Dont forget to service your central air unit, summer is almost here!
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  1. #1
    Registered User Mr Fixit's Avatar
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    Default Dont forget to service your central air unit, summer is almost here!

    For those of you with central AC units, dont forget to service your unit before peak summer heat gets here. Most of the service can be done by you, and doesn't need to be done by a contractor. Here are the items you need to check!

    1. Check or install a new air filter. Use the thin cheap ones for summer because you need all of the air flow you can get to push the cold air throughout the house! The cheap filters will need to be changed every month!

    2. Check the outside condensing unit. Make sure you can see through the cooling fins, and that leaves and debris is not restricting the air flow. If the fins are dirty, remove the top cover, and blow from the inside out with compressed air, or use a shopvac and vacuum the outside of the cooling fins. Some people use a water hose and nozzle to blow out the debris, but this must be dome with much caution to keep water out of the control compartment, so if you dont know where this compartment is, do not try this method. The condensor must be clean in order to get rid of the heat!
    If it was covered for the winter months, for Petes sake take the cover off before using it in the cooling mode!

    3. Check the insulation on the refrigeration lines at the condensing unit. The larger line should be insulated. If the insulation has rotted off, get a peice of 1/2" Armaflex and reinsulate it.

    4. Once the unit is running, check the condensate drain form the inside evaporator coil. Water should be running out into an inside or outside drain. If no water comes out after a couple of hours of operation, the drip tray outlet is plugged. Try to disconnect the pipe or tubing, and run a small bottle brush into the tray to clear the blockage, ( do not use large wire or anything that could puncture or damage the coils ). You can also try a shopvac and suck out the debris with a little luck. If this doesn't work, the evaporator housing will have to be disassembled and unless you are familiar with This work, call a serviceman. If the condensate doesn't drain, you will end up with a large puddle on the floor!

    5. If you live in a 2 story house, you may want to partially close the downstairs registers in order to force more cold air upstairs. Since cold air goes down, the downstairs will still be cooled. Normally you dont want to totally close the downstairs registers because it will affect the system balance, so just close them approximately half way. In a lot of houses, this really helps keep the upstairs cooler. Dont forget to reverse this procedure next fall before winter.

    6. Start and run the unit before it gets really hot, just to make sure it operates correctly, that way if something is wrong, you can get it repaired before the peak heat season.

    Cost savings items:

    1. Setback Thermostat. If you dont have one already, get one and program it to raise the temperature when nobody is home by 5 degrees. This will help save on the utility bill, and will still keep the house from getting uncomfortably hot. The thermostat can also be programmed to bring the temp down before you get home, so you wont have to wait for the house to cool down to your preffered temperature.

    2. Check the insulation in your attic. If the upstairs is getting uncomfortably hot, you may not have enough insulation. Also make sure all attic vents are open. Ridge vents are not very efficient in getting rid of attic heat, so you may want to consider the larger metal vents the protrude through the roof. I added the metal vents to my house and it made a big difference!

  2. #2
    Registered User ARCMOMMY's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting I will be doing this. Also wanted to add. If you have powered down your ac unit from the breaker don't forget to flip the switch.

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    Nice ideas... I'll get mu hubby on it.

    Susie Q

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