Most of the United States would inhabitable without air conditioning. The heat can be dangerous, too. More people are sickened and killed by heat waves than by cold spells in the United States. Nearly two-thirds of all homes in the United States have air conditioning units. Nearly 5% of all electricity used around the country is spent cooling our homes, this costs homeowners more than $11 billion every year. AC maintenance may not be the most exciting part of home ownership but it is important.
Easy Things You Can Do to Keep Your Air Conditioning Unit Running Smoothly:
- Check and change your filters. The number one thing you can do for your heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system is check and change the filters. This is the easiest AC maintenance thing you can do. When your filters get clogged with dust, dirt and other debris, it makes your unit less efficient. An AC unit that has clogged filters has to work a lot harder. This will mean it takes more energy to cool your home and keep it more comfortable. This will raise your energy bills. Not only will neglecting your HVAC filters cost you a lot of money, it can be dangerous. Clogged and dirty air filters can be fire hazards. Home fires have been caused by clogged filters. Save yourself money and give yourself more peace of mind by checking your filers every month and replacing them when they need it.
- Check and clean the vents. This is another easy AC maintenance step you can take to keep your system running well. You need to clean your vents at least several times each year. The vents all need to be dusted every few months. Once a year, you should bring in a professional HVAC repair and maintenance service to do a through cleaning of your HVAC system once a year.
- Check your condensation unit. Most HVAC condensation units are outside. You need to make sure nothing is blocking any of it. You should never prop anything up against your unit. That includes outdoor furniture, umbrellas or anything else you keep in your yard. Make sure any trees or bushes you plant in your yard are far enough away from your unit to permit the safe influx and release of air from the unit. You should check the unit before the beginning of the season and periodically throughout the hot season. Make sure here are no twigs, leaves or other debris blocking or clogging the unit. This is often overlooked when people do AC maintenance on their unit.
- Keep your freon levels where they need to be. In theory, you should never have to replace your freon. Air conditioning units do not actually consume the freon that is in the system but often small leaks occur and it has to be replaced. This is most common in older units. Before the start of the hot season, have an HVAC professional service come out to your home and check the levels of freon in your system. If you have an AC maintenance plan, that should be included.
- Check the electrical coils and control system. When you have an AC maintenance service come out to your home to check your system, after they have checked the freon, have them look the electrical system over and make sure everything is working the way it should. They can also check the thermostat to make sure it is operating properly.
- Consider an HVAC system replacement if your system is older. If you have an older system, you may be able to get a tax rebate for upgrading to a newer, Energy Star rated system. This may even give you enough to pay for the unit. Talk to HVAC companies in your area to see if there are any state or federal programs that can help offset the cost of replacing your HVAC system.
Americans love their air conditioning. The first White House to be air conditioned was during President Herbert Hoover’s administration. He spent $30,000 to have the system installed. This project was completed a few months after the 1929 stock market crashed.