There are very few routine tasks that can be as crucial and rewarding for your household appliances as air conditioner maintenance. This singular task can not only help your air conditioning unit stay in top shape and last much longer, but it can also be hugely advantageous in terms of improving your air conditioning experience. Let’s consider some of these advantages.
Why air conditioner maintenance is necessary
The major and most obvious advantage of proper and regular air conditioner maintenance is that it can enable your air conditioner to perform at optimal output and keep you cool all summer. But there is more to it than that.
A properly maintained air conditioning unit has much less chance of breaking down due to some internal fault because one of the objectives of regular air conditioner maintenance is to point out potential problems even before they jeopardize the functioning of the appliance.
Another important advantage is that regular maintenance helps keep the AC clean which, in turn, ensures maximum output with minimal use of electricity. So, your AC consumes less electricity than usual. You can not only conserve energy but also save quite a bit on your electricity bills.
Why you should consult an air conditioner maintenance professional
If you deconstruct the process of air conditioner maintenance, you’ll find that some of the tasks involved are simple enough that you can do them, at home yourself. However, if you encounter some tasks that may be too complicated for you to perform or if you feel uneasy about fiddling around with your air conditioner, then you must contact a professional.
A trained, experienced and, if possible, licensed professional can perform the most complicated maintenance tasks with minimum risk of damage to your device. They always observe the safety precautions and perform the task at hand with more efficiency than an average person could ever do.
Common air conditioner maintenance tips
It is extremely crucial to remember to turn off the power before you perform any of the following tasks. Your personal safety is much more important than the safety of the device. So, without much further ado, let us consider some of the most helpful tips to maintain your air conditioner.
1. Clean and replace the air filter
When it comes to air conditioner maintenance, one of the easiest and most crucial steps is cleaning the AC filter. This is a task you need to perform regularly to ensure optimal output. But why?
You can find the reason when you attempt to understand the basic functioning principle of the filter. The cool air coming out of the AC passes through a filter before reaching your room. When the filters are dirty or clogged, they block the rate of airflow and thus reduce the overall efficiency of the air conditioner.
But that’s not it. An obstructed airflow can also carry dirt particular into the AC’s evaporator coil which can impair the AC’s capacity to absorb heat.
You can easily clean the filter by taking it out and cleaning with a cloth. However, some air filters can only be replaced. Your job is to clean or replace the filter every month or every other month. If your AC is located in a dusty environment or used frequently, you need to clean or replace the filter sooner. Doing so can lower the energy consumption of your AC by 5 to 15 percent.
2. Clean the air conditioner coils
One of the goals of cleaning the air filter is to prevent the flow of dirt towards the AC’s evaporator and condenser coils. However, even if you regularly clean the filter, the coils can still collect dust after considerable use. This accumulation of dirt reduces the functional efficiency of the coils.
To prevent that, you need to check and clean the coils periodically. This becomes even more important when the outdoor environment is dusty or dirty. Another reason for the blocking of the airflow through the coil is that the coil fins get bent. You can unblock these fins using a simple piece of equipment known as the fin comb.
3. Clean the area around the condenser unit
One of the overlooked reasons for the poor performance of the air conditioner is that external debris may block the airflow through the condenser. If the AC is located around vegetation, trim the leaves to prevent it from blocking. If there are any broken leaves around the area, perform regular cleaning to prevent blocking the airflow.
A useful tip is to cover the condenser unit during the winter or when it’s not in use for prolonged periods.
4. Clean the evaporator drain
While it is the job of the AC filter to make sure that clean air enters the room, the warm and humid air extracted from the room is taken up by the evaporator coil. It is here that the heat and humidity are absorbed from the air. The evaporator coil then does two things. It transports the cool air back on the way to your room and transports the humidity as liquid water into a drain through which it is disposed.
Due to continuous water activity, algae and fungus can easily build up within the drain. This can clog the tube and hamper the flow of water. If your AC has a drain float system, it can stop cooling just to avoid flooding. You can clean the drain using easily using a vacuum cleaner.
5. Check and/or replace the wiring and components
There’s more to air conditioner maintenance than just cleaning. If the fault lies with the electrical equipment or the wiring, no amount of cleaning is going to make any difference. So, this is an unavoidable step. However, before you do this, make sure that the AC is not just turned off but unplugged as well.
Most of the wiring of the AC is located inside the access panel on the condensing unit. Remove the panel to examine the condition of the wiring mechanism. If there are any signs of overheating or insulation or if you can see burned or blackened wires, replace them.