Beat The Heat: Tips To Keep Your AC Unit Working Better For Longer
The sweltering Texas heat makes air conditioning a must in every home. In fact, high temperatures are increasingly becoming the norm here due to global warming; the state has seen a 0.5-1 degree Fahrenheit increase in the past century, the Texas Observer reports. Since air conditioning is essential for keeping your home cool and comfortable in the height of summer, it’s important to correctly maintain your unit throughout the year. Use the following tips to keep your AC unit running smoothly, and it’ll be in excellent working condition when summer next rolls round.
Change and clean your filters often
Clean air filters encourage air circulation and prevent dust and dirt from blocking the vents of your AC unit. If dust and dirt is allowed to build up, the unit has to work harder to circulate air before eventually becoming blocked. So, change and clean your filters often — at least once every couple of months — or maybe more often if you have pets. Doing so will minimize risk of breakages and repairs and ultimately help maintain a fully-functional AC unit. If it’s visible, check the condition of the fan motor as well; it must be free from dust to keep working efficiently. If you see dust and dirt, hire a professional to clean the motor.
Keep it out of the sun
While this tip does involve initially hiring a professional, it’ll end up saving you money long term. If your AC unit is exposed to direct sunlight, it heats up quicker. As a result, it exerts more energy in order to cool your home down. Moving the unit to a shaded spot will therefore prolong its longevity and reduce your energy bills each month. Consult a professional for an estimate on how much this move will cost. If it’s too expensive for you, consider simply installing an awning to help cool down the unit better and prevent overheating.
Set your thermostat to 78 degrees
In peak summer months, Texans tend to lower their thermostats down to 68 degrees or lower to get respite from the heat. However, the lower the room temperature, the harder your AC unit works to maintain it. Keeping your thermostat at 78 degrees will still allowing you to feel comfortable while giving your AC unit less work. Raising your thermostat temperature helps keep your unit efficient and minimizes the need for repairs. Moreover, you’ll happily find yourself saving on electricity bills, too.
Finally, schedule routine maintenance checkups in order to catch potential issues with your AC unit before expensive repairs are needed. If you’re competent handling electrics, you can check for certain problems — such as, freon leaks and bad wiring — yourself. Always make sure the unit is unplugged and the electricity discharged beforehand. Ultimately, maintaining your AC unit consistently throughout the year will protect its efficiency, cut the cost of your electricity bills, and turn your home into a haven from the hot Texas sun.
CLM Contributing writer: Sally Writes