A Brief Primer on Air Conditioner Maintenance for Homeowners

A well-functioning air conditioning system during hot summers is critical to staying comfortable at home or in the office.

Like any other equipment, the efficiency of your air conditioning unit will depend on how well-maintained it is.

While some areas in your unit will require you to call in an HVAC expert, there are other areas that you can handle by yourselves.

This guide highlights everything you will need to know about your AC unit’s maintenance, from what you can do on your own and where you may need to call in an expert.

Professional Air Conditioner Unit Maintenance

Having your cooling unit checked by an HVAC professional at least once a year is important.

For the cooling system, the best time to schedule its annual maintenance is before summer, when it will be in use most of the time.

Some areas a technician will need to look into during annual or semiannual maintenance include the conditions of the belt, vents, and ducts.

They will also need to pay attention to refrigerant levels compared to the last maintenance. If there is a significant decrease in refrigerant levels, they may need to test for leaks.

They may also lubricate all movable parts in an AC system, inspect the blower motor, etc.

While you can find many HVAC service providers on the internet, it is important to ensure that you only work with a reliable residential air conditioning services provider.

Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

Changing Your Filter

The filter is an important component in your AC unit. It helps ensure that dust particles and debris from the outside do not get into your home.

When cleaning your air, the filter gets clogged, thus restricting the flow of air. The restricted airflow causes the unit to overwork resulting in high utility bills.

It is best to replace your unit’s filters every 45 days to have your unit working at maximum efficiency, but you could change them after 90 days if dust is not much of a problem in your area.

You may need to change it once every month in extremely dusty areas.

It is important to ensure that you replace your filters with another of the same size.

So if you are unsure which size it is, you may want to remove them first, check and then buy.

Cleaning Coils and Fins

Air conditioner maintenance

The coil and fins in the outside elements of your AC can get dusty or clogged with debris.

When it happens, the system’s efficiency is compromised, leading to overworking and, consequently, higher bills.

To avoid that, you can use a brush to remove visible dust and debris from the system and then wash it off using a garden hose.

A pressure washer is not recommendable as it can destroy some internal components of your unit.

If you have shrubbery around your unit, you want to ensure that you leave adequate space between the shrubbery and the unit.

Having plants close to the unit can be obstructive, lessening its efficiency, so you may want to trim it to allow sufficient clearance.

Check the Wiring

Electrical connections can deteriorate with time, so it is important to check them every once in a while.

When dealing with electrical appliances, you first want to switch off the power supply to avoid the risk of electrocution.

After cutting the power supply, you can use a screwdriver to open the unit and inspect the connections for any deterioration.

If there is any indication of melted wire coatings, it can be an indication of overheating and may require calling in a professional.

But you can fix it yourself if you have technical electrical experience.

If your unit has a warranty, it is recommended not to change anything that could void your warranty, so ensure that you read your warranty to establish what you can and can not do.

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