With early spring on the horizon, summer's heat isn't going to be too far behind. The key to keeping your home comfortable all summer is to be proactive. Have your air conditioning system serviced before the summer months and then take proper care of it throughout the season. If you're not particularly experienced with central air conditioning or this is your first summer in a home with central air, you may not know how to optimize the system. Here's a look at some tips to help you.
Don't Let The System Get Dirty
There's a lot of dirt, debris and other particles in the air. When your central air conditioner draws air in, it pulls that air through an air filter to remove those particles. This is important, because dirt buildup inside the air conditioner could damage the coils. Unfortunately, the filter that cleans the air gets clogged periodically. When that happens, your air conditioner won't be as effective.
You can find the air filter just above the evaporator coil in most units. It's important to check it regularly and replace it any time it gets dirty. The last thing you need is to have the air flow get restricted because of a clogged air filter, because that leads to damage in the system.
In addition to your routine filter maintenance, you also need to have the air conditioner cleaned at least once each year. Your air conditioner technician will clean out the whole system, making sure the condenser coils are free of any debris and clearing the drain.
Identify and Address Refrigerant Leaks
Another reason it's important to schedule a cleaning regularly is because that process also helps your technician identify potential leaks in the refrigerant. If you're not familiar with the signs of low refrigerant, this may be the only way to detect it. He or she will test the pressure in the system during each cleaning, and any trend of declining pressure will indicate that there's a leak somewhere. The sooner you detect this, the sooner you can have it fixed. Quick action helps to preserve your climate control budget, but it also keeps the system from releasing refrigerant into the environment.
Maintain Your Air Ducts
You rely on your home's air ducts to distribute cool air through the house, but they need to be kept in good condition to do that. Air ducts are susceptible to cracks and damage that can cause leaks and cold air loss. In addition, air ducts that run along exterior walls can be vulnerable to temperature changes. You can combat all of these concerns by covering the air ducts completely with quality insulation.
One common material used for air duct insulation is mastic. Applied in a thin layer over the air duct surface, it seals the whole unit. You can do the work on your own if you can reach the air ducts easily, or you can call an HVAC technician who will do it for you.
Combat Humidity and Dampness
Air conditioners are naturally prone to an accumulation of moisture and humidity, because the systems draw humidity from the air. The environment inside the air conditioner then makes it vulnerable to mold and mildew growth from this moisture. You can easily avoid hazards like this with a few simple steps.
Install a dehumidifier in each of the large rooms in the house. This will draw moisture out of the air so that excess humidity can't accumulate in the system. You should also make sure you don't run the fans on your air conditioner unless the system is cooling. Otherwise, it pushes moisture back into the room. In addition, you need to be sure that the air intake is clean at all times. This protects the system's ventilation, reducing the chances of any humidity accumulation in the condenser.
The more attentive you are to your air conditioning system, the easier it is for you to keep it running at its best. With these tips, you can keep your home comfortable and avoid unnecessary utility costs.
For more information and assistance with repairs, contact professional HVAC contractors in your area, such as those at Always Ready Repair.