While it’s important for your air conditioner to receive maintenance from a technician at the beginning of each summer, there’s also six easy but significant things you yourself can do regularly to help keep your air-conditioning system humming all season long.
- Check the filter. If it’s dirty or clogged, clean or replace it, depending on the manufacturer’s instructions. Keeping your filter clean will improve efficiency by up to 15 percent. But make sure to turn off the power first, before removing the filter, so the unit doesn’t power on and blow dust throughout your home.
- Clear away debris. The outdoor condensing unit, which is the metal box sitting outside your house, can experience airflow blockage if leaves, grass or other foliage are too close to it. Debris such as lawn-mower clippings and dead leaves that collect on the fins will also block airflow and decrease efficiency, so be sure to regularly clear away any debris surrounding the base of the condensing unit.
- Check that the outdoor condensing unit is clean, making sure it is free of dirt, cottonwood and even dryer lint if your vent is nearby. Contact a professional service tech at Overland Park Heating and Cooling to address any additional cleaning that may be required.
- Examine indoor supply registers and return air grilles. Make sure that furniture and other obstructions are kept away from the vents, so that air can flow freely.
- Consider adding zoning controls. Although closing doors and vents in unused areas of the home might seem practical, you could actually be negatively affecting your air conditioner’s performance and efficiency. Consider add a zone control system on your existing heating and cooling unit in the areas where you need it. A new zone system can improve your entire home’s overall comfort and energy efficiency.
- Maintain one temperature during the day. Don’t use the “setback” mode when the temperature and humidity increase, because it can make your system work entirely too hard when trying to recoup from a high temperature adjustment. In order to get the most efficiency and performance from your thermostat, we recommend switching to a control that has a “circulating” fan setting for optimum comfort and performance.
With the proper maintenance, your air-conditioning system should last 12 to 15 years at the minimum. Spring or early summer is the best time to ensure that your system is going to run well all season long. For information about professional maintenance in Kansas City, contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.