Are you curious about what steps you can take in spring to reduce the chances of a home air conditioning failure this summer? If so, look no further. The following are a few simple tips that any homeowner can implement to ensure the summer cooling season goes smoothly.
1. Check your filter needs
It's common sense to change the filters in the AC unit regularly, but there is more to it than simply grabbing the first filter off the shelf. First, check in the owner's manual or with the manufacturer for your unit to find out what MERV rating and replacement frequency are recommended for your air conditioner. The MERV rating is the efficiency rating for the filter. Higher ratings mean smaller filter pores to filter out more pollutants, but not all AC units can work efficiently at higher MERV ratings. If you can't find the information through manufacturer information, then ask your HVAC technician what filters they recommend for your unit.
2. Clean the exterior unit
Grime, dust, and debris can clog the exterior unit and coat the condenser coils. Airflow and cooling ability is thus blocked, which causes the unit to work harder. A harder working unit is more likely to suffer a mechanical breakdown. The condenser coils should be rinsed clean and straightened with a fin comb, if necessary. The inside of the unit can be cleaned out with a wet-dry vacuum. Further, make sure no debris or overgrown weeds are blocking airflow around the exterior of the unit.
3. Test your thermostat
Next, test your thermostat. You can do this by setting the thermostat to a temperature much cooler than the ambient temperature. Use a separate thermometer, placed by the thermostat, to verify that the temperature in the room matches that set on the thermostat. If there is a difference of more than a couple of degrees, or if the AC seems to have trouble maintaining the temperature, then you need to have the thermostat recalibrated or replaced.
4. Schedule a tune-up and inspection
Finally, make sure you have the AC unit professionally inspected and tuned up each year. A tech will usually lubricate moving parts, replace belts in older models, check for coolant leaks, and verify that the electrical system and blower assembly is working correctly. Catching these problems in spring means you won't have to sweat in summer.
Contact an air conditioning service in your area for more help.