Keep It Cool This Summer: Take Care of Your Air Conditioner
May 22, 2018
(NEWARK, N.J. – May 22, 2018) With hotter weather on the way, Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G), New Jersey’s largest utility, offers the following 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 units, 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 thin metal.
- Check large coolant (suction) line, also known as 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 condensation line, which on an outside unit 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, find where the pipe drains and make sure it is draining properly. If not, use algaecide (sold in pool supply stores) to clean the pipe.
- To keep 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.
Using air conditioning often can also lead to higher electric bills. Customers can save energy and money this summer by following a few easy and inexpensive tips.
- Install a programmable thermostat, which helps save energy.
- Seal holes and cracks around doors and windows with insulation or weather-stripping.
- Don’t cool an empty house. Set your thermostat higher when you are away.
- Don’t cool unused rooms. Close the room’s vents and shut doors.
- Ceiling fans cool fast and cost less than air conditioning.
- Operate appliances in the morning or evening, when it is cooler outside.
- When washing dishes or clothes, run full loads.
- Wash laundry in cold water.
- Close blinds and draperies facing the sun to keep out the sun’s heat.
- Eliminate the extra heat from an oven by using a microwave or crockpot instead.
Public Service Electric and Gas Company (PSE&G) is New Jersey’s oldest and largest regulated gas and electric delivery utility, serving nearly three-quarters of the state’s population. PSE&G is the winner of the ReliabilityOne Award for superior electric system reliability. PSE&G is a subsidiary of Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG) (NYSE:PEG), a diversified energy company.