We rely on our air conditioning system to keep our homes comfortable during the warmer months. All complex pieces of equipment need regular servicing to ensure that they work effectively and efficiently. An air conditioner is no different; it’s comprised of electrical, electronic and mechanical components that can all wear over time. A regularly scheduled service before a heating or cooling period will reduce the chances of unexpected failure and extend the useful lifespan of your equipment. An air conditioner specialist will be able to carry out a comprehensive service, but there are a few things that a novice can attempt. Here are five tips for air conditioning maintenance that you can try for yourself.
- Learn to Turn Off the Power
Many maintenance activities that you may want to carry out will start with turning off your air conditioners power supply. This is vital to protect your equipment from a surge and also to ensure that you stay safe. Check the owners manual for detailed information on your particular equipment. Once the system is turned off, it’s always a good idea to double check by attempting to turn the system on from the thermostat.
- Clean the Outdoor Condenser Unit
It’s a good idea to clean the condenser unit annually under normal operating conditions. Cleaning may be required more often if you have a lot of debris or plant growth around your external unit. During cleaning, you may notice that your condenser is not level and this will impair the functionality. The compressor will need to be leveled out, but take care when moving the unit. It’s very easy to damage the equipment and/or dislodge a line that could cause a refrigerant leak.
- Clean the Evaporator Coil
Dirty evaporator coils are not as efficient at cooling and dehumidifying your home. The air that is blown across the coils contains dust and pollen that will build up over time and could cause a 30% reduction in efficiency. Minor deposits of dirt and debris can be removed from the evaporator coil with gentle brushing. More stubborn deposits can be washed away with a mild detergent and warm water. There are commercial cleaning products available, but the instructions must be followed closely.
- Unclogging the Evaporator Coil Drain
If you notice a puddle underneath your system the condensate drain line may be clogged. Use some rags to soak up the water and attempt to clear the line with a handheld vacuum cleaner. The drain pan can be washed with a mild soap to remove the dirty water that may be trapped there.
- Know When to Call an Expert
All of these tips are great ways to get involved with the day to day running of your air conditioner system. Many people may not be comfortable with this level of work and would prefer a professional touch. All of the tasks discussed here and more technical checks are carried out during an air conditioner service. A local specialist will be able to diagnose any potential issues, clean the system and provide expert advice.