Keeping Cool This Summer- Tips To Maintain Your Air Conditioner
Here in Colorado we have had a cool start to the summer, but now we are really starting to heat up. It is about that time to close the windows and turn on our AC’s. To help make sure your air conditioner functions properly here are a few basic things you can do to care for and even improve the performance of your air conditioner.
Air Filters- This is a very important part of your air conditioner. Checking and changing the air filter once a month will help the air conditioner operate at its optimal efficiency. If the filter is too dusty, it can limit air circulation and even possibly damage the air conditioner. Before you go out to purchase a new filter, make sure you know the size that you will need. This will be located on the side of your old filter. When at the store it is best to choose a filter that does not let light pass through. If you can see the light, then it will not be as effective at catching debris.
Thermostat- Obviously, it isn’t feasible to babysit your thermostat all day long. We have jobs to go to, errands to run, and even vacations to take. The next best way to care for your AC is to install a programmable thermostat. They are very easy to install yourself. However if you are not comfortable doing so, a licensed HVAC technician can. A programmable thermostat allows you to set it to those optimal temperatures according to your schedule. The recommended settings, in the summer, for the health of your air conditoner are: 78 degrees while at home, 82 degrees while sleeping, and 85 degrees when you are away. These temperatures are just recommendations. The best temperature, of course, is the one that make you comfortable. Just remember though, when it is really hot outside it is best to not turn your thermostat temperature down below 70. This can put a strain on the system. The AC is trying to work too hard to keep the home cool.
Condenser- The condenser is usually located outside of your house. It can easily get clogged up by dirt, yard debris, and for us Coloradans, cotton wood. Make sure that there are no weeds or grass growing to close to the unit. When you start to notice that the cotton woods are blooming, it best to check the condenser a bit more frequently. If you find that the condenser is clogged the best way to clean it is to shut off the system and hose it off. A dirty or clogged condenser can impact its energy efficiency and possibly shorten its life.
Another thing to remember, in the summer, is if the air conditioner is on the windows should be closed. Just one window open can impact the performance of the system. When a window is open the system is working very hard to keep your home cool to the temperature that you set it at. Which can then cause the condenser outside, along with the lines running into the home, to freeze. If this does happen, turn off the AC and switch the fan from auto to on. This will allow just the fan to run and that will help the ice to melt faster.
Hope these tips help you stay cool in your home this summer!!