Keeping your air conditioner well-maintained not only helps you to save energy and money, but it also extends the lifespan of the machine. An air conditioning system needs regular maintenance to make sure that it is running at the highest efficiency. The air conditioning, ventilating, and heating system of your home consist of either a heat pump, AC, or furnace, which provides both stabilizations between cooling and heating.
Both of these units have an exterior unit (compressor and condenser coil) and an interior unit (blower and evaporator). It is essential to keep this system running. Here, we are going to provide some easy steps that can help you to keep your air conditioner unit maintained properly. It is recommended to use these tricks before each cooling season begins. You can also look for an air conditioner technician who can help you to perform regular maintenance of your AC unit.
Easy Steps to Keep Your Air Conditioner Unit Running Smoothly and Efficiently
It is quite easy to keep the air conditioning system of your home functioning well. You can do this simply by performing some easy steps. You can have a look at the steps described below. However, if you see that it is difficult to apply the below steps, then you can hire an Air-conditioning repair technician for this purpose.
Step 1: Shut off the Power
We know that it is dangerous to work with the electricity and the moving parts of an air conditioner unit. Thus, it is necessary to completely turn the power off. Look for the exterior shut off box on the exterior compressor/condenser. Alternatively, you can also turn off the power from the breaker box.
Step 2: Remove Debris
Now, you will have to remove the fan cage of the exterior compressor/condenser. For that, first, remove the fasteners by using a wrench or screwdriver. Then, lift the fan or cage from the upper panel of the unit. After that, check if there are any debris or dry leaves. If it is, then remove that from the interior by using your hand or by using dry/wet vacuum.
Step 3: Clean the Fans
Next, remove the outer cover and remove the outside dirt by using a brush or powerful vacuum cleaner. Then, you have to remove the built-up debris or dirt stuck inside the machine. For that, you can spray through the fans from the inside by using a gentle stream from a garden hose.
But, don’t use a pressure washer as it can damage the fans or another component of the air conditioner unit. Furthermore, you can also use a fan cleaning spray for this purpose. But, before that, you need to go through the manufacturer directions. Else, you can also seek help from an AC repair technician to clean the fans of your air conditioner unit.
Step 4: Straighten the Fans
After cleaning the fan, check it properly to look for any bent. Since the air-flow through the fans can decrease its strength, the fan bent easily. So, you need to straighten it. You can use a butter knife or commercially used fan-straightening tool. While doing this, you need to be careful that the tubing enclosed within the fans is not dented. If it is difficult for you to straighten the bent fan, then you can hire an Air-conditioning repair professional, they can do it with ease.
Step 5: Clean the Area Around the Air Conditioner Unit
If you see that the fan cage is not usable, then you can replace that with a new one. Afterwards, rake back debris and leaves from the outside of the condenser. If there are any branches of the trees near to the air conditioner unit, then cut them all at least 2 feet away in all directions. You have to do this to ensure proper airflow around the machine.
During the winter season, when the air conditioner is not in use, it’s better to cover the top of the unit with a piece of plastic or plywood in order to keep the debris away from it. But, don’t cover it completely, as the moisture can build up inside the unit and can cause corrosion. Moreover, a fully covered AC unit also encourages the birds to build their nests inside it. Remove the cover from it when the Air Conditioner is operating.
Step 6: Level the Condenser
When the air conditioner is running for a long time, then the pad on which the condenser unit is placed starts to tip as the solid settles beneath it. Then, the changes the level of the condenser and causes the compressor to fail. So, you need to check the condenser for the level.
If you see that there is a problem in the level of the condenser, then bring back to its original level by using trot-resistant shims. If you are unable to level the condenser back to its original position, then you can hire an air conditioner repair technician to get the work done shortly.
Step 7: Clean the Evaporator Coil
Now, you have completed checking the exterior unit of the air conditioning system. So, it is time to check the interior part of the machine. First, find the evaporator coil door of the inside furnace/blower unit. For that, you have to remove some foil duct tape and a few bolts or screws. Then, dust off the coil by using a soft brush.
After that, spray it by using a commercially used no-rinse coil cleaner. The spray will foam up on the evaporator coil and then drip into its drain pan. Thereafter, clean the drain pan properly by using a little bleach, hot water, and soap. Then, take a cup of 50% water/50% bleach. You can also place a commercially used drain pan tablet in order to keep the drain clean for a longer time.
It will prevent algae growth in the future. If it is necessary to change the evaporator coil door, then it is recommended not to do this on your own. In this case, it’s better to hire an air confitioner technician. If you see that the drain line is cleaned by the bleach solution, then you can skip the next step. Else, you have to perform that.
Step 8: Clean the Clogged Evaporator Drain
Humid and warm air from the interior of your room is blown through the evaporator coil. The cold coil absorbs the heat from the air and converts it into cool air before circulating it into your room. At this time, water drops into a pan and then it flows through a drain line. It is typically routed into the basement utility sink, floor drain, or outdoors.
When it is not cleaned for a long time, then mold and algae can build up. So, you will have to locate the drain line first where it leaves the evaporator coil. Usually, the drain line is a 1-inch PVC pipe. Follow and go to the end of the pipe where it drains the water. Most of the time, the drain is near the machine. But sometimes, it can also drain into the basement floor drain or into the utility drain.
Once you find out the drain line, you will have to clean it by using a dry/wet vacuum cleaner. It’s recommended to separate the paper filter from the dry/wet vacuum cleaner so that it doesn’t damage the filter.
Hold the hose of the vacuum cleaner to the end of the drain line. You can hold a rag around the gap or you can also use a duct tape for this purpose. Turn the vacuum cleaner ON and run it for a minimum of 3 to 5 minutes to clean the drain properly.
Once it completes the cleaning procedure, you can turn it off. If you are unable to clean the drain line, then you can hire an Air-conditioning repair technician for this work.
Step 9: Check the Blower Filter
The blower filter of your air conditioning system needs to be changed at least twice a year. Once before the beginning of the heating season and once after completing the heating season. Particularly, if you stay in a dusty area, then you will have to do this more often. Always try to replace it with a new one. Make sure that the airflow rating of the new blower filter is the same as the older one.
To do this, find out the filter enclosure on the AC unit where the large fresh air return duct enters the machine. Open the door of the filter by turning the latch. If it is hard to turn the latch of the filter, then you can use a screwdriver.
Then, remove the older filter from its position and place a new one. Make sure that you have placed the new one towards the direction arrows of the filter. After that, you can close the door of the filter. You can also hire an AC technician who can help you to check the blower filter properly.
Why Choose an Air Conditioner Technician?
You need to be aware that there are some other items that can be maintained only by a well-trained air conditioner repair technician. For example, a slow refrigerant lead in the Air Conditioner can lead to expensive compressor failure.
But, as a homeowner, you don’t have sufficient tech-skills and required tools to repair this. So, it’s better to search for an Air-conditioning technician. Furthermore, proper airflow and clean duct are necessary for a well-functioning air conditioner unit. If you don’t have sufficient tools for this job, you can seek help from an AC technician. They have the required equipment for this work.
While you can manage and monitor some of the components of the AC unit, it’s still necessary to have a well-trained air conditioner technician who can help you to check the AC unit periodically. So, get in touch with an Air-conditioning repair technician to get the work done in a prominent way.