Having an air conditioner is an important part of keeping your home comfortable during the hot summer months. For the air conditioner to work properly, you will need to perform some regular maintenance. A lack of maintenance will diminish the machine’s cooling capabilities, and it will also make the air conditioner less efficient.
Many homeowners are simply unaware of the importance of regular air conditioner maintenance, and some just don’t know the schedule with which this work should be done. Depending on some specifics, an air conditioner service schedule can vary, but there are some basics that can help a homeowner to maintain their air conditioner.
For some of the most basic air conditioner maintenance, you have to clean or replace your filter. Dirty filters can affect the air quality in the home, and it can inhibit airflow to the system, making the machine work harder to cool the home.
A general rule of thumb is to clean or replace the filters once a month during the usage season. If you only run the air conditioner occasionally, you might be able to push this to every two months, but it is better to just get in the habit of doing it on the first day each month.
Over time, the coils on your air conditioner can get dirty, and this will lead to reduced cooling and a lack of efficiency. As dirt and dust accumulate on the evaporator coil, it acts like an insulator, and this will limit the coil’s ability to absorb heat from the air.
The coils on an air conditioner should be checked and cleaned at least once a year. If you were to live in a region where the air conditioner gets used for more of the year, it might even be a good idea to perform this task twice a year.
The condensate line removes the moisture that accumulates in the system when your air conditioner is in operation. If this line gets clogged, it can reduce the efficiency of the unit, increase humidity in the air and it can also increase the risk of water damage.
This is another job that can be done once a year. For most systems, you can clear the condensate drain by passing a stiff piece of wire down the line.
Professional Air Conditioner Service
In some cases, you might find some air conditioner problems that require the attention of a professional. You will also find that there are some maintenance tasks you cannot do on your own. Occasionally, you will need to check the refrigerant levels and have the machine inspected for leaks. This is one of the jobs that would require service from a professional HVAC technician.
Getting an annual inspection and cleaning is recommended for most systems. Beyond checking the coolant levels and looking for leaks, a professional can check the electrical connections, the condition of the belts, inspect the ducts and they can clean the coils.
If you have the time and you are willing to do it, you can perform much of your own air conditioner maintenance. That said, there are some parts of air conditioner maintenance that will require professional attention. Beyond just cleaning and inspecting the air conditioner, a professional HVAC technician may also be able to provide advice that will help improve the performance of the system.