Refresh your Comfort System
Your air conditioning unit sees the most action during the summer months, so if you haven’t had a maintenance before summer, now is a great time to have it checked out. Rather than put off air conditioning maintenance until the weather starts to heat up again next year, take the time to get it prepped now. Much like you would have your car tuned up before and after a long road trip, your air conditioning unit will appreciate the bit of extra attention. Here’s how to get it done!
Clean and change filters.
During the months when your air conditioning unit is running the most, you might want to change out the filter each month. When your usage slows down, you can transition to a two- or three-month rotation. You can also upgrade to higher efficient filters that only need to be changed once a year to increase your filtration and reduce your maintenance. When you are pretty sure you’ve switched off your air conditioning for the last time of the season, remove the dirty filter and wipe down the edges where it fits in. Remove any visible debris that may be stuck in the crevices around the filter area and then replace it with a clean filter.
Clean indoor coils.
Filters are in place to keep dirt, dust and debris from traveling to the air conditioning unit, but filters don’t always catch everything. This is why it is important to have the indoor coils of your air conditioning system cleaned. Dirty coils will simply not cool as efficiently as clean ones. A professional should perform this maintenance task for you. They will carefully wash and degrease the coil and drain pan, making sure the drain lines are clear.
Clean condenser unit.
Similarly to the indoor coils, you want to be sure there is no debris that is preventing your air conditioning unit from functioning at its maximum potential. Start by turning off the main power to your air conditioning unit (it should look like a switch or pull lever). Pull any leaves and debris from around the sides. Follow this by spraying the fan blades and outdoor coil sides with a gentle stream of water and then allowing it to dry thoroughly. It won’t hurt the coils to use a mild degreaser if needed, rinsing thoroughly afterwards. This is also a great time to make sure no bushes or other vegetation are getting too close to the condenser unit.
Reprogram your thermostat.
If you do not have a programmable thermostat, fall is a great time to make this upgrade. Programmable thermostats make it easy to control the climate of your home, saving money and energy at the same time. If you already have a programmable thermostat, be sure to adjust the temperatures to reflect the weather cooling off outside.
Clear condensate line.
This step is a bit involved, and is probably best left to a professional. A licensed air conditioning technician can check the drain pan for rust or cracks and clean out the condensate line in order to prevent it from clogging and damaging your home. While the technician is there, he or she can also run an entire system diagnostic test to ensure that the machine is running optimally.
Keeping your air conditioning in top shape after a season of heavy use will ensure its longevity, not to mention save you time and money on inefficiencies or repairs down the line. If you’re unsure about any of these steps, be sure to contact an HVAC professional.
For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.
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