Have you ever tried to schedule an AC repair job when the forecasted temperature is in the triple digits? If so, you know how difficult it can be to find an HVAC company for the job. To keep this from happening to you, here are five tips from the U.S. Department of Energy on how to keep your air conditioning functioning all season long.

Tips for Keeping Your Air Conditioning System Functioning

The U.S. Department of Energy offers the following maintenance tips to homeowners with air conditioning systems.

Change your filter.

Change your AC/furnace filter regularly. This AC maintenance task is essential and easy.

Clogged filters reduce the amount of airflow going through your AC unit. When the flow of air is disrupted, the system becomes less efficient. In fact, the Department of Energy states that replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can improve the air conditioner energy efficiency by 5% to 15%.

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Additionally, dirt that lands on your evaporator coil will impair its heat-absorbing capacity. Keep it clean by filtering the air going through the system.

Learn where the filters are located on your unit – whether you have central AC or a room air conditioner. Some filters can be cleaned, and others must be replaced. Learn the best type of filter and set a calendar reminder on your phone to notify you when it is time to replace your filter.

Clean the coils.

Your air conditioner’s evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt over time. This dirt can block airflow. In addition, a dirty evaporator loses its ability to absorb heat.

An evaporator coil for a central air conditioner is located inside the house. You can access it behind a panel on top of the furnace. Look for a video online that shows how to locate and clean the evaporator coil for your specific unit.

Condenser coils are located outdoors on the compressor. They also can become dirty. Remove dead leaves, plants, and other debris from the area around the condenser and follow the instructions for your specific unit to clean the coils.

Make sure the coil fins are straight.

The aluminum fins on the evaporator and condenser coils are easily bent. This results in blocked airflow, which is a nemesis of HVAC systems. A “fin comb”will help you get the fins back into their original condition.

Clean your unit’s drain channels.

Look online for instructions on how to do this for your specific unit.

Schedule a regular service call with an HVAC technician.

Finally, the DOE recommends having technicians perform regular maintenance and repairs. Sure, you might have to shell out a few hundred dollars periodically for the cost of a blown fuse, but this minor repair bill is nothing compared to the cost of replacing the HVAC system.

The technician should:

  • Check the amount of refrigerant in the AC unit, and add additional refrigerant if needed.
  • Make sure the moisture is draining properly from the unit.
  • Verify that the electric control panel is functioning as it should.
  • Lubricate motors and check belts for tightness and wear.
  • Remove debris around all the HVAC components.

Avoid AC Repair By Scheduling Regular Maintenance on Your Central Air Conditioner

Have you priced a new unit lately? If so, you understand how the costs of getting your AC unit serviced periodically can save you money in the long run.

Your AC unit needs to be maintained to avoid costly repairs. You can do some of the maintenance on your air conditioner yourself. Or you can contact your local HOP Energy subsidiary to schedule maintenance or service on your AC unit.

Your nearby HOP Energy location is there for you, whether you need to replace your furnace or cooling system, sign up for heating oil delivery, or have your HVAC system repaired.

Contact us today