Air conditioning in Florida is an essential. AC unit leaks are also one of the most common insurance claims that homeowners file. Each day in the sunny state of Florida, approximately 950 air conditioning units break, leak, or stop blowing cool air. What are the critical facts that we need to know about these heavenly appliances? The first thing to note: the air conditioner that you can’t live without needs a little bit of TLC every once in a while.
#1 Change Your Air Filter
Your air conditioning unit’s efficiency relies on one thing: your air filter. Every month, you should be changing your air filter. Whether you have a window unit or a central AC unit, changing your air filter is the number one way you can ensure your air conditioner maintains efficiency. According to This Old House:
“Look for the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV, which ranges from 1 to 12 for home AC units; the higher the number, the better filtration it provides (and the more energy needed to pull air through it, so balance air-quality concerns with energy costs).”
What happens if you don’t change your air filter? It’s difficult to imagine how such a flimsy piece of paper can really make much of a difference to the efficiency of your air conditioner. But it does. If you think about all the dust and dirt that is in the air, on your counters, on the floor and gathered underneath the couch, it amounts to quite a lot. This is what’s caught in your air conditioner each month. Your filter is like a periodic cleaning of your home. Neglecting to clean your home, say, weekly, means the following week it’s going to take longer to clean and require more effort, correct? This is why changing your air filter monthly is imperative.
Air filters catch the pollen, dander, allergens, dust, and dead skin floating through the air. The point of air filters is to protect the unit itself from harmful particles that could gather and potentially block your air conditioner from delivering easy, cool airflow.
Here I am above describing different kinds of air filters and what you can do to keep your air conditioning unit running as smoothly as possible, I even talk a little bit about what’s covered and what’s not when your AC unit causes damage to your home. Do you know what your insurance will cover if your AC unit breaks?
#2 Don’t Overwork It
Overworking your air conditioner can cause it to work inefficiently. Keeping your air conditioner on the lowest temperature range shortens the unit’s lifespan. You’ll also be increasing your energy bill by always running your air conditioning unit. You can save energy and preserve the life of Florida’s favorite appliance by:
- Put up umbrellas and awnings where the sun faces so that you can stay cooler in those areas without having to decrease the temperature on your air conditioning.
- Use ceiling fans and box fans in order to boost air circulation in the home or office.
- Draw blinds and curtains closed in order to keep the space cooler for longer.
#3 Time Your Usage
Timing your air conditioning usage makes it easier to turn it off when you are no longer using it. For many businesses that operate between the hours of 9 to 5, timing your air conditioner so that it turns off at 5 pm will save an estimated 10% off your annual energy bill, according to Energy.gov. Homes can save upwards of $83 per year just by keeping their air conditioning unit’s temperature at 72˚ or warmer. While saving energy is great for your wallet, does it really help increase the efficiency of your air conditioner? Yes, it does. Another factor that many homeowners don’t know is:
Unless you’re going on vacation, don’t shut off the system; otherwise, the air compressor will need to work harder to cool your house later.
The air compressor is the heart and soul of your air conditioning unit. It accounts for about 80% of the problems you’ll have with your unit and the typical price of a compressor service call is typically a minimum of $100.
#4 Insulation is The Solution
Keeping the air cool inside the piping for your air conditioning unit is the key to cooler indoor temperatures. Wrap ducts that are located close to the ceiling in spray foam, rigid-foam insulation or batt insulation. Be sure not to use duct tape. Rather, use a foil tape suitable for air conditioning units and sealing purposes.
#5 Unblock Your Compressor
Your air conditioning unit’s main compressor is located outside the home or office. It’s built close to your property’s foundation with 2 feet of space around it. One way to preserve your air conditioning system’s life is to make sure that no obstruction is in the way of your compressor. This includes bushes, branches, plants, pots, and lawn furniture. Make sure that your compressor isn’t in the sun.
A 10% reduction in efficiency can be the result of an air conditioning compressor that stands in direct sunlight. Building a wall and roof that provides shade to the compressor and is at least 24 inches away from the compressor from all sides is the best way to conserve as much energy as possible.
#6 Closing Doors May Bad for Your Air Conditioning Unit
Closing doors in your home could throw your air conditioner off balance. While your air conditioner is cooling your home or office, make sure that doors are open in order for your air conditioning system to circulate and filter the air as it was designed to do.
Keeping doors even slightly open is better than keeping them completely closed.
#7 Get Air Leaks Maintained
if you haven’t seen the air conditioning maintenance people in a few months, give the manufacturer a call. You have leaks in your air conditioning unit. If your air conditioning duct is leaking, you can lose up to 30% of airflow. While that figure is true for central air conditioning units, it’s an understatement for wall units, or winder air conditioning units. Finding a leak in your duct is different for window and central units.
For window units, light a candle or a stick of incense and hold it where the wall and the air conditioning unit meet. If the smoke blows outward or wildly, you have air leaking from your air conditioning unit. For a central unit, hold the candle or the stick of incense near where the ducts connect. If you have a leak in your window unit, use a foam pad to seal the space from where the air is leaking. For a central unit duct leak, wrap foil tape around the leaking area.
Do You Have an Air Conditioner Leak? Is Your Air Conditioner Responsible for Property Damage?
Call Bulldog Adjusters. We’re eager to help you fight your insurance company for the largest possible settlement. Call us now for a FREE inspection!
Do you have questions about loss of income insurance claims or insurance coverage for damage caused by your air conditioning? Send your comments or questions directly to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.