With spring just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to schedule a tune-up for your air conditioner. A pre-season check of your air conditioning system prior to the summer months can be a real money saver. When your air conditioner is running well it uses less energy to cool your house, and lower energy use means bigger savings for you on your monthly utility bills. Air conditioners at peak efficiency will use up to 30 percent less electricity and last years longer*.
Early air conditioner maintenance can also reveal most small problems that can lead to major, more expensive problems if left unattended. And, if your air conditioner checkup is scheduled for spring, you’ll beat the long waits and higher prices that come with peak season repair visits. You’ll also be able to schedule a HVAC (heating & cooling) professional to come out when it’s most convenient to you for service. Wait until later in the summer, however, and you may have to accept whatever appointment is available.
Here are some great tips to consider before turning your air conditioner on for the season:
- Before turning on your unit make sure the condensing unit located outside is not covered up. This unit needs to draw air into the system in order to have something to cool and blow out inside, but the process will be hindered if it cannot pull enough air from the outside.
- Clean obvious obstructions such as newspaper, leaves, etc. from around the exterior of the unit.
- A thoroughly cleaned air conditioning unit will operate at top efficiency. Homeowners are strongly discouraged from using a hose and water to try to clean it themselves because of the very serious risk of electrical shock and possible shorting of electrical components. You should contact a licensed HVAC professional.
- Run your air conditioner for a few minutes now, before you need it. If you wait until the first hot day to discover it isn’t working, you might be in for a surprise.
- Change the filters regularly. We recommend replacing filters every month! Dirty filters restrict airflow, reducing efficiency and worse case, can cause the evaporator to ice up. Disposable fiberglass filters should be checked monthly and replaced when dirty. Electrostatic or electronic filters need to be washed regularly and then allowed to dry completely before they are replaced.
- Be sure all access panels are secure, with the screws in place.
- Be sure the thermostat is set in the cooling mode. Just setting the dial below room temperature will not activate the air conditioning if it is set in the heat mode.
*www.gesc.com, “Tips for an Energy Efficient Home”