6 Tips to Maintain Your Air Conditioner

Like every piece of household equipment, ACs need regular care and maintenance. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the importance of maintaining their units regularly until their units stop working and leave them in a tough situation.

Routine maintenance is key to keeping your AC at maximum efficiency. Regular maintenance prevents issues and saves you both time and money. A well-maintained AC is less likely to break down suddenly than a poorly maintained unit.

Follow these tips from an Air Conditioning Service in El Dorado Hills to keep your AC in good shape.

Replace the Filters 

Air filters in your AC unit trap contaminants, pollen, dust, and dander, while preventing it from entering your home. Over time, filters become clogged with this debris. A clogged filter cannot filter all contaminants and causes the unit to underperform.

Clogged filters are the number one cause of poor indoor air quality. If your filters become clogged, your AC will have to work harder and longer, which causes your energy bill to skyrocket. What’s worse is that your AC could overheat and stop working.

To steer clear of these and other issues associated with clogged filters, replace your air filters once every 90 days. If you have kids or older adults, you may want to replace your AC filters more frequently (every 30 days).

Consider replacing traditional filters with HEPA filters designed to trap more than 99% of airborne particles.

Maintain Your Outdoor Unit 

Your AC’s outdoor unit is responsible for releasing the heat absorbed by the indoor unit to the outside air. Maintaining your AC’s outdoor unit is as important as caring for the indoor unit. If your compressor unit malfunctions, the heat absorbed by the indoor unit would have nowhere to go.

Do not let debris and dirt accumulate around your outdoor unit. Make time to trim vegetation back around it and remove debris at the bottom of your condenser.

Using a garden hose, spray the unit to remove the buildup of dirt, dust, leaves, and anything else stuck inside. Remember to turn water pressure down to avoid bending fins. Give the condenser coil a good cleaning with a no-rinse coil cleaner.

Bent fins can block airflow through your coils, negatively impacting your system’s performance. Straighten bent fins with a fin comb and replace the ones that are beyond repair.

Over time, the pad where your outside unit sits can begin to tip as the soil settles beneath it. An out-of-level outdoor unit can fail prematurely. Check to see if your condenser unit is level. Use rot-resistant shims to bring an out-of-level outdoor unit back to level.

A thick layer of insulation covers the line that transfers the refrigerant through your unit. Excess exposure to the sun’s rays can damage this protective layer. Check this layer for damage regularly.

Schedule Professional Inspection and Maintenance Periodically 

Have an expert inspect and maintain your unit at least once a year. During a maintenance session, your contractor will check all the parts of your AC. They will treat current problems and predict and nip potential problems in the bud.

What Does Professional AC Maintenance Include?  

You can expect your technician to

Clean or replace your filters

Inspect ductwork

Check electrical connections

Clean the outdoor unit

Check the condensate drain for clogs or obstructions

Clean the evaporator and condenser coil

Check refrigerant levels and top off if required

Lubricate parts to reduce resistance

Assess thermostat setting

Inspect the Condensate Drain Regularly

The condensate drain is an integral part of your air conditioning system. It provides an exit route for moisture. Over time, your condensate drain can become clogged. This is a serious problem. In addition to affecting your system’s efficiency, a clogged condensate drain line can lead to leaks and cause water damage.

Check your condensate line periodically. If there is an obstruction, unclog it. If water still doesn’t properly drain after you remove the obstruction, contact an experienced technician.

Examine Your Thermostat Regularly 

If your thermostat malfunctions, it can affect the functioning of your AC in several ways. To prevent problems, clean your thermostat periodically.

Check batteries and replace them every year. Perform a visual inspection of the wiring and connections. Place your thermostat at least five feet above the ground. Avoid placing it in an area that receives direct sunlight or close to heat sources.

Inspect the Seal Between Your Unit and the Window 

The seal between your window unit and the window can become damaged over time. If your seal is damaged, cool air from the unit can escape your home. Check the seal to see if it is making full contact with your AC unit’s housing before the beginning of each cooling season. Fix or replace it if it’s not.

Use adhesive-backed weather stripping to seal gaps around your window-mounted AC. Fill small gaps by pressing rope caulk into them.

Need help with air conditioning installation in El Dorado Hills? South Placer Heating and Air has got you covered. We will help you maintain your unit all year round. To schedule an inspection, call (916) 246-2089.