Did your energy bills go up last year, but your AC's cooling ability seemed to go downhill? Before giving up and replacing your home's air conditioner, take some time in late winter to get your unit ready for the upcoming cooling season. The following three strategies may help prolong the useful life of your AC system.
1) Change the Filters
The filter in your AC needs to be changed more than once a season. If you have pets, you live in an area with high dust or pollen, or you are remodeling your home, then you should change the filter monthly. Otherwise, you may only need to change the filter every other month during the cooling season. HEPA filters, which are designed for allergy sufferers, may also require monthly changing since the smaller openings in the filter are more likely to become obstructed.
As a general rule, if a filter looks dirty, then it is time to change it. If you are unsure how often you should be changing your filter, then simply check it once a month and change it when it begins to look gray or otherwise soiled.
2) Inspect Your Ducts and Vents
Obstructed vents and air returns can lead to inefficient cooling. Make sure all the vents are open and that nothing is blocking them. Curtains, furniture, and other items often end up covering a vent. Returns, which may be located on a wall, should never be covered by wall decor or curtains. Your AC depends upon these returns to pull in additional air for cooling and recirculation.
Further, you may want to schedule a duct inspection. Your AC service will use a duct camera to locate any obstructions or leaks within your ductwork. These can then be repaired so that the air flows as it should throughout your home. This may be all that is necessary to regain your AC's efficiency.
3) Schedule a Tune-Up
Your air conditioner, much like your car, requires a periodic tune-up to run its best. An AC technician will inspect the blower, blower motor, condensing unit, refrigerant level, thermostat, and the electrical systems. If issues are found, such as a worn belt or refrigerant leak, they will be repaired so that your AC runs as efficiently as possible.
Tune-ups should be scheduled before the home cooling season begins so that any repairs can be made before you are ready to turn on the AC system for the year.
Contact an AC service in your area like Arizona Refrigeration Service Inc for more help.