21 AC Maintenance And Home Cooling Tips
If you look after your air conditioner, it’ll look after you. This guide provides 21 tried and tested tips to help maintain and cool your home all year round. No matter what kind of AC you have, keep it running smoothly, save money on energy bills, and enjoy a comfortable climate indoors – get started with these top AC maintenance tips today!
#1 Know Your Air Conditioner
If you have a central air conditioner, you need to know that it has two parts – an evaporator (indoor unit) and a compressor or condenser (outdoor unit). The evaporator is usually located indoors, while the condenser is outside. If you have a furnace, the evaporator will be in a central duct close to your furnace. But if you have a heat pump, you’ll find it in the air handler. Regular maintenance of both units will keep your air conditioner running at its best.
#2 Adjust The Fins in The Condenser
Using a fin comb or dinner knife and gently applying pressure, adjust the bent fins on your condenser to keep them running efficiently. This will help to ensure that air circulates properly and evenly throughout your home, resulting in an improved cooling effect.
#3 Keep Your AC Clean
One of the best ways to keep your air conditioner running efficiently is to clean it regularly. Vacuum the fins of your unit. You may have to unscrew the metal box cover to reach them. Consult your owner’s manual to find them. Use a vacuum cleaner attachment or a soft brush to remove any dirt, debris, and pet hairs from around the condenser outside, and from the evaporator inside. Doing this in spring will help ensure that air can circulate freely and in turn, improve your cooling power all summer.
#4 Fix The Sinking AC Pad
If your condenser is sinking into the ground, it won’t be able to circulate air properly. If the copper coolant tubes and electrical lines are not strained, and the unit remains dry and level, then there’s no problem, even if the pad has sunk a little. Be sure to check the AC pad every few weeks and make sure that it’s level. Use a shovel or trowel to lift up the unit if needed. If you need help, contact the team at Robert B. Payne.
#5 Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Investing in a programmable thermostat will help you save on energy costs by allowing you to set the temperature at different times of the day. This way, when you’re away from home, your AC doesn’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. A programmable thermostat also helps maintain even temperatures throughout the home, which will result in improved cooling.
#6 Add an In-Line Duct Booster For Home Air Conditioning Units
If your forced-air air conditioner isn’t cooling one of your rooms as well as the others, you may need an in-line duct booster to help improve the airflow. An in-line duct booster is a fan that is installed directly into your HVAC system’s ductwork. It can significantly improve airflow throughout the home and result in improved cooling performance.
#7 Reduce The Noise Level of Your Air Conditioner
If your air conditioner is making a lot of noise, it’s time to switch it up. Start by cleaning the condenser fan blades and lubricating the motors. If that doesn’t work, it might be time for a new condenser. If the condenser is new, then the compressor is probably the culprit. A quieter AC will help reduce noise in your home, as well as improve cooling performance. You could also purchase a sound blanket from your unit’s manufacturer or get a universal sound blanket. However, if your unit is quite old, the sound blanket may not do much good.
#8 Unclog The Condenser Drain Tube
Your air conditioner has a drain tube that removes moisture collected during the cooling process. If this tube is clogged, it can cause water to build up and leak inside the home. A common sign to look out for is a pool of water near your furnace. It’s important to check your AC’s condenser drain tube once a year and clear any obstructions. You can do this yourself or hire an HVAC contractor to carry out the task.
#9 Warm Season Checklist
Use our comprehensive guide to make sure your home’s cooling system is prepared for the hot summer months. Start by scheduling regular maintenance for your air conditioner, checking for cracks and holes in ductwork, cleaning condenser coils and filters, making sure supply registers aren’t blocked, and programming thermostats to maintain an even temperature throughout the home.
#10 Change The Air Filter
One of the simplest things you can do to keep your air conditioner running smoothly and efficiently is to change its air filter regularly. Clogged filters will restrict airflow, reducing efficiency and increasing the chances of system breakdowns. Change the air filter every two to three months or as recommended by your unit’s manufacturer. To do this, turn off the power at the switch or the main panel. Take out the air filter, examine it, and change it if required.
#11 Is Your Air Conditioning Unit The Appropriate Size?
Are you about to invest in a new air conditioner? Before you do, it’s important to make sure the size of the unit is right for your home. If the AC is too large, it will cycle on and off frequently without removing enough humidity from the air. An oversized system also wastes energy and increases monthly utility bills. Make sure to get an HVAC expert to accurately size your unit before you buy. If it is too small, it won’t be able to cool your home effectively.
#12 Invest in a Whole-House Fan
Whole-house fans are an energy-efficient way to cool your home. They draw in outdoor air, push the hot air out through the attic and reduce indoor temperatures significantly. A whole-house fan can significantly reduce your cooling costs and help keep your home comfortable without running up high electricity bills. Install a whole-house fan in combination with an attic fan to maximize the cooling benefits.
#13 Mind Your Windows
When it comes to air conditioning, your windows can make a huge difference in terms of energy efficiency. Make sure to install tight-fitting shades or blinds on the sun-facing windows to help reduce heat gain during the day. You could also invest in awnings or outdoor shade structures to keep the sun’s rays from entering your home. On hot days, open interior windows and doors to create cross ventilation and help cool down your home naturally.
#14 Troubleshoot Repairs Before You Call For Help
Carry out basic troubleshooting before you call for a professional repair service. Check the thermostat settings, breaker switch, and circuit breakers to make sure everything is in order. Regularly check connections from electrical components and clean the fan blades if required. Ensure all access panels are properly sealed, and observe your unit’s operation when it’s running. Any unusual sounds or vibrations could indicate a problem that should be checked by an HVAC technician. If you’re not comfortable conducting these checks alone, hire a pro to do it for you.
#15 Inspect The Insulation
Inspect your insulation for leaks, drafts, and air infiltration. Make sure the insulation is not too thin or lumpy, both of which can reduce the efficiency of your cooling system. Also check that all access doors are properly sealed, as any gaps between them can allow hot air to enter your home. If you want to save money on energy bills and maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, invest in good-quality insulation. This will prevent heat from entering your home through the walls and ceiling and reduce the need to use air conditioning.
#16 Have a Fin Comb in Your Home
A fin comb is a small, metal tool that fits into the fins of a small air conditioner. It can help you straighten bent fins which can reduce airflow and cause your AC to be less efficient. A fin comb should always be used with caution as it can easily damage the fins if not handled carefully. You should wear gloves to protect your hands while using the comb.
#17 Clean Deeply Using a Brush
Another thing you can do if you have a small air conditioner is to use a brush to clean it deeply. Make sure you get into all the nooks and crannies where dirt and grime have built up. This will help improve the efficiency of your unit and keep it running smoothly for longer.
#18 Properly Dispose of Your Old Unit
In most cities, the local government provides a program for residents to properly dispose of old air conditioners. This helps avoid further contamination of the environment and ensures that any hazardous materials in the unit are handled safely. Before disposing of your unit, make sure all refrigerant is disposed of correctly so it doesn’t end up in the atmosphere. It’s best to contact your local waste management authority for guidance on how best to dispose of your unit.
#19 Install a Room Air Conditioner in Your Garage
Is your garage a place for your DIY projects and a refuge from the hot summer days? Installing a room air conditioner in your garage is an easy way to make it comfortable. This will help keep the temperature of your garage at a reasonable level and ensure that all your tools are kept in good condition.
#20 Locate Air Leaks in Your Home
Air leaks are one of the biggest causes of energy inefficiency. Make sure you inspect your windows, doors, and other openings for air infiltration. Seal any gaps or cracks with caulk or weather stripping to help prevent hot air from entering your home. You can also have a pro come in to inspect the insulation and make sure it is not missing in any spots.
#21 Cover Your Condenser With Plywood
At the end of the summer season, you can use plywood to cover your condenser unit. This will help protect it from the elements and reduce any dust or leaves getting inside. Make sure the plywood is firmly secured to the condenser with heavy objects. It’s also important to never wrap it with a tarp.
These 21 AC maintenance and home cooling tips will help you keep your air conditioner running smoothly and efficiently all summer long. With a little bit of effort and some preventative maintenance, you can save money on energy bills while staying cool in your home. Plus, regular maintenance and repairs are key for preserving the lifespan of your AC system, so make sure to invest in routine care.
Keep Your AC Unit Well-Maintained With Help From Robert B. Payne
Keeping your air conditioner well-maintained is essential to ensuring its longevity and efficiency. Make sure you clean or replace the air filters regularly, check for leaks, and inspect the ducts for blockages. Also, make sure you have your unit serviced at least once a year. For any AC repair or maintenance needs, contact Robert B. Payne today! We have over 90 years of experience in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning industry and we’re proud to offer a variety of services for residential and commercial customers. Contact us today at 540-373-5876 to set up an appointment with one of our experienced technicians.