Generally, we take the many comforts of our home for granted and fail to pay much attention to maintaining our home appliances. The air conditioning unit is one such system that requires regular maintenance for it to run it smoothly and reduce the risk of an emergency breakdown. A routine AC maintenance will allow the AC unit to work at optimal efficiency and ensure that you stay cool all summer.
Also, when your air conditioner is maintained regularly, lesser energy is consumed, helping you save money on your energy bills. A well-running air conditioning unit operates more efficiently and helps prolong the life of your system.
How to maintain your Air Conditioner?
It is important to note that while a few home maintenance tasks can be done by homeowners by themselves, there are some which are best done when left in the hands of professionals. Maintaining your air conditioner is one of them. A professional AC specialist is licensed and has proper training to deal with any AC related problem more efficiently.
However, if you are planning to maintain your AC yourself, follow these simple tips listed below. Also, as a safety precaution, ensure that the power to the unit is shut down completely before you begin working on the outdoor unit.
Tip#1: Change or Replace Air Filter
Changing or replacing your air conditioner filter once every month in summers or winters and once during fall is important to keep your AC maintained and running smoothly.
Changing AC Air filter in Attic
The air filter in the attic is located in a slot on the top, bottom or side of the furnace, in the rear of the ceiling in the central room of the house, behind the return air grill on a ceiling or wall or at the back of the return air grille on a wall or ceiling in the central room of the house. When dust, dirt and allergen particles get collected on the filter, it reduces the airflow. As a result, the system has to work harder, putting a strain on your air conditioner. Also, the accumulation of dust and dirt on the filter can trigger allergy symptoms for those residing in your home.
Tip#2: Inspecting Wiring and Components
Before you start inspecting the wiring and components of your system, ensure that the power supply to the unit is completely shut down from the main breaker panel of your home.
To check the old wiring inside the AC unit, remove the access panel on your condensing unit. Check to see if you see signs of burned or blackened looking wires or overheating melted insulation of wires.
Also, ensure that the electrical connections are tight. If you have an electrical test meter, check the capacitors in the unit.
Replace the contractor switch if you notice excessive pitting.
If you notice any of the problems mentioned above and are unable to handle them, it is highly recommended that you seek the help of a local heating and air conditioning expert immediately.
Tip#3: Check the Thermostat
A thermostat that is working properly helps maintain the right temperature in your home. If you have a mechanical type thermostat installed, consider upgrading it to a programmable model.
Adjusting a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is designed to automatically regulate the temperature of your home for various times of the day based on a series of pre-programmed settings.
With programmable thermostats, homeowners do not have to run their AC all day when no one is at home. This helps them save energy, reducing the cost of their energy bills. Also, the programmed settings allow you to adjust the level of temperature for when you are awake, asleep or are returning home, helping you stay comfortable at all times of the day.
Tip#4: Inspect Condenser Unit Fan
The condenser unit fan is located on the top of the outside condenser unit. To ensure it is good condition, check fan blades to see if there are crack or chips visible one or more blades.
If your air conditioning unit is old, ensure that the fan motor bearings are oiled regularly.
Tip #5: Clean the Unit From Outside
Over time, there may be a buildup of dirt, leaves, and grass on the outside of your AC unit. This can often reduce system capacity and decrease airflow.
Using a garden hose about 45 ° angles, gently wash off the debris starting from the top. Avoid using a power washer and ensure that you shut down the power to the unit before you begin with the cleaning.
Prune shrubs around outdoor unit
Keeping shrubs trimmed around the outdoor unit helps maintain proper airflow around and through the unit and allows the system to perform properly.
Seeking Professional Help
When your air conditioner is properly maintained, it helps you save money, energy and also helps you stay comfortable during those hot days in summer.
It always best to seek the services of an HVAC professional to deal with the AC issues and keep it working efficiently. Apart from checking your AC, they can also add maintenance tasks annually that will keep your AC unit running smoothly for years to come.
Consider a Warranty
A homeowner’s warranty can help cover the cost and repairs of an air conditioning unity. This can be highly beneficial in reducing your out – of – pocket expenses and minimizing your frustration during a heating or cooling crisis.