It’s been a brutal summer throughout many parts of the country, with temperatures soaring and humidity rising. Thankfully, central air units and air conditioners help keep the worst of the summer climate at bay, but these modern marvels tend to break down when we need them the most—i.e., on the hottest days of summer. Central air/AC repairs and replacements can be expensive, but you can avoid them by taking a few preventative measures.
Check out Blindster’s tips below to stay cool all summer long without feeling the heat on your wallet or bank account:
Lighten your central air unit’s load by protecting your windows.
Windows are one of the biggest sources of heat entering homes, especially in the summer. Sunlight passes through the glass and instantly warms the surrounding area. The warm air then circulates throughout the home, causing the AC to work harder to keep the home cool. Protecting your windows and the interior of your home outdoor awnings, trees, thick blinds and shades, and blackout curtains can reduce your monthly electric bill and prolong the lifespan of your air conditioner.
Clean or replace the filter frequently.
Experts say that cleaning or replacing a dirty AC filter can improve the unit’s performance and efficiency by anywhere from five percent to 10 percent. Check your air conditioner’s manual to find out how often you should replace or clean its filter for optimum performance and unit lifespan. Dirty filters cause units to work harder to cool buildings and homes, prematurely aging them and causing components to break down faster.
Move objects that interfere with air flow.
A new or clean filter won’t improve your unit’s efficiency if its airflow is blocked or obstructed. Make sure your unit has plenty of space on all sides. Never store anything on or next to your unit, and be sure to trim trees, bushes, and hedges if they begin to encroach on the air near the unit.
Clean the inside of the unit and remove debris.
The inside of central air units is protected by grates, mesh, and vent covers, but debris and foreign objects can still end up inside. Keep an eye out for things like sticks, leaves, branches, dirt, and other items that can end up in or around the interior fins. For even greater performance, wipe down the fan blades with a damp cloth and vacuum the fins using a soft-bristle brush attachment.
Replace fuses at the beginning of each season.
Fuses are in the disconnect boxes of most central air units. They are one of the key components that are prone to failure, especially when units are forced to run constantly during hot weather. However, they are prone to stress during cooler months as well, making them more likely to break down in the late spring or early summer. To avoid the risk of injury or malfunctions, consult a professional when it’s time to replace your unit’s fuses.