Utah summers are known for hitting triple-digits several days of the year. Without an efficient air conditioning system, you will be hot in your home! However, many people often turn on their air conditioners too early. If you are turning it on in April and May, you are asking the air conditioner to work longer this year than usual. We all want to be comfortable in our homes, but do we really need to kick on the air conditioner when it’s 80 degrees outside? Here are some tips to help you know when its time to turn on the AC, and how you can keep those utility costs under control!
Start by inspecting your air conditioner and cleaning outside lines to make sure it is ready to turn on. We always recommend a spring tune-up to ensure your air conditioner is working properly. If the air isn’t as cold as it should be, it may need a refrigerant recharge or could have a leak. Here are some of the things to look for when you are getting ready to turn on the air conditioner:
- Check the thermostat. How old is your thermostat? Modern thermostats are designed to be programmed in a way to reduce energy consumption. Some of the new ones can be controlled from your smartphone, and makes it easier to keep tabs on your home when you are on vacation.
- Look for signs of wear and tear. Do you see some exposed ductwork that looks like its wearing out? Replacing the ductwork should be left to the professionals!
- Clean the air vents and return vents in the home. Dirt, dust, toys, food particles, and all types of debris can block off the airflow. Clean those out each spring and fall with a vacuum, and pay to have a complete ductwork cleaning at least once every other year.
- Clean the drain line. Inside the home there is a drain near the air conditioner and it needs to be cleaned out to work correctly. Keep the drain clean by rinsing it with bleach and hot water. If the drain isn’t working the right way, you will end up dealing with water problems in the home.
- Replace the air filter. We cannot stress this enough! An air filter is a critical part of the air conditioner. If your air filter is clogged, it caused more strain and stress on the motor of the air conditioner. In addition, the air flow in the home will not be as effective. Some air filters are reuseable and need to be cleaned while others are disposable and need to be replaced every 30 days.
- Examine electrical circuits. Make sure all the electrical connections are on and working properly.
- Check the exterior unit. The outdoor condenser unit needs to be inspected and cleaned to remove any blockages that can lead problems with the fans and correct airflow.
- Are the refrigerant lines insulated? Professionals will need to do the work on the refrigerant lines, and they should be insulated to make sure the system is working efficiently.
Air conditioners have an expiration date! Some air conditioners can last 20+ years, but others only last ten. It is vital to check on your unit to know when it was manufactured so you can get an idea of when it needs to be replaced. We highly recommend contacting our office to schedule your yearly air conditioning inspection. We can provide you with tips and recommendations on how to keep your summer cooling costs lower, and avoid turning on the air conditioner as long as you can and enjoy the crisp Utah air!