If you want your air conditioner to have a long and productive life, treat it to professional air conditioner preventive maintenance every spring. Your AC specialist will thoroughly inspect and clean your cooling system while checking for worn parts that may need replacement.
Many people don't realize how vital it is to properly maintain an air conditioner. Keeping your cooling system in good repair not only gives it a longer lifespan, it also reduces the possibility of expensive repairs and unexpected breakdowns. A well-maintained air conditioner will operate at peak efficiency, and the more efficiently it operates, the less you'll spend on cooling costs.
Scheduling preventive AC maintenance every year is the best way to ensure that your system performs optimally. And in between professional visits, here are some tried-and-true home air conditioner maintenance tips that can keep your cooling system healthy.
Clean Or Replace The Air Filter Monthly
The AC air filter should be cleaned or replaced every month. A dirty or clogged filter is the most common reason for cooling system breakdown. If the filter is blocked to any degree, your system will be unable to maintain proper airflow and will have problems producing the desired degree of cooled air. If your air conditioner is forced to operate with a clogged or dirty filter, it might use up to 15 percent more energy just to deliver the same amount of cooled air. And because a dirty filter causes dust and debris to recycle through the system, it can damage other parts of the air conditioner. If you have pets or live in a dusty location, you might need to clean or replace your filter more frequently. Check the filter every two weeks and clean or change as needed.
Clear Debris Near The Outdoor Compressor
AC compressor units are situated outdoors where they can easily collect dirt, leaves, debris and dust. Visually inspect the outdoor unit and clear away any dirt and debris that could clog the system. Make sure that any foliage is clipped back so as not to block or impede airflow.
Keep Indoor Grilles And Registers Clean
Vacuum the indoor air vents regularly to keep dust, pet dander and hair from accumulating there. Keep the indoor registers unobstructed by anything like furniture or drapes that could interfere with airflow.
Consider Duct Cleaning If You Have Central AC
Duct work can harbor cracks and leaks through which cooled air can escape. Cracks can also give insects and small animals access to your living space. Leaky ducts can make an air conditioner work twice as hard to provide the required degree of cooled air, reduce efficiency by up to 40 percent and cause utility bills to increase accordingly.
Monitor Your Air Conditioner
Unusual noises, frequent on-and-off cycling, dripping water, increasing utility bills, ice or frost on the AC coils, uneven cooling and indoor temperatures that don't match the thermostat setting are common indicators of a system malfunction. If you call for AC repair right away, you can keep the problem from getting worse, thereby avoiding a breakdown.
Keep The Thermostat Clean
Over time, thermostats can become dirty or get knocked around. This can undermine their performance. If your indoor air temperature does not match the thermostat setting, have the thermostat checked by an HVAC professional. To save on utility bills and reduce the workload on your AC system, consider a programmable thermostat that can be set to maintain a higher temperature when no one is home.
Schedule Air Conditioning Maintenance Every Spring
By following these air conditioner maintenance tips, you can keep your cooling system in good condition between tuneups. But even if you follow these tips religiously, you still need annual professional maintenance.
Why Is Air Conditioner Service So Important?
A professional tuneup includes a thorough cleaning of the condenser, evaporator and compressor coils. Over the course of a year, these coils get coated with dust, dirt and debris that are sucked into the system as the air conditioner does its work. When you don't keep the coils clean, the system must work harder and energy costs can escalate. Dirty coils can also damage other parts of the system. Your technician will also check freon levels, inspect electrical connections, calibrate the thermostat, check the cycling of the system and lubricate moving parts.
Find An Air Conditioning Maintenance Contractor Close To Home
With Comfort24-7, you can locate a reputable HVAC service provider in your area. Comfort24-7 contractors serve Chicago, Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan. They are committed to affordable air conditioning service, and they offer periodic specials on tuneups especially designed to keep your cooling system on top of its game.