Clean the Inside and Outside Units
The outside unit, the condenser, represents only one part of the entire central air system. The condenser uses refrigerants and ultimately turns them into cooled liquid. The indoor part of the air conditioner, also known as the evaporator, evaporates the cooled liquid, pushing cold air into your home.
During routine use, an air conditioner can pick up dust and debris. To clean the outside unit, first shut off the power. Use a hose or air conditioner cleaner to gently dislodge any debris on the outside of the unit. Check for stains on the concrete block that supports the unit. Stains may indicate the air conditioner needs a visit from a service technician. A service technician can remove dirt and debris from the evaporator and check the condensation tube for mold deposits or other contaminants that can impact indoor air quality. Both the indoor and outdoor cleanings can improve efficiency and help the air conditioner function properly.
Change the Filter
The filter is responsible for keeping contaminants out of your home and the system when using your air conditioner. However, when particles and debris block the filter, the air conditioning system can run inefficiently, resulting in strain on the system. Be sure to change your filter at least once a month to keep your air free of contaminants and your air conditioner running smoothly.
Inspect the Duct Work
The cool air from the air conditioner travels through the home by ductwork installed in walls, the attic, and the basement. Over time, the seals on the ducts can weaken, creating holes, cracks, or other leaks in the ducts. These weaknesses can cause cool air to leak into parts of the home that may not need to be cooled, such as the attic. Finding and repairing these leaks can improve the cooling efficiency of your air conditioner. Older homes sometimes have poor duct work or none at all. However, professionals can install custom ductwork or repair old ductwork when necessary.
Keep Moisture Away From the Condenser
Whether you have sprinklers or a teenager who waters the lawn, make sure that all moisture is kept away from the condenser, especially if you use well water. This untreated water can cause the condenser case to rust faster, and in some cases, can void the warranty on your unit.
Replace Thermostat Batteries
The thermostat controls the temperature of your home. This device generally uses either AA or AAA batteries. Replacing these batteries every year helps keep your air conditioner running smoothly, instead of turning off and on at random. Also, by checking the manual, you can calibrate your thermostat so that your unit runs as efficiently as possible.
Schedule Annual Maintenance
Annual maintenance plans offered by heating and cooling companies are great ways to make sure your air conditioner is operating properly before the summer starts. A reputable air conditioning contractor will visit, offer an inspection, and make any necessary repairs. Annual service maintenance contracts may include addendums that give you priority service over other customers, which can benefit you if your air conditioner fails to work properly during the summer months