Summer is just around the corner, and getting a home warranty could be what you need this summer to ensure your A/C unit is ready for the season. But, first thing's first—there is some maintenance that you can do yourself before calling in an expert.
Change the Air Filter
Generally, you should replace the air filter about every three months. However, if you have pets, you may consider replacing the filter every month and purchasing a filter with a higher rating—the higher the number, the more it filters the air. The same rule applies if you have family members that may be sensitive to dust and other allergens.
As one of the most important and easiest ways to maintain your unit—whether a central HVAC system or a ductless air conditioner, this task is quick and you don't need a professional. Locate your unit's filter slot, slide out the old filter, and insert the new one, taking note of the direction of the airflow and which side of the filter needs to face out. Refer to the manufacturer's instructions for the correct filter size and steps for adequately replacing the filter.
Do Some Spring Cleaning
First, make sure all the indoor vents are clean. Next, pour a cup of bleach mixed with water down the drain of the outside unit to prevent mold and algae buildup. Then, ensure the unit:
- Is on a level surface.
- Doesn't have any debris, such as leaves, pollen, or twigs, clogging it up.
- Has at least two feet of clearance around it.
- Has the proper amount of good-quality insulation around the refrigerant lines.
*For safety reasons, this home air conditioning service step should be done without attempting to open the outside unit. If you can't get it clean without taking it apart, call on a professional to do the dirty work.
Assess Your A/C's Performance
After you've done the above, it's time to assess its performance. Then, crank it up and see how it fares. Determine if your home is getting cooler, if the unit is quiet, and if it appears to be performing normally overall.
*The first time you turn it on, you may notice a smell. That's simply the air conditioner's way of clearing out the dust that may have settled since the last time you ran the unit. It should dissipate shortly.
If you've turned your unit on, and you hear a strange noise coming from it or it's not blowing cool air, it's time to call in the professionals. This is where a home warranty comes in handy, like one from trusted companies like American Home Shield.
American Home Shield members never have to worry about breakdowns and tune-ups with their plans. Plans start as low as $34.99 a month and cover ducted central electric split and package units, wall air conditioners, mini-splits, up to $1,500 of geothermal coverage, and more. Plus, Members don't need a maintenance record for repairs to be covered and No system is too old to be covered. It's definitely a must-have security feature to have in case your DIY maintenance isn't enough.
Don't sweat it out this summer – get your A/C covered to avoid the stress and inconvenience of an unexpected breakdown. Head to AHS to check out their home service plans and then enjoy the sunny season!