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Make Today Air Conditioner Appreciation Day!
I know what you are thinking: but, there is no such thing as Air Conditioner Appreciation Day! There could be, though. All you have to do is take a little time to make sure your air conditioner is running properly. Why is this so important? Air conditioners do more than cool and dehumidify air. They also filter out the pollen in the air. Dust mites and mold hate the cool dry air so air conditioners dissuade them as well. They also discourage cockroaches because those little critters hate the airflow an air conditioner provides. A poorly maintained air conditioner can spread airborne bacteria and allergens. It also can produce enough prolonged noise to cause hearing damage. It is also potentially hard on your wallet because it can consume more energy.
Now that we have covered the importance of air conditioning maintenance are you wondering where to start? Look no further than you air conditioner filter. The filter(s) on your air conditioner need to be replaced and/or cleaned regularly. Dirty filters reduce the efficiency of an air conditioner substantially because the dirt blocks the normal air flow. When the airflow is blocked, the air that bypasses the filter can carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and impair heat absorbing capacity of the coil. Remember how poorly maintained air conditioners consume more energy? Well, a clean filter lowers the consumption of energy by 5-15%.
You may now be wondering where the filter is located on your unit. If you have central air conditioning, the filter is located somewhere along the length of the return duct or in the air conditioner itself. If you have a room air conditioner, the filter is mounted in the grill that faces into the room. Some filters are reusable and need to be cleaned. Others are disposable and need to be replaced. During the cooling season you should clean or replace the filter(s) every month or two. If the air conditioner is in constant use, is subject to dusty conditions, or you have fur-bearing pets in the house, your system may need more frequent attention.
Another place to check on your machine is the coil. The coil and condenser coil collect dirt over the months and the years. One way to slow down the collection of dirt on the coils is to make sure the filter is clean. If the coil is insulated by dirt, the ability to absorb heat is reduced. It is important to check and clean the coil every year. You might also need to check the outside coil (or condenser coil). You should check to see if dirt is collecting on its fins. Make sure you minimize the amount of dirt and debris near the condenser unit and allow for adequate air flow around the condenser as well. You should also make sure that foliage is trimmed at least two feet back from the coil.
To complete your Air Conditioner Appreciation Day rituals, you should check the coil fins, condensate drains and window seals on your unit. Coil fins are easily bent and can block air flow through the unit. There is a tool that will comb the fins back into their original position called a fin comb. For the condensate drains, you should pass a stiff wire through the drain channels occasionally. This is important because if the channels are clogged the unit is prevented from reducing humidity. This excess moisture in the air can cause discoloration of walls or carpet. If you have a room air conditioner, you should check the seal between the air conditioner and the window frame. The seal should make contact with the metal case of the unit. The seal can be damaged by moisture which allows cool air to escape from your home.
Checking the filter, coil, coil fins, condensate drain and window seals on your air conditioner should complete your observance of Air Conditioner Appreciation Day. What is that you say? You are upset that it is over so soon? Never fear. I doubt your air conditioner will mind if you make every day Air Conditioner Appreciation Day!
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