Summertime means rising temperatures and increased energy consumption, which is why it’s so important for home and business owners everywhere to begin taking steps to ensure their AC unit won’t break down in the near-future. Far too many homeowners leave any and all AC maintenance up to the professionals, failing to understand that they can seriously cut back on the cost of property ownership by handling basic cleaning and repairs by themselves.
Don’t fret if you’re unfamiliar with AC unit management; the basics of it can be learned by any savvy homeowner looking to save money. Here’s how to get your AC ready for the summer.
Be wary of idle AC units
The first thing the average homeowner needs to understand is that you should be wary of idle AC units; no, they won’t jump up and bite you, but they may have been collecting dust and debris while sitting idle during long, cold winter months. It’s important to understand that AC units which haven’t been in use recently may need a pre-season tune up, which is often as simple as replacing your filter, cleaning out your important coils, and doing an electrical component check to ensure an electrical fire won’t breakout in the worst case scenario.
Begin with replacing your AC unit filter, as this is the easiest and most important aspect of everyday AC maintenance. These filters can be misleading – they don’t really exist to purify the air you breathe and keep particles out of your lungs, but rather serve to protect the actual AC unit itself. If dust, dirt, and other harmful debris were to blow into the inner workings of your delicate AC unit, the entire thing could quickly break down – thus, your filters are effectively your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your HVAC investment. Take care of them and they’ll take good care of you.
Reviewing a simple video by Astropak which illustrates how homeowners can change their filters is highly recommended for anyone who hasn’t done this before. It’s a simple process, but you can mess it up your first time if you rush it or purchase the wrong filters. Do your homework before you start meddling, and your AC unit will fare much better this summer.
The next step in getting your AC unit ready for this summer is to clean out its coils.
Know how to clean your coils
Cleaning your AC unit coils will likely entail a visit to a local hardware store, as you’ll need some commercially-available coil cleaner to do this task properly. Don’t think you have to pay a professional in order to clean your coils, as all you usually need is a screwdriver to access your AC unit and the knowhow of proper coil cleaner application. Your coils are similar to your filter in one regard – if they become blocked by dirt, leaves, or any other debris, the longevity of your expensive AC unit is threatened.
You’ll want a soft brush and perhaps a vacuum cleaner before you begin, and you’ll also need access to water if you really want to clean it out properly. Furthermore, eye and hand protection are advised whenever you’re meddling with something around your home. Following the steps of cleaning an AC coil is simple and easy to do; ensure your AC unit is electrically disconnected, remove debris with your hands, and apply your coil cleaner before giving the unit one final wipe down. In time, this process will become almost automatic, so easy is it for most homeowners to master.
Nevertheless, some homeowners can’t be expected to do it all by themselves, and if you want to avoid air conditioning surprises in Arizona, then it’s highly advisable you consult expert help whenever you feel you’re out of your depth. AC repair specialists often have higher-quality cleaning products and can conduct more thorough inspections of your AC unit, which is particularly important when it comes to the delicate electrical components which are essential towards its continued operation. Be certain never to mess with electrical wiring unless you’re familiar with how to do so safely, as failing to consult an expert for some AC unit maintenance could cost you dearly both physically and financially.
Finally, summertime is special insofar as children are concerned, so don’t be afraid to sit down with your kids and give them a brief lecture on not messing with the AC unit. You may think you can trust your children not to play around expensive equipment, but the mind of a child is drawn to peculiar things, and many children may attempt to make play forts with the help of your expensive AC units. Reminding kids that they shouldn’t tamper with AC units or clog up important parts of your HVAC system is the last step any parent should take when getting their AC ready for summer.