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9 ways to keep your air conditioner from failing

And keep your July electric bill down too
Posted: 7:35 PM, Jul 18, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-18 19:38:16-04
Your A/C: Leave it on or off when you're not home?

Don Weaver is having a busy week. The Arlinghaus Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning tech is responding to trouble calls and doing dozens of last minute summer tuneups.

We found him at Patrick Brinsko's northern Kentucky condo.

"We want to know if there are any little problems that might pop up and cause an outage," Brinsko said. "Not when it's 75 but when it's 95."

Smart move, according to Arlinghaus marketing director Shara Evans, who says just like your car, an AC unit needs regular service.

"It's very similar," she said. "So if you do proper maintenance on your car, you should do the same to your HVAC system."

With a lot of products, she says, the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

But in the case of your central air conditioning that's not true, because if you don't maintain it, change the filters and wash leaves and dirt off the outdoor coils, it's going to fail, often on the hottest day of the year because it is working so hard.

Simple things you can do

Weaver says there are 9 things you can do to make sure your unit gets through the summer heat without problems, which will also keep your electric bill down.

1. Change the air filter monthly in the summer. "It's very important you change that on a consistent basis," he said, "because it can restrict the air flow if its dirty."

2. Set it and leave it. Weaver tells customers not to fiddle with the temperature once your home is comfortable. Turning it up and down when you go out only makes it have to work harder, and wear out prematurely.

3. Turn your AC up as close to 80 as you comfortably can. 78 is a great temperature indoors during hot weather. 72 is not.

4. Close blinds and curtains on the south side of your home to keep the sun out

5. If the AC appears to be struggling to cool down your home, open the basement door and put a fan blowing up the stairs for free cooling.

6. Don't run the oven when it is over 90 degrees outside. It is like running a space heater in the middle of your house.

7. Make sure all windows are tightly closed.

8. Don't leave bathroom fans running for more than 10 minutes. They suck the cool air out and pull in hot air.

9. Get a professional tuneup for around $100 (or less if you sign up for an annual plan at many companies.)

Patrick Brinsko is listening, because he doesn't want a huge repair bill this summer. That way you don't waste your money.

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