8 Care Tips for Maintaining Your Home's AC Unit in the Summer

Before we know it, the thermometer will be inching towards those triple digits. Start preparing for the long, hot summer days by ensuring your AC unit is ready. Check out these eight care tips for maintaining your AC unit throughout the summer.

1- Use New Filters

Start the new season with clean filters. Dirt and dust caught in the filters can block the airflow from your unit. If you continually run your unit throughout the summer, consider changing or cleaning your filters monthly.

Before choosing your new filter, consider the MERV rating (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value). The values range from 1 to 12 for home units. The filters with the higher numbers will provide better filtration; however, they use more energy to move air through them. They need to be changed more often. Most homes will be fine with filters in the mid-range values.

2- Check for Leaks

It is hard to get a tight seal around AC units. One of the easiest ways to check for leaks is the smoke test. Hold a candle next to the area where the window unit and frame meet. If the flame moves, there is a leak. For a central air unit, hold the candle near the duct connections.

3- Keep It Clean

Leaves, dirt, and debris can gather around and on your condenser unit. Use a hose to remove all foreign objects from the unit. Continue to check the unit throughout the summer.

4- Keep Your Unit Out of the Sun

Keep a window or condenser unit out of the direct sun. Place the unit on the east or north side. If there is no other option, build a screen to protect them from the sun. Units in the direct sun will be less efficient.

5- Be Proactive

There are a few things we can do to help to extend the lifespan of our AC unit. Keep curtains and blinds closed during the hottest part of the day. Install awnings to provide shade to the south side of the house. Run ceiling and floor fans to help circulate the cool air throughout the home.

6- Pay Attention to the Indoor Temperature

Running your unit at full blast when no one is at home is hard on the unit. It is a waste of energy and will lead to higher electric bills. Use a programmable thermostat to regulate the indoor temperature. Set the thermostat a little higher when the house is empty and lower to keep it cool when everyone is home.

7- Give Your Unit Space

Units need to have breathing space. There should be approximately 24 inches between the home and the unit. The unit requires the same amount of space between it and any landscaping. Keep grass from growing around it. Trim any bushes or tree branches from infringing on the unit’s area.

8- Perform Regular Maintenance

There are many things a homeowner can do to ensure their AC unit operates. However, homeowners should schedule a professional maintenance check annually. An HVAC professional service will inspect, clean, and perform any other necessary tasks. The maintenance check can prevent problems and ensure the unit is at its best.