Make sure that your air conditioning is ready for the summer heat
Cass County Electric Cooperative (CCEC) recommends routine professional maintenance for your heating and air conditioning units.
For the relatively small amount it costs to schedule a professional tune-up, the return on your investment can be huge. Besides helping avoid unexpected breakdowns, tune-ups are essential for helping your unit recover lost efficiency, operate more safely, increase the unit's overall lifespan, improve your general level of comfort, and reduce your operating expenses.
However, if you are a DIYer, take these steps to be prepared for hot weather. People who don't maintain their systems are often those whose systems unexpectedly break down, leaving them without any heating or air conditioning during some of the most uncomfortable times of the year.
Change the filters. This is probably the simplest form of maintenance, but many people don't do it often enough. Replace filters every few months to keep your AC running smoothly.
Remove debris around the outside unit. Plants, leaves, high grass, and debris close to your outdoor unit can reduce performance. Before you start running your AC, clean out any debris and consider removing plants that block the unit.
Clean the coils on the outside unit. Your AC's outside unit has collected dust, plant matter, and other debris during the winter. All of that muck clogs up the unit, causing your AC to run sluggishly. Simply disconnect the power and spray down the outside of the unit with a garden hose.
Clean the fins. To clean the fins, use a soft toothbrush. Run the brush gently across each fin, being careful not to bend the metal. If you find that these fins are damaged, you can use various tools to straighten them out.
Clean the condensation lines. The pipe that carries condensation away from your air conditioner can get clogged. If the line becomes blocked, it could back up into the air conditioner — or into your home. To combat this, locate where the pipe drains out and make sure it's draining correctly.
Check the concrete slab that your air conditioning unit sets on. First, use a level to make sure the concrete slab is level. If it's not, the unit will have to work harder to keep your house cool. If the slab isn't level, pry it up with a board and add gravel underneath in small amounts until it is.
Leaky windows, doorways, and other orifices into your home let in hot and cold air. Applying caulk around windows lowers home energy costs by stopping air leaks, which otherwise allow heat to escape in the winter and allows cool air out in the summer.
Install a programmable thermostat. You can save a significant amount of energy and money by installing a programmable thermostat and setting it to reduce the use of air conditioning or heat at times when you don't need it, like when you're away for work.
To learn more about our money-saving off-peak programs click the energy management services button below. To learn more about saving energy click the conservation blog button below.
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