that blow’s around in your air ducts ends up back in your system and your lungs and if left unchecked, can cause build-up that leads to equipment failure.
- Duct sealing. In houses with forced-air heating and cooling systems, ducts are used to distribute conditioned air throughout the house. In a typical house, however, about 20 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts. The result is higher utility bills and difficulty keeping the house comfortable, no matter how the thermostat is set.
- Adjust your thermostat. Set your thermostat back during the day when you are not home. Consider a programmable thermostat. This is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $180 every year in energy costs (according to Energy Star).