Air conditioners tend to do fairly well on their own. However, if you want your air conditioner to run as well as it possibly can, you need to provide it with proper maintenance. This will ensure that you get through the summer heat unscathed.
Wondering what AC maintenance entails? Then keep on reading. Here are 7 tips for air conditioning maintenance.
- Change Your Air Filter
In every HVAC system is an air filter. The responsibility of this filter is to prevent dust and debris from making their way into the HVAC system. That includes both the heater and the air conditioner.
What happens if dust and debris do make their way in? The efficiency of the two systems becomes reduced, and they’re forced to use much more energy than they would otherwise. Not to mention, they incur a greater risk of damage.
Fortunately, air filters do a good job of keeping dust and debris to a minimum. Unfortunately, air filters need to be replaced every 2 to 3 months, and many homeowners forget to change them.
Don’t be one of these homeowners. Attach a piece of paper to your HVAC system and write down the date of every filter change. Then, be sure to add a new filter in a timely manner.
- Clean the Coils
The condenser and evaporator coils are vital to the AC’s overall functionality. Should these components go bad, the AC will struggle (and eventually cease) to perform its job as intended.
Unfortunately, these sets of coils are prone to getting dirty. Within the span of a few years, they can become caked in dirt and mildew. For this reason, you need to clean them regularly.
Generally speaking, it’s best to do this with a specialized coil cleaner. Add this to the coils and then scrub with a coil brush. Do this every year or so, and your coils should perform at their max capacity.
- Straighten the Fins
The exterior of every air conditioner condenser consists of a series of thin, metal strips. These are known as fins and they’re responsible for processing air that comes the AC’s way.
The issue is, over time, these fins become bent and mangled. When this occurs, they have trouble doing their job, and thereby cause the AC to run less efficiently.
How do you get around this problem? By straightening the fins!
Take a butter knife and place it between each fin. Then, run the knife up so as to separate the fins. Do this to every fin and your system is sure to perform up to expectations.
- Clean the Ducts
We mentioned above that dust and debris have the ability to make their way into an AC system. However, it’s not just the AC itself that is at risk. The ducts connected to the AC are bound to take on dust and debris as well.
So, what can you do? Well, you can clean out your ducts. You can take them apart, vacuum up all of the existing dust and debris, then reassemble the ducts so that they’re ready to pass air once again.
Of course, this is easier said than done. It’s for this reason that it’s often recommended to have a professional HVAC company carry out the task. Companies like Larsen HVAC are well-versed in the cleaning of ducts and will be able to clear your system in no time.
- Keep the Condenser Area Cleared
Your AC’s condenser exists outside of your home. As such, it’s perpetually vulnerable to falling branches, rocks, trash, and other such entities.
Should any of these fall into the condenser, its impellers could suffer damage. This would require an expensive repair and, in the meantime, would greatly reduce the functionality of your AC.
For this reason, you need to do what you can to keep the area around your condenser clean. Trim up trees and hedges, pick up rocks, and throw away miscellaneous trash. Try to leave at least 5 feet of clearance on each of the condenser’s sides.
- Flush the Drain Line
As a means of its operation, your air conditioner produces moisture. To keep itself functioning, it disposes of this moisture in a component called the drain line.
The only issue is that, over time, this drain line can take on mold and mildew. This can cause it to clog, leading to AC inefficiency. As such, you’re advised to flush the drain line from time to time.
This involves putting bleach down the drain line and letting it sit for a while. Then, once it has, you take a wet/dry vacuum and suck it all up. This should remove ample amounts of residue.
- Have It Inspected By a Professional
There’s a lot of HVAC maintenance that you can do on your own. However, you’re probably not trained or experienced enough to notice inconsistencies with the air conditioner’s internal components.
It’s for this reason that you should bring in a professional AC service for annual inspections. This AC company will check out every aspect of your AC, determining which parts are still in good shape, which parts need AC repair or replacement, and which parts you need to keep an eye on.
Yes, a professional inspection will cost you a bit of money. However, in helping you to catch small problems before they become big problems, it could save you substantial amounts of money in the long run.
AC Maintenance Is a Necessity
AC maintenance isn’t just helpful, it’s a necessity. So, put these 7 tips into action and reap the benefits of a high-functioning air conditioner. Maintenance will not only keep your AC running throughout the summer but keep it going for years and years beyond that as well.
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