Your air conditioner can keep you cool and dry when the air heats up and becomes humid in the summertime. However, you need to do your part to keep your air conditioner in good working order. Here are four things you might not already be doing:
1. Cover your air conditioner.
While your air conditioner's control panel is in your home, the majority of the AC unit is outside, where it can vent hot air that it removes from your home. Air conditioners are meant to stand up to the elements, but that doesn't mean you should intentionally expose your AC to bad weather. When you think you won't need your air conditioner for a few months, cover it in order to protect it from snow and debris. If a heavy storm is coming, you should also cover your AC to prevent water damage.
2. Make sure nothing is obstructing your air conditioner.
Air conditioners work by cooling air and cycling it through your home. In order to work efficiently, the vents in the back of your AC need to be clear. Especially if your air conditioner vents into an unused part of your yard that you seldom venture into, you might not immediately notice if your vents become blocked. At least once a month, you should check to make sure that plants haven't grown in such a way that they inhibit airflow. You may need to trim them if you find that's the case.
3. Have your air conditioner tuned up.
There are some aspects of AC maintenance that are better left to professionals. At least once a year, you should make an appointment to have your air conditioner serviced. During this appointment, an expert will replace your filter and examine your unit for signs of wear. They may oil moving parts that need additional lubrication and refill your AC's refrigerant if it's running low. Regular maintenance can prevent the need for costly repairs in the future.
4. Ensure that your air conditioner is still solidly connected.
When your air conditioner is installed, it's placed through your window and held in place using flanges and brackets. Air conditioners are heavy pieces of equipment, so once a year, it's a good idea to check to ensure none of the brackets have loosened. You can also take this opportunity to check on the foam insulation around your air conditioner. Make sure it hasn't been damaged by mold, and replace it if necessary.