There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the L.A. desert with no air conditioner. Valley temperatures, in particular, can reach heights of up to 120 degrees. In June 2016, for example, Los Angeles hit 96 degrees, while Burbank and Woodland Hills reached 109.
To save yourself from experiencing the worst of summer heat, follow these useful tips to improve the longevity of your air conditioner.
1. Have Maintenance Done on the Air Conditioner Before the Heat Wave
Make sure your air conditioner is working before spring rolls around. While you may not need it during the winter months, getting it looked at in early March or April will ensure your unit is fully functioning when those heat waves start rolling in.
2. Use Programmable Thermostats
Why use your air conditioner if you don’t need to? If you keep your thermostat set between 60 and 70 degrees, the unit will shut off and conserve energy once it reaches that temperature indoors. Preventing your AC from running at all hours will also preserve its longevity. Since L.A. is largely a desert, nights tend to be relatively cool. Consider opening a window or using an indoor fan to keep the inside of the house or apartment chillier when the sun goes down. Generally, small fans are cheaper to buy and therefore less expensive to replace than an entire air-conditioning unit.
3. Change the Air Filters
Different air conditioners will have different kinds of filters. While the AC unit is running, the filter will catch airborne pollutants like dust, hair, mites, mold, and allergens. After some time, this detritus builds up enough to make your AC toil twice as hard to regulate the temperature. To save your unit some effort, change the filters every month or so, or however often the manufacturer recommends. Though they can be pricey, most are under $100 and will cost less to replace than the entire air conditioner.
4. Clear Your Vents
Avoid putting large pieces of furniture in front of your vents. Such obstacles will reduce the effectiveness of your cooling unit and ultimately make it work harder. For example, if you place a bookshelf in front of a vent, the cooler air will have a hard time traveling around it. This prevents the room’s temperature from falling, which means the air conditioner will continue to run.
5. Remove the Debris
If your air conditioner sits outside, there’s a good chance dirt, leaves, and shrubs will impede its airflow. Trim any bushes near your unit, and sweep up any detritus that could be sucked into the AC. Not only will this spare your filters, but it will improve airflow.
6. Protect It from Pets
While you may not be able to keep stray toms out of your yard, you can make sure your dog doesn’t get too territorial about the air conditioner. Urine, particularly canine urine, can be highly corrosive to the condenser and aluminum fins. Consider surrounding your unit with a simple fence to discourage your dog from using it as a toilet.
If you need your unit fixed or if you want us to provide maintenance before the summer heat begins, contact us at (818) 396-8002 or fill out our online form to schedule an appointment.