What can you do to help your home’s air conditioning system make it through the summer at peak performance? Warmer temperatures can force your AC system to work harder. But this doesn’t have to take a toll on the cooling appliance. As the summer gets underway, take a look at how you can help your AC system to survive the hottest months of the year.
Give the Condenser Space
The condenser is the exterior part of a central air conditioning system. Refrigerant from inside of your home moves into the condenser as a heated gas (after it draws warmth from the air). This is where the condenser’s compressor adds pressure and lowers the refrigerant’s temperature to convert it back into a liquid. The refrigerant then moves through the condenser coils, is cooled by a fan, and eventually cycles back into the interior part of your AC system.
Without a working condenser, your air conditioner could not remove the heat from the refrigerant or send it back into your home. As this exterior AC component cools the refrigerant, it releases the heat into the surrounding outdoor air. If branches, shrubs, backyard furniture, or anything else obstructs the condenser, the heat transfer process isn’t effective or efficient. This can force the system to work harder, cost extra in electricity bills, and add unnecessary wear to the unit.
Never crowd the condenser and make sure to cut back or remove foliage from the area. Overgrown shrubbery or trees can push up against the unit and slow it down. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends cutting foliage back at least two feet from the condenser to create enough space for adequate airflow.
Along with removing plants and yard debris (or even yard furniture), keep the exterior part of the cooling system clean. Remove dead leaves from the top of the unit, clear mud or muck, and schedule a professional cleaning appointment with an HVAC contractor to keep the condenser clog-free.
Invest In a New Thermostat
A seven- to 10-degree Fahrenheit temperature change for eight hours or more each day could reduce your summertime cooling energy use by up to 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This strategy can dramatically affect your warm weather utility bills and help to save your system from excessive wear and tear over the summer months.
If you don’t already have a programmable or smart thermostat, an investment in a new model can save you time and energy. Instead of constantly changing the thermostat, a programmable or smart option allows you to set the temperature in advance. This eliminates the possibility of forgetting to change the setting and makes it easier to control the indoor air temperature while you’re at work, on vacation, or anywhere else.
Schedule Routine Service
Routine AC care can save your system and increase its lifespan. Pre- and post-season maintenance (as well as mid-season checkups) can help to keep the coils and other parts of the air conditioner clean. The cleaner the system, the more efficiently it works.
Not only can an HVAC professional clean the system, but they can also replace the filter and inspect the air conditioner for wear or other issues that could potentially slow it down. A new, debris-free filter allows air to flow easily through the system. This increases efficiency and decreases the workload. Likewise, a damage-free system or an air conditioner that does not require repairs won’t need to work as hard just to cool your home.
Do you need to schedule a summertime air conditioning maintenance service, thermostat replacement, or other AC repair or replacement? Contact American Air Heating & Air Conditioning for more information.