Keep Your Spring Air Conditioner In Great Shape With Regular Maintenance
In certain parts of the country, having an air conditioner is essential. When the heat outside becomes oppressive, maintaining a comfortable lifestyle is practically impossible without one. Like any mechanical equipment, however, your A/C unit needs to be maintained correctly to keep it from breaking down. Regular maintenance will also help it run more efficiently, reducing the amount of money required to cool your home. The maintenance process involves checking the fins, coils, and filters in the air conditioning unit. Neglecting these components can cause your air conditioning unit to become less efficient and less effective as it ages.
Pay Attention To The Filters
One of the easiest ways to keep your air conditioner in good shape is by regularly checking the air filters. Dirt and grime can accumulate in the filters over time – particularly if your air conditioner gets used a lot. When the filters get dirty, it takes a lot more energy to push air through the system, which can lead to higher energy costs and can cause your equipment to wear out more quickly. Dirt can also affect other parts of your system like your coils, as well, which could result in the need for more costly repairs.
Don’t neglect your filters. Instead, check them regularly, changing them or cleaning them as needed. A/C filters are a lot more affordable than you might think – especially when you consider that using a clean filter can boost the efficiency of your air conditioner by as much as 15%. That can result in big savings on your utility bills.
Evaporator Coils & Condenser Coils
Air conditioning units have two different types of coils that need to be monitored. These include evaporator coils and condenser coils. Dirt and other contaminants can build up on the coils over time. One way to minimize this problem is by making sure that your filter is always clean. You also need to periodically check the coils for dirt, cleaning them as needed. Luckily, you don’t need to check the coils as frequently as you need to check the filters, meaning that it should be easy to stay on top of this task.
As a general rule of thumb, the coils only need to be checked on an annual basis. Cleaning the coils at least once a year will help keep heat to a minimum while the AC unit is running. The goal is to make sure that your unit is absorbing heat in the proper places while at the same time bringing clean air in to be cooled that is free from debris.
Most air conditioners have fins that are made out of aluminum. Because aluminum is such a soft metal, it doesn’t take much to bend it. Unfortunately, bent fins can impede airflow through the system. One way to get around this problem is by using a fin comb to straighten out the fins so that they are in like-new condition. You can find these tools at most hardware stores. Straightening out the fins will help ensure that air flows smoothly through your system.
Inspect The Condenser Drains
Condenser drains can sometimes get clogged, which can limit the ability of the air conditioner to lower humidity levels. In order to test for clogs, you just have to stick a sturdy wire through the drain channels. This should help loosen any clogs that you find, which will allow the air conditioning unit to run correctly again.
Inspect The Seal
For window air conditioners, it is important to inspect the seal around the outer edge of the unit. If there are problems with the seal, hot air can get in and cold air can escape, which will make the A/C unit a lot less effective.
Getting Professional Assistance
Having your air conditioning unit inspected by a professional is always a good idea. Not only do they have the right tools for the job but they are also specially trained to work with air conditioners. That means that they can safely and effectively perform tasks like checking for leaks or testing the refrigerant level in your unit. They can also take accurate measurements of the airflow through your system to ensure that it is working at peak efficiency. While it is important to stay on top of basic maintenance like changing filters on your own, you also need to regularly have your unit serviced by a professional to keep it in excellent shape.