For Tucson and other warm climates, air conditioning feels necessary during summer months. No one wants their system to stop working during triple digit heatwave.
In many cases it will require a professional HVAC technician to repair it. Even if you have some understanding, you should ordinarily limit your tasks to changing the filters and vacuuming out the dust. However, if you are an accomplished handyman there are some maintenance tasks you can carry out before calling for professional help.
Check the temperature setting you have on the thermostat. It should be switched to cool. It may be at the wrong temperature due to the small space it occupies. The setting for the fan should be automatic. You want the fan on only when cooling is needed.
Make certain that an electrical breaker is not tripped. Sometimes that can happen without noticing it, possibly during a storm or overloading the circuits. To check, turn it to off and then turn it back on. It would be a mistake to pay for a service call for no good reason.
Change the filters on schedule and make certain you are using the correct size. There are countless sizes of these making it easy to purchase the wrong one by mistake. Dirty filters may block the flow of air and increase the power bill you pay each month. Having dirty filters can also overwork your system. You never want any appliance to work harder than it needs to.
Sometimes an air conditioner can be iced over, with ice accumulated on the unit. Turn off the thermostat and turn on the fan. This should begin melting the ice. When all the ice has melted you can try turning it on. It can take up to six hours to melt the ice if it is not unusually hot outside. If it works again when you turn it back on you will not need to call a service professional.
Another task you can take care of is the outdoor maintenance. Any tall grass or debris should be removed from the area. If necessary vacuum it out of the fins. Don’t plant bushes too close to the unit. There are air conditioner covers for sale and you will want to protect the unit over the winter. These tips will save you money. We all like to save as much as possible while at the same time enjoying cool air in the home in hot weather and warm air in the house in winter.
As a homeowner its important to keep up on routine heating and cooling maintenance whether it be with your air conditioning unit, your roof and gutters or your home appliances. General maintenance can save you thousands in the long run. Just like taking your car in for an oil change, you must take some time out to keep up on home maintenance to avoid problems that may come up.
Some of the new thermostats current offered by leading HVAC manufactures have touch screen display which will alert you if a problem arises with your air conditioning unit, or when your system needs routine maintenance performed. Most companies will provide an air conditioning or heating system check for under $100.
Some companies offer membership plans which can help reduce this annual cost. Air conditioning system filters can be picked up at your local air conditioning store for as low as $6-$10. You can also buy the ones you can clean and reuse for roughly $40. This is a pretty small price to pay to avoid having to repair, or even replace, your home’s air conditioning system.
Cole enjoys writing about home improvement and also writes for Cool Breeze Air Solutions, a local Tucson air conditioning and plumbing company.