If youb re considering trying to do your own air conditioning maintenance this spring, youb re partially on the right track: there are a number of tasks you should do during the spring and summer to make sure that your AC works at peak efficiency and at reduced danger of encountering repair needs. However, the actual maintenance jobb the full tune-up, cleaning, and inspectionb must be left to experienced professionals who follow special procedures and use advanced tools.
What You Can Do for Maintenance
The most important task that you can do yourself when it comes to taking care of your air conditioner over the summer is to change the air filter on a regular basis. If you havenb t already changed the filter, do it now to prep the system for summer. (If you arenb t familiar with how to change or clean the filter, ask your maintenance technicians when they come to your home.) During the rest of the season, you will need to change the filter ever one to three months. The frequency depends on the filter type: less expensive filters will need more frequent changes. You should also make regular visual inspections on the filter to get an idea of how quickly it collects debris.
Another important step to protect your air conditioning system is to see if there are any shut or blocked vents in the rooms. The shutters behind the vent registers should never be closed off: this doesnb t help save energy by preventing cool air from entering the room, it instead causes a pressure increase through the ventilation system, leading to leaky duct work. Make sure the vents are all open and unobstructed.
Finally, check around the outside condenser cabinet on a regular basis to make sure that it has clearance on all sides of at least a foot. Keep leaves, loose soil, and plants away from the cabinet so that the air conditioner can effectively exhaust heat and wonb t suffer from grime across the coil or possible damage to its interior components.
For everything else, you must call on HVAC professionals: inspections, coil cleanings, adjustments, tests, etc. The process only takes about an hour, and itb s one of the best investments you can make in your home cooling system.