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Two-thirds of all homes in the U.S. are equipped with air conditioners, but that doesn’t mean all of those homeowners know how to properly care for their air conditioners properly.

Keeping your air conditioning unit in tip-top shape can feel like a big responsibility, but the reality is there are simple ways you can keep AC repair out of your future.

Change Air Filters Monthly
This simple piece of air conditioner maintenance is one of the most important because old, dirty air filters aren’t able to adequately filter your air. As a result, the air you breathe in your home won’t be quite as clean as it should, which can lead to everything from excess dust to serious respiratory problems. Continuing to use soiled air filters can also cause dirt and grime to build up in your ducts, which can lower the overall efficiency of your system and harbor microbes and mites that can multiply and get into the air in your home. It’s best to perform this task once every month.

Keep Your Drain Line Clean
As your air conditioning system pumps cold air through the house, condensation builds up in the system and drains through a series of tubes, usually to an outlet outside. If left stagnant, these pipes are the perfect breeding ground for mold, fungus, and algae, which can spread and clog an entire drainage system. Any companies who specialize in AC repair can clean the pipes for you, but it’s easier still to check your pipes regularly.

Keep Your Condenser Clear!
Failure to complete this task is the single most common reason for emergency calls to your local HVAC service. During the off season, your condenser can get clogged with leaves, dirt, and other debris, which hinders circulation and can actually keep your air conditioning unit from cooling. So every month or so, visually inspect your air conditioner’s outdoor unit and try to clear any debris around it. In addition, you should have your home’s air ducts cleaned once every three to five years to ensure maximum efficiency.

Replace Your Thermostat Batteries
Thermostats can reduce your heating bills by at least 10%, but only if they’re working properly. Services that specialize in AC repair will typically calibrate your thermostat as part of your annual air conditioner maintenance, but if it goes out in between routine check-ups, you can replace the batteries with relative ease.

Check Freon Levels
Unlike the other tips, this isn’t a job you can do by yourself. Services that specialize in AC repair should perform this kind of check annually to ensure that all levels are normal. If the professionals who specialize in AC repair find your freon levels reading low on a regular check up, it means you have a leak, and replacing the freon isn’t sufficient to fix the problem. You’ll need a professional to find and stop the leak, but catching it early can save you a lot of money down the line, so ensure that these annual checks are happening.

Before calling your HVAC service, it’s important to do your part in air conditioning maintenance. The work you do on your own could very well save you time and money in the future.

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