7 Air Conditioner Maintenance Steps a Homeowner Can Handle
You often hear about the need to have a professional maintain your air conditioner. However, did you know that homeowners can handle many parts of air conditioner maintenance? Follow these seven steps to help your A/C last longer and perform better between visits from a professional contractor.
DIY Air Conditioner Maintenance
Replace the air filter –Check the filter monthly and change or clean it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You can save 5 to 15 percent performing this simple air conditioner maintenance task.
Clean the evaporator coil – Commercial foaming agents are just the right tool to remove accumulated dust and dirt from the indoor evaporator coil. Do this yearly to keep the coil in good condition.
Clean the condensing unit – This is the large metal box sitting on a concrete slab outside your home. The housing around the fan, compressor and condenser often collects leaves, dirt and grass clippings. Hose the whole unit down occasionally to clear this debris away.
Trim back foliage – Keep bushes trimmed back two to three feet from the condensing unit and pull weeds growing near the base of the unit to ensure good airflow.
Straighten bent fin – A stray Frisbee or baseball can bend the condenser coil’s fins. You can purchase a special fin comb to straighten these fins and promote proper airflow.
Clear the condensate drain – If the drain clogs, water dripping down from the evaporator coil could back up in the drain pan and cause water damage. Keep the channel clear by occasionally passing a stiff wire or straightened coat hanger through the condensate drain.
Unblock all return and supply registers – Your cooling system is properly balanced. Closing or blocking registers with rugs and furniture can throw the entire system out of balance. Close no more than 20 percent of the supply registers in your home for the most efficient cooling possible.