We are a little more than halfway through July right now, and temperatures are soaring in Connecticut. Next week’s forecast shows temperatures passing 90℉. It’s incredibly hot and humid, so most of us have our air conditioners cranking!
Even when it’s cool outside, the humidity can get locked in your house and prevent it from cooling down. Air conditioners work by extracting that moisture out of the air. Unfortunately, an air conditioning unit that is not properly maintained or out of warranty if broken could cause some distress during these scorching summer days.
Air Conditioning Maintenance Checklist
The following is a list of the most essential maintenance tips that all homeowners should be following to keep that cherished cooling unit functioning properly. The tips hold true for all types of AC units.
- Use The Correct Solution
If you have a split system (where the air handling unit is inside and the air condensing unit is outside) do not make the mistake of neglecting the outside unit. This condenser unit has its own set of upkeep associated with it.
One of the most important things is ensuring that you are using the proper solution in the unit. What we used to call freon is no more. Due to concerns about freon putting holes in the ozone layer, there was a shift in 2015 to use an alternative called 410A. What you’ll notice is that when the switch happened, the units had to be changed. The old condenser units used to be compact and now they’re quite big. Many people think these units are more expensive due to their larger size, but that is simply not the case. It takes up more volume but it’s also at a reduced electrical rate, ultimately making it more efficient. You just have to ensure that you are using the proper solution.
- Clear Debris & Vegetation from Condensing Unit
The condenser unit also needs to be freed up of any vegetation. Right about this time of year, the pollen count starts to drop a little bit because the trees aren’t dissipating as much pollen. Go out to these units and take a look to see if they are being covered by debris. If they are packed with debris, you’ll want to vacuum it out. Do this gently. You’ll want to use a soft bristle vacuum so you do not disrupt the airflow which could cause the units to cease up and become ineffective.
- Change Filters
The filtration system in the air handling unit should be changed out at least twice a year. The first time you want to change it is around June and July, following the pollen season in April/May. The second time of year that you want to change filters is at the end of October or beginning of November. This is when the rainy season has gone by the wayside. All the leaves that have fallen off the trees get sucked in, people walk into the house with mud on their feet, and animals are coming in with all kinds of stuff on them.
The best filter is a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate absorbing) filter. They are a bit more expensive but if anyone in the house has any type of allergies or asthma then these filters are your best option. Eventually, about every 5 to 10 years, you should also be having your ducts vacuumed and brushed out as well. This will free it up of any debris or mold that might be in there.
These are just a few of the many air conditioning maintenance tips. While there is more that goes into these units, these three maintenance tips are a greeting starting point to ensuring that your system will function properly when you need it to.