It's time to get your home ready for the warmer months ahead. The biggest task ahead of you is getting your air conditioning up and running. For most, the air conditioning hasn’t been turned on for months and has accumulated some dust. Cleaning and preparing your A/C can be done in just a few easy steps.
- Clean and change your filter once a month.
If you have a dirty filter then it has to work twice as hard to deliver cool air to your home.
- Check your thermostats.
If not leveled or calibrated, your thermostat can actually be off by about 4-6 degrees. This throws off how warm or cool your home actually is. If you are in a home with an older thermostat, consider replacing it since it could contain mercury which is very dangerous.
- Keep your outdoor unit clean.
This task might be just a little more daunting because it does sit outside, but it should still be a top priority just like your inside one. Using a brush or clean cloth will work just fine and be sure to turn off the thermostat before cleaning your unit.
- Clean indoor duct work.
Forgetting to clean your duct work is a common occurrence since it is hidden in walls and ceilings, so this should be done by a service professional. Since condensation can occur in your duct work, keep an eye for water damage. If this goes unnoticed it can create an environment for mold to grow. If this does happen, do not attempt to fix it on your own.
- Check and maintain fan belts on outdoor units.
If you have an older unit then this one is for you. Inspect fan belts and adjust or replace them as needed. These parts can usually be found at your local hardware store. Check to make sure you are buying the appropriate ones for your unit.
- Tighten your power connections.
The vibration from your unit can cause the connections to become loose. If the connections become too loose this can cause them to disconnect and shut down leaving you without any air conditioning.
- Schedule a tune up by a professional.
You should hire a professional to tune up the parts of your A/C that you can’t do yourself. Tune ups are a minimal cost that can get your air conditioning up and running smoothly before the warm weather hits.
Once you get your air conditioning back up and running, don’t get carried away with the newfound cool air circulating through your house. Be nice to your wallet and your home and watch out for these common mistakes that homeowners make when it comes to their air conditioning.
- Regularly change your A/C filters. We recommend changing your filters once a month. This small expense can take 5-15% off of your air bill.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat. We all think we will remember to turn down the air before we leave the house, but with a programmable thermostat you won’t have to.
- Don’t set your thermostat too low. You’ll cut about 3% off your bill for every degree you raise your thermostat. We aren’t saying you have to live in a sauna but you don’t need to live in the arctic either.
- Fans, fans, fans. Invest in some fans to cut down on your air conditioning use. Just turning your ceiling fan counterclockwise during the summer can create greater air flow.
- Poorly-positioned vents and thermostats can be affecting your A/C. If your thermostat is in a position where it is constantly in sunlight, this can cause inaccurate readings therefore telling your A/C to come on when it doesn’t need to be.
- Close air vents in room that aren’t usually occupied a lot. No sense in cooling rooms that aren’t occupied on a day to day basis.
- Install blinds and curtains on windows that receive a lot of sunlight. This will cut down on the heat that is passed through the windows and will keep the room cooler.