Whether your air conditioner is new or an old unit that has provided you with reliable service for several years, it makes sense to maintain and inspect it regularly. Keeping a maintenance schedule for your AC unit will not only give you the best opportunity to stay cool throughout summer, but will also help you avoid emergency breakdowns. A well-maintained air conditioning system will use less energy, run more efficiently, cost you less to run, and last for a longer time. Here are some air conditioner maintenance tasks you can do annually to keep your AC unit in good condition.
1. Change Or Clean The Air Filters
Routinely cleaning or replacing the air filters is one of the most critical air conditioner maintenance tasks that will enhance your unit's efficiency. Replace the one-inch pleated filters every month, but for the other filter sizes, a local HVAC professional will check, clean, or even replace them during the annual maintenance visits.
2. Remove The Debris Around The Air Vents
Generally, reduced airflow is the leading cause of the wearing out of your air conditioner. Remove any objects or debris that blocks the air vents, causing the objects to return throughout your home. If you have pets in your home, remove clutter, such as pet hair, around the air vents more regularly.
3. Clean The Coils Of The AC Unit
The condenser and evaporator coils of your air conditioner collect dirt with time. This dirt normally reduces airflow in the unit and insulates the coil, which reduces its capacity to absorb heat. Again, the outdoor condenser coils might also become dirty, especially if there's foliage nearby, or it is dusty outside. To prevent these problems, your HVAC professional can check and clean the coils of your unit during your AC maintenance audit.
4. Unclog And Clean The Unit's Condensate Drain Tube
The air conditioner generates moisture when running and that condensation usually funnels via the unit's condensate drain tube located inside a closet or outside the unit. If this drain blocks, it can lead to the growth of mold or even flood, which can cause damage to your property. To clean it, put a wet-dry vacuum on top of the drain opening and run it for one minute to clear any clogs.
5. Clean The Area Outside The AC Unit
Things like grass clippings, leaves, and dirt can accumulate outside of your AC unit, reducing airflow and the system's capacity. It would be best if you trimmed back any plants or shrubs around the AC unit to prevent them from obstructing the flow of air to and from your air conditioner.
6. Schedule A Professional Inspection And Maintenance Annually
Before every cooling season, it's a great idea to have a regular AC inspection and maintenance done on the system by an HVAC professional. You might also want to consider having an AC maintenance audit if your air conditioner is more than eight years old. A routine inspection and audit can significantly enhance the performance of your equipment. In addition to ensuring that your system is working at optimum performance, the other goal of an AC audit is to keep the speed of the system up.