If you're new to air conditioner ownership, you may not be aware of the many things that you can do to extend the service life of your appliance. The following tips will help you take care of your new A/C, so it can last as long as possible.
Change the Air Filter Every 3 Months
The air filter is located in a slot between the blower and the return air duct, often located around the furnace. The air filter services both the furnace and the air conditioner, so The U.S. Department of Energy recommends changing your HVAC's air filter every 3 months that the HVAC system is in use. Assuming that you run your furnace and air conditioner intermittently throughout the year, you'll need to change the air filter four times per year.
To change the air filter, turn off the HVAC system and pull out the old air filter. Take the air filter to a hardware store or home improvement center, and find a replacement air filter that matches the old filter. At your home, insert the new air filter and turn on the unit. Set your calendar to do this regularly.
Clean Out the Condenser Every Fall or Spring
The air conditioner condenser can become a trap for leaves and debris in the yard. This debris can reduce the efficiency of your unit and may even lead to breakdowns. To fix this problem, clean out your condenser annually. To get started, cut the power to the air conditioner and remove the lid from the condenser. Use a shop vacuum to suck out the old dry leaves, then spray down the inside of the condenser with a strong jet of water from a hose.
If the condenser is especially dirty, use coil cleaner to clean the coils inside the unit before putting the lid back on and returning power to the unit. This is a good chore to do in the fall or spring because of the prevalence of debris like leaves, flower petals, and other organic material.
Program Your Thermostat
Using the program settings on your thermostat makes it easy to run the air conditioner as efficiently as possible. For example, you may choose to raise the temperature in your home during the day while you're at work, and then lower the temperature just before you come home at night. Doing this ensures that your air conditioner won't be used any more than necessary throughout the cooling season.
Get Regular Tuneups
Have your air conditioner checked by an air conditioner repair professional on an annual basis. Your repair professional can help keep your air conditioner in good condition and can also tell you about necessary repairs to prevent your unit from breaking down. For more information about how you can protect your air conditioner and extend its service life, talk to a reputable HVAC repair person in your area or click here for more info.