How to Keep Your Air Conditioner Running through Those Hot Summer Days

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Your air conditioner is a complicated piece of equipment that requires a little maintenance from you to keep running. If you ignore it long enough, your AC will just freeze up and stop working. With just a little time and attention, you can keep your home's AC running when you need it most.

Change the Air Filter

All of the air that the AC uses comes through the air filter. The clean air goes over the coils to get cool and then is sent out to the house. As the filter picks up dirt from the air, it gets clogged up, making it harder for the air to pass through. You should change the filter every one to three months, depending on the season and type of filter.

As the filter becomes dirty, the motor must work harder to pull air through. This extra load causes the motor to heat up and eventually fail. A new air filter will keep the motor from burning up, causing an expensive repair.

Install the Right Filter Properly

For the AC to work efficiently, the filter size must be right for the frame in which it sets. Should the filter be too small, or not set into the frame correctly, you'll leave a small gap at one edge of the frame. This allows unfiltered air to get into the system. As the filter gets dirtier and the air is harder to pull through, more unfiltered air will be pulled in through the gap.

As the unfiltered air flows over the AC unit, dirt collects on the coils and fins used to cool down the compressor. This prevents the unit from cooling and eventually the motor overheats and burns out. Make sure the new filter fits securely in the frame with no gaps at the edges.

Don't Push Your AC to Cool More Space Than What It's Rated For

Air conditioners are rated as to the square footage they can cool efficiently. If you use a small AC to cool a large space, it will run constantly. Frost will build up on the coils and the motor will overheat. The unit will shut down until the ice melts from the coils and the motor cools off. It should start cooling again, but this process will repeat over and over. Try closing off unused rooms to decrease the amount of space the AC must handle. An air conditioning company can recommend the right size unit for your entire home.

You'll get the same results if you keep the thermostat set too cool. Set the thermostat to a warmer temperature to allow the AC to shut off periodically and cool down before frost forces it to.

It only takes a little time to do the maintenance on your AC to keep it running well. But it's also easy to forget. Make yourself a note to have spare filters on hand and when to change them. Also have an air conditioning repair company like Arc Electric & Air Conditioning & Heating Inc inspect and clean your AC every year to make sure you're getting the most from it when the weather turns hot.