Air Conditioner Maintenance Checklist
Summer is coming. Get your air conditioning system and home ready for summer with these 6 easy tips.
☐ Change your filter
A dirty air filter causes your air conditioning to run less efficiently. We recommend installing a new filter every month during the summer for central and window air conditioners. Air conditioning needs more air flow than heating so it is very important that the air filter does not go past the 50% used or plugged mark. Anything past the 50% point will affect your air conditioner performance and will increase the power consumption.
It’s also a good idea to regularly clean your outdoor air conditioner coil. Water can be used to spary off debris and dirt that can reduce your system’s ability to cool your home. A dirty outdoor air conditioner will make it work harder, which increases energy costs and reduces the life of your air conditioning unit or system.
☐ Repair leaks
If you have any leaks in your ducts, you could lose up to 30 percent of your airflow. For window units, foam works wonders for sealing gaps between the unit and window frame, which is a common way for hot air to get in and cool air to get out.
With central units, look for leaks in ductwork with this old smoke trick. Light a stick of incense and watch which direction the smoke blows. If it blows around or moves in particular directions, you probably have a leak. If you can find the leaks, use foil tape to fill small gaps and duct tape for larger ones. If you can’t identify them, contact Blue Ox for a thorough inspection of your air conditioning system and suggestions that fit your home.
Ducts located in attics and crawl spaces can get extremely hot. Insulating them will help them remain cool so your air conditioning doesn’t have to work as hard. You can use spray foam, batt insulation, or rigid foam insulation. Use foil tape to seal insulation, not duct tape. For small spaces, you might try a product like Reflectix.
☐ Ensure proper airflow
Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent. As you’re preparing your air conditioning unit for summer, be sure to clean and adjust all blower components to make sure everything is in good working order.
☐ Get more out of your air conditioner
The more your system runs, the faster it breaks down. When you’re not at home, turn your system off or set it to a higher temperature. For central systems, installing a programmable thermostat can let you set temperatures and even adjust them while you’re away from home. Some newer window units have built-in timers and adjustable features.
You can also extend the life of your air conditioning system by keeping your blinds or shades down during the day and installing awnings to shield windows from direct sunlight. If you have ceiling fans, use them along with your air conditioner to help circulate cooled air more efficiently.