Maintaining Your Air Conditioner: A Comprehensive Guide

Maintaining your air conditioner is essential for energy efficiency, comfort, overall occupant health, and the overall operation of the unit. The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean your filters. Dirty, clogged filters reduce the amount of air flow and significantly reduce system efficiency. Replacing a dirty, clogged filter with a clean one can reduce air conditioner energy consumption by 5% to 15%.In addition to replacing or cleaning your filters, Central Air Conditioning and Heat Pump Maintenance should be checked regularly by experts to work efficiently for a long time.

Most manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment require annual preventive maintenance of their equipment to maintain the warranty. Many contractors offer service contracts that include a spring visit to adjust the air conditioning system and a fall visit to prepare the heating system for winter. When you sign a maintenance agreement, you're also likely to receive discounts on repairs and the purchase of new equipment. Maintaining your air conditioner not only saves money on energy but also extends its life, saving money on expensive early replacements. Dirty air conditioners or poorly functioning systems can cause microorganisms such as mold to grow, which can aggravate allergies and asthma.

To prevent this, it is important to clean the evaporator coil and drain regularly. If the bleach solution drains easily, skip the next step. If not, move on to Cleaning the Evaporator Drain. Replace the evaporator coil cover and, if necessary, use aluminum adhesive tape to re-seal it. Warm, humid air from inside your home passes through the evaporator coil inside.

The cold coil absorbs heat from the air and cools it before the air is recirculated to your home. Moisture from the air condenses on the cold surface of the evaporator coil in the form of liquid water, which drips onto a tray below. From the tray, water flows into a drain pipe that normally goes to the basement, floor drain, sink, or outside. Over time, algae and mold can build up and potentially clog the drain, so if the drain doesn't flow or flows very slowly, it will need to be unplugged. A clogged drain can cause damage when the floor is flooded or, if the system is equipped with a drain float, cause the system to stop cooling to prevent flooding. The filter in your air conditioning system should be changed at least twice a year, once just before the heating season begins and once before the cooling season begins.

If you live in a particularly dusty area, you may want to change it more often. Always replace the filter with a new filter that has the same air flow. Moody warns to be careful with “air purifying” or HEPA filters as they can dramatically reduce airflow in your system. This can cause the inner coil to freeze due to reduced airflow. While these steps will help keep your air conditioning system in good condition, keep in mind that there are items of maintenance that only a trained HVAC technician will be able to perform. For example, a slow refrigerant leak in your air conditioning system can cause a costly compressor failure but a homeowner doesn't have the tools or skills needed to check refrigerant levels.

In addition, clean ducts and adequate air flow are essential for a well-functioning system but homeowners lack the equipment needed for the job. The final result? While an expert owner can perform some air conditioner maintenance tasks, it is necessary to have the system checked regularly by an expert technician. Kirby suggests a service in the spring before the cooling season and again in fall before heating season. Condensation from air conditioner coils contains bacteria that can form sludge and clog the drain pipe of condensate tray. In most cases, your central air conditioner is actually a system that includes an indoor unit and an outdoor unit connected by copper tubing and electrical wiring. The filters, coils, and fins of an air conditioner require regular maintenance in order for it to function effectively and efficiently during its years of service. When central air conditioning service fails during heat wave you may have to wait days for HVAC repair technician to arrive and you'll probably pay at least several hundred dollars for repair. Use this handy inspection checklist to evaluate your HVAC system and then schedule an appointment for any air conditioner maintenance or repair you need before summer begins.

Both types will have an indoor unit (evaporator and fan) and an outdoor unit (condenser coil and compressor).A good air conditioning system can eliminate unfavorable conditions in your area and provide you and your family with a clean and comfortable space to live. Clean or replace filter or filters in your air conditioning system every one to two months during summer months for optimal performance.

Adele Fonseca
Adele Fonseca

Hardcore baconaholic. Lifelong pop culture trailblazer. Subtly charming travel scholar. Freelance bacon enthusiast. Wannabe zombie geek.