Owning a home is great but knowing how to maintain your AC unit is something that is very important. Often times homeowners pay expensive call out fees for minor problems that they could have managed themselves. The first thing a homeowner should do is review the owner’s manual that is usually provided with the AC unit. Can’t find it? Google your AC unit make and model and chances are you can find a downloadable AC unit manual. Here are some pointers on taking care of your HVAC system and troubleshooting ideas before you call for AC Unit help.
For starters, all AC unit systems have a filter. This should be changed out consistently every month. In some instances, if you buy the more expensive filters they may claim that you can change out filters every two months. This may be true in some instances but following the manufacturers suggestions for maintenance is always the better choice. Selecting better filters instead of bargain priced filters can make a big difference on what particles are filtered from your air. Do a little research to determine what type filters work best for your desired quality of air in your home.
One of the top problems with AC unit systems experienced by owners is not blowing cold or hot enough. Your first action should be to check the air filter. Often this is the primary culprit of decreased air flow. Clean your vents/registers to make sure there is nothing obstructing them. If your vents are on the floor make sure furniture items aren’t blocking their flow. Check your ducts which usually are in the attic or your crawl space. Make sure there are no places where the duct insulation barrier has been torn. The covering is usually a reflective silver color. Any places that are found that are torn can be resealed with duct tape or you can opt to buy replacement silver backed tape at your local hardware store.
Pay close attention to the outside part of you ac unit. Often the coils can get dirty and clogged with trash decreasing their efficiency. Especially during spring and summer months, take a hose to it. Carefully spray the fins to flush out grass clippings, leaves, and dirt that often get trapped. Make sure ant hills are immediately eliminated should you see them appear around the outside unit.
In the summer months when temperatures get extremely high, the lines on the unit may show signs of freezing. When this occurs it sometimes is a sign that your coolant may need attention. Only Professionals may handle these fluids so it is best to call a service technician for this symptom. This can also be a sign of the unit being overworked due to the size of the space you are trying to cool. A technician can tell you if you need to increase the size of your unit. This often happens when home square footage is increased by remodeling the space. If you have an upstairs and downstairs home remember it takes a bit more energy to cool the upstairs area. It is a good idea to have the ac unit checked for having a proper zoning mechanism to cut cost on this symptom.
The AC unit should be serviced at least once annually. During this inspection the technician will check belts for cracking or fraying. They also will check the AC unit for the belt tension when applicable. The technician should also clean the ac unit system as well. One of the biggest items is they check the coolant fluids to make sure they are sufficient.
If your ac unit will not come on when prompted, your first thought should be to check fuses. Then check the thermostat batteries if applicable. If these are all okay check the ac unit drive belt. If it is frayed or broken you may need to contact a technician to come out to replace it. This is where keeping a good home warranty plan on your property comes in handy. Often the warranty has a deductible but pays the rest of the bill for you.
If your AC unit suddenly begins to cause your electricity bill to increase noticeably, check the thermostat. Many of the new digital units have an option for override when the weather becomes extremely cold. When this occurs the ac unit may switch over to an electric heat option that uses a bit more electricity. If there is no way to deactivate it on your thermostat it is a good idea to call a professional to check the thermostat to ensure it is functioning properly.
While a home warranty is not the same as an insurance policy it can provide assistance to lower cost when items such as an AC unit malfunctions. If you need more details on a Home Warranty for your property CLICK HERE.
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