Summer has officially been here for a few weeks, and there is no escaping the warmer temperatures now. Our air conditioners are getting quite the workout! Therefore, it’s important that you care for yours in the right way.
This means scheduling routine maintenance as needed—once a year for most HVAC systems, but twice a year for year-round heat pump and ductless systems. Without this maintenance session, you can easily find yourself facing the need for unexpected air conditioning repair in Lakewood, CO, and even a shortened air conditioner lifespan. Professional maintenance helps improve the efficiency of your air conditioner, too, which is perhaps its main benefit.
This isn’t the only way to boost your air conditioner efficiency, however! There are some very low-cost to no-cost things you can do in your home to boost the performance and cost-effectiveness of your cooling system while also improving home comfort and reducing the risk of sudden repair needs. Read on!
Raise the Temperature!
You may be scratching your head at this one—we actually expect you to make it hotter than comfortable in your home?
Well, no, not quite.
We don’t want you to turn on your heat during the summer months—that would be nonsensical.
What we’re suggesting is that you probably keep your thermostat lower than you actually need to. A lower thermostat setting won’t cool your home any faster, yet many homeowners try this tactic. All it really does is keeps your compressor running longer, which wears down on your air conditioner faster.
Many individuals set their thermostat to the low 70’s when in actuality most people are comfortable at 78°F. Setting the thermostat any lower than you actually need to is a waste of energy (and money).
Check for Obstructions
Let’s begin outdoors—the outside unit of your air conditioning system is called the condenser cabinet. This is where the AC system exhausts the heat that it removes from your home. It can’t do this effectively if the cabinet grill is dirty, or if there are trees and brush obstructing it at all.
Be sure to check around it every once in a while (no matter the time of year, and clear away any debris that may be surrounding the unit. This can include lawn clippings, leaves, dirt, and even tree branches.
Aim for about a foot of clearing on all sides of the outdoor unit to allow for appropriate airflow. We also recommend that you clean off any dirt and grime that might have built-up on it, with a low-pressure hose.
Obstructions might not just be outside, either. Your indoor vents can get caked up with dust, or be blocked off by things such as furniture, backpacks, toys, etc. This will certainly impact the airflow coming into your home, leading to decreased comfort for your household and an air conditioning system that has to work too hard to do its job.
Change the Air Filter!
The air filter that comes standard with your HVAC system is there to protect the system from dirt, dust, and other debris that can get pulled into it. Homeowners often think that its purpose is to protect indoor air quality. While a clogged air filter won’t help your indoor air quality, the real danger here is air conditioning inefficiency.
This air filter should be changed every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter it is (guidance will usually be printed on the side or back of the filter itself), and depending on the level of contaminants in your home. A home with a significant amount of pet dander and/or cigarette smoke would need a filter replacement more often than a home without these factors, for instance.
Cool Sunshine Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. has been serving the Metro Denver area since 1997. We are one big happy family, and we’d like you to become a part of it! Contact us today for custom HVAC services and more.