Summer will be here before we know it, but before the heat wave arrives, American Home Shield® (AHS®) wants to recognize National Heat Awareness Day (taking place this week) to make sure you and your home stay cool all summer long:
Tip 1: Check your system in advance.
About a month before the weather heats up, turn on your air conditioning and let it run for 30 minutes to see if it is working properly.
Tip 2: Keep the area around your unit clean.
Sweep away any dirt, leaves or debris that may have accumulated around your air conditioning unit. Also, trim back any plants or shrubs to allow proper air flow.
Tip 3: Check for bent condenser fins.
If any of the fins on your unit’s condenser are bent, you can straighten them out using a tool called a fin comb, available at major hardware stores. Be sure to turn off the power to the unit before inspecting or straightening the condenser fins.
Common AC Problems and Simple Fixes
Problem: The air conditioner isn’t making cold enough air.
Try This: Keep the area around the exterior condensing unit clear of leaves, shrubbery, twigs and debris to make sure the air around the unit is circulating freely and nothing is falling inside the unit. If your unit sits in full sun, try creating some shade around it to help it cool more efficiently. Check the unit’s suction line (large line) for signs of wear and replace any worn insulation.
Problem: You want to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home as inexpensively as possible.
Try This: Install a programmable thermostat to help keep costs down and to lower wear and tear on your air conditioning system. You can program the thermostat to let the heat rise during the hours that you are away from the home, and then lower the room temperature when people are present. In addition to maximizing convenience and comfort, a programmable thermostat can also help you save on electricity costs. You can find programmable thermostats in most hardware and home stores.
Problem: Your electric bills are higher than you expected and you’re not sure your AC system is cooling as efficiently as it should.
Try This: Check your cooling filters each month while the system is in use and replace when needed. Clogged filters can impede airflow as well as allow dirt to enter the system, which can potentially cause damage. Regularly replacing your air conditioning filters is an easy way to increase your unit’s efficiency and avoid costly repairs.