A few tips to avoid home AC problems

Published: Jun. 16, 2015 at 8:46 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 30, 2015 at 8:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - They are all over the city. Air conditioning repair techs.

They're switching people from their swamp coolers to their AC units.

They're doing maintenance on units.

Mostly, they're fixing units that have crashed.

The experts say the most important thing homeowners can do themselves to keep the AC running well and help it last longer is to keep a clean filter in the system.

Replace the filter or wash it, depending on the type of filter you have.

They also recommend a yearly check-up and tune-up to prolong the life of your AC unit.

"Have your professional come out, take a look at the AC, make sure the freon levels are good. That's very important. It's going to affect your efficiency, and just how well it's going to cool the house," says Air Quest Heating & Cooling co-owner Aaron Romero.

If the worst happens, and your AC is not putting out cold air, Romero says, turn it off.

"Some of the things you can check--check your circuit-breaker. Check your filter and make sure it's clean," Romero says. "You want to turn it off because if you leave it running, it can actually cause extra damage, cause extra wear and tear on the compressor. If it's really low on freon, that can cause other problems. So, you don't want to make the problem worse by leaving it running."

There's a question a lot of people have about their AC: When I leave the house, should I turn off the air conditioner?

"It's not a good idea to turn it off completely. It's a good idea to turn it up a few degrees to save some energy, save some money on your bills. Just a few degrees. If you keep it at about 78 when you're home, if that's comfortable for you, turn it up to maybe 82 or so. That way the house doesn't get too hot and when you come home it can catch up when you turn it back down, quicker," Romero says.

He says part of that yearly air conditioning system check-up should be checking the condensation drain to be ready when the humid monsoon comes.

"Once the monsoons hit and the air gets humid, the air conditioners are going to produce a lot of condensation. And there's a drain hooked up to the AC system. If that drain is plugged or restricted, you can have water coming out at your furnace location, possibly causing some damage to the home," Romero says.

If you have a swamp cooler, Romero says the best thing you can do now is make sure the cooler pads are getting completely saturated.

He says, if they're not, that will affect cooling.

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