After a day spent hiking or playing in the yard in the summer heat, there’s nothing better than coming home to an air-conditioned house. Almost all Texas homeowners use an air conditioning system, with 80% of households having central AC. It’s important to prepare your air conditioning system to keep your house cool during the summer months. HVAC systems use up to 30% more energy if not maintained. This translates to excessive utility bills. Keep reading to learn five AC maintenance tips.
1. Clean or Replace Filters
Overfull filters will reduce the effectiveness of cooling and increase electricity bills because the unit must work extra hard to keep your house cool. Turn off the power to the furnace, then pull out the furnace filter and check it for clogs. Change the disposable filters or clean the permanent filters on your air conditioning unit monthly.
2. Install a Programmable Thermostat
When you’re not home, turn your air conditioner off or your thermostat up 10 to 15 degrees. This simple task could save you 5 to 15 percent on your energy bills.
In addition, you can set temperatures for various times during the day and automatically lower the temperature to help you save money and manage your heating and cooling.
3. Check for Air Flow Leaks
Gaps or obstructions in ductwork may restrict airflow in your HVAC unit. Inspect the ducts and connectors for loose spots or damage and the blower components.
You can check the airflow by closing all the windows in the house, turning off all the fans and exhaust fans, and shutting off the furnace. Then, light some incense and walk slowly around the exterior walls of your home. There can be an airflow leak if you see the smoke blowing away from something or being sucked toward something.
You can also look for airflow leaks by closing the damper of a fireplace to prevent cool air from escaping through it. Check walls, doors, and windows for cracks and leaks that will let cool air escape and make your HVAC overcompensate for the loss. If you find any air leaks, be sure to seal them.
4. AC Maintenance of the Outdoor Condenser Unit
Your air conditioner may not produce cool air efficiently and experience additional stress if it’s not properly clean. The metal fins on the condensing unit frequently get congested with dirt, pollen, and grime. Spray the outside of the unit with a water hose to clean it four times a year.
You can also carefully vacuum the fins of your AC unit clean with a soft-bristle brush. You may have to unscrew and lift off a metal box to reach the fins. Your owner’s manual will provide instructions for properly lifting off the box.
Additionally, you should regularly remove any dirt and debris from around the outdoor unit. If the outdoor unit does not remain clean, the extra stress on the system can cause overheating and reduce its lifespan.
5. Repair Insulation
Enhance your AC unit’s efficiency by replacing damaged insulation around your outdoor AC lines. You can find foam insulation at hardware stores.
Schedule HVAC Service
If you find yourself in need of air conditioning maintenance, we’re here to help. Jeb Air Solutions is an HVAC company in Houston, Texas, that provides services including AC repair and AC installation. Schedule an appointment by calling us at 713-543-8030.