Want to keep your air conditioner running perfectly between scheduled maintenance? What about for the next 10 years? Most people don’t know how to do this. Here’s a few tips on how to get it done ladies…
Change The Filters
Do it. Seriously. Changing air filters seems like such a simple thing, but it can save you from expensive repairs later, like a cracked heat exchanger on your HVAC system. Every 90 days or so, check the filter. If it’s dirty, replace it. To make this process easier, use a convenient service like FilterSnap ( ). They deliver air filters right to your door on whatever schedule you want. Just tell FilterSnap your filter size (you can find the size on your existing filter), select the filter quality you want (basic, standard or ultimate) and then tell them your desired replacement schedule (1, 2, 3, 6 or 12 months). When the box shows up, you’ll know it’s time for a filter change. How easy is that?!
The reason filters are so important is because they control airflow. When airflow is impaired, the entire system works harder to achieve the minimum standard of performance for that system. And, when you force a system to work harder than it needs to, you’re really just wearing down parts faster and causing them to break prematurely. That drives up costs. Avoid all of that by just changing your air filters regularly.
Clean The Coils
Cleaning the A/C’s evaporator coil and condenser coil is also important. Both of these things collect dirt over months and years of service. A clean filter helps keep the coil from getting dirty quickly, but it will still eventually get dirty. The dirt and dust reduces airflow, and insulates the coil, making it more difficult for it to absorb heat and do its job.
Outdoor coils can also become very dirty if not cleaned regularly.
Service The Fins
Sometimes, the aluminum fins on the evap and condenser coils get bent and can block airflow through the coil. This is a problem, obviously, but one that can be fixed using a tool called a “fin comb.” The comb straightens bent coils, restoring them to their former glory.
Clean Condensate Drains
According to HVAC experts Black Diamond, you should check your condensate drain and pump periodically. The pump especially can be problematic if it fails, causing water to pool near your A/C. The humidity from this water then makes it easier for mold to grow.
The drain itself should be checked periodically, and emptied of dirt and debris. It’s not uncommon for these things to become clogged. Some systems also have piping that needs to be checked and cleaned. Any clogging or excessive water accumulation will reduce performance.
Get Window Seals
If you’ve got a portable A/C, get window seals and seal that puppy up. Window seals are inexpensive, but they slow the rate at which cool air generated by the A/C escapes to the outside. You don’t need a professional to install them for you, and they will make a dramatic difference in how cool the room stays.
Hire a Professional To Service Your Unit
A professional should be called in once a year, or once every other year, to service your system. A technician can point out potential problems and give you a heads up about parts that are about to fail or that are wearing down other critical system components.
Staying on top of maintenance is the single greatest thing you can do to improve the performance of your air conditioner and extend its life.