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4 DIY Tips to Boost Your Air Conditioner’s Efficiency This Summer

We’ve all heard ads about getting our bodies beach-ready for summer.  While it can take months of consistent exercise and healthy eating to shed those extra pounds needed to stay warm in the winter, thankfully, it’s  much easier to get your air conditioner summer-ready.  As we always preach, it’s never a bad idea to make sure your AC is ready and working as efficiently as possible for that Southwest Michigan heat before you need to have it constantly running.  

So, without further ado, check out these 4 Simple DIY Tips to Boost Your AC’s Efficiency This Summer

Clean Debris and Dirt Off Your Outdoor AC Unit

Because your air conditioner sits outside year-round, it can easily accumulate dirt and debris, which clogs the cooling fins on your AC condenser (your outdoor unit).  This can affect your fan’s ability sucks air through the fins, and pump the coolant into the house through your ductwork. 
Below are the steps to properly clean your outdoor unit:

  • Make sure you turn off the power to the condenser unit.  
  • Clear off leaves or other debris by unscrewing the grille to remove the fan. Gently lift the fan and set it aside without damaging the electrical wires attached, and pull out any leaves and wipe the inside down with a damp cloth.
  • Check inside the box to see if the condenser coils are clogged. If they are, they need to be cleaned in order for your unit to have the best efficiency possible. You can clean these coils by using a soft brush on a vacuum and carefully vacuum the inside of the unit, and then move to the outside to make sure all obstructions are gone.  Just make sure you don’t bend the fragile exterior fins or damage the coils on the interior…slow and steady is the way to go!
  • Finally, you can make your AC look shiny and new again by hosing it off.

Check the Refrigerant Lines

Refrigerant makes the cooling magic happen. Basically, it’s a “fuel” that moves heat away from your home. It travels through tubes or pipes that run from your air conditioner’s evaporator to the condenser outside. These lines are typically covered with foam coolant line insulation. The key is to make sure that the insulation isn’t frayed or missing, which can deter the lines from staying cool and affect efficiency.  If this is the case, you can replace it with new foam insulation sleeves, or spirally wrap the lines with foam insulation tape.  If you’re unsure how to do this, you can also call an HVAC technician, and while there, they can also check refrigerant levels since it’s difficult to tell if they are low just by looking.

Change Your Filters

Dirty furnace or AC handler filters are a sure sign that your air conditioner is working too hard to distribute cool air through your home.  In addition to that, since all air passes through your filters, if your filters are dirty, they could be redistributing dust, allergens, and pollen throughout your home.  We recommend changing your filters once every 60-90 days.

Make Sure Your Air Conditioner is Draining Properly

The job of an air conditioner is to cool warm air.  As warm air passes through cold evaporator coils, this warm air condenses and drips into a drain pan, which needs to be inspected regularly to make sure it’s draining accordingly.

So where is the drain pan? A central air conditioner is typically mounted in a chamber of the furnace above the blower and combustion chamber. The evaporator coils are located here, and directly underneath those coils is the drain pan. You can easily use a wet/dry vacuum to vacuum the drain pans and the evaporator coils regularly to prevent water from draining into places that could cause problems for you down the road and affect your overall efficiency.

Also, when you inspect the drain pan, look for cracks or holes that can happen over time.  If you have cracks, that could be a problem since it will cause water to drip into other parts of the HVAC system, and perhaps even create mold or mildew.  If you schedule regular maintenance with an HVAC technician, these problems can be found before they cause damage.

Summary

We are all ready for warm summer weather and beach days!  Believe it or not, it will be here before you know it, and it’s definitely a good idea to make sure your air conditioner is ready too.  Just spending some time doing a little DIY maintenance on your AC can help it’s overall efficiency immensely.  As always, if you would like an HVAC professional to come out to your home to make sure everything is working as it should be, BOSS Services is just a call away at 269-468-6682 or you can schedule an AC Maintenance Check-Up right here online!

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