As temperatures start to rise, and A/C units are being turned on, it is a good a time as any to talk about some basic, yet useful, A/C tips and self-servicing tasks that anyone can do to ensure their A/C is ready to work for the long hot summer. The following is a list of pointers I’ve complied that we send to our tenants. Over time we have found these to work well in ensuring tenants are doing their part in keeping their homes well maintained.
1) Replace Your Air Filter
For starters all tenants should know how to locate and change out their air filter for the HVAC unit. The air filter is typically found in or near the handler (the big bulky rectangular contraption located in the utility closet). Take five minutes to locate your filter, you may have to unscrew a screw or two, but air filters are generally easy to locate as replacing them makes for a well maintained unit. Which brings me to point number
2) Make Sure You Get The Right Size
HVAC filters come in many different sizes. Once you have located your filter the dimensions should be displayed on the filter itself, but if not just take a measuring tape and write the dimensions down. Then, the next time you are in a home depot or Lowes you should purchase replacement filters. Ensuring the filters in your unit are clean helps the A/C unit work more efficiently, which will help to extend the life of your A/C!
3) Locate and Check The Breaker
A common cause of non-working A/C units is the simple fact that the fuse has been tripped. So, it is important that you know where your fuse box is, not just for the A/C unit but because that is always a good first place to check when a major appliance isn’t working. So, if the A/C unit ever stops working locate the fuse box and find the fuse labeled for the A/C. Ensure that the fuse is in the on position and if it has been tripped, flip the switch back over and see if that helps. If the fuse keeps on getting flipped, it may be because the air filters are dirty and clogged. In which case refer back to tip #2.
4) Use Your Thermostat Wisely
4.) Lastly it is always smart to practice good A/C cool practices in your house. Like installing curtains to keep the sun out during the day, and setting the temperature to a reasonable degree. A good number, as recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy, is 78 degrees. This will help keep the house cool enough to enjoy when wearing summer attire and keep the electricity bill down. Here is a link to a good article about proper A/C temp and care and the benefits of properly maintaining your A/C.
Any landlord or property manager should know they can save time and keep maintenance costs down by getting tenants involved in the home care process, so please feel free to copy and share this list with those whom might find it useful.