6 Tips to Keep your AC Running Smoothly
People need their home Air Conditioning unit running correctly to combat the heat of summer and stay comfortable as the season persists. However, a neglected AC unit can cause much trouble. Not only can it affect your homes ability to cool off, but it could also raise your energy bills in the process. So, to avoid these problems down the road, you will want to perform a couple routine maintenance checks and tasks to keep your AC unit running. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Mind Your Air Filter
One of the most critical steps in air unit maintenance is cleaning or replacing your air filter. It is a task that should be done once a month during summer or winter, but less often in the spring and fall months, however, some households are lucky if they perform this task once a year.
These furnace filters can collect dust, dirt, and other allergens that not only constrict airflow but can also trigger asthma or allergy symptoms of those living in the household. Your system will be doing more work than it should and will ultimately affect your heating and cooling costs. So, the simplest things you can do so that it isn’t a problem down the road is to check and clean or replace your air filters periodically.
Examine your AC Coils
Your air conditioner has both an evaporator coil and a condenser coil that slowly collects dust and dirt over time. Though a clean air filter lessens the amount of dirt collected, eventually though, the coil will need to be cleaned after an extended period of use. This is because the gathered dirt will reduce airflow and insulate your coils, which will make it harder for the unit to absorb heat. To keep this from happening it is essential to examine your evaporator coil once a year and clean it if it seems that too much dirt has accumulated.
Your outdoor condenser coil can also succumb to dirt especially if its surrounded by trees or shrubs. Just looking down into the unit, you will be able to see if the dirt is building on the fins or not. Generally, you would want to keep debris and dirt as far from your condenser as possible. Make sure to clean around the vent, remove the debris, and keep your shrubs manicured. This will allow the proper airflow to your condenser and keep your unit functioning properly for longer.
Check the Thermostat
Your thermostat is the link between you and your homes AC unit, making sure it’s functioning as designed will keep your home at the temperature you want it. An older mechanical thermostat may not be suited to your home’s needs if you still have one. Try upgrading to a programmable thermostat and see if you can feel the difference.
You can use your programmable thermostat to raise the temperature when no ones in your house and set it to cool just before the family comes home. This technique will allow you to keep your home comfortable and save you on your energy expenses.
Survey the Wiring and Components
There could be problems with your wiring if you are not careful and check the components of your AC unit periodically. So, before you check, make sure your unit is turned off by switching the service disconnect found on the outdoor unit or using the breaker panel in your house.
Once that is taken care of, you can take off the access panel of the condensing unit and check for burned, blackened, or melted wiring all of which are signs of overheating.
Also, keep an eye out for loose electrical wires. Make sure all the wires are pushed in and if you have an electrical test meter handy you can use it to check the unit’s capacitors. Also, take a look at the contactor switch and make sure that no excessive pitting is taking place.
If these problems are occurring in your unit, then the best thing to do would be to seek out professional help so that they can find the root of the problems and have them fixed for you.
Keep Outside Unit Clean
Your outside unit can collect dirt, grass, leaves and a lot of other outdoor debris over time. The presence of these things can build up on the outside of your unit and adversely affect your system capacity and reduce the air flow.
To help with this issue, try shutting off the unit’s power and using your outdoor garden hose to rinse away the debris. Remember to start at the top and work your way down while holding your hose at a 45-degree angle. You should never use a power washer for this kind of job because it could bend or even damage the fins on the coil.
Also, make sure that the foliage around your unit is cut back to keep it from impeding the air flow of your outdoor unit.
Call a Professional
Even though checking on specific aspects of your air filtration unit and keeping them washed, cleaned, and free of dust and dirt is important. Should your unit have, a severe issue happen then you’ll want to reach out to an AC Maintenance specialist to make sure your unit is running its best and that there aren’t any significant problems impacting your air filtration system or furnace filter that you’re unaware of.
A trained technician will have a list of problems that they can check for and see if any of these things could be keeping your airflow from reaching its optimum capacity. So, it helps to have someone there who knows what they’re doing.
Your local company will gladly assist you with any air conditioning problems affecting your home. Just remember that the small jobs can easily be handled by you. If you perform these routine tasks to keep your unit running at its best, then you can prevent major issues from happening and you save a lot on your energy costs because of how efficiently your AC will run.