Don't Get Caught Without a Properly Working A/C: Seven Best Practices for Maintaining your A/C
With 90 Degree Temps in the forecast, maintaining cool and healthy air quality is key, especially in Mobile and Manufactured Homes. Here's a list of seven Best Practices for maintaining your air conditioner:
1. Regular Cleaning: Clean the air conditioner's filters and coils at regular intervals to prevent dust and debris buildup. Clogged filters reduce airflow and decrease the efficiency of the system. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper cleaning techniques.
2. Proper Ventilation: Ensure that the area around the outdoor unit is clear of any obstructions, such as vegetation or debris. Good airflow around the unit helps it operate efficiently and prevents overheating. With the rains this spring, many owners found weeds out of control. Some can even enter the A/C unit and damage components.
3. Thermostat Settings: Set your thermostat to an optimal temperature that balances comfort and energy efficiency. Avoid extreme temperature settings that strain the system and result in higher energy consumption. I recently entered a home that had frozen the A/C and the reason was constant operation. Set the thermostat for comfort and make sure it turns off at regular intervals. If it runs continuously, you may have a refrigerant leak.
4. Timely Maintenance: Schedule professional maintenance for your air conditioner at least once a year. A qualified technician can inspect and service the system, including checking refrigerant levels, lubricating moving parts, and detecting any potential issues early on. Many HVAC companies offer low-cost annual maintenance to attract customers so shop around. Remember, call ahead as they get quite busy during the hot summer season.
5. Adequate Insulation: Properly insulate your home to reduce the workload on your air conditioner. Insulation helps maintain a consistent indoor temperature and minimizes heat transfer from outside, allowing the AC to cool the space more efficiently. If you notice the A/C is having trouble keeping up, have a professional check to see if your insulation is up to par.
6. Airflow Management: Ensure that vents and registers are unobstructed by furniture, drapes, or other objects. Obstructed airflow restricts the cooling capacity of the system and can cause strain on the equipment.
7. Seasonal Shutdown: If you live in an area with a distinct off-season for air conditioning, properly shut down the unit during that period. Turn off the power supply, clean the filters, and cover the outdoor unit to protect it from dirt and debris. This helps prolong the lifespan of the equipment and ensures it's ready to go when needed again.
Remember to refer to the manufacturer's guidelines and consult with a professional HVAC technician for specific recommendations and maintenance procedures tailored to your air conditioning system.