We're often asked by customers, "What can I do to prevent repair problems besides just changing the air filter?" They want to understand if the breakdown could have been avoided and how. Here are a few options to help ensure your air conditioning system keeps up during the dog days of the summer.
Turn the system off when mowing grass nearby.
It doesn't take much for lawn clippings to enter the outdoor coil, that's the exterior wall of the outside unit, the air conditioner or heat pump. So when mowing nearby, turn the thermostat to off temporarily. It's also necessary to check around the equipment and clear any vegetation or brush away from the sides.
Check to ensure all the air supply vents are open and free from obstruction.
Proper airflow is critical for all air conditioning systems. Return air grills (where room air is brought back to the air conditioning system) are particularly important.
Level the equipment pad.
As the area around the Air Conditioner or Heat Pump settles, the pad that supports the unit can unlevel. It's important for continued reliability that the air conditioner be level, or in the case of a heat pump only a slight slope occurs. A certified contractor can help in this area.
Pest control can really help.
In many areas around the country, ants and bugs can be attracted to the electrical components within the outdoor air conditioner or heat pump. These bugs may actually cause the unit to malfunction and not start. An environmentally safe pesticide spread around the base of the unit can help prevent insect infestation.
If you don't have one yet, get a programmable thermostat now.
The EPA estimates that the proper use of a programmable thermostat can save as much as 15% more on the air conditioning portion of your home's energy costs. Niagara Home Services by Enercare recommends a NEST Thermostat for its learning properties to automate the programming of the thermostat.
For optimum comfort, it's important for the Air Conditioner to have longer run cycles.
Longer run cycles (cycles = the length of time that the system operates to cool the home) helps remove more humidity from the air and provides a much more comfortable living environment. Short cycles may not adequately remove moisture from the air and could lead to a "clammy" or "damp" environment. In many instances, the indoor air blower can be adjusted to provide maximum dehumidification, improving overall comfort. A professional Air Conditioning company can help in this area.
My number one suggestion? Get A Maintenance Agreement.
Membership plans are the most proactive approach to taking care of your central air conditioning system. Annual maintenance from a qualified expert, just like having your car tuned, are required to keep the system operating smoothly and efficiently... especially during the months when it's operating the most. Simply having a comprehensive tune-up from a qualified company could save up to 15% on your air conditioning costs during the peak summer season.