- Before each cooling season, it is recommended that central air conditioners get a professional tune-up. This is the biggest step to preventing major malfunctions in an AC unit.
- Basic air conditioning maintenance will give you better comfort. A well-maintained unit runs more efficiently, lasts longer, and suffers from fewer breakdowns
- The most important step that can be done by a homeowner is to clean or replace the air filter.
- DO NOT run the unit with the filter removed.
- Every month, especially during the summer months, remove any leaves, weeds or debris from outdoor condenser units by hand. Remember power trimmers may cause damage to the wiring, lines, and coils of the a/c unit.
- Keep vegetation at least 2 feet away from outdoor units on each side and above.
- Aim grass clippings away from the unit when mowing the lawn. Using a water hose gentle spray off and grass or dirt seen on the a/c coils.
- During the fall, keep the fan grill free of leaves.
- To avoid damaging the compressor, don’t operate the unit when it’s below 60 degrees F outside.
- Raise the temperature settings. Each degree of temperature can represent up to 9 percent savings in cooling costs.
- Of course, some air conditioning maintenance should only be done by qualified HVAC technicians, such as refrigerant recharging and servicing electrical components.
- DO NOT attempt taking the unit apart or servicing electrical components. This may void any warranty and or cause physical harm to you and your unit
Humidity: One element often overlooked that can impact the overall comfort inside your home is the amount of humidity in the air. We tend to think of humidity as something to be avoided, particularly on those humid summer days. However it is possible for not enough humidity, and that can cause all sorts of problems for you and for your home.
Overly dry air will make you uncomfortable in a number of ways. It can cause dry skin, static shock, and increased allergic irritation. Dry air can also damage wood furniture, fixtures and even support structures in your home by sapping the moisture right out of them.
Of course, these items may have more to do with your overall comfort level than with your heating system directly, but maintaining the right level of humidity can help you save on your heating costs as well. That’s because moist air holds more heat than dry air, so if you have a good indoor humidity level, you’ll actually be able to turn your thermostat down a few degrees and still enjoy the same level of comfort. You likely won’t even notice the difference, but it will have a huge impact on your heating bills.
Here are some low- and no-cost ideas of things you can do to reduce the amount of energy it takes to heat your house.
- Check all the air vents and make sure they haven’t been covered by rugs or furniture.
- Check your furnace filter every month, replace as needed.
- By setting back the thermostat a maximum of 10 degrees at night (unless you have a heat pump) you could save up to 3% on heating costs for every degree your thermostat is set back.
- Consider installing a programmable thermostat for your furnace.
- Keep fireplace dampers closed when isn’t in use. Unblocked, a good chimney can draw up to 20% of the warm air out of the house each hour.
- Keep drapes and shades open on sunny days and close them at night.
- Make sure your windows aren’t allowing cold air in and the warm air out. Check to see that windows close properly and window locks pull sashes together.
- Make sure doors close properly. If you can see light around a closed door then they are allowing warm air out and cold air in.
- Routinely have a professional contractor perform a pre-season check-up.
- Change the batteries in your digital thermostat annually: People forget that their digital thermostat has batteries in it. If you get in the habit of changing the batteries annually, you can eliminate a no-heat situation.
- Have working Smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors in your home. Make sure and replace the batteries yearly.