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Boulder Get Your Air Conditioner Ready For Summer

February 16, 2011 at 9:59 pm | Category: Air Conditioning

When winter ends and the temperature begins to rise, many people begin the annual ritual of spring cleaning. Dusting away winter cobwebs and cleaning the insides of windowsills are usually performed to keep the home in good condition. But many people overlook the maintenance on one household item that is relied on all summer long: the air conditioner.

You should make sure your air conditioner is in proper working condition before the summer hits, just as you would make sure your furnace is in proper working condition before the winter. Your HVAC system as a whole functions to keep you and your family comfortable, so an inspection by a professional HVAC contractor should be done at least once a year (usually before the winter season).

Before the summer, however, you should check over your air conditioning unit to identify any potential problems. By far, the most important maintenance task you can perform is changing the air filters on a regular basis. Failing to replace the air filters once per month (or two months, depending on the type of air filter) is a mistake that could cost you a lot of money in energy bills and will significantly reduce the lifespan of the entire system. Make sure you purchase air filters that allow for proper airflow and are recommended by the HVAC system manufacturer. Purchasing expensive air filters may not always be your best option, as these filters reduce airflow and make the air conditioner work extra hard to cool your home, costing you more money in energy bills.

Another thing you can do before you turn your air conditioning unit on for the summer is clean your registers and air returns. Make sure the vents and registers are free of dust and opened properly to allow clean air to enter and exit the cooling system. Also check the sealing around the ductwork, as you can loose a lot of cool air through unsealed ductwork, which will dramatically raise your cooling costs.

You may want to inspect the evaporator coil for dirt and dust. There are special cleaners available that are designed for use on refrigerant coils. However, this may not be an easy task and accessing the evaporator coil may be difficult. You may want to contact a professional HVAC contractor to perform this maintenance, as certain lines may need to be cut and reinstalled for proper cleaning and use.

Your outdoor air conditioning unit should be free from debris. Remove leaves and overgrowth around your outdoor unit to ensure it has enough space to maintain proper airflow. Try to keep water away from the unit, as this can cause premature rusting and corrosion. A licensed HVAC contractor can inspect and clean the inside of system for any signs of potential problems and make sure it is ready for summer, as well as check the refrigerant levels to ensure there is enough to keep your house cool all season long.

Taking these steps to clean and maintain your air conditioning system will ensure that it lasts a long time and runs at a very high efficiency. You’ll save money in the long run and your family will stay cool and comfortable during those hot summer days.

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