Your air conditioning unit is an important part of your home that not only keeps you comfortable, but also safe. Units are also expensive, which is why you should keep up with maintenance to the best of your ability to ensure that you don’t have to get repairs done for issues you could have prevented. Continue reading to learn about the essential maintenance for an air conditioning unit that you need to stay on top of.
Replace the Filters
The first order of business for home air conditioning maintenance is replacing the filters. Typically, filters will need to be replaced every 30 to 90 days. However, you can also check to see if the filter needs to be replaced by holding it up to a source of light and checking if any light passes through. If no light passes through, that’s usually a telltale sign that you need a new air filter. If you don’t want to keep replacing filters, you can also opt for washable HVAC filters too.
The next piece of maintenance that you should prioritize is removing debris on the outside of the condenser or compressor. To do this, you will need to power off the air conditioning unit and then remove the fan cage. Using a screwdriver or wrench, you can then take off the fasteners of the cage and lift the fan cage off the unit. After removing it, you will be able to clean any debris, leaves, and other foreign materials off the interior with a vacuum or towel.
Clean and Straighten the Fins
You will also want to remove debris and dirt around the area of the air conditioning unit’s fins. The best way to clean this area of your air conditioner is to remove all the outer covers and use a vacuum’s brush attachment to remove any dirt that may have accumulated inside. After that, you should use a hose to lightly spray the fins to ensure that you remove all debris. However, you should avoid using a pressure washer because it can emit too much pressure and cause potential damage to your unit.
While you are cleaning your fins, you should also take the time to straighten any bent fins with a straightening tool or a butter knife. By straightening out the fins, you will also improve the airflow in your air conditioning unit, thus increasing its efficiency.
Clean the Evaporator Coil
An air conditioning unit’s evaporator coils also need to be thoroughly cleaned. Naturally, the coils collect all sorts of dirt over time. Therefore, not keeping up with this piece of maintenance for the evaporator coil can slow down the airflow of the air conditioning unit, which can lead to loss of heat absorption in the coils. To avoid this, be sure to keep a close eye on the condition of the evaporator coil and clean it often if you notice any debris accumulation.
Clean the Area Around the Unit
The last area of your air conditioning unit you will need to clean is the surrounding of your unit. There are several elements that could disrupt your unit’s performance, such as any bushes or tree branches that might infiltrate your unit. While an air conditioning unit isn’t the most appealing aspect of a home’s exterior, you can tactfully camouflage it by landscaping with trimmed shrubbery.
Level the Unit
Next up, you should take some time to make sure your air conditioning unit is leveled because an uneven surface could cause a malfunctioning compressor. A way to check for this is to place a leveler tool on the pad underneath the unit to estimate its ideal position. If it does need to be leveled, there are several ways you can go about this. Carefully lift the unit and try to level it out by using rot-resistant shims or packing sand. The soil under your unit will naturally shift and diminish over time, which is why keeping the surface leveled is essential maintenance for an air conditioning unit.
Adjust Your Thermostat
A thermostat is the key to you having the ability to control the temperature in your home. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, then you should consider getting one and managing it for maximum efficiency. For example, if you work for most of the day, you might want to put your thermostat on a higher temperature before you leave. That way, you can reduce the strain on your unit, which can save you a ton of money on your monthly utility bill. Some new thermostats even have a feature that allows you to schedule the temperature throughout the day, so you might want to consider upgrading to a newer thermostat.
An important facet of your air conditioning unit that requires frequent inspection is all the ductwork. Without properly sealed ductwork, your air conditioning will not work properly throughout your home. So, take some time to look over any ductwork in your home that may need repairs. Ductwork may also need to be sealed, cleaned, and tested.
If you have an air conditioner unit that is attached to a window, you will want to check the sealing. Having an air conditioning unit that has damaged sealing causes cold air to escape your home, and moisture often causes this issue. Inspect the sealing that is between the window frame and the unit to ensure that no cold air can pass through.
Get Ready for Winter
When winter eventually returns, there are some adjustments you will have to make to ensure that your air conditioning unit runs properly. The main piece of maintenance you will need to perform obtaining a cover for the outdoor unit, so you can protect it from weather conditions. As for the inside, you should either remove the unit or store it for the winter.
Hire A Professional
The last piece of vital maintenance for your conditioning unit is to seek professional help when necessary. While there’s a lot you can do to prevent certain issues, there are some issues that might arise that are out of your control, which is where a technician can help.