Saturday, November 16, 2013

Guest Post: Best Ways To Maintain Your Air Conditioner

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Machines have taught us that if we maintain them on a regular basis they will give us hours, months and years of devoted service and come through when we need them most. Ignore them and they'll fail at the worst possible moment. Your air-conditioner works the same way. Ignore recommended maintenance and it won't care if your house is 95 degrees and your mother-in-law is coming for the weekend. You're left standing there kicking yourself for not doing what you should have done. If your unit has failed the first thing you do is call local air-conditioning specialist. They will come and save the day. A qualified specialist does everything you cannot or should not attempt. 1-Check refrigerant level and look for potential leaks. 2-Check for leaks in ducting. 3-Test the operation of the heart and soul of your unit, the condenser and evaporator. 4-Check all electrical connections. AC units naturally vibrate and connections may loosen up over time. This is not an all inclusive list but does give you a guide for what you need to do and try to maintain the AC yourself.

The maintenance you perform annually will go a long way in making sure your AC unit runs properly. A well maintained unit will result in more efficient use and lower energy cost. Schedule your maintenance well before the anticipated heating season. Nothing worse than trying to get service on the first really hot day of the season along with everyone else. And whats really embarrassing is if the unit failed from something simple because you didn't get it maintained at the beginning of the cooling season. Point made, plan early. There are really only three items that are critical. Lets start with the filter. All the air in the house must go through the filter. If the house is in a dusty region or you have furry pets, changing the filter more often is required. For the average house, change the filter every one to two months. Don't use damaged filters or try to shake off the dirt and reuse the old filter. Either your unit will run for longer periods of time because it has a hard time sucking the air through the filter, or the coil will get coated with dirt and it will lose its ability to absorb heat. Either scenario equals big energy use. They do make re-useable filters that you wash off in the sink. Keep in mind however that they also will have to eventually be replaced. Speaking of coils, with time they do accumulate dirt and with great care clean the coils. If your fan fins are smashed or bent get a fin comb and straighten them out. This condition can also lead to  poor airflow around the outside of your unit. Speaking of airflow outside your AC unit, check the foliage growing around the unit housing. Give it a good two feet of clear space for air outside to circulate around your unit. One last item to check and then you're done. A clogged condensation drain should be washed out with bleach water to get rid of any junk that may have built up in the pipe. These drain pipes have been known to backup into the house causing unnecessary water damage. When the cooling season is over remove the room AC unit and store it or if you have central air, put a plastic cover over it to keep leaves, twigs and other damaging items away from your AC unit. A little bit of attention from you will keep your AC unit in good health, both machine and your pocketbook.

1 comment:

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