Did you know that Forney is the antique capital of Texas? If you’re a collector, you’re in the right place. However, when it comes to air conditioners, newer is better. Whether you have a brand-new, state-of-the-art unit or an older but well-maintained, high-performance model, taking good care of your air conditioning will ensure that it performs optimally. Here’s how to prevent AC problems and get the most cooling power for your energy dollar.

Be Scrupulous About Maintenance

You should schedule preventive maintenance for your cooling system every spring without fail. Annual AC service optimizes system efficiency and keeps the unit from overworking. Overworked and poorly-tended air conditioners typically die young, so regular maintenance can prevent premature air conditioner replacement. According to the Environmental Protections Agency, a well-maintained central air conditioner can last for up to 20 years.

Spring AC tuneups also prime air conditioners to perform as efficiently as possible. According to some estimates, an air conditioner that performs optimally can save you up to 45 percent on utility bills every year. Many HVAC contractors offer discounts on maintenance visits, so be sure to check around before scheduling service.

Annual maintenance can also prevent almost all unexpected AC breakdowns and associated air conditioning repairs because your service technician will inspect the entire unit and check for any potential problems. Your technician will also clean the unit, lubricate moving parts, tighten electrical connections and perform other tasks that will keep the unit healthy.

Replace Air Filters Monthly

Clean AC air filters are essential for air conditioner health. When filters get dirty, clogged or blocked, the motor is under excessive strain, and it can be damaged or even destroyed. Even if the motor survives, the lifespan of the system can be shortened. Dirty filters are also bad for indoor air quality. All of the dirt that collects in the filter can pollute your air and leave a layer of grunge on your equipment. The inside of your AC system can get so dirty that performance is impaired, the unit is overworked and utility bills rise.

Keep the Area Around the Outdoor Unit Clean and Clear

It’s a good idea to periodically check the outdoor AC unit and remove any debris that may have collected there. Cut back nearby foliage so that the outdoor unit has a good three feet of clearance all around to prevent airflow blockages. Clean the unit regularly with a garden hose after turning off the power supply. You should also make sure that the outdoor unit is level on its surface.

Check the Condensate Line for Blockages

The condensate line is what your air conditioner uses to drain out the moisture it removes from your indoor air. The condensate drain line emerges from your home near the outdoor unit, and if it’s working properly, it should drip steadily whenever the air conditioner is running. Your service technician will check and clean the condensate line during maintenance, but it’s a good idea to check it from time to time just to make sure that it’s doing what it should.

Monitor the Unit for Performance

If you practice these tips, you should enjoy a cool and comfortable summer this year in your Forney, TX, home, but it pays to be vigilant. Monitor your AC for performance issues throughout the year, and pay attention to unexplained increases in utility bills or any strange noises that appear out of nowhere. Clunking, banging, buzzing, grinding and squealing are all cause for concern. If unusual noises develop, turn off the unit and schedule emergency AC service. By dealing with the problem immediately, you can avoid expensive air conditioning repairs or premature AC replacement.

If you haven’t tuned up your air conditioner yet, visit Willard Heating and Air Conditioning or call (972) 395-5139 and make an appointment right now. Look after your Forney, TX, air conditioner this summer, and it won’t behave like an antique.