Air conditioners are a necessity for many homeowners during the summer months. However, there is more to regular air conditioning maintenance than just changing your filter and adding refrigerant when needed. Air conditioning units require care to ensure they last as long as possible before requiring replacement.
Regularly performing these tasks will help improve efficiency and performance. This would also help save you money on power bills over time.
Cleaning of Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coil is located within the plenum of your AC unit. This part has a significant impact on airflow and cooling ability. Over time, dust and debris will accumulate in this area, hindering airflow. Dust and debris can cause overheating of the unit and reduce its efficiency by 13%. A thorough cleaning at least four to five times yearly would improve the lifespan of your AC.
Removing Dirt and Debris from the Outdoor Unit
You should wipe the outside unit of the AC every time you clean your indoor evaporators. It ensures debris does not enter or clog up small parts in the outdoor unit over time. It usually takes about 15 minutes for most AC units.
Cleaning of Drain Tubes
Water can accumulate in the drain line, which is attached to your outdoor unit. A clogged up drain tube may damage your AC unit, which might call for expensive repairs and replacements. It would help if you cleaned this tube every month to ensure it does not clog up.
Repairing or Replacing Air Conditioner Capacitors
If you notice your AC unit is turning on and off frequently, there might be a problem with the capacitor. A new one often costs less than $20 if purchased from an online retailer. If your capacitor is damaged severely, it may need to be replaced.
Replacing a capacitor yourself will take about an hour. Depending on where you live, it can save you at least $100 or more in service fees.
Leaky Refrigerant Lines
A leak in your refrigerant lines may result in the malfunctioning of your AC unit. If the crack or hole is not identified, you would need to refill the refrigerant liquid more frequently than anticipated. As a result, more energy would be necessary to cool your home. It would therefore cause an increase in energy bills.
Consider contacting a professional to seal off any holes in the refrigerant lines. Repaired refrigerant lines need to be pressure tested with nitrogen before being used again.
Perform Regular Checks on Controls and Switches
Your thermostat, air filter, electrical panel, circuit breakers, and condensate drain line are all vital components to your air conditioner. Most of these components are easily accessible and can be checked when you perform regular cleaning tasks.
Regular checks would help you identify a problem before it worsens and becomes expensive. It is also important to remember not to touch any electrical components when performing these tasks to avoid electrocution.
Remembering these air conditioner maintenance tips may help keep your AC unit running efficiently for years without requiring major replacement. However, if you detect damage or malfunction, never attempt to fix it yourself. This can be very dangerous and might need professional help if the issue is severe enough.