Air conditioning maintenance should include cleaning the air intakes and coils of your AC. This should remove dirt and ensure that the heat exchanger coils are working efficiently. You should also check and replace the air filter to keep it working at optimum capacity.

During a maintenance schedule, check the AC to establish if there could be a refrigerant leak. If the AC is mounted on a window, ensure that the window gaps around it are sealed to prevent cool air from escaping.

The following are a number of steps you can do to get the most from your air conditioning system:

1. Make Sure Your AC Is Located at the Right Place

The location of your AC is critical. The air intakes and outlets should be clear. Check the air intake and outlets for a clear path. Hot exhaust air could be making your home warmer than it should be. This is because your AC could be picking and cooling hot exhaust air instead of ambient air. If you can, position the window AC in a shaded area as opposed to locating it on a window facing direct sunlight

2. Shut All Windows and Exhaust Fans

If you are trying to cool down the room, open windows bring in warm air. All windows and outside doors should remain shut to allow proper regulation of room temperatures.

Bathroom and kitchen exhaust fans remove cold air and vents it outside. You should, therefore, shut them if the objective is to cool the indoors.

3. Close Unused Rooms and Closets

If certain rooms or closets are not in use, shut them to ensure the air conditioner only cools rooms and other areas that are in use. This provides for a more efficient air conditioning operation.

4. Turn off Heat Intensive Appliances

If the temperatures are too high, the AC will have to work extra hard. To make its work easy, turn off any appliance that generates a lot of heat such as the oven.

By a similar logic, you should take a cold shower instead of a hot one to keep the hot steam from interfering with the AC’s work. In any case, if it is too hot, a cold shower should be quite refreshing.

5. Shut off AC If It Starts Flashing Component Errors

To avoid the AC from breaking down, shut it off immediately you see errors that indicate the motor and other components have started to overheat. Continuing to run it with a refrigerant leak will spoil it.

6. Replace the Thermostat

If the thermostat is outdated, replacing it could save you a lot of money and energy.

7. Check Exposed Ducts, Refrigerant Lines & Electrical Faults

Exposed ducts could result in cooling loss or device inefficiency in your home. Have all the refrigerant lines properly insulated to improve the AC’s efficiency. This task should be done by a qualified professional. Also, always inspect your outdoor wiring to make sure there is no damage or wear. If you notice any damage or wear, contact a professional to deal with it.

8. Remove Objects Blocking Airflow

Inspect all your vents to ensure there are no objects blocking them. Be on the lookout for toys, furniture or drapes that could be blocking the free passage of air from the vents.

9. Replace It

Even with the most strenuous maintenance programme, your air conditioner has an expiry date. If it is time to retire it, do not try to patch it up.

The last thing you want during a hot, sticky and humid summer day is to have a malfunctioning air conditioner. If you have not used it for a while, have it tuned up before the onset of summer. When you cannot stand the heat, you will be glad you did.