Maintaining your HVAC system is very important as a homeowner. Check out this guide to learn the top AC maintenance tips.
Your air conditioning is one of the workhorses of your home. It provides you with the right indoor temperature, which gives you the right balance of cold and heat.
Air conditioning accounts for 12 percent of energy consumption across America. A little upkeep with your AC goes a long way. This will help to keep your air conditioning cooler and more long-lasting.
If you plan to do some AC maintenance, you want to make sure you’re doing the right steps you need.
In this guide, we give you the top air conditioner service tips that every homeowner needs. With these, you can get the best out of your maintenance steps every time.
- Clean or Replace Your AC Filter
The AC filter is one of the easiest but most important tasks for any air conditioning maintenance. Cleaning or replacing your AC filter is a task that will improve the efficiency of your AC. Make it a routine to clean it every two weeks, to a minimum of once a month.
If you’re unsure which type of filter you should use, check your air conditioning manual or talk to HVAC teams. These HVAC experts will know how to help you with the right filters.
Remember that you need to provide proper, frequent attention to your AC if you use it with consistency. Do more frequent air conditioner service if your AC is in dusty conditions or pets are in your home.
- Understand How Your HVAC Works
Much like any system, it’s best for you to understand how your HVAC system works. Most central air conditioning will have two parts: the outdoor compressor/condenser unit and the evaporator indoors. Knowing how your AC works is crucial to the cleaning and maintenance process.
Knowing how to take it apart can save you a lot of time and money from sending it in for service. Deep cleaning it, if you have the time, can mean the difference in the world when it comes to performance.
- Clean Your AC Coils
Apart from the AC filter, the air conditioner’s evaporator coils and condenser coils are the most vital. They collect dirt, dust, and small debris from over months and years of use. Even if you clean your AC filter with regularity, you can’t stop your evaporator coil from collecting dirt.
A dirty evaporator coil reduces the total efficiency of your air conditioning. This can cut down on the airflow in your AC, insulating the coil and cuts down on its heat absorption capabilities. Doing an annual air conditioner service and maintenance can prevent this issue from coming up.
This is a similar problem for the outdoor condenser coil but on a worse scale. Since condensers tend to be outdoor units, they are under exposure to dirt and the elements. If there is some shrubbery around, insects and pests can block the airflow.
It’s easy to see if your condenser is dirty. All you need is to check the fins.
If you find excess dirt on the condenser, make sure to clean and remove as much of this dirt as you can. Clean the area around the vent by removing any greenery and moving back the foliage by a meter. This will allow for better airflow around the condenser itself.
- Repair Your Ducting
Ducting can be a major cause of inefficiency with your air conditioning unit. Much like an AC filter, duct leaks can waste as much as 30% of your air conditioning efficiency. They are also hard to seal up, so it’s best to try and find any leaks as soon as possible.
Check leaks by using the smoke trick people use to find window leaks. This means you need to use incense and hold it near where the ducting goes.
If you have a window unit, the usual suspects are the areas around the frame. For central AC, check out the duct connections. The smoke from the incense will move around and blow out if there is any leak.
When you find this, find yourself something like electric or foil tape. Seal the small gaps if you’re working with a small leak. For extensive issues, mastic is the best solution.
To seal the area around your window unit, foam and tape is the best, easiest solution. If you think the problem is beyond what you can do, it’s better to call experts to handle it.
- Correct Your AC Fins
You will notice that your AC will have fins near the evaporator and the condenser coils. They often comprise of aluminum or even PVC fins, which can bend or break easily. These damaged, warped or broken fins can block airflow and reduce the efficiency of your coils.
You would want to clean or straighten these AC fins. You can find a tool called a fin comb that will help fins to go back to their original condition.
If there is a broken part, check with your air conditioner service to see if they can do a parts replacement.
- Protect Your AC in The Winter
If you can experience winter in your area, the best thing to do with your air conditioner is to dismantle it. For window type AC, it’s better if you can cover it with protective insulation and waterproof it. If you have a central AC, you might need to ask for AC maintenance service to remove and store it.
If you can’t remove your AC, cover your outdoor unit with insulation and wrap it in plastic. Your goal is to protect it from the winter weather and debris that might come. As snow can be at sub-zero temperatures, preventing any ice from going inside is vital.
Once warmer weather comes, perform maintenance as soon as possible.
AC Maintenance is Crucial
When it comes to AC maintenance, regular, vigilant work is crucial. From cleaning your AC filter to protecting your outdoor unit from weather, you don’t have to do anything special. If you’re not sure what to do, your best move is to talk to a professional, such as those at Magnolia Heating and Cooling.
If you’re looking for more maintenance tips and tricks, we have many different home guides. These tips can give you the right knowledge you need to make everything easier.