The cooling season is in full swing. It seems like a good time to remind people of a few tips to keep their air conditioners running efficiently. And, to prevent the air conditioner from breakdowns and costly ac repair.
The number one tip is to replace or clean your indoor air filter according to manufacturer’s recommendations. This typically means every 1 to 3 months for filters that are 1″ in thickness and every 6 to 12 months for filters that are 4″ to 5″ in thickness. Dirty filters cause a reduction in indoor air flow which puts undue strain on the indoor fan motor and may lead to it’s failure. This reduction in air flow can also damage the outdoor compressor by not allowing for complete evaporation of the refrigerant through the indoor evaporator coil. Dirty filters also lead to a reduction in efficiency. Filters will pay for themselves through increased efficiency of the air conditioner and fewer calls for ac repair.
One thing that can help reduce the cost of running your ac which some people do not address is solar radiation through your windows. You should always close curtains and blinds where direct sunlight is filtering through. This can reduce the ac run time by blocking unwanted heat gain.
Also, having your air conditioner serviced annually by a licensed HVAC contractor can increase efficiency and decrease breakdown likelihood. Most air conditioners need to have the outdoor condensing coil cleaned annually. This improves the efficiency and decreases the likelihood of the compressor and/or outdoor fan motor failing. Other things that the HVAC tech checks during the maintenance inspection includes : refrigerant level, compressor and motor amp draws, high and low voltage levels, contactor relay for charring and pitting, and capacitors for proper capacitance. Checking that all of these things are satisfactory insures that the air conditioner is running efficiently and reduces the likelihood of breakdown and a costly ac repair.