Learn how to save you money and energy in both the short and long-term by being proactive with air conditioning maintenance. By following these 4 easy steps, you’ll be able to improve a/c performance, increase comfort, and save money on your utility bills… Promise!
How to Improve A/C Performance
1. Change Your Air Conditioner Filter
Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on when to change your air conditioner filter to keep it clean and running smoothly. If gone unchanged, the filter builds up excess dirt and grime, which reduces airflow, slows your unit down, and worsens indoor air quality. The harder it has to work, the shorter its lifespan is. How often you should change your filter depends on the type of filter you have, which is why you should follow the manufacture’s guidelines. However, checking your filter every 30 days a good routine to adopt.
Tips: Write the date of your filter change on the filter itself so you know exactly how long it has been since its last replacement. Set calendar and phone reminders on the first of the month to check your air filter. Pull out the filter and if no light can shine through it, it needs to be replaced.
Watch our Boulden Brothers Answer Man video to find out about the different types of a/c filters and which one is right for you:
2. Use Shade Strategically
Can shading your outdoor heat pump (air conditioner) help you save energy and improve a/c performance? Short answer, yes! Just be careful that you are not putting any unnecessary strain on your unit by restricting airflow. Barriers, bushes, and other plants should be trimmed and kept at least 24 inches away from the unit. If you have a dog, consider blocking your a/c unit with some kind of barrier since dog urine is highly acidic and will eat away your air conditioner.
Tips: When strategically planning out how to shade your a/c unit, the most important thing to remember is to allow your condensing unit enough room to breathe (24 inches all the way around). Don’t do what this homeowner did:
Although the unit has proper airflow now, in just a short time, those bushes will begin to encroach on the unit, causing big problems down the road.
Instead, you can try using a trellis, fence, and plants to both mask and shade your outdoor heat pump/air conditioner.
3. Keep Your Vents and Registers Open and Clear
It’s tempting to hide unattractive vents in your home, but your air conditioner has to work harder when the vents aren’t clear, resulting in higher electricity bills. You may have also heard the idea that if you close off vents in little-used rooms, you can save money on your heating and cooling bill. This is a false belief that is causing many homeowner’s HVAC systems to underperform.
Your HVAC system, including all the ductwork, had been specifically designed for your home. No matter how many vents and registers are open or closed, the same amount of warm or cold air will be pushed through your air ducts. By blocking or closing off vents, you are increasing the amount of pressure in your system, which can cause system breakdowns as well as force air leaks in your ductwork.
Tips: Keep all furniture, curtains, and any other other items away from the vents for better efficiency. Go around your home and make sure that all vents and registers are fully open.
4. Clean Your A/C Condenser
Over time, dirt, debris, twigs, lawn clippings, and other junk gets stuck around your a/c condenser. To improve a/c performance, you should clean your condenser unit twice a year at least. Make sure that before you do anything, turn off power to your unit at the breaker/fuse box. Next, remove any branches and other large objects. Then, hose down the outside of the unit.
Watch this video to learn how to clean your a/c condenser:
Tips: Instead of using a flathead screwdriver to smooth out your a/c condenser fins, we recommend purchasing a quality fin comb. The best way to clean and maintain your a/c condenser is to have it professionally cleaned. Boulden Brothers will use a safe cleaning solution made especially for HVAC equipment and straighten out all of your condenser fins in addition to giving your whole system an overall tune-up.
Professional Air Conditioning Maintenance
Call Boulden Brothers for a professional air conditioning tune-up where we will conduct a thorough cleaning and maintenance of your a/c condenser. Any potential problems will be detected and fixed. Choose Boulden Brothers Heating and Air Conditioning for all of your Wilmington & Dover area HVAC needs for superior customer service.
Watch this video for more A/C Performance Tips:
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