Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of American Home Shield but all opinions are my own.
Do You Need a Home Warranty?
If you were a homeowner, then you know that you’re constantly learning about maintenance and repair in a way that you never expected that you would. I had no idea how much went into the daily maintenance of the home before we purchased one. Now that it is summer the thing that I have dreaded since the moment we bought our home eight years ago has finally happened. The AC is dying. It is happening slowly and painfully.
When it’s hot out, the last thing you need is an AC breakdown. Help protect your comfort and your budget with an American Home Shield Home Warranty.
I suppose that it is better than the alternative, but the writing is on the wall, and we may need a new air-conditioning unit soon. When we first became homeowners many people gave us helpful tips on how to take care of our property. Being young and stupid we ignored almost all of them. One of the biggest tips was how to take care of our air conditioning unit. When we had to call out our AC tech to come out last summer to flush out the lines and maintenance the unit he was astonished that we had not needed it sooner. We had no idea that we were supposed to be getting maintenance on it regularly. It had been at least seven years.
According to a consumer survey conducted by American Home Shield, the nation’s largest provider of home warranties, central air conditioners were revealed as one of the top appliances that homeowners do not want to live without, but seven-out-of-ten (70%) agreed that they are guilty of not having them serviced on a regular basis.
Our wonderful tech gave us the lecture that most of us need to hear: We need to change our filters often! Why is such a small, simple thing so hard to keep up with? It is for everyone’s benefit and the amount of damage dirty filters can do is huge. I guess it falls under the out of sight out of mind category. Now that we are faced with such a major expense to get a new unit put into our home I think we can safely say that we have learned a few lessons.
Five tips on how to maintain your air conditoner
Filter it out
The air filter is the heart of the central air conditioning unit and must be changed at least once a month in the summer when ACs are working overtime. Not changing the filter can restrict air flow, decrease efficiency or worse, freeze up the AC in the middle of a hot day. Experts say the best way to remember to change your filters regularly is to do it when you receive your monthly electric bill.
No Sudden Changes
Most of us are guilty of turning the AC on full blast when leaving the house and turning it down upon return. According to HVAC contractors, this is a bad idea all around – it overworks the unit, isn’t environment-friendly and sucks up electricity. Don’t adjust the thermostat temperatures more than 2 – 3 degrees at a time. Invest in a digital programmable thermostat and set it on a timer to turn on the A/C a half hour before you get home.
Keep it Clean
Ahead of AC season, inspect the area around the condenser, especially for an outdoor AC unit for any debris that could potentially prevent air from flowing into the system. Bushes, shrubs and vegetation around the unit can seriously compromise the effectiveness of the AC and force it to overwork. When mowing, mow grass away from the unit. Make sure there are no mice, bugs, especially ants on the electrical component and before summer, completely power off and rinse the unit lightly with a garden hose.
Seal it in and Top it Off
Before turning on the AC this summer, watch out for leaky seams that may develop around windows and doors. Carefully use a candle to detect drafts and install new stripping wherever needed. Additionally, make sure the unit is not low on refrigerant or coolant. To test, insert a meat thermometer into both the vents that blow and suck in air. There shouldn’t be more than a 16 – 20-degree difference in temperature. Reading too high or too low? Call a professional.
Cover Your Bases
A well maintained central air conditioning unit can approximately last up to an average of 20 years. Seeing that an AC is a hefty investment, protect it by scheduling regular maintenance checks. Ahead of summer, call an HVAC contractor to inspect as well as thoroughly clean inside the unit – a task best left to professionals.
Do You Need a Home Warranty?
One of the major things that we will be looking into this time around is home warranty for our air conditioning unit. I know that most people think that home warranty is an unnecessary expense, but for us having three kids and living on a tight budget we need to know that if things break they are taken care of. Summer is coming and I, for one do not want to be caught off guard!
If you want to protect your budget from costly repairs then I highly recommend that you get a home warranty. A home warranty is an agreement that covers the repair or replacement of many major home system components and appliances that typically breakdown over time due to normal wear and tear.
Home warranty policies can cover:
HOME SYSTEMS: A/C including ductwork, Heating including ductwork, Electrical, Plumbing, Water Heaters, Garbage Disposals, Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers, Central Vacuums, Smoke Detectors, Doorbells, Ceiling Fans.
HOME APPLIANCES: Refrigerators, Dishwashers, Clothes Dryers, Clothes Washers, Ranges/Ovens/Cooktops, Built-in Microwave Ovens, Free-standing Ice Makers, Trash Compactors, Garage Door openers, Built-in Food Processors
American Home Shield home warranty has a great offer for our readers, $25 dollars off of an AHS Home Warranty by using American Home Shield coupon code SUMMER25.
Offer expires 7/21/16. Offer not valid in AK, IA, or New York City. Not valid in conjunction with a real estate transaction or on appliance-only plans. Valid for new customers only; discount cannot be applied to previous purchases. Discount only available for single-family homes under 5,000 sq. ft (includes condos and townhouses). Offers cannot be combined.