Preventive Maintenance Benefits No Homeowner Can Afford to MissPublished on: August 30, 2012
Your air conditioning system is a wonderful tool when the worst of summer’s heat arrives. However, it’s often during these high usage periods that homeowners suffer serious malfunctions in their cooling equipment. It’s important to be prepared for these extreme times of heat by being proactive in your home and air conditioning maintenance. Creating a simple list of maintenance tasks and listing them on your calendar will help you in heading off cooling problems during the summer. You can’t afford to miss the benefits of taking these steps.
Your air conditioning maintenance steps should include both indoor and outdoor measures. Taking time to perform these tasks periodically can limit your need for AC repair. While it’s impossible to perfectly predict malfunctions, your air conditioning maintenance is apt to reduce your risk of problems. A well maintained cooling system will also be easier to deal with if AC repair is required.
Indoor measures to address the state of your cooling system include regular filter replacement. Your air filter can become clogged with dirt and materials, restricting air flow and potentially stressing your air conditioning system. Check your filter at the beginning of the season, and check the condition of the filter at least once per month. If you have a tough time remembering such measures, write it on your calendar so that you will see it and follow through. Additionally, take time to clean the vents that cover your filter. You can brush dirt loose or vacuum it out. Inspect the area surrounding the filter as well. Your assuring that air can flow freely will make it easier for your system to function optimally.
Outdoor air conditioning maintenance involves investigating the condition of your unit. Making sure that the system is free of debris is important. Blowing dust and dirt out of the system is also helpful. Checking refrigerant levels assures that your system will be ready for hot weather. It’s important to inspect while the unit is off. If you aren’t comfortable or sure of how to check refrigerant levels, it’s easy to arrange for a service call to conduct this type of routine assessment. In many cases, homeowners don’t realize that such maintenance is important. Your AC repair representative can instruct you in these basics in order to help you plan for future maintenance steps.
Weatherproofing measures can also be taken in order to assure that your energy bill is kept at a minimum while your home is kept comfortable. The same air leaks that can be pesky during the winter are problematic during the summer. Check windows and doors for drafts, using appropriate materials to seal these spaces if there are problems. You can also add solar protection to your windows in order to limit the heat exchange that can take place when the sun is shining. Protective films are excellent, available in different shades and thicknesses. Solar screens are also excellent for keeping the heat of the sun at bay. Keeping your home protected from heat exchange will significantly reduce your energy bill by lessening the amount of energy needed for your air conditioner.
Another important maintenance tip that homeowners can’t afford to forget is installing programmable controls and monitoring them. Installation of a programmable thermostat allows for air conditioning systems to be regulated according to household patterns. More advanced options include smart thermostats that self-adjust. Smart meters are also becoming integral with many energy providers’ service, allowing homeowners to analyze their usage patterns. These monitoring methods and tools provide you with information that can help you in assessing manners in which you can better conserve.
It’s important to examine your unit prior to the time when you will rely on its performance. It’s also important to do a follow up inspection at the end of the season. Routine maintenance throughout the season will assure that serious problems are dealt with quickly. Additionally, your energy expenses will be better contained when you avoid stressing your unit. While AC repair can be costly, good maintenance can keep your unit working well.