Summer may mean fun in the sun, but sometimes the sun can be downright unforgiving. Once it reaches that point, there’s nothing better than retreating inside and switching the air conditioner on to full blast. Add some cold drinks and snacks, and you’ve got a great afternoon ahead of you.
Ergo, there is nothing worse than an air conditioning unit breaking down in the middle of summer. It’s hot, it’s humid, and the electric fans are just blowing in hot air.
Avoid this summer dilemma by double-checking all your air-conditioning units and ensuring they’re ready to beat the heat. Here are three easy ways to prepare them.
Check the Filters
Dirty air conditioner filters can block air from escaping. As a result, the unit must work harder to push the air out and bring the room down to the right temperature. Aside from increasing energy consumption—and thereby spiking your energy bill—this also wears down your unit faster.
The dirt and dust from the filter can also negatively affect your unit’s performance. If dirt catches on to the coil, it won’t be able to absorb as much heat as it usually can. This issue lowers the air conditioner’s ability to cycle and cool the air efficiently.
To get your air conditioning units ready for summer, thoroughly check the filters in each model. Clean them out using approved cleaning methods or hire a technician to do it for you. If they look too old or too worn, consider replacing the filters entirely.
Check the Age
How old is your unit? A year? Three years? Ten?
Older air conditioning units are a little more problematic than newer models, for several reasons. One is that they have outdated technology, ergo might not be as efficient in recycling and cooling air. Another reason is that their parts may be more prone to breaking or stalling due to age and overuse.
If your unit is “too old,” you should consider replacing it before summer hits. To test this, turn it on for an hour or two and observe how long it takes for the unit to sufficiently cool the house down. If it takes too long to get the room to the right temperature or it no longer seems capable of cooling the entire area, it might be time to get a new model.
Check Your Other Appliances
With the summer heat cooking outside, you want to avoid generating heat inside as well. The assault on both ends can get your air conditioning unit working double-time, which doesn’t bode well for long-term use. If you have huge appliances in the house that generate heat throughout the day, consider switching them off or powering them down to a lower setting.
For instance, opt to hang your laundry outside instead of throwing the whole pile into the dryer. Unplug appliances that aren’t in use. If you’re cooking a large meal, lessen the load on your indoor oven by taking some food out to the grill.
Overall, an air conditioning unit is a wonderful thing to have for those summer days when it’s just too hot to stay outside. But if you want to enjoy it for as long as possible, you need to be smart about using it. Implement these three strategies, and your air conditioner will handle the heat beautifully.