Your air-conditioner is your savior from the sweltering heat. You rely on it for your comfort and convenience and like all machines it relies you for its routine maintenance. Maintaining your aircon is vital to its efficiency and lifespan and can help you avoid costly repairs. So what can you do? Here are some tips…
5 DIY Steps to Expand Your Units Functionality and Lifespan
- Clean and change the filter: One of the most important and easiest tasks you can do yourself is to clean or replace the filters in your aircon. A clogged filter can drastically decrease your unit’s efficiency by obstructing airflow. Overtime, obstructed airflow may lead to air bypassing the filter, carrying dust and debris directly into the evaporator coil which damages the coil’s heat absorbing capacity. During the cooling season filters should be cleaned or replaced on a monthly basis and potentially twice a month if in constant use. To clean the filter, turn off the unit, remove the filter, scrub it with dishwashing soap and a soft bristled brush, allow the filter to dry and hit it with the vacuum to get any dust you missed and then snap it back into place.
- Clean the cooling coils annually: While cleaning your filters will prevent the coils from becoming dirty quickly, the evaporator coil and the condenser coil will still gather up dirt and dust over time. To prevent this from occurring it is important to check and clean your coils annually. One of the simplest ways to clean the coils is to spray on a cleaning agent designed for this purpose. These coil sprays can be found at a local hardware store.
- Clean the area around your unit: By cleaning the area around the coils you can help lower debris. You’ll want to trim back foliage so that it’s two feet away from your unit in all directions to ensure adequate airflow. During the winter when your unit is not in use you may want to cover your unit as well to avoid debris falling in with a piece of plywood or plastic. You don’t want to cover all sides however due to moisture buildup.
- Clean the fins: Coil fins can be easily blocked and bent. With a fin comb you can purchase through an air conditioning company you can comb the fins back into practically their original condition. You can also spray gently with a garden hose, from the inside out, to remove built up dirt.
- Clean the drains: The cooling coils create humidity in the air that condenses into a pan and is drained through a tube. Overtime algae and mold can build up to block a drain. A plugged drain can cause damage by flooding leaking onto the floor or if your system has a drain float it will stop cooling the air to avoid flooding. Locate your drain and use a wet/dry vacuum for two to three minutes to suck out and build up that might be clogging it.
- By regularly cleaning your unit and inspecting it for damage you can ensure your AC is running smoothly. When you’re not home be sure to turn off your unit or turn up the thermostat to lesson the work for your unit so that it lasts longer. In addition to the unit itself, be sure to clean indoor vents and if you have pets check vents and filters more frequently due to hair buildup and dander. If you notice strange noises, water leaks, uneven cooling, air temps not matching the thermostat or increased utility bills you should call for AC repair before the problem escalates.
Moreover, a yearly tune up by an air con repair service professional can handle the DIY annual cleanings making sure everything is thoroughly done and in fine working order. Not servicing your unit can lead to warranty breaches and voiding and cut your units lifespan short. Neglected cooling systems can cause fires and lead to carbon monoxide in your home.
By annually having your unit serviced by a professional aircon technician, you can ensure its safety and functionality. A simple tune up can reduce the noisiness of your unit, help you avoid potential costly breakdowns, and remove dust, dirt, and allergen buildups that can affect your air quality.