Air Conditioner Maintenance Checklist.
Your Air Conditioner or HVAC is one of the most important systems at home. It keeps us cool during the summer and warm during the winter.
But did you know that routine, all-year-round air conditioner maintenance is required in order to keep it working as it should?
In today’s modern world we couldn’t imagine not having an air conditioning unit or a heating unit at home.
For that reason, just like with any other major system in your house, proper maintenance must be done in order to keep your home comfortable and the equipment running full force.
We’ve done our research and have compiled a simple air conditioner maintenance checklist for you to follow all year round.
Here are just a few simple steps that will keep you cool during the summer and toasty during the winter.
1. Optimal Thermostat Settings.
First things first, you need to learn how to operate your thermostat. There are many types of thermostats but your thermostat is your “remote control” for the A/C and Heater. The main settings, depending of your thermostat, are FAN, ON and AUTO.
Must people don’t know about the FAN setting. This setting allows you to run air through your house independently of the heater and A/C systems. This comes in handy during the spring and fall when the temperatures don’t ask for the use of the heater or A/C but you still want good air flow through your home.
The AUTO setting is the most commonly used and this setting, depending on if you have the Heater or Cooling setting on, clicks on and off to keep your home at the selected temperature.
If you have an outdated thermostat, thinking about replacing it is a really good idea. The updated versions now-a-days have tons of options that not only make your life easier, like smartphone connectivity through an app, but also can save you money by optimizing temperatures throughout the day depending on the outside temperature and your comfort level.
By now, most of us have seen or heard of the Nest thermostat. The Nest has four out of five stars and 14,000 plus reviews and therefore takes the number one spot as our top recommendation. This is why:
- Auto-Schedule: No more confusing programming. The Nest learns the temperatures you like and programs itself.
- Wi-Fi Thermostat: Connect the Nest Thermostat to Wi-Fi to change the temperature from your phone, tablet or laptop.
- Energy Saving: You’ll see the Nest Leaf when you choose a temperature that saves energy so it guides you in the right direction.
- Smart Thermostat: Early-On Nest learns how your home warms up and keeps an eye on the weather to get you the temperature you want when you want it.
- Home/Away Assist: The Nest Thermostat automatically turns itself down when you’re away to avoid heating or cooling an empty home.
- The Nest works with Amazon Alexa for voice control (Alexa device sold separately)
- Auto-Schedule: Nest learns the temperatures you like and programs itself in about a week.
2. Change Your Air Filters.
Changing or cleaning your air filter often is important. Depending on your type of unit, you may have a replaceable filter or one you clean once it gets filled up. Find out which type you have and be sure to have extras on hand for when you need to change your filter.
If you have never replaced or cleaned your filter, this is something you MUST DO. They keep the air quality of your home clean, catching dust, pet hair, lint and allergens. Replace them when visibly dirty; about every two months depending on the type you have.
Make sure when replacing them that the air flow direction of the unit matches the filters. Most filters will have arrows showing the air flow direction.
3. Keep The Outdoor Unit Clean
The outdoor unit of your air conditioning, or better known as the A/C Condenser, takes a beating all year round. Rain, heat, dust, leaves, dirt and grass are always coming into contact with the unit. For that reason, cleaning these outdoor components is important to keep the air flowing, your home cool and your electric bill down in the heat of the summer. Here is how to get the task done:
1. Turn Off The Power.
First, you need to turn off the thermostat from inside the house.
Then you need to find the outside power shutoff., this should be a covered metal box, usually attached to the side of the house. To turn it off, either pull out the plug/block or turn the switch to the off position.
If you can’t find the outdoor switch or want to make entirely sure the power to the unit is off, you can find the main power breaker box to the house and turn the switch to the A/C unit off.
2. Clean The Condenser Fins.
The best way to clean the condenser fins is with a shop-vac that has a soft brush attachment. Make sure all dirt, leaves and debris are properly removed either by hand or with the shop-vac. You want to be careful not to bend or damage any of the fins.
3. Straighten Fins.
Straightening the fins is a careful step because you don’t to want to do any damage to the fins or unit.
By using a condenser fin comb gently brush or straighten any bent or curved fins.
4. Rinse And Clean Fins.
In order to remove any left over dirt or debris, use a water hose on medium pressure and spray the fins.
Again, you need to be careful not to bend any of the fins by using high pressure on the water hose.
Additionally, you can purchase a coil cleaner to help you get rid stuck-on impurities.
This allows the proper flow of air through the coils and ultimately a longer lasting AC unit.
4. Clean The Condensation Drain Line. — BONUS TIP!
Okay, so your unit, more likely than not, has a condensation drain pipe which is used to remove excess condensed water when it builds up in the system. Over time, bacteria like mold, algae and mildew can form due to the humidity in the pipe.
A simple trick you should do to prevent this from happening is to keep a small bottle with about 5 parts water to 1 part bleach close to the unit or somewhere you can remember. Every couple of months or when you replace your air filters, pour about a two tablespoons into the pipe. The bleach will work on preventing any build up and keeping the drain line clear.
5. Professional Air Conditioner Maintenance
Lastly, it is important to have a professional perform air conditioner maintenance about once every year. They do tasks such as checking and cleaning the burner, checking pipes, checking electrical wiring and connections, lubricating the motor if necessary, test for Carbon Monoxide and many other things that most people, unless you have this type of work, don’t know how to perform.
All air conditioner systems need proper checks and with this simple, ready to follow, air conditioner maintenance checklist you can keep your A/C and Heater running smooth for years.
We hope these tips helped you get one step closer to CONQUERING YOUR HOME! Leave us a comment and let us know any other tricks and tips that you do to keep your air conditioner running properly.
Until next time!
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