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Check Your AC ASAP

The hot summer months can be hard on your air conditioner, but so can the remainder of the year when it’s not even in use. There’s nothing worse than getting into the heat of the season and finding out that your A/C isn’t working properly.

Here are some tips, courtesy of our DIY friends at Charles & Hudson, for keeping your air conditioner in tip-top shape this summer.

#1 – Clean and Clear

The problem: Oddly enough, autumn can be an especially trying season for air conditioner units. As the leaves fall and animals forage in preparation for winter, much of nature’s debris gets packed in and around the outdoor A/C unit. (I found a family of mice had built a cozy home in mine!).

The fix: Be sure to remove all debris from on top and around your A/C. You may need to do this several times a year. A good way to prevent leaves, acorns, sticks and other debris from falling down into your unit is to buy a cover for it and keep it sheltered during the off-seasons.

#2 – Air Filters

The problem: They’re often completely overlooked year-round, but air filters can wreak havoc on an A/C system when not taken care of. Charles & Hudson say they are the number-one preventable cause of a system breakdown.

The fix: Try to make it a monthly or quarterly routine to open your registers and check the air filters, replacing them as needed. Clean air filters allow your A/C system to run more efficiently, reducing your energy costs.

#3 – Annual Check-Up

It’s a good idea to have a qualified service technician come out and check your cooling system before the intense heat is upon you. He or she can check the unit and system to ensure that everything is working efficiently. This way, when Mother Nature starts to scorch your world, you know that first time you flip on the A/C, it’s going to cool things down—no questions asked.

#4 – Programmable Thermostats

Not only can a programmable thermostat keep your home at a constant, comfortable temperature, but they also help you manage those sky-high utility bills. Beyond that, some of them can even alert you when maintenance is required on the system. These alerts, when taken care of properly, can mean the difference between a simple check-up and full-blown service call.

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