Change/wash them monthly; dirty filters cause restriction of air flow through the evaporator coil and causing the system to freeze up which causes the #1 reason for compressor failure.
Keeps at least 18” away from all sides, except the service panel side, which needs at least 36” to access for servicing.
Keep animals from “relieving” themselves on the condenser (outdoor unit), the urine corrode the coils
Return Air Grills
Do not block with furniture! this causes restriction of the airflow (not enough air getting back to the evaporator coils); it will cause the coil to freeze up and will eventually cause premature death to the compressor.
Do not store items such as garden hoses, paint cans and tools on them. keep drier vents pointed away from the unit, lint buildup and dirt will restrict the coil and cause premature death to the compressor.
Properly maintain the central heating and air conditioning system, it is the most expensive piece of equipment in the home, if it is maintained properly it will last its life expectancy (8-15 years), it will operate at peak efficiency, prolong the life of the system and help prevent breakdowns and more expensive/extensive HVAC repairs. Have the annual maintenance done as the manufacturers require, (2) times annually, if not, a minimum of (1) time annually.
Set your thermostat at 78 degrees f or higher. each degree setting below 78 degrees F will increase your energy consumption by approximately 8%.
Bath/Kitchen/Other Ventilating Fans
Use bath, kitchen and other ventilating fans wisely/sparingly when the air conditioner is operating. Turn these fans off as soon as they are no longer needed. In about (1) one hour, these fans can pull out a house-full of cooled or warmed air. They can also pull dangerous furnace combustion gasses into the house in some situations.
Have both evaporator (indoor) and condenser (outdoor) coils inspected and cleaned. The indoor coil in your air conditioner acts as a magnet for dust because it is constantly wetted during the cooling season. Dirt build-up on the indoor coil is the single most common cause of poor efficiency. The outdoor coil must also be checked periodically for dirt build-up and cleaned if necessary.
Have the refrigerant charge (freon) checked. The circulating fluid in your air conditioner is a special refrigerant gas that is put in when the system is installed. If the system is overcharged or undercharged, it will not work properly and cause strain and damage to the system.
Reduce the cooling load by using cost effective conservation measures. Delay heat-generating activities, such as dish washing, until the evening on hot days. Effectively shade windows.
Over most of the cooling season, keep the house closed tight during the day. Don’t let in unwanted heat and humidity. If practical, ventilate at night either naturally or with fans.
Try not to use at the same time as your air conditioner is operating. The dehumidifier will increase the cooling load and force the air conditioner to work harder.
Close the door to an unoccupied room or area that is isolated from the rest of the house and turn down the thermostat or close vent to those rooms.
Check your ducts for air leaks. First look for sections that should be joined but have separated and then look for obvious holes. Do not use duct tape to repair leaky ducts. Standard duct tape has been shown unreliable in sealing duct leaks. Have a licensed contractor make repairs as they have various mastics or non-cloth-backed tapes are preferable.
If you have a mercury thermostat, talk to your servicing mechanic about installing a digital programmable or non-programmable thermostat. Mercury thermostats are usually within +/- 3-4 degrees accurate. digital thermostats are within +/- 1 degree accurate.