Nothing is better than settling down in a cool, dry house after a long afternoon sweating in the sweltering sun. To keep your AC running smoothly across those hot and humid summer months, there are several maintenance steps you can tackle safely on your own. If possible, it is a good idea to evaluate and clean your unit before the summer season begins. Two notes about safety: first, always disconnect your AC unit from its power source before working on it, and second, do not attempt any task that you don’t feel 100% confident doing. When in doubt, it is best to call for professional backup.

Change Your Filter

When your air filter is dirty, your AC cannot work as effectively. During the cooling season, while your unit is working hard, the filter should changed once a month. Simply locate the filter and remove it. If your filter is reusable, clean it thoroughly with a scrub brush and hose. Otherwise, discard it. Slide your clean filter into the slot and turn your machine back on.

If you don’t feel confident located or changing the filter on your AC unit, have an HVAC professional show you how it’s done. After watching just one time, you should be ready to tackle this regular maintenance task on your own.

Keep Your Unit Free of Debris

In most cases, the air compressor and condenser for your AC unit are located outside your home. In order for your AC unit to run efficiently, these components must be free of debris. Make sure that any trees, shrubs, leaves, or tall grasses are trimmed back away from your unit at least 2 feet on each side. Additionally, be sure to store bicycles, toys, lawnmowers, grills, and any other outdoor items at least 3 feet away from your condenser. This will help extend the life of your unit, while helping it to cool your home more effectively.

Set a Timer

Installing a programmable thermostat can save you money and extend the life of your central air. There is no need to cool your home when you’re there. However, when you turn your unit off completely, it needs to work twice as hard to get your house back down the desired temperature later. Instead, a programmable thermostat allows you to lower the output of your AC while you are out of the house, and you will still return to a calm, cool paradise.

You may already have a timer option on your thermostat. If you do not, a programmable thermostat can be purchased at most home improvement stores for anywhere from $10-20. You only need to ensure that voltage on the thermostat matches the voltage on your device.

Have Your AC Serviced Once a Year

Performing regular DIY maintenance on your AC unit can help to keep it in excellent shape. However, having your system thoroughly cleaned, evaluated, and serviced by an experienced technician once a year can have a major impact on the longevity of your AC unit, the comfort level of your home, and the cost of your power bill. Contact River City Heating and Air for all your HVAC service needs.


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