Keeping routine maintenance for your home air conditioning unit pays off in several ways. You will not only get the best cooling effect during summer and prevent unforeseen breakdowns, but you will also reduce the cost of energy bills. Maintaining your AC unit keeps it running efficiently, consumes less power, and costs less money to operate. You will also increase its lifetime before a replacement is necessary.
There are specific tasks you can do as a homeowner to maintain your AC unit. Sometimes, you need to let a licensed professional do the job, especially if you are wary of doing the maintenance yourself.
Maintaining a home air conditioning system
Clean or replace the air filter
It is crucial to replace your AC air filter or clean it if you use a reusable filter. You should do this once per month, especially during peak seasons like summer and winter, and once throughout spring and fall.
Depending on your unit, you will find the air filter inside the blower area of the furnace or air handler. It can also be at the rear of the return air grille on a wall, or in a pocket besides, beneath or above the furnace.
If the filter becomes dusty or dirty, the airflow will reduce, making the unit work harder than usual. The airflow through the system will be full of dirt, dust, and allergens that may trigger asthma symptoms for home residents.
Keep the outside unit clean
Outside, particles like dirt, dead grass, and leaves may accumulate on the AC unit. This debris reduces the system’s power and minimizes airflow.
After switching off the power supply to the unit, clean off the debris using a garden hose, beginning at the top at an angle of 45 degrees. Stay away from using a power washer and be careful not to damage the delicate fins on the coil. You should also clean shrubs and other plant materials away from the AC unit to keep airflow working optimally.
Check wiring and components
Before you start work on your air conditioning system, remember to begin the process by disconnecting the power from the outdoor unit or the circuit breaker panel of the house. Afterward, disconnect the access panel on the condensing unit to check for signs of overheating. This will appear as damaged wire insulation or burnt-looking wires.
You can also check for loose bolts, and if you have an electrical test meter, you can evaluate the capacitors in the unit. You should check the contractor switch for excess pitting. If the issue is beyond what you can handle, always call a professional to fix the problem.
Check condenser unit fan
After turning off the AC unit, check the fan installed above the condenser unit outside. If the fan blades are cracked or chipped, ensure you replace the damaged component. In the old conditioning system, the fan motors may need lubrication regularly.
When to call a professional
Maintenance is a great way to save money and energy while ensuring maximum comfort. That said, doing it yourself can be dangerous and can also lead to further damage if you are inexperienced. If you find the process confusing or are unfamiliar with repairing an air conditioning unit, then call a professional to help.
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