The Best 19 Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips in 2023
AC units are complex systems and repairs can be quite expensive. That’s why it’s crucial to prioritize regular maintenance with Fix-it 24/7 to keep your AC unit running efficiently. An efficient AC unit not only provides optimal cooling comfort but also contributes to its longevity. By following the provided tips, you can help prevent potential issues and minimize the need for costly repairs.
Caution: Before attempting anything on this list, please turn off the power when undergoing maintenance.
19 Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips
1. Straighten and Clean AC Fins
The fins on your AC unit help promote airflow to transfer or absorb heat. Therefore, cleaning and straightening your fins will improve airflow and improve efficiency. To properly clean the fins, you want an AC comb or fin comb to gently clean both the condenser and evaporator fins. The bristles are delicate enough for reaching both the exterior and interior fins. Try using an old dinner knife to scrape stuck-on debris if that doesn’t work.
2. Clean the Evaporator Coils and Drains
Your evaporator coils constitute the core of your AC unit. Although it may seem trivial, even a small amount of dirt can drastically reduce the performance of your AC unit, so it’s essential to clean the coils and drains. You will need to hire a professional for this step as your unit must be removed to reach the coils and ensure that everything is in working order. However, there are a few steps you can DIY. You can use a soft brush to get the dust out of the way and spray it with a no-rinse coil cleaner. You can also use mild detergents and water to get rid of dirt between the coils. For the drains, you can use a wet/dry vacuum to remove debris in the drain.
3. Replace AC Filters
Your AC filters catch any debris, dust, pollen, pet dander any small particulates that you don’t want your family to breathe. Remove the filter and soak it in a flat bin with white vinegar and warm water for one hour, and rinse gently. For this reason, it is best to check your filters often and ensure that they are cleaned out to prevent any bacterial or contaminant build-up from recirculating through your home.
4. Remove Fan Debris
The fan or blower helps to cool the refrigerant and disperse cold and hot air through the ducts. However, over time, the fan will naturally attract dust and debris, lowering its effectiveness. To maximize your AC’s effectiveness, be sure to periodically clean out any debris or dust in your fan with a wire brush.
5. Clean and Replace the Blower Filters
Filters prevent foreign air contaminants such as pollen, dust, and toxins from reaching your blower. Remove the filters thoroughly. Without the filter, dirt can build up in your fan and motor housing, causing it to overheat and knock the fan off balance.
6. Keep the Air Conditioner Clean
A general rule of thumb is to keep your air conditioner clean. Just by cleaning the aspects you can periodically, you will drastically improve the longevity of your unit by at least 50%.
7. Use a Timer on Your AC
Prolonged use of your AC unit is not ideal as it is expensive to run and you risk wearing out the components. Set a timer for your AC use and stick to it.
8. Make Sure Your Unit is Level
Your unit must be level as there are many moving parts to an AC unit, and if any element is off-balance, you risk inefficiencies that you will certainly pay for in your maintenance bill. For example, if your unit is crooked, the fans won’t align properly, which means only a small amount of air can flow through the ducts, greatly weakening your overflow.
9. Check the AC Insulation
Your refrigeration and AC appliances require insulation from condensation. Moisture control is critical to keeping the thermal efficiency of your unit. If your unit is not insulated, moisture can ruin the surrounding cold-water piping.
10. Maintain AC Unit Surroundings
Your AC unit is outside, and foreign debris is always a reality. Be sure to trim trees and shrubs and sweep up leaves. Ensure your unit is shielded from the elements and regularly cleaned of dirt.
11. Inspect your Ductwork
Periodically inspect your ductwork for any dirt or debris that may have been tracked. The ductwork is the primary way hot or cold air is piped through your home, so it’s essential to check for any contaminants or mold.
12. Upgrade to Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat is a thermostat that can be controlled remotely through Wi-Fi. Upgrading to a smart thermostat is great as you have greater flexibility in controlling your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. For example, instead of having to come home to a cold house, you can have the heater going so it’s ready for you when you arrive.
13. Try to Keep Your AC Unit Shaded and Cool
In general, you want to prevent your AC unit from overheating as this will cause long-term damage to its internal parts. Ensure that it is kept in the shade for your outdoor unit to prevent overheating.
14. Install In-Line Duct Boosters for Air Conditioners
An inline duct booster fan is a large fan that pumps air through the ductwork in your home. It’s usually installed midway between the blower and the vent and requires professional installation. However, having one placed in your ductwork will help promote better airflow throughout your unit.
15. Unclog the Condensate Drain Tube
The condensate drain tube is a PVC or metal tube that funnels the condensation produced from your HVAC system away from the unit. If this tube ever becomes clogged, water will be trapped in your air conditioner, resulting in your evaporator coil turning to ice. In addition, the excess moisture will cause your AC unit to shut off, so inspect your drain tube regularly.
16. Don’t Wrap Your Condenser
Although it may seem tempting, avoid wrapping your condenser. Wrapping your condenser will trap the moisture inside the unit and cause rust.
17. Turn Off the AC Unit
Be sure to turn off your AC unit regularly to ensure the health of the unit and its components. Excessive use can damage any one of the components, which can cause a chain reaction that damages other systems as well.
18. Upgrade to Energy Efficiency
Consider upgrading your AC unit to a more energy-efficient model. In addition to central air options, there are window, portable, inverter, ductless, smart, and solar AC systems available, each with an energy-efficient option available. AC units require a great deal of power to run, so any amount of energy saved is a worthwhile investment.
19. Schedule Tune-Ups
To ensure the longevity of your unit, schedule tune-ups at least every 6 months. The tune-ups will ensure that everything is running smoothly and that no aspect of your AC unit is clogged or dirty. Your AC unit’s life span will more than double with regular tune-ups, so contact your local HVAC company today.
Benefits of a Well-Maintained AC
There are a few noteworthy benefits to having a well-maintained AC unit. Here are the primary ones:
- Less expensive Utility bills: A well-maintained AC unit runs more efficiently, which means your power consumption will be lower. On the other hand, the older and less maintained your unit is, the more likely it will be a drain on your power, so keep it maintained so that the system uses less energy.
- AC parts last longer: Better maintained parts will last twice as long compared to AC units that aren’t well maintained. In addition, many aspects of AC units are symbiotic, which means that if one component is dirty or malfunctioning, it will simultaneously affect the entire system, potentially damaging other components.
- Cheaper repair bills: Your parts will last longer if they are fully maintained, and as a bonus, your repair bills will be much lower as you do not need consistent repairs. In addition, the initial cost of maintaining your AC unit is much lower than any repair bills. So it’s important to maintain your unit to avoid paying any costly bills.
Prioritize AC Maintenance for Longevity, Efficiency
Maintaining your air conditioner is vital not only for its optimal performance but also for the long-term health of your family. Proper maintenance procedures ensure clean indoor air quality, prevent potential health issues, and save you money by reducing energy consumption and the need for expensive repairs. By taking care of your AC unit with Fix-it 24/7, you can enjoy a comfortable and healthy living environment while maximizing its lifespan and efficiency. Contact us today!