Now that you’ve decided to invest in a good air conditioning system, how can you make sure you’re getting the most for your money?
Here are some simple steps to keep that system running smoothly and efficiently through any season. Just follow this 10-point checklist to help yourself save money and aggravation:
The first task is a DIY. Other items on the checklist can be performed by your HVAC contractor or AC specialist. Call them before the cooling season, when they are less likely to be busy. Maintaining equipment prevents costly surprises such as breakdowns or overly high fuel bills.
1. Air Filters
Ask your contractor to show you how to change the air filters. Whether it’s your central AC unit, furnace, or heat pump, the filters should be checked at least once a month.
Keep a supply of replacement filters on hand, and change them as needed. Good filtration will lower your energy costs and keep your equipment running smoothly for a long time. For more information about the various types of filters available, visit ACDoctor, an independent source of information on HVAC.
Your contractor should check the settings on your programmable thermostat. Setting the thermostat to kick on when you need it– after work, for instance– means that your unit won’t be working uselessly when nobody is home. In winter, you can set the heat to a lower temperature at night; during the hot season, set the AC for a comfortable sleeping temperature.
3. Electrical Connections
Are electrical connections tight? Your contractor can measure voltage and current on electrical motors, to make sure that everything’s running properly. Poorly maintained electrical connections causes motors to run badly and reduces the lifespan of your equipment.
Air conditioner systems need to be lubricated, to reduce friction and increase energy efficiency. For motors and gears and other moving parts to operate smoothly, regular lubrication is vital.
5. AC Drains
Inspect drains on AC units; filled drains can raise humidity levels and cause equipment to malfunction. Filled drains can also present breeding grounds for bacteria and other contaminants.
Controls make sure that the equipment cycles properly (shutting off and turning on at the right times). HVAC units are made to turn off and on automatically at certain intervals. These controls should be on your maintenance person’s regular checklist.
7. AC Unit Coil
Air Conditioning Unit
Dusty or dirty coils cut down on your unit’s efficiency and its life span. Clogged coils mean that the unit isn’t working to its highest efficiency level, and it will work overtime to achieve the temperature you desire. Make sure your maintenance list includes cleaning these coils.
8. AC Refrigerant Levels
Check refrigerant levels. If your AC unit is not at the proper level of coolant, it cannot perform well. Not only does this cost more money for fuel, but it will, over time, shorten the life of your system.
9. Blower Components
Clean and adjust your blower components. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s output by 15%. Your HVAC specialist will know how to make sure the blower is working properly.
Sit back and enjoy! Nothing enhances the comfort of your home like a safe and efficient HVAC system. You can relax, knowing that yours is operating properly and will keep you comfortable for many years.
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