In some regions, air conditioning is essential for comfort and even health during the hot summer months. When temperatures get into the triple digits, it can spell danger for small children and the elderly. And even healthy adults don’t want to sweat it out all night in a sweltering home interior that’s been soaking up the heat of the sun all day.
If you live in a southern state that experiences extreme heat, you may therefor want to make sure that your AC is up to the challenge of cooling your home throughout the summer, especially if you don’t have a basement. And of course, the last thing you want is for the AC to go out during the hottest part of the year, when getting a technician on short notice is practically impossible. Luckily, you have more power than you might suspect over the performance of your AC unit, and there’s a lot you can do to keep if functioning at its peak. Here are just a few ways to prevent an AC breakdown during the long, hot summer months.
The first and most important step is to make sure your AC is well-maintained, which means contracting with a local service provider for annual inspections, cleaning, and maintenance. When you schedule regular visits with a qualified technician you can reasonably expect to be informed of any problems with your system so that you can make repairs as needed, long before small issues develop into major headaches that could cause your system to shut down completely. Of course, it’s your responsibility to schedule regular service and listen to the advice of your AC technician where repairs are concerned. But it’s a good bet that you’ll experience more problems if you fail to arrange for service at all.
In between visits, you’ll probably want to take some steps to keep your system running efficiently, as well. For one thing, you should probably think about ways you can protect your AC unit from harm. If you have an exterior unit, it’s not a bad idea to at least provide some cover for shade and to keep debris from getting into the casing, where it could cause damage. And you’ll definitely want to maintain brush clearance so that your machinery can get the air intake it needs to function properly. You should also keep the outside of the unit clean, and this can be easily accomplished by simply wiping down the casing or even hosing it off (although you should ask your technician if it is advisable to remove it before cleaning).
You might also want to make sure your home isn’t causing your AC unit to work harder than necessary to cool your home. Most air conditioning tips won’t include performing a home energy audit, but if you’re dealing with insufficient insulation and leaks, you could be paying to cool the outside and unduly over-taxing your system. In addition, you may want to consider upgrading to a system that is better suited for your home and your air conditioning needs. Your technicians at Phoenix Air Dynamics Inc. should be able to tell you whether your unit is the wrong size for your home or if it’s time to toss your outdated equipment and upgrade to something more energy efficient. And it could make a world of difference in the cost and effectiveness of cooling your home, not to mention decreasing the potential for failure.