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Prepare your AC system for the summer heat - KRISTV.com | Continuous News Coverage | Corpus Christi

Prepare your AC system for the summer heat

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It seems like we just jumped right into summer.

If your air conditioner isn't ready for the heat, you may be in trouble.

Every day is expected to be the hottest day of the year in South Texas and that means air conditioning units are working extra hard.

David Mathews with CCAC says they have already been seeing an increase of calls for air conditioning unit repairs and maintenance.

"The thing you need to do is make sure your air conditioner is ready for the challenge of the heat," said CCAC owner David Mathews.

Running the air conditioning can make an electricity bill skyrocket, but the alternative isn't pretty, either. Luckily, there are a few ways that you can help your air conditioner run better, not harder.

"One is to make sure your filter is changed regularly. Another thing is on your outside condensing unit, make sure all vegetation is cut away from it so the unit can breathe. If you got vegetation or dirt or anything like that on the coils clean it off. Rinse the coils down so it cleans them off so the unit will run as efficiently as it can. Make sure you set up your thermostat properly. If you are going to be gone during the day only set it up 1 or 2 degrees," said  Mathews.

The air conditioner typically runs about 2600-2800 hours a year and when temperatures reach upwards of 110 degrees, your AC unit really starts to work hard.

"In your inside unit, what you really need to check on, is the inside evaporator coil, and it needs to be clean and make sure it is running efficiently. A dirty coil can cause all kinds of problems with your compressor and your whole unit. It won't cool properly, won't get full capacity at it, and you definitely won't get efficiency out of it," said Mathews. 

Here are the 10 top things for the homeowner to do for their A/C system in the summer.

  1. Have the system checked by a Licensed Professional to make sure it is operating at peak efficiency.
  2. Check the Filter.  Make sure it is clean and you are using a high efficiency one.
  3. Check your drain line and pour a mixture of 1/3 cup Vinegar to 2/3  cup water down it to kill the algae growth and keep it clean and flowing.
  4. Make sure the outside condensing unit is able to breath and all vegetation and debris is cleared away from it.
  5. Rinse the outside coils with water to clean them off and rinse off  the salt deposits.
  6. Use a programmable thermostat to set your temperature schedule. Only set the temperature no more than 2 degrees warmer than normal while away for the day.  The hardest time to cool your house down in the summer is from about 4pm to 10pm.  Setting the temperature too high will make the unit work harder to try and cool the house down, and it may not get there until way late at night.
  7. Setting your temperature one degree warmer while you are home can save up to 15% on your monthly cooling bill.
  8. Run ceiling fans in the rooms you are in to help you to feel cooler at a warmer temperature.
  9. If it is time to replace your air conditioning equipment, make sure and purchase the proper size unit.  A bigger unit will cost you more on your electric bill than a properly sized unit.  The majority of units in the Corpus Christi area are actually oversized.
  10. Do not close vents in a lot of rooms in your home if you are not using them.  This can cause a lot of back pressure on the blower system which can cause freeze up problems or premature failure of your A/C equipment.

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