The Importance of Air Conditioner Maintenance

To function efficiently and effectively throughout its years of service, an air conditioner’s coils, fins, and filters need regular maintenance. Neglecting the much needed air conditioner maintenance ensures that the unit’s performance declines while energy use steadily increases. This is not what you would want for both the unit and your electric bill.

Air Conditioner Filters
The most important air conditioner maintenance task ensures your unit’s efficiency and this is to routinely clean or replace its filters. Dirty and clogged filters obstruct normal airflow. With normal airflow blocked, air will bypass the filter and carry dirt directly into the unit’s evaporator coil, eventually impairing the coil’s heart absorbing capacity. Cleaning your dirty filter or replacing it can lower your air conditioner’s energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent.

With central air conditioners, filters are located somewhere along the return duct’s length. Some filters are reusable while others have to be replaced. Room air conditioners have a filter mounted on the grill, facing the room. Common filter locations are in furnaces, ceilings, walls, or in the air conditioner itself.

Filters have to be cleaned or replaced every month or two during the cooling season. If the air conditioning unit is always in use, they need more frequent attention. If it is subjected to dusty surroundings or there are furry pets in the house, check the filters every other week.

Air Conditioner Coils
The evaporator and condenser coils collect dirt over the unit’s duration of service. A clean filter prevents the evaporator coil from easily getting dirty. Eventually, though, dirt accumulates and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. To avoid this issue, perform annual air conditioner maintenance or clean it as necessary.

If there is foliage nearby or the outdoor environment is dusty, outdoor condenser coils can be very dirty. You can easily notice if dirt is collecting on the coil’s fins. Minimize debris and dirt near the condenser unit since they are potential sources of debris and dirt.

Coil Fins
The aluminum fins that can be found on condenser and evaporator coils can block airflow through the coil if they are bent. Find a tool called a “fin comb” that will comb these fins back into their original condition.

Condensate Drains
Find a stiff wire and pass it through the air conditioning unit’s drain channels occasionally. These drain channels can be clogged, preventing the air conditioner from reducing humidity and ensuing excess moisture may discolor the carpet or walls.

Windows Seals for Room Air Conditioner
When the cooling season has just started, inspect the seal between the window frame and the air conditioner. Make sure it makes contact with the unit’s metal case. Moisture can damage the seal and allow cool air to escape from the room.

When Winter Comes
Cover your room air conditioner or remove and store it in the winter. Also cover the outdoor unit of a central air conditioner to protect it from debris and the winter weather.

When to Hire a Professional
When it looks like your unit will need more than regular air conditioner maintenance, get the help of a professional service technician. A technician who is well trained will fix the problem of your air conditioning system. Better call them up before the summer officially starts otherwise you’ll have to be on queue for service which can take between a few days to a week depending on the number of customers on the technician’s list.