Because of the hot weather, summers are perfect for picnics, swimming at the beach, and playing outdoors. But that hot weather can also be pretty miserable if you don’t have a central air conditioning unit. Here are 3 essential maintenance tips to keep your AC unit running smoothly all summer long.
Change the Filter
Filters keep impurities from coming into your home through your ducts. As the filter collects debris, it begins to clog and blowing air through a clogged filter can reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. Therefore, it is essential that you change your filter at least every month. When buying an AC filter, look for the minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV. The MERV ranges from 1 to 12 with the higher numbers meaning better filtration. Just know that a better filtration range means the AC unit must work harder to force air through a finer filter.
Fix Any Air Leaks
At least once per cooling season it is important to check for air leakages. This is an important maintenance task because air ducts can lose up to 30 percent of their airflow through leaks. To check for leaks you can use the “smoke test” which involves lighting a stick of incense and holding it next to any potential leaks. If the smoke moves then you know you have a leak. You can fix your airflow leaks by using either foil tape and ducting mastic for central AC units or foam and tape for window units.
Hire a Professional for Yearly Maintenance
Every home AC unit needs to be professionally cleaned and serviced every year. The company that installed your AC unit should have put you on an annual cleaning schedule when your unit was installed. Make sure that your professional service happens before the cooling season starts so that your unit is ready for the hot summer months. But even if the season has started you can still get your unit serviced. It’s never too late to service your air conditioning unit.
Summers should be a carefree time for playing in the sun with family and friends. It should not be a time of worrying over whether your air conditioning unit is going to survive the season. By following these 3 tips then you will no longer have to worry about whether your AC unit will survive the summer and can be confident that you will be cool all summer long.