Saving energy by maintaining your air conditioner

People should treat their home’s central air conditioner (AC) like they treat their car.  Car owners complete regular maintenance like oil changes, tire rotations, and even give it a bath now and then, all in an effort to prolong the life of the vehicle.  The same maintenance philosophies should be used on a home’s AC.  

When your AC is operating at peak performance the compressor runs more efficiently, resulting in energy savings and lower monthly bills.

Here are some tips to get your AC ready for summer:

  • Before doing any cleaning or maintenance, shut off the power to your AC. A shutoff should be located nearby. It may be a fuse block you remove, a pull lever or a switch.​Technician inspecting/maintaining an air conditioner unit.

  • Begin by removing dirt and debris from the fins housed around the outside of the unit with a vacuum or soft brush.

  • Hose off the fins inside and clean out your AC unit. Remove any leaves, mud or other debris that may have built up during the offseason. 

  • Reassemble and return power to the unit.

  • Turn your thermostat to cool and set your temperature low enough so that your AC turns on.

  • Make sure it is blowing cool air, and inspect the unit outside for any signs that it isn’t operating properly.

  • Remember to change your furnace filter monthly.

It is also a good idea to have a certified technician perform an annual tune-up on your AC each spring. This will ensure the unit is operating at its peak performance and will help extend its operating life. A technician will also perform the tasks mentioned above for those who would prefer not to attempt cleaning their AC themselves. They will also check the coolant levels, fan motor, wiring, thermostat settings, and the condensate drain.  

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can relax in the cool comfort of your home during those hot and humid summer months, and also save energy.

Nathan Karels

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