An air conditioners usage accounts for a sizable portion of your whole home's energy use. Your entire HVAC system can consume almost half your whole home's energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This makes maintaining your AC absolutely essential.
A dirty, dust-filled or debris-clogged air conditioner slows down your system, making it work harder just to keep your home cool and comfortable. From pet fur-filled air filters to the vents that push air from the air conditioner into your rooms, making sure that each component is running in top shape will lighten the load, decrease your overall energy use, and save you money on electricity costs.
What do you need to know about air conditioner maintenance? Take a look at the following tips to make sure that your system runs at peak performance.
Schedule Appointments in Advance
Waiting to schedule maintenance until your AC system shuts down or starts having problems isn't the most helpful way to service your air conditioner. A pre-season check-up, scheduled before you turn on the AC for the warmer months, is an easy way to make sure that worn parts get the repairs they need. It also offers the opportunity to have your system professionally cleaned before using it.
Instead of days, weeks, or months of forcing dusty, pet hair-filled air into your home, having the air conditioner serviced early on can save you from allergies, asthma attacks, or other reactions to potential contaminants that are caught in the system.
Keep in mind that the beginning of the summer months is a busy time for HVAC service providers. Waiting until the first air conditioning-worthy day to call and schedule an appointment may mean that you have to wait. Think ahead, reviewing the future forecast, and schedule an appointment before the weather starts getting warm.
Regularly Clean Your Air Filters
While a task such as cleaning the coils is something that a professional should do, you may be able to maintain the air filters with minimal assistance.
The first step is to find out what type of air filter your system uses and where it is located. Both of these depend on the model of your HVAC system. Some air conditioners have replaceable filters that you take out and toss, while others have reusable ones that require cleaning.
Fiberglass, polyester, and pleated air filters are all relatively inexpensive but require full replacement. Electrostatic air filters are washable, meaning they are cleanable and replaceable.
During your next AC check-up ask the technician to show you where the filter is, what type it is, and how to either replace or clean it. You should clean or replace your system's air filters at least once a month, especially if it is in constant use. A once-a-year change or cleaning during a pre-season check-up isn't enough - especially if you have pets or a respiratory condition such as allergies or asthma.
Don't Underestimate the Value of Professional Help
Your routine AC maintenance appointment will include much more than simply clearing out a clogged filter. This appointment may also include cleaning other debris-filled areas, a preventative evaluation to check for broken or worn parts, an assessment of the ducts for leakage, a refrigerant check, and a thermostat inspection.
If your air conditioning system requires additional services at the time of the maintenance appointment, the technician will recommend them at this time. This may include the replacement of worn parts or repairs that can help your system to work more efficiently.
Does your AC system need a service appointment? Parks Davis Air Conditioning & Heating can take care of your pre-season needs.