With summer in full swing and quarantine in effect, your air conditioner may be your best friend right now! Are you doing everything you can to keep it healthy? Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure the summertime heat stays outdoors where it belongs.
Just like humans, HVAC systems need a yearly checkup to verify all is well. Scheduling a maintenance check each year is paramount. So many people forgo this tune-up, which can be a costly mistake. There may be a minor issue with your unit that is easily fixed if addressed in a timely manner, which can become a larger, more expensive problem down the line if ignored. When it comes to your HVAC unit, it’s much better to be proactive versus reactive.
Another vital practice is to routinely change your air filters. Have you ever forgotten to change a filter and taken a look at it six months later? It is not a pretty sight. Dust, dirt, and debris can obstruct the airflow and clog your air filters. You may not think a clean air filter makes a big difference, but it absolutely does because dirty filters lead to less efficient cooling. There is also the resultant poor quality of air you are breathing in your home when your filters are not regularly changed.
One thing you may not think about that can affect your cooling performance is the condenser unit. This is the unit that you will find outside of your home. It is a good idea to occasionally check the unit to make sure there is nothing growing on and around it. If you see plants, weeds, or leaves cluttering the condenser just remove it. This is a simple and free way to maintain your unit, and free is such a beautiful word.
The last thing to keep an eye on is the drain line. This is another thing you may not think about but that can cause major issues. We recently inspected a home where we noted evidence of a prior repair to the bathroom ceiling. We found out the damage was caused when the drain line became clogged, which resulted in flooding and caused the bathroom ceiling to cave in (major headache, a hit to the piggybank, and a little of crying from the homeowner). To see if you may have a clogged drain line, you can pour a little bit of water down the line and then walk outside to the check the line and see if that water made its way down. Also, be sure to clear anything that may be obstructing your drain line outside. As stated earlier, being proactive here is the best approach. To clear your drain line, turn off your unit and pour one-fourth of a cup of distilled vinegar into the line. Wait about 30 minutes and flush it out with a cup of water. Repeat monthly to deter the growth of mold and mildew. Simple, effective, and inexpensive.
Having to replace an HVAC unit is a cost that most of us would like to avoid for as long as possible. With periodic inspection of your system and scheduled annual maintenance, you may be able to extend the life of your unit for several seasons to come!