Air conditioners can have a lot of problems if they are not maintained properly. So, how can you increase the lifespan of your air conditioner and avoid lengthy repairs and associated costs? With our ultimate air conditioning checklist, you can make sure you have all your bases covered!
Keeping Your Air Conditioner Clean Is Key To Its Longevity
Some repair bills are completely avoidable, mainly because homeowners do not maintain their air conditioning systems on a regular basis. Cleaning a home air conditioning system is usually straightforward though, and it could save you heaps of money.
The signs that your air conditioning unit needs maintenance is usually quite noticeable by how your air conditioner works. Once it becomes clogged with dirt and debris, its cooling power will be significantly less. You might also notice an increase in cost on your utility bill.
To clean your air conditioner, you should always turn off the power to the condenser unit first; this can be found outside near your condenser. Simply remove one of the blocks or place the switch in the off position. If you cannot do this for whatever reason, you can also disable the power on your main electrical panel.
Once the power has been turned off, take your vacuum cleaner and remove dirt and debris from the outside of the condenser unit. There is much that can be left on the outside; this includes small bits of grass, dust, and even leaves. To ensure maximum cleaning power and reduce the chances of damaging the system, always use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.
During the cleaning process, it is also a good idea to check the fins on your outdoor unit. If the fins seem to be misaligned, it could prevent proper airflow. While some suggest aligning these fins yourself, it is always best to have this done by a professional; to prevent damage to the system. Cleaning the fins is also something that needs to be done by a pro. You can request this during your annual maintenance.
Cleaning your indoor unit also requires you to turn off the power. There should be a nearby switch where you can easily turn it off. If not, you can turn off the power on the main electrical panel. Once the power is turned off, you can safely remove the furnace filter. The furnace filter is quite susceptible to dirt, pet hairs, and dust. In most cases, you will have to replace the filter completely. Also, look for dust inside the unit and vacuum it carefully.
The maintenance of your drain port is something that should be done by a professional. While some people do this themselves, it is a safer option to contact a professional instead.
If you are uncertain about cleaning your air conditioner, you can always ask your HVAC technician for some advice during the annual maintenance. Once you know how to clean your air conditioner, you can maintain it more effectively yourself.
Check The Sturdiness Of The Outdoor Unit
If your air conditioner is a couple of years old, you may want to check the sturdiness of your outdoor unit. Most outdoor units are placed on a concrete slab; this to prevent the unit from sinking into the ground or to protect it against flooding. However, when your air conditioner installation is older, the slab might start to sink and make your unit unstable. Therefore, always check the slab and the sturdiness of your unit overall, especially if you are expecting extreme weather.
Update Your Thermostat Is One Of Our Top Tips On The Ultimate Air Conditioning Checklist
If you have some issues with your air conditioner, but no fault can be found with the outdoor or indoor unit, you may want to look at a new thermostat. A programmable thermostat will be the best option, as it can save you a considerable amount of money.
A programmable thermostat only uses your HVAC when it is required. You choose the temperature and the times when your HVAC installation needs to work. So, you can save quite a bit of money when you're not home or when the temperature does not require your air conditioner or heating to work.
Be Wary Of Noise
One of the main things to be concerned about with your air conditioner is unexpected noises. Many air conditioning problems are preceded by noise, whether you can hear an unusual noise inside the home or near your outdoor condenser unit.
The problem with an unusual noise is that it is difficult to diagnose yourself. There can be dozens of reasons why your air conditioner is making an unusual noise; this from dirt and debris to failing components and unwanted pests. So, it is important to contact a professional as soon as an unusual noise occurs.
Take Extra Care With Clogged Condensate Drain Tubes
When there is a puddle of water around your furnace unit, you may have a clogged condensate drain tube. As this tube contains condensation coming from the air conditioning coils, it can actually become clogged through the formation of slime. While this is easily cleaned, you should always wear gloves to prevent skin contact with bacteria.
Prepare For Extremely Warm Temperatures
This is the time of year where you really want your air conditioning system to work. Therefore, it is a smart idea to run through various tasks to ensure the continued operation of your air conditioning.
Air filter checks – The air filter should always be checked first. It can become clogged with dust and debris, which means your unit needs to work that much harder. So, always check the air filter and remove any dust and debris.
Check the air conditioning vents – Go around your home and check the vents of your air conditioner. Look for any dust and pet hairs on the surface and remove them promptly to prevent problems
Check the fan belt – Even though not all air conditioning systems have this, you should always check the fan belt if your air conditioner has one. Make sure the belt fits properly, but also check for common signs of damage. If you believe you fan belt needs replacing, always contact a professional.
Check for unusual noises – As mentioned earlier, unusual noises are a great indicator of serious problems with your air conditioner unit. Therefore, it is only natural that you would check the air conditioner for any unusual noises just before extremely warm weather hits. If you notice anything unusual, contact your preferred HVAC technician immediately.
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