6 Steps to Annual Air Conditioner Maintenance

We’ve previously written about Why You Should do AC Maintenance and want to continue that by sharing how you should do it. Below are six essential steps to annual air conditioner maintenance, many of which you can do on your own.

1. Filters

Air filters are designed to keep dirt, dust, hair, and much more from entering your air conditioner and damaging it. However, these filters fill up over time. Clogged and dirty air filters force your unit to work harder. Eventually, they will fail and allow some or most of the contaminants they were meant to stop into the system. This results in filthy air and potential damage to the unit. However, changing your air filters as recommended by your owner’s manual can save you money, including the cost of the filter itself. The Department of Energy states that routinely cleaning or replacing your A/C filters can reduce your consumption by 5% to 15%.

2. Condenser and Evaporator Coils

The air conditioner’s coils also collect dirt over time. A clean filter helps prevents this, but it will still collect dirt as the year passes. This dirt decreases airflow and covers it which reduces the coil’s ability to absorb heat and cool properly. You should check your coils every year and clean as necessary, both in the indoor and outdoor units.

For outdoor units, clear the dirt and debris near the unit. This includes clearing the dryer vents, leaves, and grass bits, which are all common sources of dirt and debris. Clean the areas around the coil, remove any debris, and trim plants back at least two feet to allow for adequate airflow around the unit.

3. Coil Fins

Aluminum fins located on evaporator and condenser coils can be easily bent to block airflow through the coil. You may purchase a tool called a fin comb at your hardware store that can comb the fins back into their nearly original position.

4. Condensate Drains

Your air conditioner needs to expel liquids from time to time. The condensate drain should be free and clear of any blockage or it could damage your air conditioner and property.

5. Insulate

Make sure all insulation on your property is in place and functioning correctly. This keeps cool air from escaping and forcing your unit to work harder to cool the property. Types of insulation include: window seals, door strips, weather stripping, foam insulation for attics, and more.

6. Get a Professional

While you can do many of these annual air conditioner maintenance tasks yourself, we highly recommend having a professional do the more advanced ones. They include items such as:

  • Inspect electrical wiring, contacts, etc.
  • Check coolant levels and fill.
  • Inspect and clean essential components.
  • Flush drains and check for leaks.
  • Adjust and test thermostat.

Annual Air Conditioner Maintenance in Lodi California

Blackwell Services is a locally owned company that specializes in improving the air quality and performance of cooling systems in Galt, Lockford, Manteca, Stockton, and the surrounding areas. Feel free to contact us to learn more about how we can perform annual maintenance on your air conditioner.

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