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What You Need To Know About Your AC Unit

Maintaining your air conditioning unit is one of the most important things while living in your home. This HVAC not only cools your abode during the hot summer days, but also heats it up when “Jack Frost” decides to visit. There are several factors you need to be aware of when things don’t function as they should. Assuring you have an ac service company nearby keeping your unit in tip top shape should be easy as pie.

 

All air conditioners have a filter that pulls dust and dirt out of the air as it pulls through the unit. This filter is located inside your house, usually placed near the ac itself, or in the hallway behind a grill/vent. To keep this changed out regularly is very important because not only does it filter the air, but when it becomes clogged it will dirty up and possibly burn out the coil. If this happens, you will need an AC service to do an AC repair which can be quite costly when neglected.

 

Any HVAC contractor will inform you that a filter should be changed out monthly. However, there are filters available that have bimonthly, quarterly, and twice yearly switch outs. If you have multiple pets, or if you live in a rural area where there are more dirt roads than concrete, then your filters will get dirtier faster and will require more frequent changes. The only issue with not changing it out monthly is that you might forget, and your unit may need to have an ac service come clean it out.

 

Always be sure your outdoor condenser stays cleaned as well; meaning ALL sides. Make sure there is nothing sticking to it, like leaves, grass, or dirt. Wash it off monthly with your water hose to rinse off any debris; otherwise, you will be calling an AC company to come do ac repairs. The strain of your HVAC trying to suck in air and push it out will burn out the motor and you could be possibly looking at buying an entirely new unit.

 

Once summer is in full effect and the heat is reaching into the one hundred degree markers, check your outside and inside pipes connecting to your unit. If you notice frost building up then your system is frozen and unable to cool properly. This will need to thaw out before the problem can be solved as to why it decided to become an arctic glacier. You will need to have your ac service come and determine the issue and conduct routine AC maintenance to decide what steps need to be taken

 

Another thing to ponder is the temperature at which you set your thermostat. On average, there is a twenty degree difference between the outside world and inside your house. Locking the gauge below seventy will not cool your home any faster and could possibly freeze up your AC unit during the summer months; which no one wants to live in a sauna. If you notice leaking water from your HVACs pipes outside, or above your bathtub, this could mean there is a problem with the condensate drain and water is pushing through the emergency piping system.

 

Additionally, do not try to shade or cover your air conditioning unit; it pulls air in through the sides and pushes air out of the top. Even though you believe you are protecting it, you will be creating a bigger problem and could possibly cause damage. Also, your system does not need freon annually; it might require some if there happens to be a major leak; but freon is not consumed by the unit. And be careful when conducting lawn service around your ac unit; if you accidentally slice the pipes or wires, call your ac service to come replace what’s been thrashed.

 

Every piece of your sanctuary is precious and requires tender loving care as it ages; just like you. Keeping things balanced can be a challenge at times. However, regular maintenance on your unit will save loads from your pocket book and agony from your loved ones.

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Eric Brophy

I’m Eric Brophy, a carpenter and homebuilder with 16 years experience doing the job right, the old-fashioned way. What they used to say is true — measure twice, cut once. If you plan out a project from the start, with blueprints, a bill of materials, the whole nine yards, you may seem to be wasting time at the start, but it’s time saved on having to do the job again when it just doesn’t fit. Whether you’re building in the city or off the grid, ground-up or touch-up, I can guarantee you’ll find home improvement tips for your next DIY project at home.

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