As the Texas heat makes its grand entrance, the warm air flees our homes, leaving us reliant on air conditioning units to stay comfortable. However, without proper maintenance, these units can fail prematurely, leading to costly repairs or even replacement.
John Lyzenga, HVAC service manager for Milestone, emphasizes the importance of working smarter, not harder when it comes to AC maintenance. During a recent visit to a White Rock Lake-area home, Lyzenga demonstrated the significance of regular filter changes by pulling out a filter that was due for replacement. "To ensure you remember when to change your air filter, we highly recommend putting the date on the filter," Lyzenga advised. "It's easy to forget when you're changing them every six months." Lyzenga stressed that routinely replacing or cleaning air filters is one of the simplest yet most crucial maintenance tasks for maintaining AC efficiency. It is recommended to perform this task every six months. Clogged and dirty filters restrict airflow, diminishing system efficiency. Milestone highlights several signs that indicate an AC unit is not functioning properly:
Rising electricity costs can be an indicator of decreased efficiency.
Unusual noises emanating from the system should be investigated.
A burning smell could signify potential fire hazards or other dangers.
Significant temperature disparities among rooms suggest the need for system inspection.
Another component requiring regular attention is the condenser. Over time, dirt accumulates on the evaporator coil and condenser coil, impairing performance. "If you look through the coil and cannot see through due to dirt or debris, it's time for maintenance," Lyzenga explained. "During a tune-up, a professional should dismantle the unit and thoroughly clean it." Lyzenga recommends performing this thorough cleaning at least once a year. Insufficient airflow across the coils can cause overheating, leading to damage in fan motors and compressors. To maintain the condenser's functionality, it is crucial to remove grass, weeds, and leaves that may have accumulated around the unit after winter. Landscaping within a couple of feet of the AC unit should also be avoided. While some individuals opt to use a water hose to wash away dirt, Lyzenga advises using low water pressure to prevent any inadvertent damage. Power washers, on the other hand, can cause harm to the unit and should be avoided. If in doubt or unable to safely access the unit, it is best to seek professional assistance. Lyzenga urges homeowners to remember that by taking care of their air conditioners, the units will reciprocate by providing optimal cooling comfort. Engaging a licensed professional allows for a thorough inspection of the air conditioning units. This includes cleaning and flushing condenser coils, draining pans and drainage systems if applicable, vacuuming blower compartments, and examining refrigerant and mechanical components. By adhering to these maintenance practices, Texas residents can ensure their air conditioning units operate efficiently throughout the sweltering summer, keeping them cool and comfortable when they need it the most. ADDITIONAL TIPS: As the scorching Texas summer approaches, residents are gearing up to combat the relentless heat and humidity. An essential component of surviving this season is maintaining a well-functioning air conditioning (AC) unit. To help homeowners keep their cool, we have compiled a list of crucial tips to keep your AC unit running efficiently in the Texas summer heat.
Regular Maintenance and Tune-ups: To ensure optimal performance, schedule regular maintenance appointments with a qualified HVAC professional. They will inspect your AC unit, clean or replace air filters, check refrigerant levels, and perform any necessary repairs. Regular tune-ups can prevent breakdowns and extend the lifespan of your system.
Clean and Clear the Surrounding Area: Maintain at least two feet of clearance around your outdoor AC unit. Remove any debris, vegetation, or obstructions that can hinder airflow. Ensure that the area is clean and free from leaves, grass clippings, and branches to prevent clogging of the unit.
Check and Replace Air Filters: Dirty air filters obstruct airflow, forcing the AC unit to work harder and consume more energy. Check your filters monthly and replace them when necessary, usually every one to three months. Homes with pets or high levels of dust may require more frequent filter changes.
Utilize Ceiling Fans: Using ceiling fans in conjunction with your AC system can enhance air circulation and distribute cool air more efficiently throughout your home. Ceiling fans create a wind-chill effect, allowing you to set your thermostat a few degrees higher without sacrificing comfort.
Programmable Thermostat: Invest in a programmable thermostat that allows you to adjust the temperature based on your schedule. By raising the temperature when you're away from home and lowering it when you return, you can save energy and reduce strain on your AC unit.
Proper Insulation: Make sure your home is well-insulated to prevent cool air from escaping and hot air from entering. Insulate attics, walls, and ductwork to keep your home cool and reduce the workload on your AC unit. Consider installing weatherstripping around windows and doors to seal any gaps.
Reduce Heat Gain: Minimize heat gain by keeping blinds or curtains closed during the day, especially in rooms that receive direct sunlight. Use light-colored curtains or reflective window films to reflect heat away from your home.
Limit Heat-Producing Appliances: Appliances such as ovens, stoves, and dryers generate heat and increase the workload on your AC unit. Limit their usage during peak daylight hours or use them in the evenings when temperatures are cooler.
Consider Shade and Landscaping: Strategically planted shade trees or the use of exterior shading devices, such as awnings or pergolas, can help reduce direct sunlight on your home, keeping it cooler and easing the burden on your AC system.
Optimize Ventilation: During cooler evenings or early mornings, when the outside air is pleasant, consider turning off your AC unit and opening windows to allow natural ventilation. This allows fresh air to circulate and gives your AC system a well-deserved break.
By following these tips, Texas residents can keep their AC units running smoothly throughout the sweltering summer months. Not only will they ensure a comfortable living environment, but they will also save on energy costs and contribute to a more sustainable future.
Remember, a little proactive maintenance and smart energy-saving practices can go a long way in beating the Texas summer heat while keeping your AC unit in optimal condition. Stay cool and stay safe! Make your summer more fun and enjoyable with Boardwalk Bites' Carnival Food eats and treats. Best pair this summer is our foot-long corn dogs and fresh-squeezed lemonades or you can also indulge yourself with our popular chicken tender basket paired with our sweet tea. source: wfaa.com