No homeowner wants to deal with an air conditioner out of commission, especially entering the stifling dog days of summer. To keep cool through the remainder of the season, maintaining the unit is key.
The first—and simplest—maintenance step is to change the filter in the unit. According to the experts at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating, the filter should be swapped out every month, or as often as the manufacturer recommends.
The unit should also be kept clear of debris and unobstructed—One Hour’s experts say this allows the unit to function properly without consuming more energy than is necessary.
Have a service professional clean and inspect the unit, as well. He or she will be able to identify any issues before they become major (and expensive!).
Bear in mind that if the unit is not cooling effectively even after it has been serviced, it may be time to replace it, says Eric Corbett of Larry & Sons, Inc., a Maryland-based air conditioning, heating and plumbing company.
“Upgrading a home heating and air conditioning unit gives homeowners a chance to save money and control the temperature in their homes more efficiently,” Corbett says. “This can lead to significant savings when it comes to utility costs.”
Look for an ENERGY STAR® unit rated high in its seasonal energy efficiency ratio (SEER), Corbett recommends. SEER indicates the relative amount of energy needed to cool a specific area–a high-rated unit may save up to half the energy of a lesser-rated product.
Size is also a factor when purchasing a new unit, according to Corbett—a unit that is too large will not eliminate humidity, and a unit that is too small will not cool.
Additionally, consider a unit with other energy-efficient features, such as an automatically-delaying fan switch, a fan-only switch, a filter check light, a thermal expansion valve or a variable speed handler, Corbett says.
An air conditioning unit that consistently works overtime will fail that much sooner, caution One Hour’s experts. Maintaining the unit will not only provide adequate relief from the heat, but also ensure it remains efficient and operational through the season.
Sources: Larry & Sons, Inc., One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating
Published with permission from RISMedia.