Like any other mechanical system, air conditioners require regular service and maintenance to keep running smoothly. It calls for frequent cleaning of the different AC parts, such as coils, filters, drains, fins, etc. Any negligence in this can result in reduced cooling capacity and damage to the unit.
Fortunately, regular AC maintenance includes several tasks that you can do on your own without professional help. In this post, we will talk about some of the most helpful air conditioner maintenance tips that you must follow to keep your system in the best shape.
- Check the air conditioner’s thermostat:
It is essential to check your thermostat frequently to ensure it is working correctly. If you have an old, mechanical thermostat, consider replacing it with the latest, programmable model in the market.
A smart thermostat enables you to set the temperature by day and time to reduce the unit’s overall usage. For instance, you can set a higher temperature when no one is home and lower it for about 30 minutes before everyone arrives home in the evening. After all, it is much more efficient to program in desired temperatures than to shut the unit off completely and turn it on after a day.
It is a great way to reduce the wear and tear of your HVAC system and maximize your savings.
Clean or replace the air filters regularly:
With a central air conditioning system, it is all about maintaining the right airflow. Thus, it is crucial to change air filters regularly.
Almost all AC filters come with a recommended schedule for replacement. But the replacement frequency should primarily depend on the usage of the unit and how dirty the air is. For high-use seasons like summers, you must change the filters every month.
When the filters become trapped with dust and dirt, the airflow decreases. Besides, the air flowing in through the system also becomes muddier, affecting your indoor air quality. Regular cleaning or changing the filters will ensure optimal air filtration and increase the system’s life.
Clean the outside unit:
Often, people forget to clean the outdoor air condenser unit that becomes clogged with dirt and debris. It, in turn, impacts the system’s capacity and airflow.
The air condenser pulls in air, leading to dust, dirt, and other debris getting stuck to it. It not only limits the air inflow but also causes the unit to overheat.
To clean it, shut off the power to the unit. Then use a garden hose with a hard stream of water to wash out all the debris. Make sure not to damage or bend the delicate fins on the coil.
Check the wiring and components:
Issues in your air conditioner’s internal wiring and connections can lead to poor cooling. So it is imperative to examine the outdoor unit’s electrical wiring at least once every year.
To do it, turn off the power to the AC unit. Remove the access panel and look for any indications of trouble. Make sure there are no blackened or burnt wires due to system overheating. Additionally, check if all the electrical connections are in place.
If you notice any problems and don’t know how to handle it yourself, you can seek professional air conditioning experts’ assistance.
Keep your vents and registers clean:
You must locate every supply and return vent in your house to look for any blockage. These vents may be behind your furniture items or drapes.
Once you have located all the vents, remove them with a screwdriver. Clean them up thoroughly, and vacuum wipe the area around the grills. If you notice too much debris or block the ducts, you can also call for professional help.
All your vents might be supported with a lever that enables you to close off the vent. However, make sure to keep these vents always open. Closing them can produce unnecessary pressure inside the ducts, often resulting in leakages.
You can easily find a list of compatible blades online. Input the condenser’s model number to find the right match.
Give free room to outdoor air condenser units:
Outdoor air condensers do not make for a delightful sight. Consequently, most people try to hide them with plants, fences, lattices, etc.
It is essential to understand that these condenser units need an adequate amount of airflow from all sides to perform at their highest efficiency. Make sure to place all plants, landscaping items, and other objects at least three feet away from the unit.
Additionally, trim the leaves or fences at regular intervals to help the system draw sufficient air.
Get a professional inspection and cleaning service done annually:
Before the start of every cooling season, it is advisable to get a professional maintenance checkup done by an expert HVAC company. These companies thoroughly scan all parts of the system, such as coils, fan motor, and blades, compressor, tubing, filters, etc. to ensure there are no issues. Also, they check the refrigerant levels and adjust it, if needed.
These routine checkups are essential for the smooth running of the air conditioning systems. They also ensure that your system lasts for as many years as possible.
These simple air conditioner maintenance tips will help ensure that your system is in good working order. These preventive measures will save you from spending fortunes on repairing or replacing your AC unit if it conks out in the middle of the hot summer season.