It's the dog days of summer with sweltering heat, high humidity and short tempers. Triple-digit heat with even higher heat indexes makes for a miserable day. Trying to sleep when you're burning up is no picnic. The spin of the meter on the electric circuit box doesn't do anything to help you rest any better either.
Business is booming for the air conditioning companies with more calls than we can get to in a day. Air Care Systems by Price, Inc. enjoys good cash flow coming in as much as the next guy, but we also try to help our clientele save on a few of those service calls by giving you some tips on staying cool and beating the heat. If your unit isn't cooling as you feel it should, here are a few things to check.
FILTER--any unit is going to struggle if it's trying to move air through a clogged filter. The harder it has to work the more your electric bill is going up and the less efficiently it's going to cool. Filters should be checked at least once a month and changed or cleaned as needed. Keeping your filter fresh will also help keep your indoor air quality at a good level.
COILS--your coils may get gunk built up on them and need a professional HVAC tech to come and give them a good cleaning. A visual inspection isn't going to be a viable option because there are parts you just can't see, so it pays to have that clean and check done at least once a year. Let's face it--you can't drive your car without an oil change and not expect to have problems.
ICE--if you see frost or ice build-up anywhere on your system, TURN IT OFF! It's going to need some time to thaw out before you can even hope to get any cooling from it. Call a qualified HVAC tech for instructions before you try to restart the unit.
OUTSIDE--be sure to keep lawn clippings and debris away from the outdoor unit. Just as you change the air filter indoors, the outside unit needs checked and cleaned periodically as well. Little varmints such as ants, wasps, and other critters can clog drain valves and make trouble, too, so be aware of what's going on outside as well as inside.
PETS--Fido may be your friend, but if he's hiking his leg against that outdoor unit you're just asking for a service call. Dog urine will wreak havoc by working like acid and eroding anything it gets on. Keep pets a safe distance away without blocking the air flow. Chain link fencing is a good option or lattice may look a little nicer--whatever works.