- Andrea Garcia
Top Tips for Staying Cool
As the summer heats up in the Valley, your air conditioner is working (really) hard to keep you cool.
Whether you’re buying a home, selling your home, or planning to stay where you are for a while, keep your AC working efficiently with these tips.
What to Look for When Buying A Home
Buying a house in the greater Phoenix area means you’ll be getting a lot of use out of your AC system. The seller will tell you whether the system is working right now, but you won't necessarily know how much life it has left in it.
The first thing to consider is the age of the air conditioner. The older the unit, the sooner you’ll most likely need to replace it. If you’re buying a home with a 10-year-old air conditioner, for instance, you’ll want to budget for a replacement in the next few years.
Another thing to consider is what type of refrigerant the unit uses. R22 is being phased out and has been replaced with R410A. In the US, units that use R22 haven’t been manufactured since 2010 and R22 stopped being produced or imported in 2020.
Some homes still have a unit that uses R22. But since R22 is no longer produced, supplies are dwindling, and it’ll cost you about three times as much to refill your unit with R22 than with R410A. When I walk properties with clients, I look at the sticker on the AC unit to find out what type of refrigerant it takes. If it takes R22, it may make more sense to replace the unit as soon as possible due to the cost of R22.
How to Keep Your AC Running Smoothly
Regular maintenance can prevent costly repairs down the road. Here are some steps you should take.
Clean your AC unit. Keep the air flowing freely to your unit by clearing any debris off it. This should be done at the beginning of the season, but if you haven’t yet, do it now.
Change your furnace filter regularly. Furnace filters should be replaced about once every 90 days. A clean air filter means better indoor air quality and less strain on your air conditioner.
Keep the cold air in. Caulk around any drafty windows or doors. You can also insulate any exposed ductwork to help make your AC unit run more efficiently, potentially saving you on electric costs and keeping wear and tear to a minimum.
Schedule preventative maintenance. An annual tune-up can help keep your unit running smoothly and prevent major repairs. The harsh desert climate puts extra strain on your air conditioner, and the last thing you want is no AC at the height of summer.
Before You Sell
Make sure your AC system is in good working order before putting your home on the market. Get a tune-up and clean off any debris. Prospective buyers can be assured that it’s in good working order, and you can enjoy a perfectly running system while you’re still living there.
If you have an older thermostat, it’s a good idea to upgrade to a digital one. Even if the system is new, an old dial thermostat will make it look older and it will undoubtedly leave buyers wondering if the AC is at the end of its life. Plus, a programmable thermostat can help save you money. It’s a small investment that’ll show your home in the best light.
For us Arizonans, air conditioning is more than a luxury, it's a necessity. With a little upkeep, you can stay cool all summer long. Have questions about buying or selling your home this summer? Let's connect today.