Before the Heat: 3 New Air Conditioning Projects

Your AC has probably sat dormant all winter, hibernating until temperature spikes press it into service. Before the heat arrives, though, it’s important to take on these three new air conditioning do-it-yourself maintenance projects.

The mildness and consistent rain of spring in Texas sometimes fools us into forgetting what a brutal heat — and often drought — lies ahead during the furnace-like summer months. Your A/C has probably sat dormant all winter, hibernating until temperature spikes press it into service. Before the heat arrives, though, it’s important to take on these three new air conditioning do-it-yourself maintenance projects to help ensure you remain cool all summer long.

Clean Your Condenser

As leaves fell and various debris have flown through the air since your A/C was last used, your outside condenser may have become plastered with gunk. And this gunk has the power to bring down your system — if your A/C condenser is blocked from firing up, your whole system will suffer. While the system runs through the summer, the condenser fan will do a good job at blowing debris away. But after having sat dormant for months, a good cleaning is necessary.

Grab your hose — but not your pressure washer, as you don’t want to damage parts of the condenser — and thoroughly rinse the outside. If you can see debris inside, carefully unscrew the fan apparatus from the top of the condenser so you can remove gunk either by hand or with your wet-dry vac.

Update Your Filter

The inside portion of your A/C system uses a filter to block dust and dirt from being blown through your ducts. Depending on the filter your system uses, and the type of filter you’ve bought in the past, the filter’s life can last between a month and six months. Longer lasting filters are often far pricier than their one- or three-month lifespan cousins, but leaves less maintenance on your part. Even if you choose a filter that promises to last longer, still make it a point to check, and if necessary change, your filter more.

Your home and who lives in it can impact your filter situation as well. If you have a lot of furry indoor pets, your filter will likely be gunked up with their hair, and this can significantly reduce filter life. The location of your air intake registers can impact filter life as well. While you’re at the stage of considering filters, also take a walk around your house to ensure that the intake vents are not blocked by furniture or near where your pet beds are, as this can result in the system sucking in more fur.

Update Your Thermostat

Updating your thermostat is more involved than performing routine maintenance and cleaning on your A/C, but it can net you super results. Consider investing in a new air conditioning thermostat that is programmable so that you can set it up to cool your house on a schedule, and prevent others from turning the system too hot or too cold. Studies show that even changing your temperature by just a few degrees, you can save a lot of money on your heating and cooling bill.

Changing your thermostat may feel like a daunting task, but it boils down to simply matching wire colors together from your wall to the new unit. Work slowly and methodically, following the directions that came with the unit or fortifying yourself with YouTube instructional videos, and you’ll have the thermostat replaced quickly. Don’t forget to program it for ideal temps when you’re at home and when the house will be empty.

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Tiffany wasn't born in Texas, but she got here as fast as she could. She and her husband have gained extensive experience buying, selling, renovating and flipping homes in the DFW area. A professional freelance writer, Tiffany enjoys contributing real estate and home improvement articles to the Coldwell Banker site and working with other clients to craft content that's specially designed to generate interest while sharing valuable ideas.

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