Record highs for the average temperature in the summer have continued to grow over the past few years, especially in the desert state of Arizona! And everyone is trying to identify ways to beat the heat while also keeping electrical and maintenance costs down. One of the most crucial instruments to staying cool obviously is your air conditioner, but few people ever try to tweak it or perform maintenance themselves to improve its performance.
Here are 5 tips that you can do by yourself that will help you with maintenance of your air conditioning unit. If you are ever unsure or uncomfortable performing any of these, then don’t hesitate to reach out to the professionals at Wiring Pros. We are happy to discuss any problems, offer a free quote, or stop by to fix any of your electrical needs.
Replace Your Air Filters
Cleaning or replacing your air conditioning unit’s air filter is crucial to its optimal performance. The air filter cleans all of the air that flows through your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. It will trap contaminants and particles, such as dust or dirt, metal or wood particles, pollen, bacteria, and more. So if an air filter gets dirty, it won’t be as effective, both in keeping your home cool or warm but also in keeping it safe. It is best to replace the air filter every month in busy seasons (like summer and winter) and just once each in the fall and spring.
Clean the Outside of the Unit
Dirt, leaves, sticks, bugs, dust, grass, and more will eventually build up around the outside surface of your AC unit. The added debris reduces the airflow and thus inhibits the air conditioner’s performance. This can be an easy, quick fix for immediate results. But you’ll want to be careful and delicate to not damage your unit.
Once you shut off the unit’s power, either on the unit itself or through your home’s main breaker, then you can clean it. Using a garden hose for a gentle, constant pressure is the best method. You’ll want to start at the top and work your way down with an effective 45-degree angle.
Do not use a power washer or leaf blower. The excessive, direct pressure is not good for the unit. It can bend fins on the coil, which are essential for a productive and optimal cooling process.
Check or Upgrade Your Thermostat
Ensuring that your thermostat is correctly working is also an easy maintenance tip. You can even switch to fan or warming settings while you’re away so the AC unit isn’t working excessively hard.
Additionally, upgrading to a smart thermostat will have a great impact. You can program settings for a specific schedule depending on certain hours of the day, so you won’t have to touch or mess with your home’s heating or cooling. This will help you save money and increase how long your AC will last.
This is a little more sophisticated than the other tips, but it’s easier than you think. You can check the unit’s internal connections about once a year to make sure you aren’t ignoring any issues. But what are you looking for?
- Evidence of overheating. Once the condenser’s power is off, you can take off the panel and inspect the wires. If you see any melted insulation or black/burned wire, your unit isn’t working properly and will require expert maintenance.
- Secure connections. Make sure the electrical connections are tight for proper performance.
If there are any problems with these quick checks, you’ll want to call a professional for help.
Check Unit’s Fan
The fans in your AC unit need to be in good shape if you want it to work well. And you can check on its condition relatively easily.
First, turn the power of the unit off (as for some of the other tips). Once everything is settled, you’ll be able to get a good look at how your unit’s working condition. Look for cracks or visible chips in the blades, and for any foreign objects that are obstructing its performance.
If you’re up to any self-fixes, you can replace blades, but you’ll want to ensure they fit your unit’s dimensions and specifications. You can also add oil to fan bearings for a smoother function.
Let Wiring Pros Help You
While all of these tips are effective and helpful, they are just minor fixes to a sophisticated and essential element to your house’s comfort and safety. If you have any concerns or questions, contact Wiring Pros today for a free quote. With over 25 years of combined experience in the Phoenix area, the team at Wiring Pros is proud to provide excellent customer service and results to both residential and commercial customers.