If the past few days have been any indication of what the weather has in store, it is clear Ontario is in for an unpredictable scorcher of a summer! After a long day reveling in the sun, no one wants to spend their evening sweating.
We’ve said it before (link to existing air conditioner article), don’t leave your air conditioner’s performance up to chance – the last thing you need when the house is overheating is to wait for a repairman, let alone the unanticipated expense! Air conditioners are complicated appliances that can easily break down, but homeowners aren’t completely helpless when it comes to ensuring their AC’s proper functioning. While we don’t recommend tinkering, it might be easier than you think to diagnose and take care of a faulty unit’s problems.
If your air conditioning unit is the heart, the ducts are the veins that circulate cool air though your house. They are essential to a well-functioning air conditioning system. Dirty ducts can stop you from experiencing the best of your AC, so we recommend cleaning them regularly. You can call in a duct cleaning service, but it’s also possible to DIY. First, remove the air conditioning vent covers and wash them with warm, soapy water (dish detergent will do). Dry with a clean rag. Next, wipe inside the air conditioning ducts as far as you can reach, and finally, you can use your vacuum if need be. Always make sure to wear a face mask and gloves, as harmful mold and other mites can be present in the dust.
Other issues that might cause grief stem from improperly sized or sealed ducts – who wants to spend money air conditioning the yard? Old duct tape and dirty vents can also lead to poor function and breakdown of your unit.
Thermostats allow you to regulate the temperature of your home, and have a life expectancy of about 10 years. An older or damaged model (either from electrical surges or normal wear and tear due to age) may need a replacement, but today’s models have come along way in advanced energy savings, and often offer Internet connections for remote operation!
Fans and Coils
One of your air conditioning units main jobs is to absorb heat from the home and expel it outdoors, and does this thanks to the condenser fan. If it’s not running at peak speed and performance to push air across the coil, there is a possibility that your unit will overheat. Always keep grass around your unit cut short, and make sure that weeds or vines aren’t obstructing airflow. You can remove accumulated dirt on the fan fins with a soft brush, although you may have to remove the protective grille to reach them, but make sure the unit is turned off before attempting to clean it. In addition, these fins are very easily damaged. In addition, AC coils need to be clean and free of slime for optimal motor performance.
When your air conditioner is not in use, over the fall and winter months, outside condenser units should be protected from the weather to prevent blockage and ice damage. Cover the unit with a commercial condenser cover that is made to fit the shape of it, or use heavy plastic sheeting secured with cord.
Thermal Expansion Valve
AKA the TXV, the thermal expansion valve inside your AC modulates the amount of refrigerant that passes through the system to optimize performance. If it is malfunctioning, performance will go down and energy costs will go up.
In the market for a new air conditioning unit? Upgrade to the Ontario Consumers Home Services “Rent and Relax” program! Contact us today for a Free Home Estimate and find out how you can receive up to $650 in rebates!