How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running Properly

When it comes to being comfortable in your own home, toasty warm or cool, you’re at the mercy of your heating and cooling system. You can do more to keep your HVAC system running smoothly than you think. Every homeowner dreads a malfunction, but the reality is that many air conditioner and furnace issues are preventable with routine maintenance and a careful eye for small issues. A small problem can quickly escalate into a very expensive or a safety issue. Count on United to conduct an inspection and give you peace of mind.

You can conduct your own visual inspection any time to keep tabs on your structure’s system; however, it’s always best to have a professional check for leaks or other issues. While it’s never wise to attempt repairs on your own, knowing how to spot the warning signs of an air conditioner malfunction is a great way to save yourself time, money and frustration later. Many major air conditioning issues occur because of smaller issues left unaddressed for too long, and United can help.

Tips for Upkeep

One of the most important things just so happens to be the easiest one for customers to do. Change your air filter. Change it more often than you think is really necessary, especially if you have pets or someone in your family suffers from health problems or allergies. New air filters aren’t expensive and keeping them clean goes a long way toward keeping your heating and cooling system in good running order. Most air filters will have a recommended time frame for replacement and a spot to write the last replacement date. Be sure to keep careful track of your air filter and replace it as recommended by the manufacturer.

Your humidifier, air conditioner coil and high-efficiency furnaces all use the same drain hose to drain water away from the HVAC unit. Drain hoses must be kept clear or water can’t go down the floor drain. Without anywhere to drain, water runs down the furnace and can ruin the control board or blower motor. It may also damage carpet and the surrounding areas.

How do drain hoses become blocked? Dirty air filters are likely the primary culprits. Dirty air filters release excess dust that makes its way through the filter, eventually ending up in the drain hose. All kinds of other things can end up in your drain hose such as algae, hard water deposits, tiny insects, spiders, bird feathers, squirrels’ acorn crumbs and wasp nests, to name a few. Warranties don’t cover damage caused by lack of maintenance. Changing your air filters regularly helps keeps drain hoses clear too.

Keep Temperatures in Check

Going to the extreme temperature-wise will do more harm than good. Keeping your home too cool in the summer or too warm in winter could damage your system and void manufacturers’ warranties. During summer months, it’s important to keep your air conditioner set above 65 degrees. Water can turn to ice on the coil rather than drain down the tube if it’s set too low. If you’re tempted to drop your AC below 65 degrees because it doesn’t feel like it’s providing the right amount of cooling, there’s likely a problem with the structure’s airflow or insulation.

In winter months, keep your furnace set to at least 62 degrees. When your furnace starts up, exhaust gas is moist. Under normal conditions the gas goes through the vent pipe. Anything below 58 degrees keeps the gas too cold and it’ll stay in the furnace instead of venting. That trapped moisture causes rust and creates the potential for a host of other HVAC problems.

If you’re unsure whether your existing HVAC system is up to par, United can perform a series of diagnostic checks and offer recommendations for new appliances and parts that fit within your budget. We’ll also provide you with tips for getting the most value out of a new air conditioner and furnace system.

Any maintenance other than changing your air filter should be handled by a professional technician, such as United Heating, Cooling & Plumbing. HVAC work is a specialized field that requires training, experience and special instruments. United has a strong reputation for thorough service and a commitment to customer satisfaction. Let us know about your air conditioner problem before it becomes more costly to repair.

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