One of the advantages of renting a home, apartment or condo is that the tenant is typically not responsible for any extensive repair work. However, this doesn’t mean that the renter isn’t obligated to take care of some upkeep around the unit on their own. After all, most lease agreements state that the renter should return the property to the owner in the same condition it was given to them, once the lease is over.
There are some simple maintenance tasks that every renter can easily handle on their own – this includes maintaining the cooling system.
While the temperatures outside may not be scorching just yet, soon they will be. The last thing you will want to deal with is a hot, miserable, and uncomfortable living space. Fortunately, this is a situation that can easily be avoided with a little preventative maintenance work before warm weather arrives.
Change the furnace filter. You read that right.
Many people falsely believe that they don’t need to change their furnace filter in the summer since they aren’t using their furnace. Air conditioners commonly use the same blower and ductwork that the furnace does. Regardless of what time of year it is, you need to make it a habit to change your filter. The filter is located near the furnace of your forced-air system. Failure to keep up with regular filter replacement could cause your air conditioner to work overtime. Not only that, but dirty air filters could cause serious health problems for your loved ones, including pets.
Clean the wall or window unit’s filter
Wall and window air conditioners have a filter that should be rinsed on a regular basis. Typically, there will be a screen on the unit that pulls up or out, revealing the filter inside. If you aren’t sure where to find the filter, consult the owner’s manual or your landlord.
Keep the outdoor unit clear of debris
If you have access to an outdoor air conditioner, be sure there isn’t clutter around it. Keep bushes and trees trimmed back a minimum of two feet. Also, do not stack anything on top of or up against the unit. All these things could potentially obstruct airflow to your system.
Adjusting the thermostat
While you may not have a programmable thermostat installed in your rented space, you can still be energy smart during the cooling season. Set your thermostat at a warmer temperature before you leave each day. When there’s no one in the home to keep comfortable, it doesn’t make sense to run the air conditioner at a lower temperature. Also, if you have a window/wall unit, shut it off or turn it to a warmer setting before leaving for the day.