One Quick and Easy DIY Tip to Keep Your Home Cool and Comfortable this Summer!
Here’s the thing: the harder any piece of mechanical equipment has to work, the more energy it uses, and the quicker it needs service or repair. Look at it this way — if you change the oil in your car regularly, and keep the tires inflated, your car lasts longer and you get much better gas mileage, right?
Well, the same thinking holds true for your home’s central air conditioning system — do a little regular maintenance and not only will you pay a whole lot less to PSE&G, but the system itself will last years longer.
While it’s best to have a certified HVAC service professional perform an annual maintenance on your system in order to repair sealed areas, clean coils and fins, and adjust both the blower and refrigerant as needed, the one thing that you can do is replace your systems air filter on a regular basis.
Think of your AC system as something that breathes: the air filter is like a fine mask that traps dust and particulates so they don’t circulate through your home. But as they accumulate, the system needs to work much harder to ‘inhale’ — which means that you’ll use more energy and increase wear on the overall system. Plus, over time, clogged filter often give way, allowing dust and allergens to circulate throughout your house.
Luckily, the fix is an easy one — Just Change your Filter. And here’s how to do it:
1) Turn Off The Power:
IMPORTANT: Be sure to TURN OFF your Indoor Air Conditioning Unit before servicing the unit. Simply locate the safety switch, which looks like a light switch, on the blower, air handler or furnace, and switch it off. In some cases, the switch may be at the top of the basement stairs or on the wall next to the indoor unit.
2) Locate Your Filter:
Air Filters are always located in the airflow stream of your system, typically, in one of two places, the main living area, or the basement. In the main living area, air filter access will be on the return air-duct register: look for a large rectangular grate, usually located on either a wall or ceiling, often in a central hallway. If it is in the basement, it will be part of the air-handler unit, usually by your furnace. In this case, look for a panel or door (sometimes marked “Filter”) mounted near the blower motor. In either location, the panel or grate can either slide off or easily be removed with a screwdriver.
3) Clean or Replace Your Filter:
Once you have located the filter, check to see if it is disposable, or intended to be cleaned and reused. If the filter is disposable, simply discard and replace with a new one, taking care to match the arrows with the direction of the air flow. If it is a reusable filter, cleaning instructions are usually printed on the filter itself. In most cases, cleaning involves simply rinsing the filter with a garden hose and allowing it to dry throughly before placing back in the unit.
4) Once your filter has been either cleaned or replaced, secure the panels and/or grates in reverse order. Then, turn on the safety switch and restart you system.
And that’s all there is to it! Remember, a little maintenance goes a long way. Stay cool, and have a great Summer!