Six DIY hacks to keep your air conditioner performing at peak efficiency
Loop North News

SPONSORED

17-Jul-22 – During hot months, air conditioning is responsible for up to 70 percent of your energy consumption. This being the case, you’d want to ensure your air conditioner (AC) system performs efficiently. Although there are professionals who can help you manage the system, you can employ some do-it-yourself (DIY) tricks to take care of things. Here are some hacks to improve the performance of your AC and reduce your energy bills:

1 Replace malfunctioning parts

Time after time, some components of your AC may fail or stop working optimally. The air conditioner parts that fail the most often include the fan motor, blower motor, compressor, hose, receiver drier, filters, and thermostat. Luckily, you can replace these instead of buying a new AC. Just make sure the replacement parts are compatible with your specific AC model. That said, consider enlisting professional help if fixing any parts is too technical for you. Otherwise, you might damage your AC instead of enhancing its performance.

2 Remove dust and dirt

A notorious cause of failure for your air conditioning system is dust and leaves that clog up your fans, reducing their effectiveness. So, have a regular maintenance routine to control such situations.

Adobe Stock

You can use a vacuum cleaner or dust rags to tidy up the fan blades and other accessible parts. For the filter, you can vacuum it and then rinse it off with warm water and mild detergent. Ensure the unit is unplugged when cleaning.

3 Shade the outdoor condenser

Since your outside condenser is directly exposed to the sunlight, the overheating could result in a bad air conditioner capacitor. Besides, it could also increase the rate of wear and tear. This will result in extra runs to cool the air and additional maintenance cost to replace the faulty parts. So, make a point of shading the outdoor unit.

However, be careful not to block the airflow as this could alter the temperature readings and force the condenser to work extra hard. While trees are an excellent shading option, don’t plant them so close that they block access to the condenser. You won’t be able to clean it as required. A better option is a structure that shields the sun and leaves plenty of space around the unit.

4 Position heat appliances away from the thermostat

Placing heat appliances next to your thermostat messes up its functionality. Since it acts as the brain of your air conditioner, the environment around it dictates how it performs. A heat appliance next to it can send the wrong message to your AC, hence initiating the cooling process.

This makes the device work harder to regulate the air around it. For this reason, you end up increasing the cooling costs and causing faster wear and tear. So, keep all heat-producing equipment as far as possible from your AC.

Adobe Stock

5 Change your AC filter

AC filters usually attract dust over time and get clogged. Keeping them clean is necessary to ensure they operate with no strain. Additionally, you must change them regularly to keep the AC’s performance optimal and give the unit a longer lifespan.

Photo by Olga Yastremska (Adobe Stock)

A general rule of thumb is to replace the AC filters every three months. But if you keep several pets, live in an overly dusty area, or have severe allergies, it’s best to replace the filters every three weeks.

Again, if you use your AC just occasionally, you could even wait for six months before changing the filters.

6 Keep the doors and windows shut

Whether your house is big or tiny, heat from the sun can penetrate your interiors if your doors and windows are open. This will force your automatic AC to run throughout to cool the indoor air. Shutting your windows and doors if you’re away at work helps lower indoor temperatures. Also, drawing your curtains and blinds or installing a window film makes your home even cooler, thus maintaining the air conditioning system’s efficiency.

Conclusion

Regular AC maintenance ensures no strain on any critical part, thus keeping its performance at peak efficiency. You can do most of the checks and maintenance procedures by yourself. But for this, it’s crucial to understand how the system works. However, consult AC maintenance professionals when your system develops problems you can’t handle by yourself.

Some signs that your AC unit requires expert service include the unit not blowing cold air; inhibited airflow from the vents; perpetually rising energy bills; the system leaking water; and uneven cooling of your home. Once you spot such telltale signs, act quickly, or the unit may worsen, and you’ll have to do costly repairs.

More info:

FREE WEEKLY EMAIL UPDATE

What’s news in the Loop and Near North
neighborhoods of downtown Chicago.

Signup for our weekly email. No ads, no email tracking, and no charge.

Number of subscribers:

See this week’s update