There are few maintenance tasks that a homeowner can do on their air conditioning system. A few minutes of attention every month in the summer will keep your AC running efficiently. Here is what you can do to get the most life from your home AC system.
Regular Filter Changes
This is a basic task that many homeowners know about, but should you forget, your AC will suffer. Your AC pulls air in from your house through the filter before the air goes to the cooling unit. Particles in the air such as pet hair and pollen are filtered out to keep your lungs and the AC system healthy. Without the filter, dirt will accumulate on the cooling coils which makes your AC work harder.
Even worse is when you forget to change the filter and it clogs up. This makes the AC motor work harder to pull air through the filter. This creates heat in the motor, and should it become extreme, the motor will shut down or burn out. If the motor breaks down on you in the middle of a hot weekend, you'll have no AC until you call a repair company to replace it. Reduce that risk by changing the filter every one to three months, depending on the season and amount of pollutants in the air. Always have an extra filter handy in case of days when there are a lot of contaminants in the air, such as tree pollen during early spring.
The large part of the AC unit that sits outside of your house contains a fan, cooling coils and something that looks like a radiator with metal fins coming out of it. The condenser is what creates the cool air that is forced back into your house and it generates a lot of heat to do its job. The radiator and fins keep the condenser cool and running efficiently. When the fins become clogged with yard debris or bent, as when a lawn mower runs into the unit, the condenser doesn't stay as cool and could overheat. Cleaning and straightening out the fins will help the system run cooler.
To get to the cooling fins,
- Shut the power off to the AC at the circuit panel for the house.
- Remove the top of the unit which covers the fan.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a long wand to reach inside of the unit and remove any debris that has collect in the fins.
- Carefully straighten any individual fins that have bent. If a large section of the cooling unit has been damaged and the fins are pushed flat, contact an AC repair service to straighten them out or replace that section of fins.
- Replace the fan cover when done cleaning the unit.
Changing the filter regularly and cleaning the cooling fins will prolong the life of your AC. It will run cooler, more efficiently and with less wear on the components. For more information, talk to a professional 24 hour air conditioning repair company.