Like any piece of equipment that’s expected to see frequent use, central air conditioners require timely maintenance. By following these few simple steps, homeowners can enjoy the cool air and lower cooling bills throughout the summer!
What’s Needed for This DIY Project?
A few simple tools are needed to maintain your air conditioners like a pro. Make sure that you have a pair of safety glasses, a 4-in-1 screwdriver, and a shop vacuum. It’s also great to have a garden hose with a sprayer nozzle, a whisk broom, and a funnel. These few items, combined with the instructions offered here, should be plenty to get you started!
Cleaning the Outdoor Air Conditioner
Start by switching off the power to the outdoor central AC unit. The shutoff box is usually within sight near the outdoor unit. The main task is to clean the outdoor AC condenser coil. As the fan inside the unit pulls in air, it brings dirt, dust, leaves, and other debris. This can block airflow and lower the unit’s efficiency. Start by cleaning out the debris.
If the motor has lubrication ports, you can apply five drops of special oil made for electric motors that can be found in most hardware stores. The compressor and motor are usually sealed and likely won’t require maintenance. If the compressor is older and driven by belts connected to a separate motor, you can lubricate the motor by adding oil to the designated ports. Keep an eye out for oil or coolant leaks and call a professional if you notice any.
Start the Outdoor Unit Back Up
When the outdoor air conditioners are clean, turn the power back on. Set the thermostat to the desired temperature and let the outdoor unit switch on. Listen to it working for a few minutes to check for unusual noises. After 10 minutes, check the temperature of the insulated pipes connecting the outdoor unit to the indoor evaporator AC coil. One should be cool (around 60 degrees) and the other (if you have a heat pump) should be warm (body temperature.) If they don’t feel right, have a professional check the level of refrigerant.
Cleaning Indoor Air Conditioners
When cleaning indoor air conditioners, switch off power to the furnace, then replace the dirty furnace filters. Vacuum the bottom of the evaporator coil fins with a soft brush attachment. Vacuum any dust that had gathered in the blower cabinet. Next, check the condensation tube and make sure that algae and sludge didn’t form clogs. If you don’t have easy access to some of these parts, turn to a professional for timely maintenance.
A new proposal intends to reduce the maximum golf club length to limit the length of drives. The reduction from 48 inches to 46 inches has drawn criticism from some professional golf players. Apparently, the players are driving the ball too far and the proposal was meant to mitigate the problem. It was based on a study by the USGA and the R&A, who are the sport’s rule-makers.
Prominent Golf Professionals Have Protested the New Proposal
The new standard would limit the length of all clubs except putters. It would set the maximum shaft length at 46 inches, from the end of the grip cap to the ground. Currently, the limit is 48 inches. It seems that drivers, which are the longest non-putter clubs in golf, would likely be the only clubs affected by the new measure.
Longer Golf Clubs Make the First Hit Easier for the Player
Hitting the ball as far as possible is a major objective of golf, which is why longer clubs are very appreciated among the players. They make the first hit easier and the longer the ball can go from the tee, the shorter the next shot would be. The shorter that shot, the better the chance that it puts the ball close for an easy putt. Longer clubs allow golfers to give more speed to the ball, making it travel further.
Apparently, today’s professionals can drive the ball so far they dominate all courses except the longest courses. This has led golfing authorities to argue that the game was getting too easy for the best players. While hitting distances have increased regularly over the past 100 years, the effect coming from the long clubs has become particularly noticeable just recently.
A recent study by the USGA and R&A has shown that the average drive of the 20 longest hitters in the PGA Tour has increased to 310 yards from 278 yards since 1995. This is due to the better equipment, the longer drivers, and the fact that players are swinging their clubs faster. It looks like this change has occurred among both male and female professionals. The increases in driving distances have also forced courses to redesign their layouts and create longer holes.