If you expect your cooling system to handle the heat of the greater Cleveland area’s summers, you’ll need to stay on top of your air conditioner maintenance. Annual professional maintenance alone isn’t enough. There are still a few things you as a homeowner need to do to keep your system going strong.
Clear the Way for Good Airflow
When an air conditioner doesn’t receive the airflow it needs, its energy efficiency drops and its components are placed under strain. A dirty air filter alone can cut your system’s efficiency by 5 to 15 percent. Check your filter monthly and replace it if it’s accumulated a layer of dust. Cheaper filters usually need monthly replacement, while higher-efficiency pleated models last longer.
Leaves and other debris around your outdoor condenser unit also impair airflow. As part of your regular air conditioner maintenance, periodically clean the outdoor unit’s exterior fins with a stiff brush. Once a year, shut down your system and use a wet vac to suck dirt from the fins. Remove the top grill and vacuum inside around the motor and fan.
Look After the Components
Dust on the evaporator coil acts as insulation, impairing the refrigerant’s ability to absorb heat. This lowers your system’s efficiency and strains the evaporator coil and compressor. Once or twice a year, inspect the coil and, if it’s dusty, clean it with foaming coil cleaner or compressed air. A coil with a thick layer of dust or corrosion should be professionally cleaned.
The condensate drain can develop algae blockages that stop water from draining. If this happens, either a safety switch will be triggered to shut down the system or the water will back up, possibly causing damage. To inhibit algae, pour half a cup of white vinegar into the drain once or twice a season. Carefully insert a thin wire into the drain to clear it. Periodically clear the outdoor end of the drain by sucking out debris with a wet vac.
If you could use a little help with your air conditioner maintenance, talk with the pros at Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. We proudly serve the greater Cleveland area.
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