Three Simple Steps To Maintain Your AC Unit
While many homeowners love the idea of working on their house, trying to optimize every square inch in order to keep it in tip-top shape, others loathe the idea of ever picking up a wrench in the first place. Still, no matter who you are, it's a good idea to build some type of maintenance plan into your yearly schedule, and that includes working on your HVAC unit. Regular maintenance can reduce the risk of your unit breaking down by up to 95%, saving you money in air conditioning repair bills.
But where do you start? A home's HVAC unit is like a snake, coiling through your home. Fortunately, if you can focus on the major components — your furnace and AC unit — the effects will trickle down to the rest of your system. Here's how to maintain your AC unit so that you can keep it operating at peak efficiency and keep air conditioning repair services from becoming a regular event in your household.
Clean the Unit
One of the easiest things you can do to maintain your AC system is to simply clean the inside and outside of the unit. Turn the power off before you start (important!), but then lift the lid where the fan is and clean any debris that may be lodged inside. Look around the unit and see if there is anything blocking the exterior of the unit either. If you notice a lot of gunk building up, use a garden hose to spray the inside of the fan cage and clean off the debris. This step might be intimidating for some DIYers, so if you're uncomfortable opening up the fan cage, hire an HVAC contractor to do it for you.
Change the Filter
Your air conditioning filter needs to be changed at least twice a year, but ideally, it should be every 2-3 months. Filters, like the cage on your exterior unit, make sure that debris doesn't enter into your ductwork and cause major issues, so it's important to keep it on a regular schedule/
Adjust the Thermostat
Possibly the simplest AC maintenance tip on this list, one of the best things you can do is to schedule your AC unit to not cool so much when you're away from the house. During the day while you're at work or when you go on vacation, schedule the thermostat to go up several degrees and then come back down before you return. This will ensure your unit isn't working hard for no reason, extending the life of your unit in the process.