The days of 100+ degree temperatures are here. And, if history is any indication, they’ll be here through October at least. With this kind of heat, air conditioning is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. The last thing you want in a Phoenix summer is to be without air conditioning. So, to protect yourself from an air conditioning emergency and avoid a sweaty situation, here are four helpful tips to keep your AC from biting the dust.
Keep your AC Unit Clear of Debris
Leaves, twigs, and dust left to build up around your air conditioning unit can not only cause significant damage to vital parts, but also shorten its lifespan since it has to work harder. Keep the unit clear of debris to extend its life. In addition, keeping the area around your AC unit clean can also improve the quality of air in your home. Also, whenever you’re not using your air conditioning, such as the winter months, it’s best to put a protective cover on it.
Hands off your Thermostat
Resist the urge to frequently make adjustments to your home’s temperature. By constantly making changes to your thermostat, it forces your air conditioner to overwork – which wastes energy and may shorten the AC’s lifespan. However, you may slightly raise the temperature at night or whenever you’re not home so your air conditioner only runs when it’s needed. If you don’t have one, consider installing a digital thermostat that allows you to set timers. Talk to your AC service company if you aren’t sure which is the best thermostat to use for your unit.
Keep an Eye on Coolant Levels
If your AC isn’t blowing cold air, check the refrigerant levels. If you’re low on coolant, your air conditioner must work harder to push cool air into your home. This could cause your AC to overheat, resulting in possible damage. Unfortunately, flushing and recharging freon lines is an advanced maintenance job, and is better left to the professionals to handle it safely.
Schedule Routine HVAC Maintenance Check-Ups
The best way to prevent an AC emergency and keep your air conditioner running smoothly is to schedule seasonal check-ups with a professional to perform the following maintenance on your air conditioning unit:
- Outdoor coil cleaning
- Lubricate all moving parts
- Inspect the thermostat calibration
- Test controls and safeties
- Measure temperature differences
- Inspect accessible ductwork
- Tighten electrical connections
- Test system pressures
- Inspect disconnect and electrical
- Measure amps & voltages on motors
- Clean or replace filters
Some maintenance can be performed yourself, such as cleaning or replacing your air filters every 1-2 months.
AC units, like automobiles, require routine maintenance and tune-ups. Without it, they can break down, leaving you and your family in a sticky spot at the worst moment. Keep these tips in mind and your family can stay cool, calm, and collected all summer long.