It’s the middle of summer, and it’s hot! You’re probably using your air conditioner to stay cool. But what happens when your air conditioner breaks down in the middle of summer? You could be left sweating in your own home! That’s why it’s crucial to maintain your HVAC unit, so it doesn’t break down when you need it most. This blog post will discuss how to properly maintain your HVAC unit so that you can stay cool all summer long!
Change Your Filters
When was the last time you changed your filters on your machine? Disposable filters keep your equipment clean and remove the most significant pollutants from your indoor air. It is best to change them every 1-3 months, possibly sooner if you suffer from allergies or have pets in your house.
When replacing your filter, choose one with a MERV 7-11 rating. Anything higher than that will decrease the amount of air flowing through your system, putting an unnecessary strain on it and reducing its efficiency. If you have an air purification system, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for changing the filters. In ductless systems, remember to wash the reusable filter every month.
Cleaning Your Condensing Unit
Most air conditioners include an outdoor condensing unit/heat pump with a fan on top to distribute heat in the summer. The condensation unit’s metal fins can easily clog with dust, pollen, and grime. To clean the condensing unit, spray it with a water hose. Just avoid using a pressure washer as this can damage your unit beyond repair. However, you can also use a soft bristle brush to remove any debris stuck on the fins carefully. Don’t forget to clean off the top of the unit as well! While the fan blades can get overlooked, they must be free of dirt and debris for your system to function correctly.
Cleaning Your Coils
Over time, your air conditioner’s evaporator and condenser coils accumulate grime. A clean filter allows the evaporator coil to stay cleaner for longer. Nonetheless, the evaporator coil will eventually gather dirt even after replacing the filter. This debris obstructs airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its heat-transmitting capacity. To prevent this problem, examine your evaporator coil at least once a year and clean it as needed.
If the outside environment is dusty or there is foliage nearby, indoor condenser coils may develop a layer of dust. The condenser coil and its fins are easily visible. To keep it running smoothly, minimize dirt and debris around the condenser unit. Dirt and debris can come from various sources, including your dryer vents, falling leaves, and lawn mower. Clearing the area around the coil, removing any trash, and trimming vegetation back at least 2 feet (0.6 meters) promotes adequate airflow around the condenser.
Check Evaporator Coil’s Drain Pipe And Drain Pan
If you’re unsure where your drain pipe is, have a professional show you how to find it. Once you have located it, the first thing to do is check the drainpipe of your HVAC system for blockages formed by algae/mold and clear them if necessary. A wet-dry vacuum can remove any blocked sections, while bleach may also be used to clean them.
A blocked drain line is one of the most prevalent breakdowns addressed in the spring and summer. Water pouring through the ceiling is one of the most common symptoms that it has developed. Unless an emergency float switch or “ceiling saver” is utilized to turn off the air conditioning, homeowners may learn about it when water gushes through their ceilings.
Check Freon Levels
If your air conditioner is not cooling correctly, it may be because the Freon levels are low. Freon is a refrigerant that helps to cool the air in your home. When the Freon levels are low, your air conditioner will not be able to cool your home properly. Freon is dangerous, so it is vital to have a professional check the Freon levels in your air conditioner periodically throughout the year.
Check For Holes In Ductwork
If you have holes in your ductwork, it can cause your air conditioner to work harder than it has to. This will not only make your air conditioner less efficient, but it can also cause your energy bills to go up. If you think you may have holes in your ductwork, have a professional come and take a look.
Check Thermostat Settings
If your air conditioner is not cooling correctly, one of the first things you should check is the thermostat settings. Ensure that the thermostat is set to “cool” and that the temperature is set lower than the current temperature in your home. If the thermostat is set correctly and your air conditioner still isn’t cooling properly, you may need a professional to come and take a look.
Call A Professional
Most HVAC companies recommend that you have a professional come in twice a year for preventative maintenance. This includes flushing the coils, inspecting the drain pan and drainage system, vacuuming the blower compartments, checking voltage, monitoring refrigerant levels in the air conditioning unit, examining furnace operation, and checking voltage on motors and loose wires. Spring is an excellent time to service your air conditioning equipment; fall is when your heating equipment gets serviced. If everything goes well, the professional should be able to detect any issues before they become major problems.
As you can see, there are a few things that you can do to maintain your HVAC unit. By following these simple tips, you can help extend the life of your HVAC unit and keep it running properly for years to come. If you have any questions about maintaining your HVAC unit or need help troubleshooting a problem, contact a qualified HVAC professional. They will be able to help you get your unit back up and running in no time!