In most places in the U.S., your air conditioner is going to get a workout at least a couple months out of the year. More than two-thirds of all homes in the nation have air conditioning, and in areas of the country where summer temperatures routinely rise into the upper 80s, just about every home has air conditioning. To ensure your air conditioner doesn’t fail on you when you need it most, you need to take care of it.
One of the best things you can do for your air conditioner to keep it operating well and lasting longer is to have it serviced. A local air conditioning repair service can do wonders for your AC just by checking it out on a yearly basis, something less than half of homeowners do. Not only will such visits improve the performance of your air conditioner, but your local air conditioning repair service technician is trained to spot trouble before it starts, and he or she can recommend repairs or replacement of parts that will keep you from having to deal with a breakdown in the dead of summer.
While it is important to have a professional technician from your local air conditioning repair service check out your AC unit at least once a year, there are plenty of maintenance tasks you can do yourself to ensure your unit stays in tip top shape.
One of the easiest and best maintenance tasks to perform is to change your HVAC unit’s filter. How often you should do this depends on the unit, but it’s usually best to change it in the fall and in the spring. Not only does this improve the air quality in your home, it also will increase your AC unit’s efficiency and save you money on your cooling costs. Air conditioners in the U.S. use about 5% of all electricity at a cost of about $11 billion a year, so having an air conditioner that runs more efficiently can be a big money saver.
Another maintenance task that you should perform in both the spring and the fall is to clean off your condenser unit outside your home. The unit is constantly exposed to the elements and can get dirt and debris stuck inside. Cleaning it out helps your AC work more efficiently and it also can help prevent components from getting damaged by the debris that gets lodged inside.
Taking care of your air conditioner may take some time and cost you a little money, but it is well worth it in the long run.