Air conditioner maintenance is critical to ensuring that the unit remains efficient, achieves its lifespan, and remains safe for you and your family. Here are some maintenance tips that will help you reach these goals.
Perform Seasonal Tune-Ups
Seasonal tune-ups are performed twice a year, in the winter and in the spring. This ensures that the heating and cooling functions are working properly. These tune-ups are not DIY, so please seek professional assistance when necessary. The technician will recalibrate your thermostat and make sure it displays accurate temperature readings. They will also change the blower filter and lubricate any moving parts within your AC. Moreover, professionals can spot any safety hazards and quickly rectify them.
In the summer, it’s important to check the coolant levels. Top it up if necessary and ensure that there are no leaks in the coolant lines. In the winter, also check the gas pressure, oil pressure, and blower units to ensure the furnace is at optimum function. Inspect the heat exchanger for any cracks or leaks.
Replace Filters Regularly
Air filters rid the air of dust, pollen, allergens, and other particles which bring down the quality of your indoor air. Over time, these particles accumulate on the filter, preventing it from functioning effectively. Experts recommend that you change your air filter at least every 30 days. Some filters are reusable and therefore only require cleaning and replacement. These can be washed in mild soapy water and rinsed out. Self-cleaning filters are also available in more modern air conditioners. Check the user instructions for more information.
Clean the Coils and Coil Fins
Image via Flickr by Paul B. (Halifax)
Coils are a component of the AC’s condenser and evaporator. After constant use, these coils attract dirt and dust which reduce their energy efficiency. To prevent this, make sure that these coils are cleaned at least once a year. Spray on an appropriate cleaning agent and wipe till all the dirt is removed. Be sure to keep the coil fins clean as well.
Keep the Outdoor Unit Clean
Use a spray hose to wash down dirt and debris from the outdoor unit. In addition, clear any obstructions including shrubbery, plants, and other things that restrict airflow from the unit. Also, use a cleaning spray or commercial coil cleaner to remove dirt from the condenser coil fins.
Don’t Run the Unit 24/7
If you’d like to get the best use out of your air conditioner, don’t leave it on at all hours of the day. Since the atmosphere generally cools at night, you can increase the temperature slightly and then turn it off to give it some rest. However, note that incessant turning on and off of the AC will cause damage to the fan and compressor. Likewise, abandoning the air conditioner completely can also damage certain components of your home. Therefore, the key is moderate usage. Find a routine that works best for you and your family.
Follow these tips, and you’ll get the best out of your air conditioner.