An HVAC unit low on freon makes for poor cooling equipment during the hot summer months. Likewise, if your air conditioner is too old, neglected or damaged, you’ll immediately feel the difference.
It generally isn’t advisable to try to fix a broken air conditioner yourself. Not only are you exposing yourself to danger, you may end up making the damage even worse. Leave the servicing of a damaged AC to a licensed technician.
Keep in mind that a central air conditioner low on freon is a reason to call your technician, and it’s best to have it checked before summer, when you’re likely to use your HVAC system constantly. That being said, however, you can take a few simple steps on your own to make your HVAC system work more efficiently.
Keep the surroundings clean. The outdoor condenser unit is exposed to the elements, and soil and debris can accumulate around it. Carefully remove any debris you notice around the unit. It will perform better if it’s as clean as possible. Don’t attempt to deep-clean the unit, however. That’s a job for a professional.
Keep vents clean. Keeping your air vents clean isn’t just good for the AC’s performance; it can also reduce allergens in your home. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean your air vents. Like a central air recharge, however, deep-cleaning your vents or working on damaged, undersized or oversized ducts aren’t DIY jobs. Call your technician, as well, if there are air vents that don’t blow cool air when the HVAC system is turned on.
Remove items that block the vents. Vents are typically located where most people place furniture or pile boxes on top of furniture. Consider moving your furniture and removing things like boxes, toys and other items from areas where they can block an air vent.
Install a programmable thermostat. If you don’t have one already, call your technician to install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature according to the hours of the day. Nights are usually cooler, so a higher setting can help your AC work more efficiently and also allow you to save on energy costs. You can also adjust your AC settings by up to eight degrees lower than average in the winter and higher in the summer.
Use window treatments. Window treatments like curtains and blinds can help your HVAC unit reach the desired temperature more quickly. They can also lower your energy use. Keep your window treatments closed to help prevent heat transfer. If you don’t feel the difference, it’s possible that a central air conditioner low on freon may be the culprit. Call a technician to do a proper check.
Don’t use your oven on hot days. If you can avoid using your oven on hot days, do so. Save it for cooler temperatures. The same is true for your dryer. Appliances that generate heat can make your house hotter than it should be, forcing your HVAC system to work harder and take longer to cool your home.
Check for ice. An HVAC unit low on freon will blow warm instead of cool air into your home. In addition, the same thing can sometimes happen if your AC’s compressor forms ice. A leak in the coolant line is often the root cause of this problem, but a dirty filter can also be the culprit. If cleaning or replacing the dirty filter doesn’t work and your AC still forms ice, it’s time to call in a professional for servicing.
Listen to your HVAC Unit. Most homeowners would notice immediately if their air conditioner started making peculiar sounds. You’re probably used to your AC’s normal soft whirr, so a different sound will likely quickly grab your attention. If this happens, turn off the AC unit and call a professional. Serious damage can result from continued use of a noisy HVAC unit.
All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning can help you determine whether you have an AC in need of repairs or one that simply requires a central air recharge. Call us today at (707) 447-9855 to set an appointment or use this page to contact us.