During the summer months, the air conditioner is probably the busiest electrical machine in your home. Regular maintenance is key to ensure that it runs well without running incredibly high energy bills. Most units (with regular home maintenance and an annual professional service) will last around 8-12 years. After this, it may be time to consider upgrading for a more modern machine that uses the latest air cooling technology with maximum energy efficiency.
Here are a few maintenance tips that’ll help keep your current air conditioner in working order this summer. Caution: before performing any home cleaning or maintenance on your central air conditioning unit, be sure to power it off.
1. Keep filters clean and well-maintained.
Regular maintenance of your air conditioner’s filters will ensure that it runs efficiently. Filters should be
cleaned at least once a month to make sure they’re not getting dirty and clogged. Dirty filters obstruct airflow; any air that manages to bypass the filter will carry dirt into the evaporator coil and damage the coil’s ability to absorb heat. This can increase energy consumption from 5%-15%.
*Tip: if you have any pets in your home, you may need to clean your filters more often.
2. Clean your air conditioner coils every summer.
The job of the air conditioner coil is to cool by absorbing heat. Remember how we mentioned above that dirt damages this function of the coil? Even with regular filter cleaning, after a few months of use, dirt will make its way onto the coil and reduce efficiency. So, in addition to cleaning your air conditioner filters, you also need to clean your air conditioner coil to remove dirt and dust. You should clean your air conditioner coil annually or more often if the environment around the air conditioner is particularly dusty or dirty.
*Tip: Sometimes the coil will be outdoors. You’ll be able to tell if dust is building up on an outdoor coil by seeing if there’s a collection of dirt on its fins.
3. Clean the fins.
Cleaning the fins outside your air conditioner will also improve efficiency. You can easily clean the fins with a small soft brush (a toothbrush, for example, works well). Using the soft brush, brush each fin individually, taking care not to bend the metal.
4. Have your machine serviced by professionals.
To get a long life out of your air conditioner, get an annual maintenance check by professionals who can give it a professional cleaning and service. They’ll be able to get your machine working efficiently so that your energy bill stays reasonable. At Solaire Energy Systems, we provide HVAC machine service and maintenance. Get in touch here (or call us at 1-800-847-7751), and we’ll provide you with a free estimate.
5. Clear the condensation lines.
The condensation lines carry condensation away from the air conditioner. If you don’t regularly clean these lines, they can slowly build up with dust and dirt, which gradually makes its way up the pipe back into the air conditioner. Needless to say, when this humid debris reaches its way into the air conditioner, it can cause a nasty mess in your home (not to mention an expensive repair bill). An easy way to avoid this is to pass a firm wire through the lines on a regular basis.
6. Check the seals on your home’s windows and doors.
Check that all the seals around the windows and doors in your home don’t have any breaks. Breaks in the seals will allow cool air to escape, which overworks your machine (and in turn will increase your energy bill).
At Solaire Energy Systems, we’re experts at installing and maintaining HVAC systems. Our energy-efficient air conditioning systems keep your home cool while keeping your energy costs down.
If you’d like to learn more about air conditioning options, contact us online.
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