Now that summer is about to arrive, its time for an air conditioner tune-up. You don’t want to find that your air conditioner is not working just when the days are at their hottest. It will be tough to schedule an emergency visit from a busy HVAC technician.
However, there are some basic maintenance tasks you can do before calling in the professionals. These will help ensure that your AC is ready for summer and you won’t have to suffer through the hottest days of the year.
After you shut off the air conditioner for fall and winter, wrap the outside condenser unit with a tarp to help keep it clean until summer. Secure it with ropes or bungee cords to keep it in place.
Just before summer, turn on your AC to check if it is still working. You don’t have to keep it on for too long, just check if the vents are emitting cold air.
If it is still working correctly, here are some basic maintenance tasks you should perform. Before working on the AC, you should always cut power to the unit. You can do this by flipping the switch on the fuse box or removing the fuse. If you have a window unit, you can just unplug the unit
Change the filter.
Filters clean the air that circulates through your AC, trapping particulates and contaminants that could affect your health. As a result, these filters get dirty very quickly. A dirty filter will not do its job correctly, and the airflow from the AC will be restricted.
Thus, you have to change or clean them often. How often depends on how frequently you use your air conditioner. During seasons when it is in heavy use, the filter should be cleaned as soon as it gets dirty if it is reusable (with a metal or plastic frame). If it is disposable (made of cardboard), then you should ideally replace it every two to three months.
Clear the area around your condenser unit.
As winter ends, you may notice that debris has built up around the outside condenser and the grass has become overgrown. Anything that blocks the condenser can affect your AC’s performance. Cut the grass and remove the debris.
To ensure that your AC is performing optimally, you should perform this cleaning task regularly. If any shrubs have grown too close to the unit, you should trim or remove them.
Clean your AC’s coils.
Your unit’s condenser and evaporator coils can become dirty as you use your AC. If you keep your filters clean, you can prevent them from getting dirty too quickly. However, dirt will still build up over time. If the coils are located outdoors, there is a bigger chance that they will get dirty quickly.
If the coils are outdoors, you can start cleaning them by spraying them down with a hose. Don’t use a power washer since the force may damage the fins.
Once you’ve finished, spray the coils with a foam cleanser while they’re still wet. If the coils are indoors, you can use a waterless cleanser. Make sure that the coils are entirely covered with cleanser.
The cleanser should start foaming as soon as it is applied. Let the coils soak for five to ten minutes or as directed in the instructions.
While the foam is still on the coils, you can use a fin comb to straighten bent fins. These fins are located on the coils and make the air flow into and out of the air conditioner more smoothly. When the fins are bent, they will not perform properly.
You can buy fin combs from AC wholesale retailers. Run the comb over the bent fins to straighten them. This will also remove dust and debris from the fins.
For outdoor units, you can use a hose to remove excess cleanser. For indoor units, the cleanser will simply condensate from the coils when you turn the unit on.
Check the unit fan on the outside condenser unit.
If the blades are chipped or cracked, replace them.
Unblock the condensate drains.
When the drain channels are clogged, the unit will not be able to reduce humidity, and excess moisture may build up inside the house. To unclog the drain, just run a stiff wire through the channel.
If you need to schedule an AC tune-up, call American Air Conditioning & Heating. They have a team of highly trained and experienced technicians who will perform every job right the first time. They also have a friendly customer support staff that is ready to ensure that every issue gets resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. No wonder they are known as “The Company Your Neighbors Trust.” Call them today to schedule a professional cleaning or other maintenance work!