For your home's air conditioner to keep your home cool all summer, it is important to keep it in its best working condition, which also helps keep your energy bill lower. There are some simple maintenance you can perform on your ac unit and and changes you can make within and around your home's exterior to help your home stay cooler and reduce your energy bill.
Complete Regular AC Maintenance
It is important to have your air conditioner inspected and cleaned by a professional at the beginning of each summer, to make sure all the internal electrical components are working properly. Then, there are some maintenance you can take care of on your own to ensure its working properly.
First, check and replace your unit's air filter once a month during the months you run the unit, especially if anyone in your household smokes or you have pets in your home. These situations can cause your air conditioner's filter to become dirty faster, causing the air flow to become blocked, your air to work less efficiently, and your energy bill to go up from the excess power to cool your home.
If your air conditioner has an exterior condenser unit, you can clean any debris from around the exterior of the unit to help its efficiency. Also look at the metal exterior fins on your condenser unit to see if any have become bent. Fins can become bent from inadvertent flying rocks or other debris, and outdoor toys. These metal fins allow heat to be expelled from the condenser's coils, and when they are bent they will lower the efficiency of your air conditioner. You can find fin straightener tools at most home improvement stores. Slide the straightening tool up between any bent fins to restore their position.
Manage Your Home's Windows
Along with taking direct care of your air conditioner, you can make some adjustments to your home's windows. Unshaded windows on your home that face east, south, and west can allow heat to enter your home when the sun's rays whine into the window.
For this reason, it is important to block out the sunlight to keep your home's interior as cool as possible. You can install and use curtains and window blinds on the interior of your window and close them against the sun's rays. Then, after the sun has passed by the window, reopen the window to allow indirect light into your home.
Make sure you hang curtains that are lined with a white or light-colored fabric to help better keep your home cooler. The white or light-colored lining reflects the sunlight back outside the windows instead of absorbing the heat, as a darker-colored lining would.
Plant Exterior Landscaping
You can also make changes to your home's exterior landscaping to help keep your home cool and help your air conditioner work better. Planting trees on the south and south-west sides of your home will provide shade onto your home during the hottest parts of the day.
Be sure the trees are spaced away from your home's foundation so their shade falls on your home's exterior to help maximize its cooling effect. Then, trees that lose their leaves during winter will allow sunlight to reach your home during winter when you want the sun's rays to help warm your home.
You can also plant trees and shrubbery in your yard to shade paved areas around your home, such as your driveway, patio, and sidewalks to reduce the heat absorption on these surfaces. This lowers the ambient temperature around your home and helps your home remain cooler and your air conditioner work better. In fact, trees planted in your yard can lower the surrounding air temperature by 6 degrees F and lower the temperature directly below a tree by up to 25 degrees F.
Use these tips to help your air conditioner work more efficiently. For more information or assistance, contact companies like Metro Air.