Just like any mechanical system, your air conditioner requires regular maintenance. This will ensure it’s performing safely, effectively and efficiently. Regular AC maintenance will also reduce strain on the unit and system, prolonging its life and preventing costly repairs or replacements.
Not sure where to begin? First things first, turn off the electricity to your AC unit for safety reasons. Then follow our air conditioning maintenance checklist:
Keep debris away from the outside of the unit.
Periodically, visually inspect your air conditioner and make sure it’s clear of debris like grass, leaves or other items. It’s important to have at least two feet of cleared space around your outdoor air conditioning unit to ensure proper air flow.
Remove debris from the interior of the AC unit.
As time passes, debris can get inside the air conditioner unit. Each spring and fall remove the fan cage on the unit using a screw driver or wrench. Then you can remove the larger debris, like leaves, away with your hand. Use a shop vacuum to get dirt, dust and smaller debris from parts within the interior. While you’re at it, you can vacuum dust out of the fins too. Never use a garden hose or pressure washer on your AC unit!
Level your air conditioning unit.
Over time, the pad your AC unit sits on can become unlevel as the ground sinks beneath it. If the condenser unit is not level, it can fail. If it’s not level, use shims to even it out.
Check the evaporator drain.
Inside your home, the warm air is blown through the evaporator coil. The cold coil absorbs heat and cools the air so it can be blown back into your home. This causes the humidity from the warm air to condense on the coil. That water drips on the pan below it and from the pan, the water goes down a drain tube where it’s drained into a floor drain, sink or back outside. Over time, things like algae growth can clog the drain. This can cause flooding around the area or for the system to stop cooling.
The drain tube is usually a small PCV pipe coming out of the evaporator coil enclosure. Use a shop vac to clear the drain. You might have to tape the end of the vacuum to the drain tube and let it run for a few minutes to clear the clog.
Check and clean evaporator coil
Find the evaporator coil inside the HVAC blow unit (inside the house) and use a soft brush to dust it off. You can pick up a no-rinse coil cleaner at your local hardware store. Use that on the coil. Don’t worry about it foaming up as it will drip into the drain pain.
Clean the drain pan.
Use hot water and soap to clean out the drain pan. Some people like to pour a 50/50 water-bleach solution down the drain to help keep it clear of algae and mildew growth inside.
Change the air filter.
The air filter keeps dust and debris from your ductwork from entering the HVAC system. A clogged filter can diminish your HVAC’s energy efficiency, performance and cause unnecessary wear and tear on the system. It needs to be changed every 4 months or so, but you should check your system’s manufacturer guidelines to be sure. Doing it in the spring and in the fall is a good rule of thumb. Make sure your new filter has the same airflow rating. You don’t want the indoor coil to freeze from reduced airflow. Learn how to change an HVAC filter.
Turn on the power and do a test run.
Crank up the AC and let it run for an hour or so. If you notice an issue, double check the thermostat and make sure it’s on cooling mode. While you’re at it, you can program the thermostat to keep your home cool during certain parts of the day. If the AC isn’t working properly, contact Furnace Solutions for air conditioner repair.
Schedule your annual Air Conditioner Service.
You should have your air conditioner inspected and serviced by a licensed HVAC technician at least once a year. Spring is a good time to schedule this service, so you know your unit is in good working order for the hot summer days ahead. Having this done will ensure your AC is running safely, properly and efficiently. It will catch minor issues before they become major and extend the life of your cooling system. Here are some things air conditioning companies in Edmonton might include in your service:
- Check and clean condenser coil
- Check refrigerant charge
- Inspect and test all controls
- Inspect and clean contacts and relays
- Inspect unit wiring and tighten loose connections if necessary
- Test capacitors and disconnect
- Lubricate moving parts including motors and bearings
- Inspect and adjust all belts and pulleys in the system
- Check and unclog drain tube
- Replace air filter at your discretion
- Check the voltage and amperage of blower motor, compressor and fan motors
- Give all motors an inspection and cleaning
- Check and calibrate thermostat
- Make recommendations for repairs or part replacement
If you have questions regarding your air conditioner and its maintenance requirements, contact Furnace Solutions! We offer 360-degree inspections and provide 30-point reports on your HVAC system. We will also give you friendly advice on how to keep your air conditioner running smoothly, preventing costly or recurring issues.