During those hot summer weeks or overly humid days, the last thing you need is for your air conditioner to fail you. Whether it's a window unit or central air that covers the entire home, you need to make sure your AC is working properly. There are a lot of factors that go in to taking care of your AC, and each is important to ensure the system is working at full capacity. Here are some tips to ensure the air is keeping you cool up until you don't need it any more.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
With all the latest technology, having a programmable thermostat to control your AC is both easy and efficient. Programmable thermostats allow you to set temperatures for various times throughout the day to the desired temperature. It can also automatically lower the temperature when you need it to (like on those hot days). This will help you save money and manage your cooling without having to always manually change it. Plus, if the programmable thermostat isn't working to how you set it, that's a sign to tell your AC may be in need of some help.
Make Sure You Clean It
Although you may not touch it, your AC system collects dirt and dust, blocking the vents. It's important to maintain the cleanliness of your AC. There are several ways to clean it, like vacuuming the fins of your unit clean with a soft-bristle brush. (just. be careful since they're fragile). You may also want to try unclogging the condensate drain tube. Condensation from your coils contains bacteria that can form slime and clog the condensate pan drain tube, so it's important to clean it. If you see water puddling around the furnace with the AC running, that's a sign that you have e a clogged condensate drain tube. Furthermore, you can deep clean your AD with a brush and foam cleanser.
Replace the Filter
Typically speaking, you should replace these about every 90 days or so, or every 45 days for max efficiency. When it's time to change the filer, make sure you're switching them with the right size and type of air filter. To see if your filter needs to be replaced, turn off the power to the furnace. Then pull out the furnace filter and check it for dirt buildup. If there's a lot of dirt backed up in it, it's time to change it.
Look Out for Air Leaks
Sometimes in central vac homes, you might be springing a leak from the outside in, which is why the AC isn't cooling properly. In order to check, close all the windows in the house. Next, turn off all the fans, including exhaust fans, and shut off the furnace. Light some incense or a candle (anything with a flame) and walk slowly around the outer walls of the house. If you see the smoke from the flame blowing away from something or being sucked toward something, there’s probably an air leak.
Fix the Fins
It could be that the fins of your AC are a little bent or crooked, not allowing the cool air to blow properly. In order to realign the bent or crushed fins, gently use a dinner knife or something similar to move the fins back. However, don’t insert the knife more than 1/2 inch, you may end up hurting yourself or damaging the AC even more!
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