As technology advances many of our appliances can go longer periods of time with fewer repairs. However, just like any other expensive machine, they do need to be kept clean, have their filters checked, not abused, and not have articles stacked up around them blocking the air circulation.
Failure to properly maintain some appliances can lead to their early demise. That’s the case with air conditioners, especially, since they need plenty of air around them to do their jobs and rely on fans, pumps, condensers, and other moving parts to work properly. Here are some tips on what to check regularly on your AC and how to carefully clean the parts that need it.
You Should Always Keep The Area Around Your AC Clear
All air conditioners need to have the space around them kept free from clutter since being able to cool off their radiators is primary for them to function. If they can’t they’ll work extra hard on hot days, drawing lots more power, and wear out sooner. If there is way too much clutter, say your kids stack some lawn chairs on the outside unit, the AC may not be able to do it’s job at all no matter how hard it works.
There are some essential maintenance procedures your should follow to keep the unit functioning.
Then, there are air filters, usually on both the inside part of the unit and the outside as well. These are important to be kept clean since, if they’re plugged the fans and compressor will have to work overtime to produce cold air and get rid of the hot air.
Air filters are usually very easy to inspect, clean, or replace for the average homeowner. They should be checked every few months when you’re using the air conditioner, and before starting it up at the beginning of summer.
Inspect The Fins and The Coils When You Change The Filters
Make sure the power to your AC is off before you start changing filters and inspecting things.
Just below the filters there are going to be some coils with cooling fins on them. In order for them to do their job they should be kept clean of debris and all of the cooling fins should be nice and straight.
Really, there shouldn’t be anything hitting them at all, but you can straighten them out with pliers, very carefully, and then put a fence around your unit to keep it safe. Take a flashlight and search through the coils looking for any leaks. There should be none, but if there any, then call an hvac repair company immediately. My parent’s got-to guys are AirDuct Care Heating & Air Conditioning in the Hampton Roads area. Just whatever you do, don’t try to run your AC until it has been fixed professionally.
The inside unit is a lot simpler to maintain, it still needs to be kept clean and dust free, and if it has filters, they should be changed often for best results. There are another set of coils with fins on them inside this unit as well and they should be clean, straight, and debris-free all the time. You should also look carefully for any leaks with your flashlight on this part of your AC too.
If it’s built into your central hvac system and you can’t get to it easily, call a professional air conditioner repair company and have them maintain the unit on a regular schedule. If you can, arrange to have the work done a couple of times a year in their off-season to get a better price. Once the temperature begins to rise outside they become a lot busier and can’t offer discounts at all.