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It’s the end of July, and yes, it’s hot. If you’re lucky, air conditioning gives you some relief at home and at work. In some environments, like hospitals or computer centers, it’s essential. But as the mercury rises, your air conditioning unit can buckle under the strain. Answering these questions will help you keep it in good shape.

How old is it? A brand-new air conditioner uses half the energy of a 15 year-old unit. Since older units work harder, they’re more likely to break. If your unit is 10-15 years old, consider replacing it to save money and peace of mind.

How clean is it? Clean or replace the air conditioning filter monthly, or as needed. Check that the exterior coils are free from dirt, grass, leaves, and other debris.

When do you turn it off? It’s tempting to rest your air conditioner on cool nights, but before you do, check tomorrow’s forecast. If it’s going to be hot again, leave the unit on. Shutting down and starting again creates excess humidity, which strains the unit.

Are you maximizing its efficiency?  Make sure interior doors and vents are open.  Install ceiling fans to move the air.  Close your blinds, drapes and shades during peak temperatures daily.

How can you prevent mold and water damage?

  • Once a year, have a qualified HVAC contractor inspect your air conditioner to ensure that the refrigerant lines are sound and that everything works at peak efficiency.
  • Watch the unit for excessive moisture buildup. For window units, moisture may drip off the back side onto siding or collect in the window sill. Also be sure open spaces around the window unit are properly blocked against keep rain and moisture.
  • For exterior units, check the drip pan located in the furnace area to be sure moisture is not freezing and runoff isn’t coming into contact with siding. If water isn’t coming out of the drip hose, you may have a problem with the system’s evaporation coil or a clogged main drain.
  • If you notice mold or algae in the drip pan, call a service technician immediately.
  • Watch the floors and carpets below interior units for signs of moisture or discoloration. If either is present, check the ceilings in rooms below the unit for soft spots, dampness or staining.
  • Clean or replace any filters annual; units in heavy use for allergy sufferers may want to change filters more frequently and have the unit’s trip tray and hoses checked for algaecide annually.

A little money spent on preventative maintenance can prevent expensive repairs and health issues in the long-run.  Need guidance?  Call the team at ARS.



SAVE THE DATE: ARS reminds you to check out our 13th Annual Insurance Symposium at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA on August 2, 2012.

We’re also hosting our 7th Annual Charity Golf Tournament at Marlborough Country Club in Marlborough, MA on August 14, 2012. Proceeds benefit the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Foundation.

Got questions? Want more information? Contact Jade at jade@arsserv.com