#1 – Check Your Filter: According to a source on Energy.Gov a dirty filter could increase your energy use by 5-15%.* Dirty filters restrict airflow – making it harder for your system to work, decreasing comfort, causing stress on your system, and driving up energy costs. Unfortunately, many homeowners forget to do it.
#2 – Clean Your Outdoor Unit: Dirty coils make your system work harder and drive up your electric bill. Clear away dirt and debris (fallen leaves, grass clippings, etc.) that have collected around the condenser unit. Trim foliage back at least 2 ft. to allow enough airflow around the unit.
Caution: If you use your hose to do the cleaning, do not spray it directly at the condenser coils as this may drive debris deeper inside. Instead, angle the nozzle, so it sprays perpendicular to the side of the coil.
#3 – Clean the Condensate Drain Line: Along with cooling your home, your air conditioner lowers humidity. Your system has a drain line that discards moisture removed from the air and, just like any drain in your home, it can become clogged. This creates a place for mold and bacteria to grow, which could overflow and cause damage to your system and surrounding areas. The solution is to keep your condensate drain clear.
#4 – Adjust Vents or Registers: Your system needs proper airflow to operate efficiently. Avoid blocking vents and registers with furniture. Adjust registers in rooms for your comfort, but don’t fully close more than one or two of them. Closing registers could lead to damage to your system and raise energy costs.
#5 – Schedule Your A/C Tune-up: The secret to keeping your system working longer is to keep it properly maintained (think about how important oil changes and tune-ups are for your car – it’s the same concept for your system). Improper maintenance is one of the top reasons systems breakdown. Proper maintenance will increase your system’s efficiency, your comfort, decrease your energy usage, and, when done consistently, promote longer system life. In fact, it is so important that most manufacturers of air conditioning systems require annual maintenance to keep warranties in force.