Summer has officially arrived and higher temperatures are right around the corner. Right now is a great time to get your home ready for the heat. Keeping your home’s cooling system running in good order will ensure a comfortable temperature inside your home and save you money. As a home owner, there are a few simple things you can do to extend the life of your air conditioner. Your cooling system works by circulating the air in your home, drawing it through the system, cooling it and then blowing it back into your home to reduce the ambient temperature to a comfortable level. One of the ways to make sure your system is running at optimum efficiency is by changing your air filters on a regular basis. Most manufacturers recommend changing your filters on a monthly basis. However, if you live in a high traffic area, have a lot of pets or traffic in and out of your home, you may want to change them on a bi-weekly basis (depending on how quickly they are getting dirty). If you are an allergy or asthma sufferer, you may want to upgrade the filters in your unit. There are disposable filters with a much higher filtration rate (check the MERV rating) designed to contain allergy and other contaminants that most traditional filters will not. Be prepared, these filters can be expensive. Another alternative is to get electrostatic filters installed. Electronic filters use an ionizer to trap smaller particles like allergens. One item that is constantly overlooked by most homeowners is having your cooling system serviced. Usually most homeowners only call a professional when their unit is not working properly. A trained service technician can save you money in the long run by making sure your system is working properly and in some instances prevent costly repairs down the road. Most inspections will cover the amount of coolant in your system known as Freon. Low levels of Freon will make your unit less efficient and cause it to run longer because the air coming out will be warmer than normal. Seals and fitting will also be inspected and the condenser will be cleaned of debris to ensure maximum efficiency. For more information about indoor air quality, check out the EPA guide: http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/insidestory.html Lastly, a programmable digital thermostat is a must have for every home owner. If you are still using an older manual thermostat you are throwing money away. Not only will a digital model extend the life of your cooling system but it will save you money by only running the cooling system when necessary. Selecting the right one can be a bit confusing, as there are tons of options available, including wireless thermostats. About the Author:Charles Richey lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife, Jacqulyn and their many pets. He maintains his wife’s website about the Las Vegas homes market with listings of luxury homes for sale in Las Vegas and the surrounding areas.
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