Comfortably cool interiors are one of the best aspects of a new custom Florida home, but as with any mechanical system, a bit of regular upkeep helps keep your air conditioner humming along.
Luckily, maintaining your air conditioner is an easy task for ICI Homes homeowners. Read on to learn how to incorporate two such tasks into your monthly maintenance checklists.
Start with the air filter
Changing this piece of equipment is not only a simple thing to do, but it’s also vital to maintaining the life expectancy of your air conditioning system.
We all know what it’s like to battle a head cold or stuffy nose. Your air conditioner can get “stuffed up” when its filter isn’t changed on a regular basis. A dirty one forces it to work harder and less efficiently, which can show up as warmer interiors and a higher power bill.
Because that cool air circulates throughout your home, it also traps dust and allergens that no one wants to deal with, much less breathe. So, changing your air conditioning filter also can help you maintain a much cleaner home.
We at ICI Homes recommend changing your air conditioner filter every 30 days. Setting a calendar invitation in your phone or digital device of choice makes it easier to remember. We also recommend cleaning your system’s condensation drain once a quarter. More on that below.
Changing the filter
Air conditioning filters are easy to find at home improvement, big box stores, hardware stores, and even some grocery stores. If you don’t know what size to buy, check your existing air conditioning filter for its measurements.
Air conditioning filters also come in every grade from basic to top-of-the-line. Consult your system’s owner’s manual and buy the one that’s right for you.
To change the filter, remove its cover or open its access panel (the owners’ manual is handy here too, if you’ve never changed a filter). Carefully remove the existing air filter and dispose of it.
Handy tip: sometimes it’s easier if you turn off the system beforehand, or do it during a time of day when you know the thermostat won’t activate it.
Install the new filter. Be sure its airflow indicators — the arrows on its sides — point up. Installing them with arrows pointing down can create restricted air flow and force the system to work harder. Close the air filter cover or re-install the access panel. Make sure it’s tightly latched.
Don’t forget the condensation drain
Once every three months, clean your unit’s condensation drain after you replace its air filter. Remove the drain cap and pour in one cup of white vinegar. This will eliminate impurities in the condensation line and help prevent clogs and leaks. Replace the cap and you’re done!
For more helpful tips, take a look at the rest of our Homeowner Maintenance series.
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