Seasonal air conditioner maintenance is the most important factor in extending the lifespan and maintaining the efficiency of your central air conditioning system. Ordinary wear and tear, especially dirt and grime buildup, can cause your AC to overwork, struggle, overheat and eventually break down.
Regular cleaning helps intercept any smaller problems before they become serious. Something as innocuous as a layer of leaves on your outdoor unit can eventually cause your entire system to fail.
Keep everything in good shape with these 4 tips.
1. Change your filters on the 1st of every month.
This is the most important chore for your family’s health.
Old, dirty air filters don’t adequately filter your air; they allow dirt and grime to build up in your ducts, which:
- Lowers the overall efficiency of your system.
- Allows microbes and mites to take hold.
- Exacerbate breathing difficulties.
Once a month, replace or clean your air filters.
- For 1″ filters, look for one you can’t see through when you hold it up to the light to make sure it’s actually doing the job in the first place
- For larger washable filters, thoroughly rinse and dry them every 30 days. Swapping between 2 filters every month is easiest.
2. Keep your drain line clear.
Condensation builds up inside your air conditioner and drains through a series of tubes. If left stagnant, these pipes get mouldy. The mould can eventually clog your entire drainage system.
Once a year, as part of regular air conditioner maintenance, we use a high powered vacuum to suck everything out of the pipes. To make sure you don’t run into any mould issues between visits, visually inspect the drain every month. Spot a buildup of liquid in your drain pan or in the pipe? Try to wipe away any debris clogging the drain.
To stop gunk growing in the first place, add 1/4 cup bleach mixed with 3/4 cup water directly to your drain line’s access port (usually a T-valve) every 3 months. If the plug on your access port has a wire coming out of it, make sure to switch off your air conditioner’s breaker before you remove the cap, and be sure to replace it when you’re done.
3. Keep the condenser clean.
This is the #1 cause of mid-summer emergency calls we receive.
Through the year, your condenser gets clogged with leaves, dirt and other gunk. This hinders circulation and can actually stop the air conditioner from cooling altogether.
On the first of every month, visually inspect your air conditioner’s outdoor unit. Trim back any grass, weeds, hedges, or other plants, and remove or gently brush away any leaves or dirt caked just inside. Switch off your air conditioner and rinse the outside surface.
4. Replace the thermostat batteries.
Your Comfort Plus technician will calibrate your thermostat as part of the annual air conditioner maintenance, but if it goes out between routine checkups, the batteries are pretty easy to replace yourself.
Some thermostats have flip open battery covers, but usually you’ll have to gently pull the thermostat or its faceplate away from the wall. Just swap them out and pop the thermostat back in place – but make sure you shut off your thermostat’s breaker before you start to make sure you don’t get shocked.
There you have it! You can have a hand in maintaining your home comfort equipment without being an expert.
For all the other air conditioner maintenance jobs, book a visit with a member of our team. We’re your best source for professional, courteous service in the HVAC industry.