8 Care Tips Everyone Should Know About Air Conditioning Units
Having an air conditioning unit that works is a must for those hot summer months. There are many different types of units that you can purchase to cool your home or office. By understanding how to properly care for these different types of systems, you can ensure that they operate at their optimal capacity and last well beyond the manufacturer’s suggested lifespan.
Keep Up With Filter Changes And Cleanings
Every air conditioning unit comes with air filters. This could be a pull-out filter on a window unit or a large vent filter on your duct system. Either way, these filters will need to be kept up with to keep your system functioning correctly. Their main job is to collect debris that is in your system to improve your air quality. These filters will need the debris removed on a regular basis or they’ll stop the air flow throughout your home. Your air conditioning system should have a manual with instructions on how often to both clean and replace your air filters. Make sure you follow the recommendations closely.
Always Clean Your Outdoor Unit
One of the biggest problems with the outdoor compressor unit for in-home HVAC systems is that they get stuck up with debris. Things like leaves and sticks can get jammed in the compressor unit vent holes. This can stop the unit from functioning correctly. To help avoid this problem, you’ll want to regularly clean off your outdoor compressor unit. Throughout the heavier debris months of fall, you’ll want to clear out those leaves every couple of weeks.
Straighten Out Damaged Fins
In your air conditioning unit, you’ll find metal grates. These are very easy to bend by accident. When this happens, the bent fins will reduce the amount of airflow throughout your system. This will make your air conditioner work harder to supply cold air as its dealing with a reduction in available airflow. Turn off your air conditioning unit by either unplugging it, if it’s a window unit or killing the power to the unit at the breaker box. Use a butter knife or similar tool to rebend the fins back into their original position to maximize the efficiency of your air conditioning system.
Clean Out Your Drain Lines Often
When you look at the inside of your air conditioning unit, you’ll find evaporator coils. These will lead down to a drain pan and, eventually, to a drain line. This drain line works to remove excess moisture from the air conditioning system. Over time, this drain line can get blocked with debris. This debris includes things like dust and hard water. You’ll want to flush out those drain lines often in order to prevent any water backup in your air conditioning unit.
Ensure Your System Has The Necessary Capacity For Your Space
As we make changes to our homes, it’s very common to forget about the systems that power those rooms. For example, if you add an addition onto your home, you may find that the addition just isn’t cooling as well as you would like. This could be simply due to the fact that the air conditioning unit that you’re operating doesn’t have the capacity to handle the size of the additional space. Check the square footage of your home against the capability of the system you have to ensure it can handle the space efficiently.
Deep Clean Your Fins
We discussed what the fins are on your air conditioning unit above. Apart from being straightened out, you’ll also want to deep clean them from time to time. This will help to reduce the amount of dust and debris that gets caught up in your system. Use a fairly hard bristle brush and some soap to get rid of that built-up debris.
Check For Leaks
If you have a ducted air system in your home, it’s likely that you may have leaks which are increasing your energy consumption. You can easily work to identify where any leaks are in your home by either calling in an HVAC professional or using a dye on your own. You’ll need to purchase a refrigerant dye that is recommended for your system. Insert the die, then use a black light to identify where the dye is leaking out of your system. This will tell you where you need to place tape or another sealant to fix the leak.
Ensure Lines Are Bunched
The outside compressor unit for any central air conditioning unit is a vital part of the system’s operation. This compressor unit typically sets on a stone block that keeps it level. Over time, this stone block can seep into the ground and make an uneven surface. You’ll want to check to see if this is happening with your unit. If so, see if any of the lines running to the compressor unit are bunching up or tightening. If so, you’ll need to level the ground back out and straighten out the lines.