There’s nothing worse than the hot summer months creeping up just to have your A/C unit stop working. Did you know that routine maintenance can help prevent some of the major repairs we face? Industry professionals recommend you perform most A/C unit repairs annually. These are simple things to look for when you turn your unit on for the first time after the winter months.
Why Maintenance Matters
Major appliances need a little TLC to stay at their peak performance. Your A/C unit is no exception. Over time, the dust and debris that gets sucked into the unit causes a decline in performance. Since demand on the machine hasn’t changed, this causes energy efficiency to decline steadily. Eventually, with enough strain, parts break down and ultimately you will need an entire unit replacement.
As crucial as A/C unit maintenance is, keeping up with all the necessary steps can be a daunting task. Luckily, the experts at Hinse Brothers Mechanical Inc are here to help. Not only can they assist with ongoing maintenance, but they are highly proficient in major repairs and duct work. They will help catch minor problems before they become major ones and help if you need a skilled technician.
The most important thing you can do for your system is to change your filters regularly. The purpose of A/C filters is to keep the air running through the system free of debris, such as lint, dust, pet hair, and other airborne contaminants. When these filters become dirty or clogged, the A/C unit simply runs less efficiently. It can also cause problems with allergy sufferers living in the home. Professionals recommend changing the filter a minimum of every 3 months. If you live in a home with a smoker, pets, or other potential allergens, a once per month replacement is ideal.
Clean Evaporator and Condenser Coils
Even with regular filter replacement, evaporator coils still collect dirt and debris, reducing airflow. Check your evaporator coils for any potential problems. If you find obstructions or dirt that has collected over time, properly clean it so your system can run smoothly.
Condenser coils collect dirt from blowing dust, falling leaves, and even a dryer vent hanging above it. You’ll find evidence of issues with your condenser coils by inspecting the fins on your unit. The best thing to do is take preventative measures. Keeping the area clear of debris will prevent most of the problems you will encounter. You’ll also want to observe the direction of your dryer vent. If it is pointing toward the A/C unit, adjust its angle to point away from the unit.
Inspect Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is an important part of your home’s efficiency. When properly installed and maintained, it not only lowers your electric bill, but puts less strain on your A/C system. If time and the elements have worn down your weather stripping, you risk air escaping, and your system working overtime to compensate. Check around your doors and windows for anything in need of repair to keep your unit at its top performance.
Maintenance for Window Units
If you cool a room with a window unit, it is still important to perform maintenance specific to your unit, as well. After the cold days of winter pass, you’ll want to inspect the seal between the unit and the window frame. Make sure the seal makes contact with the unit’s frame with no gaps. Without a proper seal cool air will escape, leaving your unit working overtime trying to cool your home.
During winter, if possible, remove the window unit completely. This keeps it safe from freezing temperatures, snow, and other unfavorable conditions.
Put it to the Test
With a new filter, clean coils, and efficient weather stripping, it’s time to see how your unit performs. For the purposes of this test, turn the temperature lower than you normally would. You don’t need to let your A/C run all day, just long enough to do a cooling test. How quickly is your home cooling? Is the air blowing steadily? Is the unit unusually noisy? If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it might be a good idea to have a professional investigate.
Programmable thermostats are also a great investment to help reduce strain on your system. By raising the temperature a few degrees during times when no one is home, there is less strain as your A/C unit doesn’t have to work as hard to cool the home. As an added bonus, you aren’t paying for electricity no one is using. Following regular annual maintenance will save you both money and headache in repairs.