If you want your air conditioner to be able to provide reliable and efficient service over many summers, there are some things that you need to do to help it stay in good working order. At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we know a thing or two about keeping air conditioners working at their best. To help you to keep your Kansas City home cool, we are drawing on our experience to provide these eight tips that will keep your AC system in optimal condition throughout the year.
1. Keep It Clean
One of the greatest enemies of your air conditioner is the dust and dirt that is common throughout a home. A buildup of contaminants on the evaporator coil can lead to less-efficient cooling and longer run cycles, resulting in higher utility bills. By removing the main access panel to your AC unit, you can easily see if dust has accumulated on these coils. If you notice any dust at all, it is a good idea to call Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to have the coils professionally cleaned.
2. Keep It Ventilated
The best way to prevent dust from accumulating in your air conditioner is to keep a good air filter in place at all times. To ensure the optimal operation of your AC system, that filter needs to be cleaned regularly. A good filter that is trapping dust as it should typically requires replacement at least once a month, especially during the summer. If you have not been in the habit of replacing your filter in the past, it is a good idea to check a new filter at least once a week so that you can see how fast the dust accumulates. With this knowledge, you can decide if you need to change your filter more often than once a month.
3. Do Not Stop the Flow
Your air conditioner’s job is to deliver cool air throughout your house. If it cannot do that job because of some type of blockage, then it could cause damage to your AC unit. It is important to pay attention to how many vents you have closed at any given time. Though it is perfectly fine to close a few vents to help control where the cool air goes, Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning recommends that you do not close more than half of your vents at a time. This will help to prevent excess pressure from building in your ducts and air conditioner components, which could result in air leaks down the road.
4. Use Discipline
Though an AC unit does a great job of keeping your house cool, too much of a good thing can lead to less-than-optimal operation. That is why it is important to utilize discipline in your air conditioner use to ensure you do not wear it out prematurely. A great resource to help with this is a smart thermostat. These devices sense when you are home and when you are away and automatically adjusts the temperature to reduce your AC usage. In addition to protecting your cooling system, this will help to reduce your dreaded summer utility bills.
5. Use a Dehumidifier
Though the air conditioners installed by Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning do a great job of removing humidity from the air in your residence, they do need a little assistance from time to time. This is especially true if you struggle with high humidity levels in a certain area of your home. A dehumidifier removes excess humidity, automatically turning off when it reaches a pre-set humidity level. With the extra humidity gone, your AC system will have less humidity to remove, which will allow it to be more efficient at removing the heat from the air in your house. This results in shorter cooling cycles.
6. Check Your Ducts
An often-overlooked aspect of optimal air conditioner operation is good ducting. Once the cool air leaves your unit, the ducts are entirely responsible for routing that cold air to where it needs to be. Therefore, if your ducts are dirty or improperly routed, your cooling system will have to work harder to keep your property cool. One aspect of good duct health is ensuring your ducts are clean.
Over time, dust and other debris can collect in your ducts. This typically happens in sharp turns and at the end of duct runs. If you have your ducts professionally cleaned, you can restore the proper airflow to all areas of your home. Another component of good duct health is proper duct routing. It is best to have a professional inspect your system to ensure that there are no pinch points in your network of ducts and that none of your ducts has developed leaks.
7. Perform Routine Maintenance Regularly
As much as you can do on your own to maintain the efficient operation of your air conditioner, there are some things that need to be left to a professional. By allowing Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to perform routine maintenance on your system every year, you can be sure that your AC unit will be ready to go when the hottest weather strikes. Routine maintenance consists of checking refrigerant levels, inspecting electrical connections, lubricating moving parts, and performing an overall system check.
8. Increase Insulation
Even if you have an efficient air conditioner, you do not want it to have to work harder than it needs to. One great way to prevent overworking your air conditioner is to increase the insulation in your home. Adequate insulation will help to prevent cold air from escaping too quickly and keep the hot air outside where it belongs. Another aspect of improved insulation is taking the time to fill in all of the gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and along your home’s foundation to ensure that your house is as airtight as possible. This is a project that will benefit you just as much in the winter as it does in the summer.
Knowledge and Service
At Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning, we strive to be much more than an HVAC service company. We want to be a trusted source that you can reach out to when you have questions about your home comfort systems. That is why we maintain a large knowledge base and only hire the most experienced technicians to work for us. Whether we are installing, repairing, or maintaining your air conditioner or furnace or designing a geothermal system, we can do it all with a confidence that comes from decades of accumulated experience.
Over the years, we have earned a deep level of trust with our customers, which is evident in our consistent A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. We are also proud recipients of the Lennox Circle of Excellence Award, which is given to the top 40 HVAC dealers in the nation. If you need to see more, look no further than the numerous five-star customer reviews that we proudly display on our website. If you are looking for a knowledgeable and trustworthy company for your HVAC needs, give Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning a call today.