Air conditioning and HVAC units do not last forever. In fact, 12 years is the average lifespan. Usually, A/C units fall apart when you need them most. The good news is that not all system malfunctions indicate replacement. Many nuisances are inexpensive and easy to fix. You can perform some repairs yourself while others require the assistance of an expert. A trusted professional will ensure that your unit is functioning properly, which can prevent many unforeseen problems.
Follow these five fundamental steps to prepare your air conditioning system for summer. Take some time to understand the most important parts so you can manage routine maintenance, address issues with the specialists and ensure that your unit runs correctly.
1. Clean or change the filter every month
A filter reduces the amount of dust released into the air. Make sure you replace or clean the filters in your HVAC system to prepare for the upcoming summer months. They are rectangular or square in shape, and you can easily remove them from the indoor unit. Some air conditioning units are equipped with disposable filters while others require cleaning with water. Regardless of the filter type, cleaning this part of your unit on a regular basis is your number one priority. With dirty and dusty filters, your HVAC system will have to work harder to deliver comfortable air to the home. They can also cause the unit to freeze up or break down completely. A clean filter allows the air to flow freely into the unit and reduces the amount of contaminants in your house.
2. Keep the outdoor unit clean
The condenser is outside and should always be free of anything close to it because it houses the compressor. Make sure to clear any obstacles away from it such as plants, debris or grass clippings that can clog and damage your unit and cause it to run less efficiently. Blow away any leaves and branches, vacuum the dirt out and remove anything else that might be blocking the airflow. Using a clean brush or rag, lightly clean the fins around the coil. Make sure not to use a lot of force, or you can damage the fins. By keeping the area surrounding the outdoor portion of the unit clear of debris, you can reduce resistance and boost the efficiency of the system. Make sure to turn off the thermostat before attempting to clean the unit.
3. Clean indoor ductwork.
The ductwork makes up the ventilation system, which is a critical component of the heating and cooling system. You can locate the ductwork in the ceiling. These round tubes are responsible for the distribution of cold or warm air to the rooms in your house. If there are leaks and holes in your ducts, you will lose a lot of air. In fact, fractures in the ductwork can increase your energy bill by 20 percent or more. Seal any gaps and ensure all of the connectors are tight. Because ductwork is hidden within ceilings and walls, a licensed specialist should perform a full cleaning of your ductwork. Condensation results in an accumulation of moisture in the air ducts. Moisture can corrupt your system and can lead to the development of fungus and mold. If you notice water damage to the unit, contact a professional immediately. Do not try to repair the system on your own because there could be many different issues causing in the problem. However, you can maintain parts of your ductwork by keeping it clean and dry, removing registers and examining and drying the noticeable parts of the ducts. You can further inspect the visible areas of the ducts for water damage or wear.
4. Check and maintain fan belts on outdoor unit.
Check the condition of the fan belts frequently and replace or make adjustments to them if needed. You can purchase most parts at your local home improvement or hardware store. It is critical that you buy the correct replacement part for your precise model. The right components ensure that your A/C system is running at maximum performance, and they play a pivotal role in reducing your energy bills.
5. Schedule a professional pre-season tune-up.
You should hire a professional to inspect and tune your air conditioning unit annually. It will ensure that your unit is running at full capacity while using a minimal amount of energy. A licensed contractor possesses the right tools, knowledge and skills to unclog, fix or upgrade your system. This will keep it running efficiently and address any problems before they become larger dilemmas. The cost of a seasonal tune-up is a minimal investment that can prolong the life of your system when regularly performed.
Call Assured Climate at 804-739-0500 to schedule a pre-season tune up.