While most of us just press a button or flip a switch to turn our air conditioner on or off, we don’t stop and think about maintenance unless something goes wrong.
Whether you decide to perform these air conditioner maintenance tips by yourself, with a family member or friend, or have a professional do it for you, it’s important that these tasks get completed. Not only will it help preserve the life of your AC unit, but it will be better for your pocket as you’ll have fewer minor breakdowns.
By following certain air conditioner maintenance tips, these best practices will help keep your air conditioner unit in top shape, help preserve the life of your unit, and hopefully reduce breakdowns. Below are eight different air conditioner maintenance tips and tricks:
1. Remove Debris
The most important air conditioner maintenance tip is making sure that the power to your home is shut off before beginning any work. Afterwards, start removing debris from the air conditioner unit. To do this, remove what is called the fan cage.
There are some fasteners on here which hold it in place, so you’ll need to come armed with a screwdriver. Once the screws are out, remove the cage and remove the debris from inside the unit. You can do this by hand, or if you see a lot of debris, you can get out your vacuum and use that to clean it.
2. Clean the Fins
Next, comes cleaning the fins of the unit. The fins are located on the outside of the AC near the compressor and they look like a metal grill with metal fins alongside it. First, remove the outer covering.
Afterwards, remove debris from this area. It may be easier to use a vacuum for this maintenance tip. As an added measure to clean the fins, you can use a hose from your yard to spray through the fins from the inside out to remove any additional build-up.
3. Straighten the Fins
The goal here to realign bent fins. To do this, you can use a butter knife to gently move the fins back into place. Do not insert the knife more than half an inch.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, or you think you may break the fins, there are commercially available fin-straightening tools that you can purchase from your local hardware store. Straightening the fins increases airflow, which in turn will increase the efficiency of your AC unit.
4. Clean and Repair Air Filter
This is one of the easiest AC maintenance tasks you can do. It is also one of the tasks which should be performed the most during high-use seasons. It’s recommended to replace this filter every month or so during peak times.
The filter is usually located inside the blower compartment of the furnace. It’s in your best interest to replace this regularly since it easily becomes full of dirt, dust, and allergens and then these particles circulate around your home. It will also decrease airflow, making your AC unit work harder than it should have to.
5. Check Wiring and Components
Here is where you want to check for any signs of overheating. This could look like charred wires, insulation burnt onto wiring and even a slight smell of burning. Also, you can check electrical connections to make sure they’re all tightly in place and not at risk of coming undone.
At any point, if you don’t feel comfortable performing these maintenance tips, you can call your local heating and air conditioning expert to give you a hand.
6. Check the Thermostat
It’s important to give your thermostat a quick once over to make sure it’s in proper working order. Today there are many smart home thermostats on the market that you can buy.
These thermostats allow you to change the temperature of your home using your smartphone and allow you to control the temperature even when you’re away from home. This may be something to look into if you have an older model, or if you want to jump on the smart home craze!
7. Check Condenser Unit Fan
Check the fan which is mounted on the top of your AC unit to make sure it’s still in good working condition. You never know what may have happened over the winter! You’re looking for wear and tear like chipped or cracked blades. If you see any of these, call your local heating and air conditioning expert and have them replaced.
8. Clean the Area Around the Unit
Just like backyard maintenance after each season, your AC unit also needs some TLC. During the summer, things like leaves, sticks, dirt, and other debris clutter around your AC unit. This is a good time to do a check and remove any debris before it makes its way into your unit and hampers its efficiency.