It’s no secret that around the Rio Rancho area, air conditioners are an absolute necessity and that they get quite the workout each and every summer. Fortunately, modern air conditioners are very durable, and can take the heat, right?
Well, they can if they’re properly cared for, and used as efficiently as possible, anyhow. How do you know that you’re using your air conditioner efficiently?
First off, there are many ways that you might be paying more than necessary for your air conditioner, and allowing it to accumulate more wear and tear as a result. But there are just as many ways to prevent inefficient AC use, such as by:
Raising the Temperature on Your Thermostat
Don’t worry, we don’t want you to make it hotter in your home than necessary. But there’s a good chance that you might be keeping the thermostat down at a level you don’t really need it to be. Lower thermostat settings don’t provide you with cool air any faster—it just causes the air conditioner compressor to run longer, inefficiently so.
We recommend that you set the thermostat at 78°F during the day, versus trying to achieve cold air faster by setting it all the way down to 72°F or lower.
Clean Around the Outdoor AC Unit
The outdoor AC unit is where the compressor is stored. The compressor, along with the refrigerant that courses through it, is what’s responsible for actually providing cooling to your home. But when the outdoor unit is bogged down with too much debris, like leaves, twigs, lawn mulch, etc. it can restrict airflow. As a result, your AC system won’t be able to work as efficiently as it otherwise would have been able to.
Open Your Room Vents and Clean Off Registers
Do a walk through your home and make sure all the vents are fully open, and that none of them are blocked by things like furniture, rugs, curtains, or anything else. Use a vacuum hose to clean off dirt and lint from the register so the ventilation system can “breathe” easier.
Change the Air Filter
There’s a fairly common misconception that the air filter that comes standard with an HVAC system is in place to protect a home’s indoor air quality. It certainly doesn’t hurt indoor air quality, but its purpose is to protect the HVAC system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can get inside and damage the components.
When the air filter gets too clogged up, it can restrict airflow and cause efficiency problems. You should be changing your air filter on your own every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter you have and how often you use your AC system—which for residents around here is going to be a lot!
How Does All This Prevent Repairs?
When your air conditioner is working more efficiently, this typically means that it’s also working more effectively, accumulating wear and tear at a slower rate. As a result, you may not see as many repair needs as you would have otherwise. Maintenance and proper AC care can actually prevent up to 85% of the repair needs your system might ever need in its lifetime!