Memorial Day weekend is here and you know what that means? Time to break out the Air Conditioning units because it’s going to be summer before you know it!!
Before you fire up your air conditioner, take some time to do some tune ups around the house that will lower your cooling costs and optimize cooling performance.
Change Your Air Filter
This is probably the simplest thing you can do and it will keep your home cooler during the summer. Before you check and change the filter, decide on the type of filter you’ll use. Manufacturers typically make specific filters for specific models and units, so see what you need based on the make and model of your unit.
But even before you do that, check that you actually need to change your filter. Pull it out and inspect it for dirt and debris.
If it looks dirty, now you have a choice. You can replace it with a standard filter or a reusable one. Reusable filters, including reusable HEPA filters, can be washed, dried, and then reused multiple times.
Some manufacturers make units with, more or less, “permanent” filters which never need replacing.
Check The Condensate Drain System
The condensate drainage system is where all of your water drains. A/C units create water during normal operation as it removes the humidity from the air. All that humidity has to go somewhere, and here is where it ends up.
Depending on where the blower is in your unit, your condensate drain system might be either gravity fed or a pan that’s underneath the unit.
In some cases, a pump is used to remove the water as it collects. This helps reduce maintenance of the unit. Mostly, however, these pump systems are used on central A/C systems and systems installed in basements.
Check the drains for debris and clear it out before you start using your A/C. If there is visible damage, call this AC repair company and have the unit serviced. You do not want a malfunctioning drain on a running A/C as this can contribute to mold, mildew, and water damage under and around the unit.
Central air conditioning units have more moving parts than in-window units. With these systems, there is also a condenser unit. The condenser is basically a huge radiator. It draws in ambient air and cools it. But, it can also draw in things like dust, leaves, pine needles, and other debris.
So, before you start your A/C for the year, make sure you clear out the system.
Check The Ducts
Check all of the air ducts in the unit or, if it’s a central A/C, check the ducts in the home for debris. If there’s anything clogging those ducts, then you’re just not going to get the type of cooling performance that you want.
No Short Cycling Of The Unit
You should never short-cycle the A/C. In other words, wait at least 10 minutes before starting once you’ve stopped the unit. Likewise, wait 10 minutes after you’ve started the A/C before you stop it.
Insulate all air ducts if they’re not already. This will improve efficiency and cooling of the home.
Laura Lloyd is a home DIY consultant. She likes to write about home improvement and repair. Look for her posts on many home repair and DIY blog sites.