It can get hot in the sunshine state. Floridians know just how important a functioning air conditioner is for their homes. That’s why it is important to maintain your AC unit on a regular basis, not only to keep cool, but to avoid costs of repair and also to cut down on your monthly energy bill.
While homeowners are not able to address every maintenance issue, there are several easy things that can be done to reduce wear on outside AC units and increase lifespan.
1. Clean or Replace Air Filter
A dirty air filter can pose two problems in a household AC unit: Dust and particles trapped in the filter can clog, blocking airflow through the unit, causing it to work harder to push air through. Air flowing through a dirty air filter can become laden with this dust and particles, possibly heightening allergic reactions or respiratory problems for homeowners.
- It is important for homeowners to clean or replace air filters on a monthly basis.
- Different AC units may have their air filters in different locations:
- Behind the return air grille in the house
- Inside the blower compartment of the unit
- In a designated slot located on the unit
2. Wiring and Component Status-Check
Homeowners should be aware of the state of an AC unit’s wiring and electrical components. By removing the access panel on a unit, homeowners can assess electrical conditions.
- Look for signs of overheating: melted insulation, blackened wires
- Check electrical connections using electrical test meter
- Assess condition of contactor switch
Before any assessment can be made on an AC unit, homeowners should be sure to cut power to the unit. Do not attempt to repair or replace any damaged components that you are unfamiliar with. Call a professional for help, if needed
3. Check Thermostat
Check the working status of the thermostat in your house. Houses with older, mechanical thermostats may want to consider upgrading to programmable thermostats
Programmable thermostats are able to regulate the cooling cycles in a house without the need for turning the AC unit on and off.
4. Check Condenser Unit Fan
Check the condition of the outside condenser unit’s fan-blades and replace if any are chipped or cracked. Older AC units may require regular lubrication of the fan’s motor bearings.
5. Keep Outside Unit Clean
It is important for homeowners to keep the outside unit free from outside debris. Grass, leaves, and other outside elements build up on the outside unit, reducing airflow.
With the power to the unit turned off, gently wash with a garden hose from top to bottom. Homeowners should also trim back any hedges or limbs that may interfere with airflow to and from the unit.
A healthy, functioning AC unit is key to keeping your home comfortable and cool. Regular maintenance and service ensure the lifespan of an AC unit while saving time and money on unnecessary repairs.