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Spring Air Conditioning Maintenance TipsMay 8th, 2020 by
Spring is here and because of the perfect temperatures, the last thing on your mind is probably your home’s air conditioner. Spring is a great time to give your air conditioner some TLC so you can ensure that you are ready for the inevitable heat of summer in the coming months. To help educate and provide you with some guidance, we’ve put together a list of spring air conditioning maintenance tips.
Change Your HVAC Air Filter
Do yourself a favor and don’t wait until your HVAC unit’s air filter is completely clogged before you change it. When the filter of your unit becomes clogged, it doesn’t operate as efficiently as it could. Inefficient operation translates into your air conditioner using more power than it has to, which means you’ll be spending more money than necessary on stagnant airflow.
If you use your unit frequently, or if you have pets in your home, you may want to consider changing your filter roughly once a month. If you prefer, you can switch to reusable air filters that you can simply clean and replace.
Inspect Your Air Conditioner Heat Pump
Depending on where you live, your area could experience powerful storms or strong winds in the spring. If so, we recommend that you get into the habit of carefully inspecting your unit’s exterior heat pump after bad weather to see if you notice any damage or obstructing debris, such as grass clippings, leaves, or sticks.
You want to maintain at least a couple feet of clearance around your unit so it can “breathe.” Trim any nearby bushes, hedges, and plants around the unit.
Clear Out the Condensate Drain
The condensate drain line is what your air conditioner uses to get rid of humidity from the air. If your HVAC unit has a condensate drain clog caused by algae, dirt, dust, or debris, you could experience overflowing in the drain pan. Should that happen, the overflow could trickle its way into your home.
To prevent any overflow, add a half bleach, half water solution directly to the access point, often found in the attic. Alternatively, you can buy a commercial solution from a hardware store. If a DIY solution doesn’t resolve your drain issues, you may want to consider hiring a professional.
Clean Your Evaporator Coil
Another important maintenance tip is to clean your unit’s evaporator coil. Just like with your condensate drain, you can make your own homemade solution to take care of your evaporator coil. Mix a solution of distilled water and dishwasher liquid to clean the coil, and rinse it off with white vinegar. If you like, you can also buy evaporator coil cleaner, some varieties of which are no-rinse.
Check Your Ducts
Besides the air conditioner unit itself, you also need to check the ducts that cooled air blows through. Ducts can develop leaks, which means all the cooled air isn’t blowing through your home. Leaks lead to inefficient operation, which often results in higher-than-necessary electricity bills.
Have an HVAC technician come out to your home this spring to see if there are any leaks, ripping, or sagging in your ducts. If anything looks off, have it taken care of as soon as possible.
Inspect Refrigerant Levels
Another essential aspect of unit efficiency is proper refrigerant levels. You should not assume that more of the chemical is better. You do not want too much or too little, as an imbalance of refrigerant can make your air conditioning unit inefficient.
As you check your refrigerant levels, inspect the insulation on your lines to determine if any insulation is damaged or outright missing. In either case, replace the insulation as necessary.
Tighten Electrical Connections
If you feel comfortable doing so, check your HVAC unit’s electrical connections to determine whether they’re loose. If they are, tighten them up.
Keep in mind that they may be faulty rather than loose. Faulty connections can be just as bad as loose connections, and both can present a safety hazard. Do not hesitate to leave this job to a professional.
Protect Your Warranty
While not an outright maintenance tip, taking steps to protect your unit’s manufacturer’s warranty will help make your life easier. Regularly maintaining your unit is often a stipulation for manufacturers to honor your warranty and will help extend the overall life of your air conditioning unit.
When you hire a professional technician for a maintenance check, have him or her look over your warranty and walk you through what you need to do to protect it. There could be unclear language or hidden clauses that you don’t know to look for. You don’t want to find out the hard way that using off-brand replacement parts on your unit voids the warranty.
Leave the DIY Spring Maintenance Fixes to the Professionals
While there are plenty of DIY fixes for air conditioner issues, you should not do more than simple maintenance. You have to remember that your unit operates off electricity, natural gas, refrigerant, and carbon monoxide. These are elements you should not handle by yourself because you could end up doing more harm than good.
HVAC professionals have the experience and education necessary to understand the issue you’re having and will recommend the proper fix. Without the proper knowledge, DIY repairs can put you and your family in danger.
Best Pick Reports is dedicated to ensuring that you have access to the most reputable HVAC technicians in your area. Learn our research methodology for recommending a local professional to better understand how we work. You can also reach out to us with any questions that you may have about spring maintenance for air conditioning units.
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