Your air conditioner is very important during the summer months and responsible for keeping your family cool. This system must be properly maintained to ensure it is working order. Many people have the service professionals come by twice a year to prepare their unit for the changing season. However, many things are possible to do yourself. Some things should be left to the air conditioning experts, like any broken parts or refrigerant line issues.
Change Your Air Filters
First, make sure you change all filters in your house. They should be checked once a month for clogs that could cause the airflow to slow down and the cooling coil to ice up, which can cause your unit to fail. There are different types of filters, some only need to be washed and placed back in the unit and some are disposable. If they are allergen filters, the filter will hold more debris and will have to be changed more often.
Check On Drain
Second, check on the condensate removal system and ensure the drain is clear and able to move water through the drain. Some units have a pump, so test it to make sure it is working properly. If the drain pan is clogged or the water pump is not working, you could have a drain leak that could cause damage.
Check Exterior Condenser
Third, check that the exterior condenser is free of debris. The condenser should have 2 feet of clear space all around the unit with nothing in the way, especially shrubs or low hanging branches. The condenser may have leaves and debris, so make sure to clean it with a garden hose to remove all of the debris. If the debris is too much, there is the option to use a chemical cleaner.
Fourth, check the ductwork in your home. If you have floor registers, make sure there are no furniture or rugs obstructing the airflow of the system. Open the registers to ensure nothing is in them and blocking airflow. Next, check on the ductwork through your house to ensure that all connections and seams are intact. If you have to fill a hole, use silver aluminum tape to plug the holes.
Keep It Clean
Fifth, keep your system and ductwork clean. Mold can grow in moist environments and should be checked to determine if the ducts are clean. Cleaning companies can come by with special equipment and clean all of the ductwork.
Set Your Thermostat
Sixth, set your programmable thermostat to cool when you are home and keep the temperature slightly higher when you are gone to keep the unit working efficiently for you and your family. Make sure to have the unit turn on an hour or two prior to your normal return from work, so the house has time to cool down before you arrive. Turn your system up as you are ready for bed, so that you won’t notice a few degrees of warmth while you are asleep.
Sit Back and Relax
Seventh, sit back and enjoy your system. If the system is properly maintained, the service calls should be very limited and the system should run on its own. This type of system can run itself most of the time, granted that the homeowner has kept up with all regular maintenance on the unit. If you follow these tips, you should be a satisfied air conditioning unit owner.