Something that all of us desire is for our AC system to be in pristine condition, especially during the summer season. And if you have a unit that is less than 10 years old, you don’t see any signs of leaks and it hasn’t been shorting out, then these are positive signs that it’s in pretty good shape. But if you’re looking for some failsafe ways to insure that it’s running efficiently, we’ve got five recommendations that can provide you with the peace of mind that you’ve been looking for below:
Make sure to check your air temperature differential. One of the first things that you should do in order to keep your AC unit running efficiently is to check its air temperature differential. Here’s how you do it: When it’s hotter than 80 degrees outside, go inside in order to set your thermometer below room temperature level. Then allow your unit to run long enough that it is able to reach the temperature that you set it to. Afterwards, place a refrigerator thermometer inside of one of the air ducts in order to chart the temperature’s reading. After about 10 minutes, write the temperature down and put the thermometer into the unit’s return air duct too. After that, subtract the first number from the second. If there is a 14-point difference, you can assume that your unit is low on refrigerant and that it’s not running at an optimal level.
Make sure to check (and change) your air filter. Aside from the fact that a dirty air filter can make it harder for your unit to work, another problem with them is that they can put dust and debris into the rooms of your house and trigger allergy symptoms. This is why you should change your filter no less than every 60-90 days. In most cases, it’s fairly easy to do. Simply refer to your owner’s manual to locate where the filter is supposed to be installed and then go to your local home improvement store to get a new filter to put inside of the unit.
Make sure to check your home’s insulation. Something that a lot of people overlook is the fact that the level of insulation in your attic plays a significant role in what the temperature will be like inside of your home. According to many energy experts, your insulation should be no less than 12″ inches thick and preferably made out of an eco-friendly material such as sheep’s wool, cotton or aerogel. If yours is not at this standard, it’s time to make some adjustments.
Make sure to “shade” the outdoor part of your unit. Have you ever noticed that on particularly hotter days, your unit may cut on more than usual, which ultimately raises your energy costs? It could be due to the fact that the outdoor part of it is feeling intense heat that is causing it to work overtime. There is something that you can do to prevent this from happening. All you need to do is put some shade around the outside part of you unit. You can do this by planting a tree or bush around it. Or, you can even placing some type of lattice covering over it to let it serve as camouflage.
Make sure to have a professional look at it. It’s always a good idea to have a licensed technician come and inspect your unit twice a year. Not only can they properly service your unit, but they can also let you know if it is showing any signs that it’s time to replace your AC. Sure, having a technician come will cost a bit of money, but since they are professionally skilled in caring for AC units, it’s well worth the investment. For information on how to find a good technician within your area, visit Angie’s List and then put “tips for hiring an HVAC technician” in the search field.