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SPRING CLEANING…. Your Air Conditioner? Who Knew!!!

SPRING CLEANING…. Your Air Conditioner? Who Knew!!!

Spring is a time of beginnings. You get a chance to start over, to try something new and to get your air conditioner ready for the hot summer to come. It might not be as romantic as the budding of trees and blooming of flowers, but having your air conditioner in tip-top shape is arguably far more useful.

When you start your spring clean, don’t forget your air conditioner. In just a few minutes, you can improve its efficiency while helping it continue to run well for years to come.

First, A Basic Explanation of Air Conditioning Technology

Your air conditioner isn’t magic, but it’s pretty close.

These devices were actually invented in the early 1900s as a way to reduce indoor humidity in paper plants. It just so happened they have a side effect that we rely on even today.

Air conditioning systems depend on the expansion and contraction of gasses to pull moisture out of the air by cooling it down. This is basic physics at work — warm air holds more water, cool air holds less.

When air is pulled into your air handler (for many, this is a furnace) through your warm air return, it’s forced over a tent-shaped coil that uses refrigerant to cool the air as it passes. A blower then blows that cooled air back into the house.

So What Does the Outside Condenser Do?

The air conditioning condenser that most people consider to be “the air conditioner” is actually a giant heatsink. See, when the air is cooled inside your air handler, the refrigerant is what’s absorbing most of the heat. It then gets pumped to the condenser, where the heat collected inside your house is released to the environment.

It’s really a pretty simple idea that has made a huge change to how we live, play and work.

Your Air Conditioner Spring Cleaning Checklist

There’s no time like spring to do a little air conditioner tune-up. A lot of the heavy lifting will have to be performed by HVAC professionals, but there are things you can do to keep your system running longer as a homeowner. Generally, these items should be done at least once in the spring before you start using the A/C and again in the fall when you’re ready to put it away for the year.

Change your furnace filter. Whether it’s on the ceiling, on the floor or inside your furnace or air handler, a clean filter is a filter that can let the most air through for cooling.

And the easier it is for the system to pull air in and cool it, the more comfortable you’ll be with the least amount of cost. Investing in an electrostatic filter that you can wash and reuse is a smart move for the long term.

Flush your condensation line. There’s a pipe or tube that comes out of your furnace or air handler and runs to a drain somewhere. This is the condensation line. All the moisture your system is pulling out of that warm air has to go somewhere, you know? That somewhere is a pan that empties via this tube. Just open it up from the top (which tube it is should be obvious, but if you can’t find it, ask your HVAC professional), slowly pour in about a cup of vinegar or bleach. If the liquid moves, you’re gold. If not, you may need to spend some time investigating the issue. More often than not, it’s algae growth in the tube or mineral deposits, both things you can flush out, but require some patience to remove.

Clean your a-coil. That tent shaped coil mentioned above is called the “evaporator coil” or the “a-coil.” It can get dirty, which makes it a lot less efficient at removing moisture and cooling the air. If you feel brave, and you’re careful, you can wipe the coils clean or use a shop vac. They’re very similar to the coils on the back of your refrigerator, treat them the exact same way.

Comb the fins on the condenser. If you look closely at your outside condenser, you’ll notice that the part that’s inside the cage is made up of a whole bunch of teeny fins. These little guys can get damaged by accident, causing them to be less efficient because they’re not really in an optimal configuration anymore. All you need to fix this is a fin comb. This simple device lets you straighten bent fins, restoring your unit to its former glory.

Spray the condenser down. Last, but far from least, you’ll want to spray your air conditioner’s condenser down with a hose. Start by wetting all the fins with a garden sprayer, then go back around and spend some time slowly flushing out the dirt, one section at a time, working top to bottom.

Ready For An A/C Tune-Up?

If spring cleaning your air conditioner isn’t getting the results you’re looking for, it may be time to get an HVAC pro out to give it a once-over. But where can you find one that you can really trust, though? Look no further than your HomeKeepr community. Your real estate agent has already recommended their favorite home pros, all you need to do is long in and learn who makes the grade.

MAKE MY HOME WORTH MORE MONEY NOW!!!

MAKE MY HOME WORTH MORE MONEY NOW!!!

Do you want your home to worth more money?

I mean lots more money? Tens of thousands more……???

Of course you do!

Is there some kind of secret? Something only members of the special club know? Some classified real estate trick?

Nope! None of the above.

Well, what is it then? Tell me already!

Drum roll please………… REGULAR MAINTENANCE!

Disappointed? I hope not and you shouldn’t be.

This is great news!

Home maintenance is not glamorous and most people don’t really like doing it. But if you knew it could add ten of thousands of dollars to the value of your home would you be more excited about it?

The reason it adds so much value to your home is because many people don’t do it!

As a Realtor I have seen many homes that have not been maintained (what we in the biz call deferred maintenance). And I have seen these homes sell for a fraction of what they could have had they simply been maintained.

And it’s my job to get them the most money for the house but……

If there has been too much deferred maintenance most people don’t have the money to fix it all at once.

Here is one example: This house had not been maintained for years and years. Here are just a few of the items that needed to be done:

  • New furnace: $5000
  • Paint exterior: $3900
  • New carpet (smokers): $4200
  • Paint interior (smokers): $2900
  • Repair roof and replace some rotten fascia: $2750
  • New front door: $2000
  • Repair fallen fence: $1250
  • Yard clean up: $1000
  • GRAND TOTAL: $23,000

And the house will sell for thousands less for other deferred maintenance that the seller just couldn’t afford to fix.

Some of the above repairs will even prevent a buyer’s lender to approve their loan for the property like a leaky roof or a faulty furnace.

And if your potential buyer’s lender won’t approve the loan due to deferred maintenance you are really shooting yourself in the foot and taking on even more losses because you will only be able to sell to an all cash buyer. There are not very many all cash buyers and most of them are investors who will demand a deal.

So here’s a few links to some home maintenance checklists that we strongly encourage you to put into action.

The Annual Home Maintenance Checklist

Keep Your House in Tip-Top Shape: An Incredibly Handy Home Maintenance Checklist

Checklist for a Trouble-Free Home

So no secret sauce required!

Hope you’re now a little more excited about maintaining your home as it really is money in the bank for you!

Cheers,

John

Valentine Home Sales Team at KW Realty

Valentine Home Sales Team at KW Realty

Check out the survey. Features aren’t just about your house or your property….. Features can be great schools, close to shopping, local parks nearby…. What is and isn’t a positive feature really changes from buyer to buyer.

You can’t change your neighborhood so my advice is to focus on your home. Look at it as if you were a buyer and remember first impressions are everything. Start at the curb and make sure the yard looks good. Then to the entry and your front door. After that this most common features buyers look at are the kitchen, master bath and master bedroom.

Happy selling!

Selling Your Home? These Are The Features Home Buyers Are Looking For