One of the most important routine maintenance tasks a homeowner needs to complete is air conditioner maintenance. A well-maintained air conditioner will save in energy costs and help ensure your home is cool all summer long. Your air conditioner will run more efficiently and will last longer. The average homeowner can safely perform several routine air conditioner maintenance tasks, however, there are a few that should be done by a professional with the proper license and training. Here are a few tips for keeping your air conditioner safe and running at maximum efficiency.
The first thing you must do before working on your air conditioner is to turn off the power to the unit. Turn the power off at the electrical box to ensure there is no current at all.
One of the easiest tasks to perform is replacing or cleaning the air filter. Your air filter can usually be found inside the air handler or behind the air grill. It may also be located on the bottom, side or top of your unit in a slot.
When your air conditioner’s filter gets full of dirt, dust or allergen particles, the air flow from your air conditioner will be reduced and your system will have to work harder to keep your home cool. The air that does flow through the filter and into your home will be dirtier and may cause asthma and allergy symptoms in your family.
The next routine maintenance task for your air conditioner is to check the components and the wiring. Again, be sure the power to the unit is off before you begin working on the unit. Next, take off the condenser’s access panel and check for signs of overheating. Look for burned or blackened wires or melted insulation on wires. Also, check all electrical connections to ensure they are tight. Check the unit capacitors with an electrical tester.
Examine the thermostat to ensure it is working properly. Your thermostat should keep the temperature in your home at a constant temperature.
Make sure the power is off and then check the fan in the unit condenser. The fan should be located on the outside condenser. Check the fan blades and replace any that aren’t in good condition.
Finally, clean the outside unit. When units are located outside, dirt, leaves, and grass clippings will build up on the unit. This can decrease the unit’s efficiency and reduce air flow.
To perform this task, use a garden hose to wash the debris out of the unit. Begin at the top and work your way down. Never use a power washer and be careful to not damage or bend the coil fins.
Even with a good routine maintenance program, your air conditioner may break down and need repair or replacement. If you believe your air conditioner unit isn’t working properly, call a professional air conditioner repair company. They can inspect your unit to determine the problem. They will advise you about replacement or repair and are trained to perform the work.