When the first days of summer are approaches, it means cookouts, baseball, blockbuster movies and maybe some sweating. To escape the summer heat, many Americans rely on air conditioning systems in their home. But before turning on the system this summer, the American Association of Professional Inspectors (AAPI) recommends a seasonal checkup to ensure it is running properly.
"Routine maintenance of your air conditioning is part of being a sensible and smart homeowner," says Bob Charvoz, president of AAPI. "There are things every homeowner can do to save a lot of money, frustration and sweat in the long run."
Five Simple Steps
Because a home cooling system can be an expensive investment, Bob recommends several easy steps homeowners can take to help prevent problems from occurring.
- · Inspect the filters - The first step in maintaining a well-functioning air conditioning system is to inspect the air filters. These should be changed or cleaned at least four time a year. Monthly maintenance is recommended if the system is in constant use or if the air is dusty and dirty.
- · Make sure the machine is properly lubricated - Over time, friction can increase within the machine. Oil the motor and bearings twice a year. Be sure to turn off all electricity to the unit when servicing.
- · Inspect the fan belts - Check fan belts and pulleys for wear and proper tension. Have a professional replace worn parts.
- · Clean the outdoor condensing unit - Foreign objects and dirt can affect the performance of the machine. Brush away or hose off any insects, dirt or other items on the outdoor condensing unit.
- · Clean the drain line -Inspect the drain line to make sure there are not any problems with the termination. If algae is present, wash the affected area with chlorine.
- Additionally, if you have a window air conditioning unit, check the window and sill for decay, inspect the unit for rusting and spot paint if any rust is present.