It's the situation everyone hopes to avoid...

The peak of summer and the inside of the house is as hot as it is outside. Meanwhile the air conditioner is blowing warm air into every room.

This scenario is experienced by many throughout the summer months, but it can be avoided.  In this blog we will cover some do-it-yourself maintenance and diagnostics that you can do to keep the air conditioner operating at optimum levels. In addition to these tips, check out last week's blog, "Stay Cool without Breaking the Bank", for tips on lightening the load on your air conditioner.  

Help Your AC Help You

According to the US Department of Energy, one of the most common air conditioning problems is improper use. Like any machine, an air conditioner will wear out quickly if it is on all the time.  To save your air conditioner from running itself ragged, consider these tips:

  • Close the windows and doors while the AC is on.  Lower the in-home temperature and then allow the AC to rest.
  • Isolate the area single-room units are cooling.  Close of a portion of the house to keep cool air locked in the desired area.

American homeowners spend about $11 billion each year to cool their homes.  Limiting the time the air conditioner is on will not only save money on bills, but also reduce maintenance and repair costs.  


An air conditioner will only be as efficient as its parts allow it to be. There are several things you can do to maintain parts and keep it running smoothly.

  • Change the filter every 1 to 3 months it is in use.  Routinely changing the filter as directed can save between 5 and 15% in cooling costs.
  • Keep the vents clean. Dirty or clogged vents inside the home or in the unit itself can be detrimental to cooling efficiency.  Remove leaves or debris from the outside unit and clean the interior vents to allow cool air to flow freely into the home.
  • Use a wire to clear the drainage tunnel of the air conditioner. Be sure to turn the power off before taking this step.
  • If the air conditioner doesn't seem to be working...CHECK THE THERMOSTAT!!! You don't want to be the person who called a tech only to find out the thermostat was still set to "heat".  (Pssst, it's supposed to be set to "cool")

Call in the Professionals!

The following are common issues that should only be handled by licensed professionals.

  • Any refrigerant leaks or refills should only be done by professionals.  Refilling freon or other refrigerants is one of the most common reasons technicians are called.
  • Repairs to the censors and any rewiring or electrical problems should always be left to professionals.  Problems include corrosion, loose connections, and faulty contacts.  

In addition to the the above, skilled professionals like Artisan Electric can help you turn your home into a "smart home".  New state of the art, green technology can make your home more energy efficient. For more information contact Artisan Electric, electricians serving the Portsmouth, NH area, at 603-743-4005.