Few household appliances offer as much sheer relief as a central air conditioner on a sweltering summer's day. But is your air conditioner truly ready for hot weather? Rather than gamble on your comfort, it's a good idea to do some preliminary maintenance. This article will provide two tips to ensure your air conditioner performs at its best.
1. Check and replace the air filter.
Your air conditioner's air filter has an important role to play, keeping dust and dirt away from sensitive internal mechanisms. Over time, however, a filter can become so clogged with debris that it becomes an impediment. By reducing the airflow through the system, an excessively dirty filter will not only greatly hamper the efficiency of your A/C, but also increase energy consumption by up to 15%.
Therefore, regularly checking and changing the filter is one of the most important maintenance tasks. Because the two systems utilize the same ductwork, most central air conditioners shares their air filter with the furnace. You will generally find it located along the main return duct.
If the filter appears clogged with dust, replace it with a fresh one. Be aware, however, that some air conditioners have reusable filters. These can be cleaned by first vacuuming away any loose debris, and then rinsing it thoroughly with a hose to remove smaller dust particles.
2. Clean the condenser coils.
The condenser is that large cubical unit, most often located just outside of your home. Because it is exposed to the elements, the condenser generally needs some routine cleaning at the beginning of summer. The first step in this process is to shut off power to the condenser, to protect yourself from the risk of electrocution.
Next you are going to use a vacuum to remove any debris that has accumulated in the metallic fins around the outside of the condenser. Just as with the air filter, dirty fins hamper air flow, leading to an overworked, under-performing air conditioner. Because these fins can be easily damaged, this task is best accomplished using a vacuum with a soft brush attachment. Bent fins may be straightened using a special condenser fin comb.
In many cases, the condenser fins won't be immediately accessible. Instead, you'll first need to remove the protective metal box that surrounds the condenser. Consult your manual to determine which screws you will need to loosen. After vacuuming away loose debris, use a garden hose to wash away any lingering dirt, and then carefully reinstall the box.Share
9 June 2015
Last summer, I began to get extremely hot in my home. My air conditioning system couldn’t adequately keep my home cool anymore. Therefore, I contacted an experienced HVAC contractor. This individual visited my home and thoroughly inspected my unit. If your air conditioner isn’t working like it once did, your air ducts may be clogged up. Thankfully, an expert HVAC contractor can determine if faulty air ducts are the cause of the hot temperatures inside your home. On this blog, you will discover how an HVAC contractor can properly inspect your air ducts. Stay cool and comfortable during the hot summer months!