Experts: Changing system's air filter the "most important" way to beat the heat
TRI-CITIES, Wash. —
Most of us don't worry about our air-conditioners until they stop working, but what if there was a way to prevent that?
A heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) expert told Action News only 50 percent of us are actively working to keep air systems clean, and it's costing the rest of us money and time.
Campbell & Company repairman Troy Brigham said it's often a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'.
"People don’t really worry about it until they realize, ‘I’m not comfortable in my house anymore’.”
Brigham said our Tri-City summers keep his team busy and most air-conditioners aren't designed to keep up with our weather.
“95 degrees or more, your systems going to be running all the time, possibly freeze up, cause some issues with the system,” he said.
Issues he said are easy to prevent, like checking and regularly changing your air filter.
A chore he said most of us unfortunately forget.
“It’s probably the most important thing in the system," the specialist said. "If you don’t know where your filter is, find it.”
Brigham said to replace the filter every 30 days or six months depending on the system.
“In this area we’re just a windy dust bowl, so its always good to make sure you’re checking it," he said.
He said it's also important to keep air-ducts clean, and vents open, comparing the pressure of proper air circulation to the blood in our veins.
“If you have the vents blocked off you’re blocking off blood flow slash air flow," he explained. "The compressor is going to build pressure, and just like if your heart builds pressure, it’s not good.”
Whenever temperatures rise above 95 degrees, he said your thermostat shouldn't dip below 72.
Any lower and your machine risks freezing up.
“And then you get no cooling. And now you’re gonna have to let this thing thaw out before we can even work on it.”
Brigham said anytime your outside unit grows frost or ice, something is wrong and it's time to get help from a certified professional, adding it's important to check your machine before it gets to that point.
Jokes about job security aside, the repairman said once your machine is there, the task is best left to certified professionals.
He recommends having a specialist inspect your entire system at least once a year, to catch problems before they multiply and keep things running smoothly.
“You would save money if you had a tuneup done on your system,” he said.