February 24, 2024
    It's important to know how cooling down your home works. Keep reading to learn all about how your home air conditioner runs.

    7 Key Things to Know About Your AC

    When you’re a homeowner, you need to understand how your air conditioning system works. After all, the last thing you want is for it to stop working and keep you from cooling down in the middle of a heatwave. If you know a few key facts, you can monitor and maintain your air conditioning unit.

    Read on to learn 7 key things you should know about your AC unit!

    1. Watch for Duct Leakage

    When you have a leaky duct, your air conditioning system’s efficiency can drop significantly. Check your ducts and ensure that they are well-insulated. All connection points where different pieces of ductwork connect align be tight and seamless.

    If you feel a breeze at a connection point or see the smoke from an incense stick moving around near the ductwork, you may have a leak. At that point, reach for the duct tape to stop the leak — or call a technician. You should also plan to use rigid foam or some other material to insulate your ducts.

    2. Monitor Your Thermostat During the Summer

    It may be tempting to raise your thermostat significantly when you’re out of town during the summer. You may think you’ll save money, but you probably won’t. That’s because you’ll force the unit to work harder to achieve normalcy once you return home.

    Try to stay within a 5-degree range. You don’t want to force large temperature swings.

    And on the hottest days, remember that your machine will struggle to stay cooler if the temperatures crest 100 degrees. Part of the reason is that everyone around you will be cranking their AC units to the max, as well. Turn to a fan and cold drinks to stay cool when demand is high!

    Generally, you can save money by keeping your thermostat at around 70 degrees. The efficiency of your air conditioning system won’t be significantly better if you drop to 68 or 67 degrees. 

    3. AC Unit Not Cooling Down? Check the Filter

    Aside from the outdoor condenser, the AC filter can be the culprit when your AC unit is not cooling down the house. You’ll need to clean or replace your filter as needed. If you don’t, the other components of your unit may get dirty faster.

    And if you have pets or live in a dustier place, your filter may deteriorate faster. Without changing filters, you could be circulating dirty air in your home.

    Plan on buying more filters and replacing them every few months. The filter should be inside your home and near the HVAC equipment. 

    4. Commit to Annual Maintenance with a Technician

    One of the best things you can do to prolong the life of your air conditioning system is to complete annual maintenance. Ask an expert technician to check it at least once a year. Besides, it can be dangerous for an untrained individual to handle the electrical components of the equipment.

    Since an AC unit lasts around 10 years, your maintenance technician will be able to tell you when it’s time to replace yours. With routine repair, you could replace malfunctioning parts and save money. On the other hand, an older unit will be less energy efficient, so you may be better off upgrading. 

    5. You Can Take Steps to Help Your AC Function Better

    There are other ways that you can help your AC unit function more economically. When you’re cooling down on a hot day, ease some of the burdens on your AC unit. You can start by keeping room doors open to help with air movement.

    Turn on a fan and keep the blinds shut. This will keep the cooler air inside and help circulate it. Avoid using your oven, too, and consider investing in a whole house fan.

    6. Watch for Summer Frost on Your AC Unit

    You might think that frost on pipes is only a winter issue for people living in cold climates. But you can have a frozen air conditioning unit, too! When you see frost on pipes, you’ll need to spend several hours letting your unit thaw.

    Turn off the AC unit and let the fan create warmer air that will help things thaw. If you turn on the AC unit and it freezes once again, you may have to repeat the process. If things don’t get better, you should check the filters and then reach out to a technician.

    7. Keep Vegetation Away from the AC

    What does AC stand for? It stands for air conditioning. And a big part of that process happens outdoors with the condensing process.

    That means you should avoid letting any brush, grass, or debris stick to the condenser on your unit. The condenser looks a little like a radiator. Especially after severe weather, you should make a point of checking the unit to see if it’s dirty.

    If you notice any debris that is stuck to the unit, turn off the unit first before cleaning. Then use a garden hose to spray it clean. Hopefully, you’ll notice that your AC unit cools better after doing this.

    Likewise, if you want to plant any new bushes, plants, or shrubs, keep them away from the AC unit. Trim them several times each year so that they are not interfering with the unit.

    Keep Your Air Conditioning System in Good Shape

    When you’re cooling down in the summer, you need a reliable air conditioning unit. This requires watching for warning signs that something is wrong — and keeping your AC unit free of any obstructions outdoors. When you get your AC unit serviced each year and change the filter, you can trust that it will work efficiently. 

    For more information to keep your home in good shape, check back for new articles!

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