Like almost everything in our lives, maintenance is a part of any technical item around. Your computer may need maintenance to increase its speed, your vehicle definitely needs maintenance such as oil changes to keep it running efficiently, air conditioning maintenance is no exception.
Your air conditioner is made of many components that allow it to do its job; keep you and your home or business cool in the summer and a nice air flow in the winter. Some of these components are easy to maintain, so easy in fact you should be able to complete the AC maintenance yourself. Don’t be scared, if at any time you are unsure, it’s best to call in a professional for advice, this way you can be taught by an expert and complete your air conditioning maintenance yourself in the future.
Tips on Air Conditioning Maintenance
As one of the most important parts of your air conditioner, the air filter needs to be replaced regularly. This allows the air conditioner to do its job properly by filtering any debris, pollutants, and dust in the air; by not changing the air filter the unit has to work harder to push filtered air, thus decreasing the units’ lifespan and possibly increasing your monthly bills.
The air filter can be tricky to locate on some HVAC systems, but it is usually found in the return air duct or blower compartment before the return air reaches the air handler. This allows the filter to clean the air coming from your home. If you are unsure where the return air duct is check your units’ manual. If you cannot find your manual most manuals can be found online. Air filters can be purchased from any home improvement store and your old filter should have the sizing it needs.
The air conditioner and surrounding area should be inspected on a monthly basis to ensure there is no clutter around or lodged within the unit. Clutter around the unit can trap hot air in the unit causing the unit to overwork resulting in many issues such as a blown fan motor. Any high winds could cause items such as sticks lodged within the unit which can lead to an array of problems. Always cutting the lawn, and weeding any unwanted weeds in the area surrounding the unit is a great start at keeping items away. Moving any patio furniture and ensuring any kids toys or bikes are not put by it are also great things to do for your AC unit.
Hiring a Professional
In order to ensure your unit runs smoothly throughout the year, calling in a professional is a great resource to learn basic maintenance you can do yourself, and allow the professional to complete any additional tasks or repairs your unit requires. It is recommended a professional be called in annually, typically during fall, to complete any maintenance that will help your unit during the cold winter months.
It is good to know what is expected of the technician during annual air conditioning maintenance, ensure the following items are being completed:
- Checking the coolant and refilling if necessary
- Checking for any leaks
- Measuring airflow
- Inspecting electrical terminals
- Oil the motor
- Check belts for any wear and tear
- Checking the accuracy of the thermostat
- Looking at the air filter and coils