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Tips To Help Your Air Conditioning Unit Run More Smoothly And Avoid Expensive Breakdowns

When the weather heats up, you want your air conditioning unit to function to its optimum in order to keep your home cool.  Regular servicing of your air conditioning system by a professional is essential if you want to avoid expensive air conditioning repairs, but you can also help to keep things running smoothly by following a few simple tips.

Here's how to prolong the life of your air conditioning unit.

Change the filter

Changing the filter in the air conditioning unit is a routine maintenance task that many people neglect.  If the filter is dirty and clogged up with dust, the unit won't work as efficiently as it should.  This not only means that it's more likely to let you down; it'll cost you more to run too, as it will use more power.  Make it a routine task to clean or replace the air conditioning unit filter once a month during the hottest time of the year when the system is under heavy use.

Remove the filter as per the manufacturer's instructions.  Vacuum away dirt and debris using the hose and soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.  If the filter still looks mucky, replace it with a fresh one.

Repair air leaks

If the ductwork around your air conditioning unit is leaky, the airflow through the unit will be compromised, and this means that the unit won't function as efficiently as it should. 

The first thing to do is to determine if you have a leak, and the simplest way to do this is by employing the old 'smoke trick'.  Take a stick of incense and light it.  Hold the incense near to the air conditioning unit duct connections.  The smoke should rise upwards in a straight plume with no deviation.  If it blows around or wobbles markedly, you have an air leak in one of the duct connections.

Leaky ductwork can be repaired relatively easily.  Use foil tape to seal up small gaps, and use duct mastic for larger ones – both products are available from good DIY stores.  Remember to use the 'smoke trick' again to test your repairs.   

Help your air conditioning unit out!

A simple way of helping your air conditioning unit out during periods of heavy use is by keeping your blinds and curtains drawn during the day.  If you have floor and ceiling fans, you might also want to think about running these in conjunction with your air conditioning.  This strategy will help to keep the room cooler and will lighten the unit's workload.

Keep rooms open

Closing off rooms by shutting interior doors can unbalance central air conditioning systems, meaning that there is less airflow around the house.  Instead of closing all your interior doors, try leaving them ajar instead.

In conclusion

If your air conditioning unit is not running as efficiently as it should, it not only uses more power, which costs you money, but additional strain is placed on the unit as its components have to work harder to keep the unit functioning.  This can lead to breakdowns and costly repair bills.  Keep your unit running smoothly by following the tips given above and having it serviced regularly by a professional.