Five Easy AC Maintenance Tips

Published On November 27, 2018 | By admin | Home improvement

There are several routine household appliance maintenance chores that will pay off more than working with a maintenance schedule for your AC unit. They will not only ensure that you stay cool during summer and avoid emergency breakdown costs but will also save you a ton of money when it comes to energy bills. Well maintained air conditioning units will use lesser energy, cost less to run, and will run more efficiently. Properly maintained systems will also last much longer before requiring replacement.

Why Air Conditioner Maintenance is Vital

It is worth noting that there are maintenance tasks you can handle on your own, but others you should never perform unless you have the necessary training, certification and equipment. For such tasks, it is advisable that you have a professional handle them. If you feel uncomfortable performing a maintenance task yourself, consider calling a professional and have him handle it for you.

If you feel that you can go at it alone, then make sure that you observe safety precautions. Before performing any work on an AC, always make sure that you shut down power to the system first. Here are five easy AC maintenance tips for you to consider.

Replace or Clean The Air Filter

Replacing your AC air filter (or cleaning it if your AC has a reusable filter) is undoubtedly one of the most crucial ‘regular’ AC maintenance chores. It is advisable that you do so every month, especially during high use seasons like winter and summer and at least once during spring and fall. AC filters are located either:

–           Behind the return air grill on your ceiling or wall in your home’s central room

–           Inside the furnace or air handler blower compartment

–           In a slot on the top, side, or bottom of your furnace.

When a filter is choke full of dirt, allergen particles, and dust, air flow becomes restricted, making your AC work twice as hard. Air flowing through the AC may also become dustier, dirtier and more likely to trigger asthma attacks and allergies for those living in the home.

Check Components and Wiring

Before working on any AC unit, it is advisable that you ALWAYS make sure that you turn off power to the unit. You can do so at your outdoor unit service disconnect or your home’s main breaker panel. Once you’ve cut power, remove the access panel that covers the condensing unit and look for signs of overheating, check to see if there are any burned-looking or blackened wires or melted insulation on the wires.

Also, check all electrical connections and make sure that they’re tight. If you have an electrical test meter, check all the capacitors in your unit to see if any are out of order. Look at the unit’s contractor switch too and replace it if it shows signs of excessive pitting. If your AC shows any of the signs mentioned above and you are not comfortable replacing parts yourself, then call a local air conditioning professional and let him handle the task for you.

Examine The Thermostat

Another part of your AC that you should check often is the thermostat. Make sure that it is working properly as it is responsible for ensuring that your home stays at the right temperatures. If you own the older, mechanical thermostat, then consider upgrading to a newer, programmable model. Programmable thermostats allow users to set temperatures higher when there is no one home, don’t turn your AC off, turn it up, and to cool the house about 30-minutes before you arrive back home for the evening. That way, your home will always be at comfortable temperatures when you get back, and you will save both money and energy by not having your air con running all day when there’s no one home.

Check The Condenser Unit Fan

As always, make sure that you have turned power to your AC unit off before checking the fan. Condenser unit fans are mounted on the top of the condenser unit. Check to see if it is still in good, working condition. Consider replacing fan blades if they have any chips or cracks on them. If you own an older AC model, its fan motor bearings will probably require regular oiling to perform optimally.

Clean The Outside Unit

As time goes by, grass clippings, dirt, leaves and such will build up around your AC unit outside, reducing its air flow and decreasing its capacity. After you’ve shut down power to the unit, use a garden hose to wash out debris lightly. Start at the top with your hose at a 45-degree angle. Never use a power washer to clean the outside of your AC and be careful not to damage or bend the delicate coil fins. Also, make sure that you trim down any plants or shrubs around your AC to keep them from obstructing air flow from and to the unit.

Consider Professional AC Maintenance

The proper maintenance of an AC unit will benefit both you and your system considering the savings you will make energy and money wise. Furthermore, you will be guaranteed comfort during the coldest days of winter and hottest of summer. Local AC maintenance companies are always happy to help clients with any kind of air conditioning need so consider hiring one if you aren’t comfortable with some maintenance task or aren’t capable of maintaining your AC as often as you’d like.

Professional AC companies can help you ensure that your air conditioning unit works optimally year-round. Apart from checking your AC, they also can perform extra maintenance tasks on a yearly basis, ensuring that your unit performs as smoothly as possible for as long as possible.

When searching for an AC professional, it is vital that you consider a couple of things to ensure that you choose someone that you can trust. Consider

  • Their experience – the more experienced, the more knowledgeable they are when it comes to AC maintenance
  • Their service charges – how much do they charge for the services they provide? Can you afford their services?
  • Solutions they provide – apart from AC servicing and maintenance, do they offer other services like part replacement and AC installations?
  • Dependability – are they people you can rely on? Consider checking what people who’ve used their services before have to say about the solutions they provide.

By following the above tips, you should have an easy time improving your AC’s performance and lifespan. Just remember to follow these tips from to the letter, and all should be well. But if you are not comfortable or capable, then contact a professional and let him handle it for you.

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