Home AC Maintenance Tips
Proper Home A/C Maintenance: How to Care for Your Air Conditioner
By Chuck Matchett
9/06/16No one has to tell you that air conditioning systems take a beating in Florida. Our high summer temps and humidity make all elements of the system work like horses. A little maintenance on the part of the homeowner is a good idea. Here are a few tips to maintain ac efficiency so that your equipment lasts a long time and functions at optimum capacity.
- Check air filters and change them once a month. The higher quality filter you can get the better. Clean filters promote good airflow. Clogged filters inhibit air flow.
- Schedule a service check at the end of spring. Our technicians will look over your system, identify problem areas and make necessary repairs. They will ensure that your system is operating at full capacity as you enter the summer months. According to energysavers.org, regular servicing decreases energy consumption between 5 and 15 percent.
- Get air ducts checked and cleaned. This is usually part of a service check. Air ducts collect dust and dirt and insects; a scheduled ductwork servicing results in clean, fresh airflow into the house. A technician performing the check will also look for leaks. Repaired holes and gaps in ductwork means a more efficient system which translates into dollar savings.
- Check the evaporator coil on the unit inside (our tech will do this as part of a scheduled service). This can become dirty. If you want to clean it yourself, first turn the power to the unit off. Remove the evaporator door and spray the coil with coil spray cleaner. Let it sit for the directed amount of time; rinse with water. (This will go down the coil into the condensation drain.) Replace the coil door. To make sure the drain pipe is clear, find where it lets out, hold a shop-vac hose up to it, and suck the water out for two minutes.
- On the unit outside, remove debris and leaves from the fan cage and spray down the fan with water. You can also use fin-cleaning spray. Check to make sure the fins haven’t gotten bent. There are fin straightening tools available but you can also use a kitchen knife. Easy does it when you’re straightening fins.
- Keep the area around the unit outside clean. Leaves and tall grass growing up against the unit will restrict air flow. During storms or high winds, it’s not a bad idea to cover the outside unit to keep debris from falling into it.
- Settling of the concrete pad under the outside unit can occur. Keep an eye on this and make sure pads remain level. An air conditioning unit that sits on a slope will not function as well as one that’s sitting flat.
- Set your air conditioner at 78 degrees; set it higher when the house will be empty for several hours or more. This temperature setting will keep the unit operating at maximum efficiency.
Follow these tips and you will have a happy air conditioning system that serves you well and lasts a long time.