Taking care of your air conditioning unit can help you save money on energy bills and extend its lifespan. However, it’s important to do so in a timely manner to avoid costly breakdowns.
One of the best ways to improve AC efficiency is to seal leaks around your windows, doors, and ductwork. These leaks can waste up to 30 to 40 percent of your home’s cooling energy.
Change the Filter
One of the most important things you can do for your air conditioning unit is to change the filter. Changing this once every few months can help your system run much more efficiently and can save you money on energy bills down the road.
While it may seem like a small, low-cost task, not changing your filter regularly can cause problems for your system. Not only can a dirty filter decrease the amount of air it can actually blow, but it can also reduce the lifespan of your AC unit.
Fortunately, it’s a simple job that can be performed by you or your HVAC service technician. Just remember to always turn off the power supply before you begin your maintenance.
The first step is to locate your air filter. Typically, this is located right next to the air handler, which is the part of your AC system that contains the fan and airflow. You should be able to see the dimensions of the filter on the side, so you know it’s the correct size for your system.
Once you’ve found the filter, it’s time to replace it. To do this, simply remove the old filter and insert the new one. Afterwards, be sure to line up the notches on the filter frame with the spaces in your AC unit’s filter compartment. Once you’re done, replace the cover and return power to the system.
A clean, fresh filter can significantly lower your energy bill. You’ll also be able to notice a difference in how fast your AC is able to cool your home.
Clean the Condenser
Cleaning the condenser is one of the most important maintenance tasks that can be done to your air conditioning unit. It will help you save money by removing stress from the system and will also extend its life.
It is recommended that you clean your condenser coils once a year. This is because dirty coils can lead to an increase in energy consumption.
The reason for this is that the coils can no longer transfer heat efficiently. This is especially true if the air outside is polluted.
In order to clean your air conditioner coils, first shut off the power to your system at the breaker box. Next, remove the top and side covers from your unit using a screwdriver or cordless drill.
Clean the Evaporator
Cleaning the evaporator coil is an essential part of keeping your air conditioning system in top shape. This is because the coils collect dirt and dust that can negatively impact their performance and lifespan.
If left unattended, dirty evaporator coils can cause your AC to use more energy and cool spaces less efficiently than systems with clean coils. Furthermore, dirty coils can also corrode and cause leaks in your air conditioning unit.
You can clean your evaporator coils yourself or hire an HVAC professional to do the job for you. In either case, this is a small and simple task that can help you maintain your air conditioner like a pro and save money in the long run!
To get started, you need to shut off the power to your condenser and remove its access panel. This will allow you to inspect any wires that have melted insulation, or that look burned-looking.
Clean the Thermostat
A dirty thermostat can’t properly control your temperature and can result in higher energy bills. It can also lead to a malfunctioning HVAC system.
To clean the thermostat, remove its cover and lightly brush it with a cloth to get rid of dust or dirt that might be causing issues. You can also run a piece of paper between the thermostat’s contacts to dislodge debris.
Another way to save money is to lower the temperature in your home during peak energy usage times. Some utilities have programs that adjust your AC’s settings remotely when they see high demand.
Smart thermostats help you save money and the environment by automatically setting the right temperature at the right time. Many of them also give you notifications when it’s time to change the filter in your AC unit, so you can maintain a consistent maintenance routine.