Advice from Shanklin Heating & Air Conditioning
Few tools, appliances, or machines in our homes work half as hard as our air conditioning systems. And like any other major machine, such as your car, maintenance plays a big part in keeping your system running at its best.
Most AC maintenance tasks require the tools and training of a dedicated HVAC contractor, but there are some things that you can do all on your own! The team at Shanklin Heating & Air Conditioning is here to tell you what you can do, and how you can do it.
Replace Your Air Filter
And frequently! In most cases it’s best to replace your air filter at a minimum of once every two months, and for best results we recommend doing it monthly during the peak of the summer season. This is hands-down the most important task you can keep up with as a homeowner.
Replacing your air filter frequently helps to improve air flow in your air conditioner system, meaning that it can cool faster and more efficiently, directly reducing the amount of energy it needs to use, and how much wear and tear the parts incur over the span of the season.
Clean Your Vents & Return Registers
Another important effort in keeping your cooling system circulating air effectively is to keep your vents and associated return registers as clear as possible. Be sure that no carpets or furniture items are blocking them, and if necessary, remove the vent covers and clean them to remove any debris or dust.
Maintain the Outdoor Unit
The outdoor unit of your air conditioner or heat pump houses the compressor and condenser components; it’s the part responsible for removing heat from the refrigeration cycles (and consequently, from your home). The fan and fins should be kept clear of any dust and dirt, as well as grass blades or any encroaching greenery.
Removing debris is most easily done by simply using a broom or soft-bristled brush to clear away loose dirt, and then using a hose to remove any remaining grime. Before you do this be certain to shut off power to your air conditioning system to avoid any potential damage to the unit, or injury to yourself.
Check Your Thermostat for Accuracy
While it is hard to address any problems with a thermostat on your own, it’s a good idea to check the thermostat controls occasionally for accuracy. If the display seems incorrect, or the thermostat is not responding to any changes made, it may be time to schedule AC repair. This can help you to catch problems early on, before they become larger and more costly to address.
Be Sure to Schedule Annual AC Maintenance!
All of the above tasks are easy, quick, and will go a long way in keeping your system working at its best. But there is absolutely no replacement for professional service! A proper tune-up provided by a trained professional aids your system by reducing wear, improving air flow, and by optimizing your system for better performance overall. This means a longer-lived AC system, and drastically reduces your risks of a mid-season breakdown in addition to helping in energy efficiency and performance.