Your air conditioning system is an essential part of your home. What will you do when it suddenly malfunctions? You’ll surely be sweating in the 90-plus-degree heat.
To make sure that your air conditioning unit stays at tip-top shape through the years, you’ll need to take care of it properly.
Here are some maintenance tips you should not forget:
Change the Air Filter
The most important thing a homeowner can do to maintain their air conditioner is regularly replace or clean the air filter. Filters that are clogged with dust, dirt, and hair negatively affect the efficiency of your cooling system. Airflow will be obstructed, making it harder for the evaporator coils to absorb heat energy from the air.
Additionally, the forced air will find ways around the clogged filter, bypassing the filter and carrying dirt and sediments into your HVAC system and ductwork. These particulates will damage the coil’s capability to absorb heat and thus hinder the unit from providing cool air into your home.
Routine air filter cleaning or replacement will reduce your air conditioner’s energy consumption by approximately 5 to 15 percent (EPA). Another point that you have to remember is that if you have pets or if you constantly use your air conditioner, you’ll have to clean its filters more often. Always have proper replacement filters on hand and set 30-day reminders to check the condition of your air filter.
Clean and Maintain Condensate Drains
Your air conditioning system supposedly has condensate drains. These drains may get clogged up thus preventing the unit from reducing humidity. When that happens, the moisture in the rooms may eventually discolor your carpets, walls and even your furniture. Avoid such problems by occasionally pouring a cup of bleach down your air conditioner’s condensate drain channel and passing a stiff wire through it. This will get rid of dust, dirt and sediments that cause clogging.
Clean Outdoor Condenser Unit
The evaporator and condenser coils are among the essential parts of your air conditioning unit. With continuous use of the appliance throughout the years, dirt may accumulate in these coils therefore obstructing airflow and reducing coil insulation. When these happen, the air conditioner will fail to cool your house. Avoid such an inconvenience by ensuring that its filters are regularly cleaned and replaced. You should also minimize the condenser’s exposure to debris, dirt and all types of sediments such as those that come from the dryer vents as well falling leaves and cut grass from your lawn mower.
Open All Vents and Registers
Although a lot of people do it, it doesn’t make it a smart thing to do. We’re talking about closing off vents and registers in your home. You may think you’re saving money and energy by blocking airflow to unused areas of the home, and that makes intuitive sense, but remember that unless you have zoned HVAC, your system is going to release the same amount of airflow anyway. When you block air intake or supply registers, you are increasing pressure within the system and adding strain to the ductwork and HVAC system. As a simple rule, don’t block any vents in your home!
Tips for Window AC Units
Always check the seal between the window frame and your air conditioner. That seal should be in direct contact with the air conditioner’s metal case to prevent cool air from getting out of your house.
You’ll have to protect your air conditioning unit during winter. We recommend removing and storing it in a cool, dry place for winter. Doing so will protect it from storms and debris that may totally damage the appliance.