Only a professional maintenance technician can keep your air conditioner in like-new condition with annual visits. But that doesn’t mean you can’t help keep it working as intended between maintenance visits.
Keeping everything clean will help you catch any smaller problems before they become serious. Something as innocent as a coating of wet grass from your lawn mower on the wrong part of your air conditioner can eventually cause your entire system to fail. So to keep everything in good shape, here are a few tips.
Change the air filters regularly, especially if you live in the urban centre of Kingston
This is important for the wellbeing of your air conditioner and your family’s health.
Dirty air filters don’t scrub the air as well as clean air filters. Sometimes they actually make the air worse.
Plus, the air conditioner has to work harder to force air through the blocked up air filter. This means the air conditioner wears out much faster than it should. A typical air conditioner will last 12-15 years, as long as a typical owner keeps the air filter clean.
Once a month, replace or clean your air filters.
- For 1″ filters, look for one you can’t see through when you hold it up to the light to make sure it actually works in the first place.
- For larger washable filters, thoroughly rinse and dry them every 30 days. Swapping between 2 filters every month is easiest.
Make sure the drain never gets clogged
A byproduct of the cooling is condensation in your air conditioner.
The condensation drains through a series of tubes and out a central drain.
If debris clogs up the tubes, you can end up with some pretty awful fungus and mould. The whole drainage system can get clogged, and your air conditioner can overheat.
Once a year, as part of regular air conditioner maintenance, your Haven Home maintenance technician uses high powered vacuum to suck everything out of the pipes.
Between visits, you can visually inspect the drain at least once a month. If there’s a buildup of liquid in your drain pan or in the pipe, do your best to remove any debris that may be clogging the outlet.
You can use a blow dryer or shop vac. Whatever fits in the space you have.
To keep gunk from growing in the first place, every three months you can add 1/4 cup bleach and 3/4 cup water directly to your drain line’s access port. If a wire protrudes from the plug on your access port switch off your air conditioner’s breaker before you remove the cap.
Keep your condenser clean
Most of the repair calls we receive result in some sort of work on the condenser.
During the off season, your condenser can get clogged with leaves, dirt and other gunk. This blocks air circulation and can actually keep your air conditioning unit from cooling at all.
On the first of every month, trim back any grass, weeds, hedges, or other plants, and brush away any leaves or dirt stuck inside your outdoor air conditioning unit. Switch off your air conditioner and rinse the outside with a garden hose.
Fresh batteries are the best
Your maintenance tech will calibrate your thermostat as part of your annual air conditioner maintenance, but if it burns out between routine checkups, the batteries are pretty easy to replace yourself.
Some thermostats have flip open battery covers, but usually you’ll have to gently pull the thermostat or its faceplate away from the wall. Just swap them out and pop the thermostat back in place.
There you have it! You can have a hand in maintaining your home comfort equipment without being an expert.
For all the other air conditioner maintenance jobs, book a visit from one of our professional technicians. We’re your best source for professional, courteous service in the HVAC industry.