With summer almost upon us, people are now concerned with ensuring that their AC is working properly. This essential appliance has a lot of moving parts and many things that need to be properly maintained for it to function correctly. At the same time, AC prices are going through the roof. The last thing that a homeowner wants is to have to replace an AC during the peak summer seasons when AC prices are at their highest.
Luckily, with a bit of careful planning and some routine maintenance, you can ensure your AC lasts several years and provides excellent service throughout that tenure. The trick is to know what causes the most common AC problems and how you can take care of your AC to prevent those issues. Regular maintenance might cost you a bit initially, but it will be far cheaper than doing major repairs or even replacing the unit. Here are some of the most important things you need to know in order to take good care of your AC unit.
All ACs use a combination of different filters to clean the air that goes to the internal parts of the AC as well as the air that enters the home. This is an area that is commonly overlooked by homeowners, and it can cause a range of problems. Whether you have an HVAC system or a regular room AC, there is a filter in that system somewhere. If you don’t know where to look, consult the owner’s manual or simply check online.
You will find plenty of information if you search for your particular model or a similar device. Some AC systems have replaceable filters while others have reusable filters. For replacement filters, make sure you are getting filters of the same quality to ensure they will work as effectively as possible. When washing your filters, make sure you know how to do so properly. Even reusable filters should be replaced if they get extremely dirty.
Inspect the Coils
The evaporator coil and condenser coil are extremely important parts of your AC system. They carry out the hard work of converting warm air into ice-cold air. When these coils themselves, or the piping leading to these systems, start to get dirty and collect dust and debris, it compromises their ability to cool properly. If your condenser system is floor-mounted, it can collect dust and debris from the lawnmower and surrounding foliage. Make sure you clean the condenser and evaporator coils every few months to prevent this build-up.
Check the Fins
The fins on the coils are also quite sensitive. These are typically made from aluminum which means they are quite soft and can easily be bent. Bent fins will have the same impact as clogged fins because air will not be able to pass through the system as freely as it should. This will lead to poor cooling and a range of other problems. An easy solution is to get a fin comb from your local AC supply store or even order one from the manufacturer. With this comb, you can brush the fins back into their proper stance if they have become deformed or bent.
Clean the Drains
The AC unit also has condensate drains. These allow the unit to discard the water that it extracts from the interior of the home. Occasionally, these drains can get blocked, and this then leads to a buildup of moisture in the system. This can cause the unit to emit bad-smelling air and will prevent the system from extracting moisture, leading to humidity inside the home.
Top up on Refrigerant
If you are getting poor cooling from the system, chances are that you might be low on refrigerant. A lot of people facing poor cooling often wonder, what happens if my ac unit is undersized? In reality, the unit may be the right size but it doesn’t have enough fuel in it to cool the required space. Topping up the refrigerant will make it work like new.
Keep an Eye on the Power Supply
Since the AC is running for several hours in the summer and is constantly drawing power from the socket during that time, the power socket is also worn out by all the current flowing through it. This is an area most people don’t check. Make sure the socket and the fuse in the power plug are both in good condition. A bad power plug could damage the entire AC system beyond repair.
Getting consistent output from your AC all depends on how well you take care of it. People can expect the AC to last decades if diligent maintenance is carried out and it is properly taken care of. With poor maintenance, even a brand new AC will fail. Ideally, you should have a professional take care of the AC maintenance as this is a high-voltage appliance. They will have the skills and the tools necessary to carry out the job properly.