Keep Your AC Running Efficiently - A Homeowner's Guide to AC Maintenance in Saskatoon
Warmer weather is on the horizon, and the temperatures are finally rising in Saskatoon. If you rely on air conditioning to keep your home cool during this time, consider how to optimize your AC usage while keeping it running efficiently. Here are some tips for properly maintaining your AC unit to avoid overworking it and costly repairs.
Change the Air Filter Regularly
One of the most straightforward things you can do to ensure that your AC runs efficiently is to change its air filter. An air filter traps dust, pollen, and other particles, preventing them from circulating inside your home. A dirty filter will obstruct the airflow, forcing your AC to work harder, resulting in higher energy bills. Consider changing your AC filter every one to three months, depending on the usage level.
Keep Your Vents Clear
Observe the airflow in each room and ensure all the vents are open and unobstructed. By keeping them clear, you can reduce the workload on your AC unit, keeping it efficient. Blocked or dirty ducts can hinder the airflow, which can cause the system to work harder, reducing its lifespan.
Check for Refrigerant Leaks
Refrigerant is what your AC unit requires to emit cool air. Low refrigerant levels can reduce your unit's efficiency, overworking it and creating costly repairs. If you observe the airflow from the vents has reduced or the air coming out is not as cool as it usually is, you may have a refrigerant leak. Have a professional come to take a look.
Clean the Outdoor Unit
The outdoor unit on your AC is exposed to the elements all year round, collecting dirt, leaves, and debris that can obstruct airflow. Using a garden hose, lightly spraying down the compressor and coils will help to remove any debris, ensuring that your unit has the airflow necessary for optimal efficiency.
Set the Thermostat Responsibly
Set your thermostat as high as you can tolerate comfortably. Every degree you increase can save you up to 10% on your cooling bills. Keep the thermostat at 78-80 degrees or higher if you are not home during the day. If you have a programmable thermostat, you can set it to increase the temperature while you are away and bring it back to normal before you arrive home.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to easily take control of your home's temperature based on your lifestyle. You can set the temperature for each part of the day, such as a cooler temperature when no one is home and a warmer temperature when everyone returns.
A programmable thermostat will prevent unnecessary energy usage as the AC unit won't have to work too hard and will save you money in the long run. In addition, having a programmable thermostat will also help your AC unit last longer due to its efficient use - which gives you even more savings.
Inspect the Ductwork
The ductwork in your home is also an integral part of your HVAC system, responsible for distributing cool air throughout your home. Leaks or any obstructions in the ductwork will hamper airflow, causing your AC unit to overwork. Consider having a professional inspect your ductwork if you notice hot spots, uneven cooling, or excessive dust.
Schedule Regular Professional Maintenance
A routine AC system check may reveal underlying issues that could lead to costly repairs or reduce your AC's efficiency. Scheduled maintenance, cleaning, and inspections by a professional ensure your system runs optimally, preventing future breakdowns and saving you money.