Air conditioning

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Maintain your air conditioner

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A clean air conditioner provides maximum air flow and uses energy more efficiently. Keep yours clean and efficient through proper maintenance.

How to maintain your air conditioner

Follow these easy steps to ensure that your air conditioner is properly maintained and running efficiently:

  • Clean or replace the air filters at least once every three months during the cooling season. (Whether the air filter needs to be cleaned or replaced depends on the type of air filter your air conditioner uses.) Some sources recommend cleaning or replacing air filters more often, either once or twice a month.[1][2] Keeping air filters clean can increase air conditioner efficiency by 5 to 15 percent.[3]
  • Periodically check the inside evaporator coil for dust and debris, and clean when needed. A coating of dust can act as insulation around the coil, making it difficult for it to absorb heat.
  • Minimize the amount of debris around the condenser coil outside. Keep foliage trimmed to at least 2 feet away from the unit to maximize efficient air flow. If debris and dust have collected around the condenser coil, clear it away as soon as possible.
  • Hire a technician to perform yearly assessments of your central air system. Technicians can check the level of refrigerant, measure the air flow over the coils, and clean and inspect all other parts of the air conditioner.[4]

Maintaining your air conditioner helps you go green because...

  • Correcting air flow problems and keeping your air conditioner clean can increase its energy efficiency by up to 15 percent.[5] By using less energy, your air conditioner will contribute fewer climate-changing greenhouse gases.

Americans make up just 5 percent of the world's population, but use 26 percent of the total energy consumed on the planet. Ninety percent of residential energy consumed in America is due to household appliances, such as heating and cooling systems,[6] which can make up as much as half of a household energy bill.[2] Energy production and consumption increase CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere, contributing to the greenhouse effect, global warming, and climate change. The average American home emits 23,000 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere per year.[6] Optimizing the efficiency of your air conditioner through regular maintenance will reduce the electricity required to run it, and will therefore reduce the CO2 emissions associated with its operation.[7]

Related health issues

A functioning, clean filter will remove dust, pollen, mold, and bacteria from the air, reducing nasal congestion, asthma attacks, and allergic reactions. A dirty filter may aggravate or trigger asthma attacks and allergies since it will not effectively clean incoming air.

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Comments

04/19/2010
1:55pm
mitchellmechanical

It just takes a bit of maintenance and attention to detail to save money, stay healthy and keep an energy efficient HVAC system. One of the MOST overlooked aspects of a home's health is the air filters: change them frequently and stay healthy; change them infrequently and experience problems.

Mitchell Mechanical
Atlanta HVAC company
http://www.mitchellmechanical.com

05/27/2010
8:54am
robbymonk

Those are great points listed by Mitchell Mechanical. To take it a step further, check your air filter every time your bill comes in.

If you haven't been replacing your filter regularly, you will first be replacing your filter to clean up the air. Once the air is clean, your filters won't have to be changed as frequently for they will now be used to maintain a clean home environment.

Holtkamp Heating and Air
http://www.holtkamphvac.com

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