The most important appliance in most homes is the air conditioner. The filters, coils, fins, and refrigerant require maintenance to maximize efficiency and prolong the working life of the unit. While sturdy units can operate for years without cleaning, contaminants will gradually build and lead to progressive inefficiency and machine damage. Our air conditioning repair firm even has an infographic video to help customers understand how to optimize comfort and cost savings with a unit.
Using Air Conditioner Filters Properly
The second most important maintenance task is to routinely replace the intake filter as it accumulates particles from the air. Filters can also be roughly cleaned, but the little stuff is lodged in there so that replacement is optimal. Whenever the buildup becomes substantial, there is less airflow, and the air conditioner has to work harder to take in air. There is also the risk of an old filter failing and causing dirt to come in contact with moving parts.
Simply replacing a dirty filter can reduce energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent. Choosing a rougher filter will also reduce power usage, although this is only recommended for people who do not have allergies. It is important to know where your filter is located. It might be in a hallway. It should be accessible by just unscrewing the panel.
Filters have different designs, with some being reusable and others needing replacement. The more frequently you get it checked by California HVAC Contractors, and excess dust removed, the less power the system will consume. Conditions that increase maintenance are a state of continuous operation, a bad indoor environment, and pets with hair. Finer filters get clogged faster.
Maintaining Air Conditioning Coils
Air that passes the filter eventually comes in contact with the refrigerant coil. If that air is clean, then it will not accumulate dust on the coil quickly. On the other hand, dust that manages to bypass will gradually build a fine layer of dust on the evaporator or condensing coils. Any dust will impede the thermal transfer and reduce efficiency. The solution is to clean this dust away. This maintenance should be done every year.
Usually, a metal array of fins or grill is used to assist with thermal transfer. This system is exposed to the outdoors, so there is a chance that it can become bent or clogged by the environment. It is a good idea for the homeowner to get into the habit of checking these fins. While they can often be cleaned or straightened without assistance, calling a maintenance expert is recommended.
Checking The Condensation Drains
Most large air conditioners will have a pipe or channel for draining water that was condensed out of the air. Inserting a piece of wire into these drains helps to check for any clogging. If this moisture cannot escape, it will increase the humidity of the home and possibly cause damage.
Check Window Seals For Small Units
Some air conditioners can fit into a window but require a cover for the rest of the space. This seal is important for separating outside and inside air, but moisture from the unit might loosen it. The seal should be inspected, and any cracks filled with caulking. Since window units are not connected to gas lines and are primarily used for summer cooling, they are best covered in winter or else removed.
Talking To a Professional
Some measures are meant to be taken by the homeowner, but a professional is needed to make serious repairs. A bent fin array is one example, but cleaning the refrigerant is a more obvious task. The refrigerant level should be checked every few years because efficiency drops below a recommended pressure. The refrigerant also becomes dirty and should occasionally be replaced or filtered.
A good technician should be capable of assessing the refrigerant pressure, test for leaks, capturing and ceasing refrigerant leaks, seal air ducts, measure airflow, check the digital controls, and be able to check the compressor and any related moving belts.