To keep your air conditioner running as efficiently as possible requires preventive maintenance from a certified technician. Studies have shown that regular tune ups can keep an air conditioner operating up to 30% more efficiently. Regular preventive maintenance also allows the technician to find and fix any small problems before they have a chance to develop into something more serious that could leave you without air conditioning.
There are some maintenance tasks you can do:
- Change your filter, or clean it if you have a washable one.
- Hose off the outdoor coil and remove any mulch, leaves, etc. that have accumulated.
- Trim away any nearby plants to provide space for air to move freely. You should typically have a minimum of 12 inches around all sides of the outdoor unit.
- Clean the indoor vents and registers, making sure the dampers are fully open. Check that no furniture, drapes, etc. are blocking them.
There are some things best left to the professionals:
- Check the operation of the thermostat and replace batteries if necessary.
- Inspect, clean and tighten the electrical connections.
- Inspect the drain pan and condensate drain. Flush or brush out the drain if necessary.
- Inspect the condenser and evaporator coils.
- Inspect any belts, if present.
- Verify that all temperature and electrical readings are within the proper ranges.
- Check that the filter is clean and that there is adequate airflow through the system.
- Lubricate all moving parts, including all fans and motors.
- Check for signs of a refrigerant leak.
- Visually inspect for damage to the equipment, nearby ductwork and the refrigerant lines.
- Look for evidence of correctable wear.
- Test the overall system operation and make any necessary adjustments
Kim Nemecek works at P.K. Wadsworth Heating & Cooling. After growing up in Cleveland, she lived in Florida for many years, working at an air conditioning company there. Kim has four grown children, two grandchildren and two spoiled dogs. She lives in Solon with her husband, Todd.
The opinions and statements contained in this article are for general informational purposes only and are not instructions. Only trained, licensed and experienced personnel should attempt installation/repair. The author assumes no liability for the opinions/statements made in this article. Any individual attempting a repair or installation based on this article does so at their own risk of loss.