Of course, where keeping your cool matters the most is at home, especially if you want to sleep comfortably at night. Here are a few tips for keeping your air conditioner healthy and happy:
Change your return air filter once a month. Clogged filters restrict air flow which can keep your air conditioner from cooling properly.
Cut back any shrubs or tall grass which have grown around your outside condenser unit. Vegetation can restrict the airflow around the unit and reduce its cooling ability.
Eradicate any ant mounds close to your outside condenser unit. Ants can infiltrate your unit and cause it to shut down.
Avoid piling boxes around the furnace or air handler in your attic. Your equipment needs unrestricted airflow to function at its best.
Make sure your attic is well ventilated and consider having an attic fan installed. The less heat your air conditioner has to fight in your attic, the more effectively and efficiently it can cool your house.
If your outside condenser unit is exposed to full sunlight most of the day, plant a shade tree nearby. Your unit will not have to work as hard. Avoid pine trees and deciduous trees which will clutter up the condenser with pine needles or leaves.
In the winter, pick a warm afternoon once or twice a month and turn the thermostat down so that your air conditioner runs for about fifteen minutes. Running your system periodically helps maintain the viscosity of the lubricants it uses.
Have your air conditioner inspected each spring by a qualified technician to reduce the risk of your system breaking down at the height of the summer. Ask the technician to treat your ac drains with an algaecide to keep algae from clogging your drainlines.
Blogger Terry Portillo owns and operates ACU Air Heating and Air Conditioning in The Woodlands, TX.