Maintaining Your Air Conditioner

In the height of summer, the heat can be quite unbearable to the point that you keep yourself closeted inside your house. Air conditioning can improve indoor air quality and adjust the temperature so that you will be comfortable no matter what the outside temperature is. But there are a few things you should know about maintaining an air conditioning system. Practising these maintenance techniques will help you prolong the life of the system as well saving you quite a lot of money in the long run.

Just as you change oil filters in a car, the air filter of the air conditioner has to be changed as frequently as every three months. You can start by inserting a new filter when the summer begins and change it once 3 months have gone by. The frequency of changing the filter will have to be increased if you suffer from allergies or you live in a location prone to strong winds or vicinity to a construction site. It is better to invest in some quality filters. Pleated filters are a good example. If you have a ducted air conditioning unit it is advised to bring in a professional at least once a year to look at it.

One way of checking if the air conditioner is functioning properly is by checking the temperature of the air coming out of the vent and that of the air going back to the return vent. Compare the two temperatures and there should be a difference of 15 to 18 degrees (Fahrenheit) to signal effective performance. A higher difference can be a sign of a blocked air filter while a lower difference will indicate a problem such as a decrease in the level of Freon. As the system would use up more energy if it’s not up to its full performance, it is better to go for air conditioning repair.

The thermostat should be kept at a normal temperature for a smoother AC performance. And if there are renovations currently happening in your home, you have to consider the protection of the ducts. In order to achieve this, you can fix temporary air filters to the return vents found on the walls. This way you can avoid dust getting into the ducts and causing blockage. The ductwork has to be checked thoroughly for leaks as well. You will generally find two kinds of ductwork, namely, rigid metal ducts and flexible ducts. Flexible ducts, while it is easier and faster to install doesn’t have a very long life compared to metal ducts.

The ductwork usually runs through your attic and these spaces are generally hot due to the close proximity to the heated roof. This calls for insulation that will prevent the impact of outside temperature tampering with the cool air inside the ducts. The outer unit or the condenser of the air conditioning system has to be cleaned of dirt. If debris collects around it over time, the system will have to work harder thereby increasing the energy used and overall cost.