(Excerpt from the Newsletter by Carson Dunlop. For Full Version, please click on the picture)
Air conditioners can be essential to your comfort on hot summer days. While they are a staple in many homes, using them to cool and making sure they are properly maintained are two different things. That's why we worked with our Carson Dunlop Homeowners Association partner, AtlasCare, to create a short list of easy-to-complete items to make sure you stay cool and comfortable for the rest of the summer and years to come.
Inspect your air conditioner's filter on a monthly basis to see if it needs changing or cleaning. Dust and dirt can build up on the filter, affecting the efficiency and performance of the unit. The cost of filters can range from $5 to $30, depending on the type you select. In most cases, the filter can be found in the ductwork near your furnace.
The cleanlines of the exterior of your unit is also important. Dirt outside quickly becomes dirt inside the unit as the fan draws air through the coils. A build-up of dirt, dust, leaves, and grass around the outside of the air conditioner will reduce airflow through the coils, compromising the efficiency and longevity or the system.
Helpful tip: Don't scrub the coils, as the metal fins are easily damaged. Use a vacuum cleaner with a soft bristle attachment to remove dirt from the outside, then use a hose to spray the coils from the inside out.
Having a professional come and inspect the unit regularly will help ensure the performance of its more complex components. While we do encourage the maintenance items discussed above, for safety reasons it is best to reach out to a specialist with respect to the more comprehensive mechanics. This should be done on a yearly basis.
Helpful tip: Consider the following when selecting your contractor:
- Look on their website for any special certifications. Are they a member of any organization that holds them accountable for the quality of service they provide?
- Look into their quality and service guarantees. Make sure they have protection in place in case they damage your home, or if your unit doesn't work.
- Make sure they can actually serve you. Do they have enough trucks to be there when you need them?
- Ensure they provide emergency service for those moments when your unit breaks down. (However, an annual maintenance plan should help reduce the risk of having to deal with emergency repairs).