Most homeowners already know the importance of air conditioning maintenance, but many do not. Considering the fact that two-thirds of American homes have at least one air conditioning unit, air conditioning repair services are in more demand than ever. With proper maintenance, many problems can be prevented. Below are four examples of failed maintenance checks and how to fix them.
Never replaced or cleaned air filterOne of the most important things in air conditioning maintenance is cleaning or replacing the air filter. Experts recommend that homeowners do this every month during seasons in which you use your unit the most, and once during the off months. Failing to do so can result in common air conditioner performance issues like reduced efficiency.
If you need help finding the air filter in order to clean or replace it, it can be found either:
- Behind the return air grille on a wall or ceiling in a centrally located room of the house.
- Inside the blower compartment of the air handler or furnace.
- In a slot on the side, bottom, or top of your furnace.
Failing to check the wiring and componentsA common reason for air conditioning repair is overheating. It is important to know when to have air conditioning maintenance done so that wiring and other components can be checked.
To perform a simple maintenance check, start by turning off the power to the unit. Next, remove the access panel on the condensing unit and check for signs of overheating. These signs include blackened or burned-looking wires and melted insulation on wires. Electrical connections can also be tested. Consult a professional if you do not feel comfortable performing this maintenance on your own.
Failing to check the fan on the condensing unit
If you're following these tips in order, you should already be at the condensing unit. With the power still off, check the fan on the outside unit. Make sure it is still in good condition and replace the blades if you see any cracks or chips. Older units may require oiling as well.
Failing to clean the outside unitJust because it is out of sight, does not mean it is out of mind. Your outside air conditioning unit should be checked for any leaves, dirt, or grass clippings that might have fallen on top or around it. When these things are left alone and for too long, air flow and system capacity can decrease by 5%.
To clean your outside unit, use a garden hose to gently wash off debris. Start at the top with the hose held at a 45-degree angle. Despite your urge, DO NOT use a power washer for this kind of maintenance. It can cause more harm than good.
Knowing that heating and air makes up 43% of your home's utility bills, it is important that air conditioning maintenance is down regularly to save you the most money. Consider the above tips on air conditioning maintenance and extend the life of your unit while saving money.