If you live in Temecula, Murrieta, or the rest of the Inland Empire, you know how important your home’s AC system can be to staying comfortable and cool year-round. Just like any other appliance, however, your HVAC system needs to be maintained and cared for if you want it to run properly. While there are some AC repair tasks that you should absolutely leave to the professionals at ProFlo, here are several easy air conditioner maintenance steps you can perform at home.
1. Check Your Air Filters
The most important maintenance task you can perform to keep your AC system healthy is to regularly clean and replace your air filters. A clogged and dirty filter blocks airflow and significantly reduces your system’s efficiency. Any air that bypasses a dirty filter can also bring dirt directly to the evaporator coil and end up impairing the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. By replacing a dirty filter with a clean one, you can reduce your AC unit’s power consumption by up to 15 percent. Common filter locations include furnaces, return air vents on the walls and ceilings, or in the air conditioner unit itself. Some filters are reusable and can be washed, while others are single-use and must be replaced. For proper air conditioner maintenance, it’s recommended to replace your filters every month or two when they are being used heavily. You may need to replace them more frequently if they are subjected to especially dirty conditions or if you have pets in the house.
2. Clean Your AC Coils
The evaporator and condenser coils of your AC system will slowly collect dirt on them as they work. Unfortunately, dirty coils have reduced airflow and increased insulation, which makes it difficult for them to absorb heat. You’ll want to check your evaporator coil once every year or so and clean it as needed. You’ll also want to check your outdoor condenser coils if the environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. You can regularly check the coils and see if dirt is collecting on the fins. Dryer vents, falling leaves, and lawnmowers are all potential sources of dirt and debris, so keep them away from the condenser unit. It’s a good idea to trim foliage at least two feet back from the condenser to allow for adequate airflow.
3. Keep Your Coil Fins Straight
Another common HVAC maintenance task you can perform is to clean the coil fins and re-straighten them. These aluminum fins can get bent and impair airflow, but it’s relatively easy to straighten them out with a tool called a fin comb. Straight fins will keep your AC unit from working harder than it needs to and prevents parts from failing prematurely.
4. Keep the Evaporator Drain Unclogged
A clogged drain channel can prevent the AC unit from reducing humidity inside your home, and this causes excess moisture that discolors your walls or carpet. You can unclog your drains with either a wet/dry vacuum or a stiff wire brush. Doing this will also remove any algae that has built up inside the channel.
5. Adjust Your Thermostat Appropriately
If you’re away from home for long periods of time, adjust the thermostat to a higher temperature while you’re out or turn it off entirely. This will reduce the amount of effort that your unit has to exert every day, lengthening its lifecycle and lowering your utility bill. It will also reduce the frequency with which you need to perform the other steps on this list.
By following these steps, you can dramatically increase the lifespan of your AC unit and reduce your overall energy consumption. If you don’t feel comfortable performing these steps yourself, or if you have major mechanical issues with your unit and require professional HVAC repairs, trust the professionals at ProFlo. We’ve been performing AC repair and maintenance services for over twenty years in Temecula, Murrieta, and the rest of the Inland Empire. Our 24/7 emergency repair service is always ready to respond to your needs. Give us a call at (951) 694-1300 today to receive a free estimate or schedule an appointment.