Keeping your AC Clean

Is your air conditioning unit on your spring cleaning list? It should be! The average life span for air conditioners is 12–15 years; well-maintained machines, however, can last up to 25 years, and those that get ignored may only make it four. Follow our five tips to insure a long, healthy AC life:

1. Change your air filters. It’s a simple step, but one that gets ignored all too often. For the best results, they should be changed every 30–60 days. Otherwise, the capacity of the unit decreases, meaning your cooling won’t be as effective, and operating costs can skyrocket.

2. Maintain your outdoor unit. Just like air filters, keeping your outdoor unit in good shape can lower your costs and keep your unit’s cooling capacity at a high level. All it takes is making sure your air conditioner has no debris of any kind around it.

3. Check your Freon levels. Freon is the refrigerant that travels back and forth between the evaporator coil and the condenser. This allows your AC unit to remove the heat from your house, send it to the outdoor unit, and disperse it. If either of the coils is dirty, the heat and humidity can’t properly be removed. It’s also important to note that there are new Freon regulations that require units to switch to a special, ozone-safe Freon. It’s likely that you will have to switch this spring.

4. Open and clear your vents. After the house has been closed up all winter long, it’s important to open things up. Duct cleaning — a relatively new service at McAtee — is a way to insure cleaner air in your house. Those with allergies, sensitivity to pet dander, or any bronchial problems should pay particular attention to this step. Indoor air quality is 10 times dirtier than the outside air, but duct cleaning can improve your air quality by 30%!

5. Don’t abuse your thermostat. It sometimes sounds like an attractive option to turn your thermostat off for the day, so it won’t be running while you’re gone. When you turn it back on in the evening, though, it makes it a tough task to cool the house down. Instead of turning your unit all the way off, raise the temperature by five degrees. Doing this means your unit only has to lower the temperature by five degrees when you return at the end of the day. It will be a quicker process, and much easier on your AC unit.

When your air conditioner receives regular maintenance, it performs more efficiently and lasts much longer. If any of the steps above are ignored, your operation costs increase exponentially and the lifespan of your equipment deteriorates. One easy way to stay on top of the maintenance hassle-free is through a service agreement. Through this system, McAtee comes to your home twice a year — once in the fall to check on your heating and once in the spring for your air conditioning. A quick, one-hour maintenance call can save you a host of headaches in the long run.