With high temps, Nebraskans are urged to take proper care of AC units

BEATRICE - With a hot stretch of days rolling through much of the state, Nebraskans should do their best to make sure they stay cool.

When inside, the way that’s done, is having a properly functioning air conditioner. Ken Sillman, of Custom Climate Control in Beatrice, says the heat has a severe impact on A/C  capacitors, which deliver the initial energy burst when units are turned on fr a cooling cycle.

“If the system has to run longer, it’s sitting out in the sun, those capacitors are going to out easier,” Sillman said.

Another factor that leads to A/C issues during a heat wave comes down to simply what is positioned around the unit. Sillman said the placement of landscaping elements can affect the units ability to properly operate.

“So many systems have bushes and flowers around them, trying to hide them, so they can’t breathe like they’re supposed to,” Sillman said. “So, by moving foliage back by a couple feet, you can make a big difference in how well your air conditioner operates.”

Custom Climate Control hasn’t been terribly busy with this heat wave. Sillman said by this time of the year, most have already dealt with their air conditioner problems, as most issues occur during the first summer heat wave. However, those who did not get their system checked when needed, may face issues.

“There’s a few stragglers who may not have had their systems checked in a long time and so it slips under the rug,” Sillman said. “Until it breaks and then it’s panic mode.”

During periods of extreme temperatures many decide to shut units off for periods of time with the hopes of lowering cost. Sillman explained how this may not be the most economic option.

“When you shut the air conditioner off, and maybe open the house up, you’re letting all that humidity in, so you have to pay to get rid of all that moisture again,” Sillman said. “If you turn it on and just set it and forget it, the house levels out, everything inside maintains the same temperature, moisture goes down and you can be more comfortable at a warmer temperature.”

While it’s always a good idea to have systems checked, they also need to be kept clean. Washing out a unit can be done by the owner of the unit, but Sillman has a piece of advice for those DIYer’s.

“There’s a difference between washing them out and packing the material that’s in the coil in deeper,” Sillman said. “Washing it with a house usually isn’t enough, you have to watch what you’re doing, make sure you’re getting the dirt out.”