Keep Your Air Conditioner Running at its Best This Summer
As the temperature in Ontario continues to rise, the last thing you need is a broken air conditioning unit. To keep your AC unit running at its best, we've gathered a few tips from the pros that we'd like to share.
- Change your air filter - A large percentage of issues can be mitigated just by making sure you change the filter. Make sure it is the correct size, don't jam a 4 inch filter into a 1 inch space. Also, 1" filters are recommended to be changed once a month whereas 4" to 5" should be changed at least once a year.
- Start your AC before it gets hot - Even if you don't need to turn it on, you should always check to see if it's working. All you have to do is wait till it is about 22 degrees outside, then flip the switch to cooling (make sure you take off your cover if you have one). If it starts, great! If it doesn't? Well, now you know to call a service technician. As a bonus, spring is generally the slowest season for HVAC technicians, so you'll get faster service.
- Wash your outdoor unit - It's always a good idea to clean the unit before summer begins, as dust and other dirt buildup can play a big part in AC issues. Grab a hose and wash the outside fins. If you leave that kind of stuff on the unit, it can cause a decrease in air flow, which means more effort will be put into the motor.
- If you see ice forming on your unit, TURN IT OFF! - Ice can mean various things; a service technician will be able to determine the problem, but they can't do anything until the unit thaws. So make sure it's not covered in ice when you call.
- If your thermostat is blank, check the batteries - A large percentage of thermostats run on batteries, so make sure they're not out of juice. Also, batteries in your basement for 10 years don't count. They have expiration dates; get new ones.
- Be patient - It's hot, and your AC isn't working; unfortunately, many others are in the same situation. You may not receive same-day service if it's been an extremely hot few days. The closer you are to your local HVAC company and the more flexible you are, the better your chance of getting quicker service.
You don't always have to spend a lot of money to maintain your investment in your central air conditioning system. Understanding the different parts of your HVAC system and running it efficiently will keep it in top working condition for when you need it most this summer.