If you’re like many other busy homeowners, you may be putting off your springtime air conditioner maintenance. Unfortunately, that first really hot day could arrive sooner than expected, and when you turn on your unit, it may not cool your home the way you want it to. Over time, air conditioning units become dirty and can develop leaks. These not only hinder your unit’s cooling power, but also drive up your energy bills. Timely maintenance is essential for your unit’s efficiency and longevity.
Now’s the best time to give your air conditioner the attention it needs. Here are two key components of your springtime air conditioner maintenance. You can do both of these yourself.
- Check the filter: A clogged filter blocks airflow to the evaporator coil. Check it monthly for buildup. Clean the filter with a mild detergent or replace it.
- Clean the condenser: Dirt, grass clippings, leaves and other debris can collect on it. Cut vines and grass that are growing close to the condenser, and remove debris. In the spring, when fluff from dandelions and other plants is floating in the air, you may have to do this more than once.
Although you can do a more thorough cleaning yourself, it’s generally a good idea to call in an HVAC-system pro to give your unit the kind of expert attention that maximizes efficiency and nips any problems before they become big issues. During an air conditioner tune-up your service technician will check for and correct problems including:
- Condenser drain blockage: Clogs in the drain can increase the humidity in your home.
- Duct leaks: Tears, holes and loose seams in your ductwork can cost you valuable conditioned air. Your technician will inspect the ductwork and make sure it’s sound and tight.
- Refrigerant leaks: Your unit cannot run efficiently with an incorrect amount of refrigerant, and leaks can be harmful to the environment. Your technician will repair any leak and correct the amount of refrigerant.
- Electrical connections: Your technician will check for deteriorated wires and terminals, loose connections and dirt.