Your home’s air conditioner needs a regular tune-up just like your car does. Most companies will offer a yearly service where they will come out twice a year to maintain the unit and set it up for summer and winter operating seasons. If you don’t know much about air conditioners, here are some quick tips and facts:
Your home’s air conditioner consists of three main parts:
- 1. The compressor: It’s the large outdoor unit which is usually on the side of your house or behind the garage. It compresses the refrigerant, or Freon®, into a liquid that then evaporates, resulting in cooling.
- 2. The blower unit: Pushes the air throughout the system.
- 3. The ductwork: Circulates the air. Cool air is carried into the home; warm air is exhausted.
Anything having to do with refrigerant should be left to professionals. Hire someone to inspect the refrigerant and the compressor lines.
Here are several do-it-yourself tune-up tasks for your home’s air conditioner:
- • Change the air conditioner filters: Schedule a day each month to change your filters. It can be the first, the fifteenth or any day you will remember each month, just pick a date so you do not forget. Check the number on the filter that is already in the system, and buy the same size when it needs to be replaced. Usually people use the day the electric bill comes in as a reminder to change the filter.
- • Check for debris: After you change the filter, walk around the outside unit and check for obstructions. Clear any leaves or debris that might be caught in the grate. Cut back bushes that may be preventing airflow to the unit. There should be two feet of clear space around the unit.
- •Check the condensate removal system: Condensation occurs when warm air passes through the cooling coil. That condensation drips to a drain or a pan under the unit. If there is a pan, you need to empty it as it gets full. Many companies recommend putting a few ounces to a half cu of white vinegar down the tube to keep it clean. And many say never to use bleach because it can damage the coils inside the unit.
- • Clean the compressor: The outdoor unit will get dirty and need cleaning, at least annually. Make sure you shut off the power to the unit before beginning. You can then hose off the dirt.
If you’d like a referral to an air conditioning specialist for those times when you need to hire a professional, I’m happy to share my recommendations.
Call me at 321-443-4028 or email me at info@PaulAntonelli.com for more information.