Tips on how to make your AC unit work better in warm months
Unless you just love humidity and heat, August in Tennessee is not generally a pleasant time. Temperatures rarely drop below 80 degrees and are routinely in the 90s. After a summer break spent outside at barbecues and ball games, the blistering heat may drive you back inside.
And that’s when you may begin to notice your air conditioning is working overtime. In the summer, you should expect your home to be harder to cool. Even after the air conditioning has kicked on, it could take a while before the temperature drops. But if you’re noticing the unit isn’t pumping out air as strongly as you’re accustomed to, there could be something wrong.
While we would almost always advise you to call Roscoe Brown for any air conditioning need you have, there are a few things you can do yourself to make your AC unit work a little better.
Head outside and check the unit
You should be able to tell just by looking at it if anything is jammed in or around it. Look for leaves, twigs, and debris that could prevent your unit from doing its job properly. Clear out anything that could be restricting airflow. If you decide to do anything that involves taking your unit apart or reaching inside it, make sure to turn the power off first.
Inspect the pipe near the unit
It will likely be a white PVC pipe. If it’s not draining properly, that could be your problem. Get a shop vacuum, attach it to the pipe and suck out anything that may be clogging the pipe. If you suck out a big chunk of debris and then water starts gushing out, you’ll know that was your problem.
Make sure the thermostat is working
Sometimes, without you realizing it, your thermostat can malfunction or turn off. We’ve had customers come home to a sweltering house at the end of the day or wake up to a sauna because the thermostat quit working. If your thermostat’s screen is blank, there are a few reasons why. When your thermostat uses batteries, they may need to be replaced. If it’s hard-wired, you may need to replace the thermostat. But before you go buy a new thermostat, check the breaker box to make sure the circuit breaker connected to your thermostat hasn’t been tripped.
Change the filter
There’s a misconception about filters. Some people think they’re designed to protect you from dust and allergens. They can do that, but their primary function is to protect your AC unit. When your dirty filter goes unreplaced, your unit is at risk. A dirty filter makes your unit work harder, meaning it will take longer to cool your home, meaning your utility bill can increase. A new, clean filter can keep your unit running smoothly. We recommend changing your air filter every two months if you have pets and every three months if you don’t. But you should check the filter on the first of every month just to see if it needs to be changed ahead of schedule.
If all of these DIY tricks don’t work, you should call one of our professionals to take a look. And we highly recommend you sign up for Roscoe Brown’s Heating and Air Maintenance Agreement. The single most important step you can take to save money, save energy, extend your current equipment’s life and live comfortably in your home is to schedule semi-annual (twice a year) maintenance on your HVAC system. With it, you can rest assured your home will remain comfortable and operate efficiently and economically all year long.
Twice-annual system tune-ups:
- Improve efficiency and reduce your energy bills by keeping your equipment running at optimum performance.
- Extend the life of your equipment four to six years, or 25%, saving you money over the long run.
- Result in your experiencing fewer costly repairs by diagnosing problems early, and giving you a chance to make less-costly interim repairs to keep your current system working.
- Keep your unit under the manufacturer’s warranty terms.
The Roscoe Brown annual heating tune-up consists of filter check, gas valve, operation of safety controls, sequencer, heating element in operation, CO level, heat exchanger; clean blower, interior of manifold compartment, pilot, burners; test for gas leaks; clean and calibrate thermostat; check and clean humidifier; check heat pump reversing valve and defrost cycle.
Air Conditioning Tune-Up
The air conditioning tune-up consists of a filter check, compressor performance, freon charge, all safety controls, test crankcase heater, operating pressure. We will also inspect condenser coil, evaporator coil, evaporator drain pan, condensate drain, blower and clean if necessary. We’ll record superheat. We’ll lubricate all necessary parts. And, finally, we’ll clean and calibrate the thermostat.