What can a homeowner do to put off having to generate a call for HVAC repair services or for a new system? Performing regular maintenance on your air conditioning system will keep it running as efficiently as possible and will extend the life of the unit. In order for a system to work efficiently and effectively year to year the filters, coils and fins have to be maintained on a regular basis. Neglecting these preventive measures will cause the performance of the unit to decline with time while increasing the amount of energy it uses.
Preventive maintenance measures:
Changing or cleaning the filter of your air conditioning unit regularly is the most important maintenance task that will ensure the system’ s efficiency. A clogged, dirty filter will block normal airflow and increase the unit’s energy consumption by 5 to 15%. Replacing the filter for your unit regularly, is especially important if there are pets in the house because accumulated pet hair can obstruct normal airflow and essentially choke the unit. If the unit is clogged for a long time it will result in problems that will require calling for HVAC repair services. Air conditioner filters come in a variety of types and efficiencies and can either be reused or replaced.
The filters for central air conditioners can be found along the length of the return duct. A more common location for filters would be in walls, ceilings, furnaces, or in the air conditioner itself. The filter for a room air conditioner can be found in the grill that faces into the room. A good rule of thumb for how often a filter should be replaced is every month or 2 in the summer.
Although a clean filter will prevent an air conditioner’s evaporator coil to soil quickly the evaporator coil and condenser coil will still collect dirt over years of service. The accumulated dirt will reduce airflow and insulate the coil effectively reducing its ability to absorb heat. Checking the evaporator coil every year and cleaning it when necessary will prevent this problem.
An outdoor environment that is dusty or nearby foliage can cause the outdoor condenser coil fins to become dirty. A good way to minimize dirt or debris accumulation on the fins is to trim any nearby foliage back and managing dryer vent debris and cuttings from lawn mowing.,
3. Coil Fins
Evaporator and condenser coils have aluminum fins that can be easily bent causing it to block airflow through the coil. The fins can be restored into near-original condition using a fin comb available from air conditioning wholesalers.
4. Condensate Drains
Air Conditioner drain channels can sometimes be clogged thus preventing the unit from reducing humidity and causing excess moisture accumulation which can lead to discoloration of walls or carpets. To prevent blockage from happening in the drain channels run a stiff wire through every now and then.
5. Window Seal for Room Air Conditioners
Before summer starts inspect the seal between your room air conditioner and the window frame to ensure that it is in contact with the unit’s metal case. Moisture during the non-summer seasons can damage this seal which is intended to keep cool air from escaping your house when the unit is running.
6. Engaging the services of a professional
The time will come when your air conditioner will require replacement or the services of an HVAC repair services. A well-trained technician will have no problems diagnosing and fixing problems in your air conditioning system.
- Check for correct amount of refrigerant
- Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
- Capture any refrigerant that must be evacuated from the system, instead of illegally releasing it to the atmosphere
- Check for and seal duct leakage in central systems
- Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
- Verify the correct electric control sequence and make sure that the heating system and cooling system cannot operate simultaneously
- Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and apply a non-conductive coating if necessary
- Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear
- Check the accuracy of the thermostat.
Take care of your air conditioning system with these simple preventive maintenance measures and they will keep you from having to call a HVAC repair services contractor prematurely.