Air conditioners, like everything else, function better when they get a little TLC. Who can blame them? Although they probably require less maintenance than other home essentials, basic upkeep will ensure they maintain maximum efficiency and longevity.
So what kind of maintenance does an air conditioning unit require?
Read on for our air conditioner maintenance 101…
Replace the Air Filter
The most crucial element of AC maintenance is also the most straightforward: changing the air filter. Changing your HVAC air filter on a regular basis will drastically reduce the quantity of dust and debris that gets into your air ducts
Not only does this help to enhance airflow, but it also helps to improve air quality. Win-win!
When the air filter isn’t changed on a regular basis, your air conditioner is forced to absorb more and more exterior debris. This overload strains the unit, reducing its effectiveness and potentially shortening its lifespan. Ideally, HVAC air filters should be changed every 2 to 3 months. Note, though, that if you have furry friends at home, it’s wise to change your air filter more often, as fur and dander contribute to faster debris build-up.
Clean the Coils
Cleaning the coils is another important aspect of AC maintenance. The evaporator and condenser coils are two of these coils, both of which are critical to the AC’s general operation. As these coils tend to grow dirty over time, they become incrementally less efficient. Cleaning them every 6 months or so will keep them running well.
So how do you clean the coils in the condenser and evaporator? It’s advisable to use a specialized coil cleaner, or have your trusted HVAC team conduct a maintenance service.
Even out the Fins
Every air conditioner condenser has a series of thin, closely spaced metal strips externally. These are known as fins, and they play a crucial role in the unit’s overall function. Unfortunately, these fins are prone to becoming bent and deformed over time. This has an impact on the air conditioner’s overall functionality, resulting in lower efficiency. As a result, it’s vital to even out these fins every 6 months or so. You can use a knife or any other thin, solid instrument for this. Take the knife and slide it between each fin, straightening and opening them up. This should enhance airflow into the air conditioner, allowing it to perform to its full potential.
Maintain the Refrigerant Line Insulation
The refrigerant line is the tiny strip that connects the air conditioner’s condenser to the house. It moves refrigerant from the condenser to the blower, allowing the air conditioner to function optimally (so essential for Arizona summers!). The refrigerant line of an air conditioner must be kept insulated in order for it to work efficiently. This insulation maintains the refrigerant’s temperature, allowing it to perform as efficiently as possible. Unfortunately, the insulation on this wire might degrade over time. That’s why it’s vital to examine it on a frequent basis to ensure that it’s still intact. If it isn’t, you should immediately add more insulation.
Clear the Condensate Drain
A condensate drain is found in every air conditioning unit. This drain collects condensation from the air conditioner before filtering it to the outside of the house. Unfortunately, mold and bacteria can grow in this drain over time. This might cause obstructions in the drain, causing the system to back up. As a result, it must be cleared regularly. Homeowners may be able to empty their condensate drains on their own, but your local HVAC company can also assist you if you’d rather leave it to the pros.
Install a Smart Thermostat
In general, the less you use your air conditioner, the longer it will last. A tall order in the Phoenix area! Because you need to get the most out of your air conditioner, a smart thermostat is a wise buy. With the help of a smart thermostat, you can ensure you are maintaining ideal temps for your home, whether you are there or not. They can boost cost savings, enhance comfort, and generally do the thinking for you! Most smart thermostats operate with the support of an app, allowing you to control the temperature wherever you are and even keeping you up to date on your energy usage.
Smart thermostats are advantageous not only for their automation capabilities, but also for the money savings they provide. By keeping your home temperature well modulated, you can save up to 33% on your energy bills!
Not to mention your unit will last longer, as your using it wisely.
Schedule Yearly Inspections
The last piece of AC maintenance advice we have is to schedule yearly checks. Why is this good advice? Because, despite your best efforts, unless you’re an HVAC specialist, your unlikely to have the skillset to diagnose fundamental air conditioning issues. Professional HVAC technicians, on the other hand, have a wealth of knowledge. They are trained to notice potential issues and will be able to detect minor faults in your system before they become major concerns. Yes, these inspections will set you back a little money. However, the long term benefits outweigh potential problems! You may be able to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars as a result.
If you give your AC a little love and care, you’ll almost certainly get the most out of it for years to come! If you need assistance, or professional expertise with maintenance or repair, get in touch! Our team is standing by and ready to help.