Fellow New Englanders! It’s that time again in Middlesex County when the humidity is creeping in. Before you know it, that late-spring, mild temperature is going to take a sharp turn for oppressive heat. Are you prepared?
One of the last things you need to deal with during the middle of summer in Middlesex is a dying AC. There are always ways in which you can lengthen the life of your appliances, and your heating and air conditioning system is no different. The following are 5 tips to help you keep your system on track this summer.
Keep it Clean
Whether it is a car or a cooling system, everything runs better when it is clean. Your heating and cooling system consists of either a furnace and an AC or a heat pump. There is also an indoor unit (evaporator and blower) and outdoor component (condenser coil and compressor) to take into consideration.
There are a variety of ways to clean the outdoor unit. Make sure you always cut the power before doing anything. Once you remove the top, you can use a hose to clean the fins by spraying from the inside out. You can also purchase fin cleaner from your local hardware store if you want to get into the nitty-gritty. Straightening the fins is another way to spruce up your AC. If you continue to remove debris from the system, it will run efficiently.
Examine the Wiring
While the power is off, it is also critical that you check the connections to your heating and cooling system. In order to inspect the wires and components, remove the access panel on your condensing unit. You want to look for any wires that have melted insulation or look charred or burned.
Additionally, check all electrical connections to make sure they are tight and secure. If you own a meter, you can even test the electrical output to make sure your system is running efficiently. Lastly, check the contactor switch. If there is any pitting, replace that as well.
If, for any reason, you do not feel comfortable replacing these wires, do not attempt to. If you’re located in Middlesex County, give us a call us and we can safely inspect your system for you.
Check the Filter
Your AC is moving air through a filter which, over time, builds up dirt. You can clean your filter but eventually, it will need to be replaced. A high-proficiency, pleated air filter is the best on the market and will last longer than normal reusable filters.
In order to locate your filter to clean or replace it, consider the following locations:
- Inside the blower compartment of the furnace or air handler.
- In the side, top, or bottom slot of your furnace.
- Behind the return air grille on the wall or ceiling in a central room.
When the filter is dirty, it decreases the air flow—making your system work harder than it has too. Changing it out will ensure the longevity of your heating and cooling system.
Test the Thermostat
Eventually, everything in our homes will need to be modernized. If your thermostat is the old, mechanical type, consider replacing it completely. The best way to utilize your heating and cooling system is through proper planning. A programmable thermostat will allow you to set the AC to start 30-minutes before you get home, rather than blasting it all day.
Updating and checking your thermostat will save you time and energy, and will ensure your HVAC system is maintained year-round.
Check the Fan
Your outdoor condenser unit also has a fan that is mounted on the top. Maintaining your heating and cooling system means keeping proper air flow. After cutting the power, remove the top and examine the fan blades. If there are any cracks or chips visible, replace the blade. Clean in and around the fan before putting the unit back together.
If you have an older model, you may need to oil the fan motor as well. At any time, if you suspect the fan isn’t working properly, consider replacing the whole thing. It will be much cheaper in the long run to swap a fan than an entire condensing unit.
Your HVAC system should be checked several times a year. Especially with the weather and pollen in Middlesex County. The most ideal times are right before it gets hot and right before it gets cold. If you wait to wash, check, and replace your system, you might be stuck sweating more than you should this summer.