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Getting Your AC Ready for the Summer Heat
How to Prepare Your Air Conditioner for the Summer Heat
The U.S. Department of Energy claims that heating and cooling are the most significant energy expenses a majority of Americans face. Rightfully so, nobody wants to freeze during winter or simmer in the blistering summer heat.
As the cooling season fast approaches, you’ll find Flash Realty Solutions’ tips on how to prepare your air conditioner for summer quite helpful.
Check the A/C Filters
Despite being arguably the most straightforward form of air conditioning maintenance, most people rarely do it. HVAC experts advise that you inspect all return-air, furnace, or air handler filters every month or two to ensure they are working smoothly. If they are clogged with dust, you should clean or replace them immediately to ensure smooth airflow. Besides, a clogged air filter will recirculate dust particles into your home, and reduce cooling efficiency, thus driving your energy bill even higher.
Notably, filters are available in various grades. An allergen reduction filter will accumulate dust and debris relatively fast and thereby requires more regular care.
Clean the Condenser and Coils
If you aren’t conversant with the condenser, it’s the large metal box that resembles grills on the sides. Since it is usually located outdoors, you should protect it from harsh weather with a condenser cover or tarp to stop debris build-up inside it.
Any accumulation on your AC’s condenser can inhibit airflow and heat transfer, restricting your cooling unit’s performance. As such, before running your AC, remove any plants, leaves, and clean out any debris lying around the condenser.
If dirt, debris, or leaves find their way onto the condenser coils, they might get clogged, which necessitates cleaning. You can clean the coils using a refrigerator coil brush, a soft cloth, low pressure canned air, or a soft brush on a vacuum, ensuring not to bend the coil’s delicate fins.
Check the Ductwork for Leaks
Did you know that sealing leaky ducts can yield significant savings on your cooling bills? Leaky ducts reduce your HVAC unit’s efficiency – ducts leaking 20% of the conditioned air causes your AC to work 50% harder, probably increasing your energy bill by 50%.
As such, as you wait for summer, perform a quick check to ensure there are no disconnected joints, separated pieces, or chinks in the ductwork. If you find a leak, use high-quality duct tape to seal the gap.
Inspect the Refrigerant Lines
The coolant lines are the pipes running from the condenser to the evaporator inside the house. These tubes should be fully insulated to prevent energy loss. If you come across an area where the lining is frayed or missing, replace it, or contact a professional to do it for you. If you prefer to go DIY-style, you may wrap the pipes with foam insulation tape or install foam insulation sleeves.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Does your AC have a programmable thermostat? If not, you’re missing out on significant savings on your energy bill. For starters, digital thermostats are often more precise, which means that you won’t spend on unnecessary cooling.
Besides, you can program a digital thermostat to follow a schedule – like setting your AC to be inactive during the day when nobody’s home and begin cooling when people arrive.