It may seem odd to think about air conditioning in the middle of February, but warm weather will be here sooner than it seems and proper preparation can save homeowners a great deal of money. Homeowners who can anticipate any problems with their air conditioning systems and take a few simple steps to get their systems ready will find the frequency of problems diminishing in the summer. A properly prepared air conditioner will also save money on monthly bills and suffer less strain overall.
Some steps require professional service, while others can be conducted by the homeowners themselves.
These basic steps require no professional expertise and can be performed in a single afternoon in many cases. Ideally, homeowners should wait until a reasonably warm and clear day to take such steps:
- Clear off any leaves, twigs or debris that may have built up around the outdoor portion of the unit over the winter. This becomes easier if the unit has been covered during the off-season, but should be conducted regardless. The area around the outdoor unit should also be cleared of weeds and any objects that may have been stacked up next to it.
- Change the filters on the air conditioner. Replacement filters can be purchased at any hardware store or home improvement center, and can usually be inserted without trouble. Look for filters with a high MERV rating, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. These filters cost more than ones with a lower MERV rating, but do a better job of screening out dust and other contaminants.
- Clean the dust off of the condenser coils on the outdoor part of the unit with a soft brush.
- Check the refrigerant lines running from the indoor part of the unit to the outdoor part. In many cases, they will be covered with insulation or padding. If the insulation looks old or frayed, it might be a good idea to replace it.
Professional service technicians can perform many of the functions listed above as part of a regular maintenance program for the air conditioning system. Scheduling maintenance before the summer season begins is a good way to treat potential inefficiencies with the unit. The technician will look the system over, tighten any loose bolts or screws, lubricate moving parts, and perform numerous other little steps to cut down on inefficiency and lower strain on the unit. This allows the air conditioner to do its job without raising monthly bills higher than necessary.
Maintenance serves another key purpose as well. If any serious issues exist—problems that require formal repairs to address—the technician can spot it and give the homeowner ample opportunity to deal with it before the temperatures get too warm. This prevents any nasty surprises from arriving when the air conditioner is actually needed, and can often lower the cost of repairs, since the issue is being addressed sooner rather than later.
For quality air conditioning service in Rye, NY and throughout Westchester County, call upon Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators.