Among the many household chores that you have to take on, there’s none better than the air conditioner maintenance to give you a sense of satisfaction. A properly functioning air conditioner will not only keep you cool during the blistering summer but also save you the hassle of running around to recover from an emergency breakdown in the middle of the night. Further, you save a lot on your energy bills too as a well-maintained unit operates more efficiently and uses less energy besides lasting longer before it is required to be replaced. Some useful tips to keep your AC unit operating without a hitch:
Regularly Clean / Replace the Air Filter
The air filter carries out the vital task of keeping the air circulating inside the house free of dust, allergens, and dirt. With time, the air filter becomes clogged, and with it the quality of the air being circulated drops.The flow of air also decreases making the unit work harder and consume more power. It is thus very important for the air filter to be regularly cleaned – once every month during summer when it is being intensively used and once during spring and the fall. After the air filter has been cleaned a number of times, it is usually best to replace it for best effect.
Check the Wiring and Connections
It is vital to remember to switch off the power to the unit otherwise it can be extremely dangerous. You can either pull the plug of the outdoor unit or switch off at the main breaker panel of the house. Proceed to remove the access panel of your unit and check for any signs of the unit having overheated in the past such as wire insulation having melted, wires that look as if they have burnt or and components that look blackened. If you possess an electrical test meter you can check out the unit capacitors to see if they are okay. Also, carry out an inspection to ensure that all the electrical connections are tight. Inspect the contactor switch and if you see a lot of pitting then replace it. In case you are not comfortable in carrying out the inspection and the repairs by yourself, feel free to visit ACMANHouston.com to call in the HVAC experts.
Inspect the Thermostat
The thermostat is one of the most important components of the AC unit as it is responsible for maintaining the consistency of temperature inside the house. Check to see if the thermostat is working properly by adjusting to different levels and observing the results. If the thermostat is of the mechanical type, it may be worthwhile to upgrade to a programmable type as it is far more accurate and less prone to developing defects. A programmable thermostat also allows you to save considerable energy as you can set it to run at a higher temperature when you are out and cool down the house before you are scheduled to return every evening.
Inspect the Fan of the Condenser Unit
It is important for the condenser fan to be working properly as otherwise the condenser will not cool down properly and the air conditioner will not operate at its maximum potential. In case you see any of the fan blades having developed any cracks or chips, arrange to have the fan replaced. If the unit is of an older type, you may need to regularly lubricate the bearings of the fan motor.
Clean the External Unit
The best way of cleaning the unit is to shut off the power first and then wash out the dirt and the debris using a common garden hose. Do not use power washers as they can damage the delicate cooling fins on the condenser coil. Also, make sure that all the plants and shrubs in the proximity are trimmed to keep them from obstructing the air flow.
Proper maintenance of the air conditioner has a number of benefits; the cooling is more efficient leading to better comfort and you save a lot of energy as the unit can operate without any impediment. Call in your local HVAC expert in case you don’t want to do the maintenance yourself.