We all want to make our air conditioning systems last as long as possible. That requires appropriate care of the system on an ongoing basis. There are several ways that homeowners, with the help of a licensed HVAC technician, can work on air conditioning maintenance throughout the year.
Change Your Air Filters
A monthly check of your air filters and actually changing them out on a reasonably regular basis is the most important air conditioning maintenance step you can take. Even better for homeowners, it’s something you can do on your own and in just a few minutes. Just pull the filters out and make sure they’re cleaned. A dirty air filter will prevent your system from flowing freely, it will put strain on the system and–if left unchecked for too long–will shorten the life of your air conditioning unit.
It’s easy for debris to gather around your outdoor condenser unit. That debris, along with everything from branches to leaves to dirt, can get inside the coils. As this builds up, it can have a lot of the same negative effects that dirty air filters do–namely, a reduced flow of cool air. That in turn leads to a system that doesn’t last as long and may end up costing more to run.
Along the side of your condenser unit are the tiny pieces of metal that make up the air vent. These are called “the fins”. It’s not hard for fins to become damaged, given their exposure to the elements. Even a few damaged fins can block up your air flow.
Depending on the scope of the damage, you still might be able to do this on a DIY basis. You can buy a “fin comb” that can pull the fins back into their correct position. But this is work that has to be done with a certain delicacy–the fins are in awfully close quarters and pulling one of them too hard can have ripple effects on others. When you call a licensed air conditioning maintenance professional, they assume the responsibility for getting the job done right.
Let’s say we have one of those August days where it’s about 80 degrees, but the skies are overcast, and the humidity is thick. Your air conditioning system doesn’t seem to be doing a lot to help everyone breathe a little easier. The problem might lie in the condensate drain. When a condensate drain doesn’t do its job–to drain water from the system–the air conditioner will not function properly and the excess of water in the system makes humidity reduction virtually impossible.
This is another fix that can be done DIY but might benefit from some professional assistance. If you have a stiff wire, you can pass it through the drain channels to try and get everything cleared. Or you can call us, and we’ll come out and do it for you.
These are all reasonably basic steps of air conditioning maintenance that most people can do. More advanced work should be done by a professional. Examples of this include calibrating the thermostat, inspecting the electrical connections, ensuring the parts are property lubricated
The smartest approach is to have an annual inspection done just before the weather really gets warm. Studies have shown that regular checkups can result in direct savings on your energy bill, along with indirect savings in what you end up not spending on repairs or needing to replace a system earlier than you otherwise might. Furthermore, licensed technicians are trained to have a holistic view of your entire air conditioning system and to spot problems before they rear their ugly head on the summer’s hottest days.
Climate Care serves the Central Valley as a family-owned business, from Sacramento to Stockton and Modesto and more. We understand how much most people want to be able to fix things themselves, but we also know how much we can help them save in the long run through simple maintenance checkups.
Our family-owned and locally operated company prioritizes your comfort and safety. Count on our fully trained & licensed HVAC professionals to get the job done right, every time!