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HVAC Maintenance & Efficiency

What you need to know to stop your air conditioner or heat pump from losing its cool.

No matter how energy-efficient your air conditioner was when it was installed, it can lose efficiency if not properly maintained. The good news is, it isn’t hard, time-consuming or expensive to do the kind of upkeep that can help your unit last for years:

  • Change your air filters regularly. A clogged or improperly installed air filter makes your system work harder. So, if you forget to change your filters, you might notice you’re paying more for air conditioning that you’re not enjoying nearly as much.
  • Be sure not to block your floor, wall or ceiling vents. When drapes, furniture, toys or anything else blocks the vents, it will restrict the airflow-and decrease the system’s efficiency and life span.
  • Check your outside condensing unit periodically to make sure it isn’t covered up or clogged with leaves or debris. Give it space-at least a foot-by cutting back shrubs or tall grass. Air needs to flow in through the sides to cool the coil.
  • Check the drain system to make sure it isn’t clogged. Because your air conditioner removes humidity from your home during the cooling season, you should notice water trickling from the condensate drain of the indoor unit. Keep in mind that the drainage will be limited if you live in a very dry environment.
  • Don’t try to turn your home into an icebox. You shouldn’t run your system in cooling mode when outdoor temperatures are lower than 55°F/12.78°C unless your outdoor unit is modified to handle cooling in colder weather.
  • Have a Carrier® expert clean your indoor coil and replace your filters routinely. If you notice longer operating cycles and reduced energy efficiency, the coil could be to blame.
  • Check for water in the base of your outdoor unit. It likely means the support base has settled or shifted since installation and is no longer level. If that’s the case, be sure to re-level it to assure proper drainage. Also check for standing water or ice under the unit in and arrange for it to drain away.
  • Consider having your ducts sealed or insulated. Air leaks can lead to wasted energy and an overworked air conditioner.

Think of it this way: By investing a little time and money in keeping your unit operating at peak performance, you stand to save a lot in system repair and energy bills. Of course, if you’re not up to the task, your local Carrier® expert can take care of all the above, and much more.

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