Now is a fantastic time to complete routine maintenance on your AC system. With the weather shifting from summer heat to cooler wintertime temperatures, thoroughly inspecting and repairing the air conditioning unit can save money on repairs and energy bills when things heat up in the spring. Completing simple tasks keep your AC in great shape and is much easier than many realize.
Professional Maintenance Check-Up
Scheduling an AC check-up in the fall when technicians are less busy will not only provide the option of taking care of minor problems before they become significant problems, but the cost for the service is reasonable and offers homeowners peace of mind. Many HVAC professionals, such as Valley Heating & Cooling, offer comprehensive preventative maintenance packages along with guarantees on their work.
Maintain the Air Filter
Regularly changing or cleaning the air filter is an essential step in prolonging the life of an AC unit. The function of the air filter is to clean the air circulating in the AC system. Dust, debris, and other airborne pathogens collect inside the filter to keep them from overwhelming the more delicate parts of the air conditioner. But over time, this debris saturates the filter making it difficult for air to pass through, putting more stress on the unit and increasing energy demand as the AC struggles to keep the living space comfortable.
A dirty air filter not only causes substantially decreased efficiency but, over time, can cause allergens to build up in the home’s duct system. Over time these allergens, including pollen and certain types of mold, are blown back into the living space, causing respiratory distress or possible allergic reactions.
Clean the Outside Unit
Leaves, dirt, and other waste can build up in and around the outside unit. Overgrown grass and weeds may also take over the area near the air conditioner. This debris negatively impacts airflow, placing the system under increased strain. The condenser and evaporator coils also collect waste, causing the unit to absorb heat, and shortening the lifespan of the condenser. An outside garden hose or leaf blower helps clean the inside of the AC and keeps things running smoothly.
Once the outside system is clean, cover any exposed pipes or wiring if the unit won’t be active for a while. This step is crucial for homeowners living in areas that routinely experience temperatures below freezing, as it can lessen the chances of pipes freezing over and cracking.
Consider Upgrading Your Thermostat
Upgrading to an easy-to-use smart thermostat can save electricity year-round resulting in lower energy bills. These new thermostats are incredibly easy to use and ultimately control the home’s environment. One of the main features of these devices is the ability to schedule the AC unit’s operation. This function gives homeowners increased flexibility with temperatures in the house, allowing them to set up a schedule for when and to what degree residents will need the air conditioning for personal comfort.
Homeowners control the thermostat using an app on their smartphone or other portable devices, and they are available in most hardware stores for around $100. For residents often traveling, leaving homes unoccupied for long stretches, the convenience and cost savings of installing a smart thermostat can pay for itself in no time.