January is a great time to give the air conditioning in your home a check up. Would not you rather discover an issue when you do not actually need it, then on one of the “dog days” of summer when it's 90 degrees in the shade? It's important to do annual maintenance on your unit to keep it running well to not only avoid future issues, but also to save you money in the long run.
Here are five easy do-it-yourself maintenance tips to help keep your air conditioning unit in great shape and a few ways to know that you might have a problem.
Change your filter
Central air conditioning systems have filters that should be changed quarterly. Do not worry, your unit is not likely to explode if maintenance has slid your mind, but now is a great time to buy a replacement. You can pick one up at your local hardware store for around $ 25 and change it out in seconds. You'll breathe easier once you have.
Double check the condensing unit to make sure it's clear
The condensing unit is the part with the fan that draws air into the system. If you're still unsure, it's the part outside that makes noise. It's crucial that the unit is not obstructed, so check to make sure there is not any furniture that ended up leaning against it over the winter, or any leaves or debris that have blocked the airflow by gathering on top.
Check your Freon levels
Doing a quick check of your Freon levels is relatively easy. Depending on the make and model of your unit, there are lots of videos on YouTube and Google that can assist you. Because your air conditioning unit does not actually use Freon, it just needs it to keep the air cool, low levels might be a sign of a leak or a larger problem. If your levels are off, consider calling out a professional for a more thorough inspection.
Dust your vents
Check the vents in your home and give them a good dusting. Using a shop-vac to suck out dust is an easy way to make short work of it, and to make sure the air blowing into your home is free of dust and pollutants. It's recommended that you have a professional come out periodically to do a deep cleaning on your air ducts and vents in order to reach the places that you can not. Cleanings can cost anywhere from $ 200- $ 600 depending on your area, so be sure to call professionals for quotes if you're interested.
Have a pro check everything else
If you are going to have a professional come to your home for a vent and duct cleaning, or because of a Freon issue, be sure to have them check everything else in your unit. There are parts that can wear over time that may need to be replaced, or your thermostat might need a calibration.
Annual maintenance is very important to maintaining top performance of the cooling unit in your home. Be sure to add these steps to your spring cleaning list to cut down on problems and help your unit have a long life.