With the arrival of summer comes the sweltering heat. Fortunately, your AC can help keep your home in comfortable temperatures. But what if your AC decides to call it quits in the middle of summer?
There’s nothing worse than a broken AC during summer. To avoid this horror story, you want to make sure that your AC system is properly functioning and maintained before the real heat kicks in.
This article shares a comprehensive AC maintenance checklist that can help you keep your AC running efficiently.
1. Keep It Clean
The first task on your AC maintenance list is to clear away any debris around your AC unit. When dirty, the unit can overheat and shut down, which shortens its life and prevents it from cooling properly.
Hence, remove leaves, weeds, bushes, and other materials that can obstruct airflow. Ideally, you want to create a clear radius area of at least two feet around your AC to ensure the best possible airflow.
2. Inspect And Clean The Condenser
Inspect the condenser fins or the thin metal strips covering the exterior of your AC unit. The condenser is the outdoor portion of your AC. You want to check and clean this part before the summer arrives to ensure maximum efficiency and the longevity of your AC system.
Make sure that none of the fins are damaged or bent. Nonetheless, you can quickly reshape them using a fin comb if you notice bents. Next, gently clean the condenser using a soft brush to remove debris and dirt. You can also use a vacuum to remove grime.
3. Clean The Drain Line
Your AC’s evaporator coil removes heat from inside your home. As a result, condensation gathers on the coil, and the moisture is drained and expelled outside. However, water causes dirt and algae to build up inside drain pipes, which leads to clogging. This impacts the performance of your AC system and creates a strong odor.
Locate the drain line and use a rag to clean any standing water or debris from the drain pan. Meanwhile, you can use a vacuum to remove clogging. You can also use a flexible thin brush to scrub the insides of the drain pipe. Alternatively, you can pour a vinegar cleaning solution through the line to remove buildup and kill algae and bacteria.
4. Change The Filter
Changing the filter is one of the most important parts of any AC maintenance checklist. A dirty and clogged filter can force your AC to work harder, which also reflects on your monthly utility costs. It can also cause your AC to break down, requiring more frequent repairs and shortening its lifespan.
Experts recommend that you change your AC filter every three months or more frequently if it appears dirty. If you have a reusable filter, you should also consider cleaning it as often as possible.
5. Maintain Proper Alignment
Keeping your AC properly aligned may not seem like a big deal. However, this ensures proper functioning. When your AC unit isn’t aligned correctly, the refrigerant and oil may become trapped in parts of the tubing. This will prevent key areas from being adequately lubricated.
Furthermore, liquids can be expelled unevenly in the compressor due to a severely leaning unit, leading to problems. So, examine the AC unit and adjust it accordingly to maintain its alignment. You can do this by adding some shims under the pad.
6. Inspect Electrical Wiring
Loose connections and damaged wiring can cause several AC problems, including complete system failures and fires. Thus, you want to ensure that your AC system’s electrical wiring and controls are intact. Moreover, keep an eye out for chewed or frayed wires.
That said, when you find damage to the wiring, don’t attempt to fix any electrical components unless you have the necessary skills and experience. Conduct a visual inspection and leave the repair to the professionals.
7. Test Your AC Unit
Once you’re done with the inspection and cleaning, you can do a test run of your AC system. Let the unit run for an hour and determine whether it effectively keeps your home cool. Check if the temperature matches the thermostat settings efficiently. You can also use a portable temperature sensor to check the accuracy of your AC performance and thermostat.
Regular AC maintenance can help guarantee that your unit is functioning correctly and efficiently throughout the hot summer season. This ensures that you stay comfortable even with the sweltering heat outside. In addition, it helps extend the lifespan of your AC unit and minimize the need for costly repairs.