Keep an eye on your A/C as it works overtime

The heat is here to stay! While PSE&G is powering through the annual summer spike in A/C service requests, it’s a good time to assess the state of your air conditioning unit. If you hear unusual noises or feel warm air coming though the ducts, it’s time to book an appointment now.

Follow these steps to ensure your air conditioner is ready for peak demand:

  • Replace or clean air filters. Dirty filters make your air conditioner work harder – restricting airflow, causing dust to recirculate in the air and making the unit less efficient.
  • For outside systems, clear the unit of debris such as grass, sticks and leaves. Disconnect power to your air conditioner and use a garden hose to spray down the outside of the unit. (Do not start the air conditioner until it is completely dry.)
  • If your air conditioner fins (found under protective grill) need cleaning, use a soft brush such as a toothbrush or paintbrush. Run the brush across each fin gently, being careful not to bend the thin metal.
  • Check the large coolant (suction) line, also known as the return or vapor line, which may run from unit to house. Refrigerant tubes that stem from the condenser outside typically are covered with foam insulation to prevent the line from losing energy. If this insulation becomes frayed or missing, replace it by installing foam-insulation sleeves or foam-insulation tape.
  • Clean the condensation line, which on an outside systems runs from unit to ground. Piping that carries condensation away from your air conditioner may clog, causing water from condensation to back up into the unit or your house. To prevent this, make sure the line is draining properly. If not, use algaecide (sold in pool supply stores) to clean the pipe.
  • To maintain a safe, high performing and efficient system, have it checked regularly by a qualified air conditioning and heating contractor.
  • Check your home’s air ducts for leaks. Look for loose joints, separations and small holes in the ductwork. If you find leaks, seal them with UL-approved duct tape.
  • Check that all vents in your home are fully open and not blocked by drapes, furniture or toys.

Lauren Ugorji, Lead Writer - PSE&G

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