If you're fortunate enough to have a home with central air conditioning, you can keep your entire home cool and comfortable even on the hottest days of the year. However, as with any major home mechanical component, your home's AC system requires some basic care and maintenance to keep it operating as it should. Specifically, there are a few common maintenance mistakes homeowners make that you should avoid making yourself.
Forgetting to Change the Air Filter
The most basic maintenance task to complete with any central air conditioning unit is to replace the air filter at least once every three months. The air filter plays an important role of removing dust, allergens, and other debris from the air you breathe in your home. When your AC runs with a dirty or clogged filter, not only does your indoor air quality suffer, but the efficiency of the air conditioning unit will decrease as well.
Foregoing the Annual Tune-Up
If you don't already have a trusted HVAC company to come out and provide a tune-up/inspection of your central air conditioning unit at least once a year, now is the time to find one. Most reputable HVAC companies will actually offer year-round service plans to include your air conditioning, heating, and plumbing. Having these tune-ups done is a great way to prolong the life of your AC unit and handle mechanical issues before they become major malfunctions.
Letting Shrubs Grow Too Close
Be careful about letting landscaping, such as plants and shrubs, grow too closely to your outdoor central air conditioning unit. Plants and branches that grow too close to the unit can block air flow, resulting in a reduction in efficiency and performance. If things get too out of control, you could even end up facing damage to the unit itself. Invest in a quality pair of gardening shears and/or hedge trimmers to keep landscaping pruned back.
Ignoring Signs of Problems
Whether it's a sudden and unexplained increase in your energy bills or a strange noise coming from the unit itself, it's never a good idea to ignore problems with your air conditioning unit--no matter how small they may seem. By addressing problems and having them checked out by an air conditioning professional as soon as possible, you can avoid major and more expensive issues down the road.
By being careful to avoid these common central air conditioning mistakes, you'll be well on your way to proper AC maintenance. Contact a service, like Nathan's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc., for more help.