When you think about your home's air conditioner, its ability to keep you feeling cool and refreshed are likely central in your mind. However, it's also useful to think about the projects you can tackle around your home in an effort to improve your air conditioner's efficiency and help it have a long, healthy life. You don't have to view yourself as a skilled handyman or handywoman to take on some projects that can prevent unnecessary wear to your air conditioner. Here are three simple jobs that the average homeowner can accomplish with ease.
Block Off Air Leaks
It's common for many homes to have small leaks around the windows and doors. The issue with these gaps is that hot air from outside can waft through, which means that your air conditioning will need to run steadily just to maintain your desired interior temperature. Around windows, you can tackle this inefficiency by applying waterproof silicone caulk to any gaps. With doors, the project typically involves replacing any worn-out trim along the top and sides of the door and possibly also replacing the door sweep across the base of the door. Each of these projects requires a minimal investment in tools and equipment but can make a major difference in the health of your air conditioner.
Clean Your Floor Vents
If you overlook the air vents located throughout your home, you might be causing your air conditioner to run more than necessary, which can burn it out prematurely. Your home cools as a result of cold air passing through the floor vents, but if they're filled with dust, pet hair and perhaps even obstacles your children have stashed, the cold air won't pass through with ease. Use a long wand on your vacuum cleaner to keep these vents clean -- and remind your children that the vents aren't a hiding spot for their toys.
Inspect Your Ducts
Accessing your air ducts can be a challenge in some homes, which could require the intervention of an HVAC contractor. If you have an open ceiling in an unfinished basement, however, check the integrity of the ducts by passing your hand along a few inches from them. Pay special attention to the seams; if you feel any air blowing on your hand, a seam isn't secure and air is escaping. You can fix this issue quickly and at minimal cost by wrapping a layer or two of duct tape over the seam.