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Many homeowners have air conditioning systems as some of the most expensive investments in their home. Spending the summer season in a house with a malfunctioned HVAC system can be an experience you never want to repeat. To avoid frequent air conditioner repair and ensure that your AC system serves you effectively and efficiently, you must practice some simple maintenance procedures.
Apart from simple regular maintenance, you need to have the system professionally serviced once a year. Here are some of the things you need to do for your system to remain in top condition throughout the year.
Clean the System’s Filter
It is easier and cheaper to clean the AC filter as compared to replacing a damaged one. Cleaning can be done using plain water. But if the dirt is too much and there is an unpleasant smell, you can soak the filter in water with scented soap.
Trained technicians in air condition repair in Chattanooga, TN, recommend the use of disposable filters which should be replaced after every three months. During an allergy season, or if you are a pet owner, you have to replace the filters more often. Once your filter is clogged, there is no free flow of air, which makes your system strain to deliver optimally. In most cases, filters come with some manufacturer’s instructions on how to maintain them and their dates of replacement.
Have a Programmable Thermostat for Your AC
With the current state of air conditioning technology, your HVAC system should have a programmable thermostat for best results. This AC component helps you to set the temperature levels of your house at will, and it is easy to use. Most homeowners can use it without the need for professional guidance and it doesn’t need frequent repair services.
Inspect and Clean the Area around the Outdoor Unit
Trees and other vegetation near the outdoor unit of your AC shed leaves that can build up and interfere with the airflow. You can trim the trees and bushes that are within a 2-feet range around your unit. Another problem caused by having vegetation around your unit is excess pollen production by plants, blocking the condensing unit. If this problem is not detected and fixed early enough, further damages that require costly air conditioner repair can happen.
Clean the AC Conditioner Coils
Both evaporator and condenser coils tend to collect dust and dirt with time. To avoid the accumulation of soil around the coils, ensure that your filters are clean. When dirt collects on the evaporator coil, it insulates it and reduces its ability to absorb heat. The only solution to this problem is to check and clean the evaporator coils regularly.
Condenser coils are also affected by dirt, especially if the surrounding environment is dusty and has vegetation. Visual observation can help you notice dirt presence on the fins. The common culprits considered as the sources of dirt around the condenser unit include fallen leaves, lawnmower, and the dryer vent. Clearing the trash around the unit helps to maintain the free flow of air and avoid expensive air conditioner repair services.
Inspect Your AC Wiring and Other Components
When doing air conditioner repair, use the service disconnect on your outdoor unit to turn off the unit’s power. Check for signs like burned or blackened long wires and melted insulation, which are an indication that the unit is overheating.
When working on the AC, correct all electrical disconnections, check on the capacitor using an electrical test meter, and replace a contactor switch with excess pitting. If you do not have the right tools to fix any of the detected problems, contact qualified HVAC contractors in Chattanooga, TN, for professional air conditioner repair services.
Check AC Fins
Both the condenser and the evaporator have fins that tend to bend with time and prevent the free flow of air. You should often check on your fins to ensure that they are not bent, but if they are, you can use a fin comb to straighten them. You can also contact your technician for professional air conditioner repair.
Clean the Condensate Drain
When your air conditioner is running, and you realize water paddling around the furnace, then your condensate drain tube is clogged. This is caused by bacteria that form slime, but it can be prevented through other means. Having a clogged condensate drain is dangerous because when water backs up, it can damage the ceiling, floors and walls. Consult a pro for air conditioner repair if you can’t handle the problem by yourself.
Preparing the AC for Winter
Your air conditioning unit largely helps during summer and winter, and you have to protect it against all factors that can damage it during these critical seasons. This type of HVAC system service prevents your unit from getting damaged by rust and incurring costly air conditioner repair damages. Below are some protective measures that will keep your AC intact before the summer season:
- First, turn off the unit to prevent it from turning on in the warm winter day.
- Clean your air conditioning unit with a hose to remove any debris like birds’ droppings, leaves, dead bugs, dirt, and dust, which prevent airflow.
- Install foam pipe covers around all exterior exposed pipes to help insulate the pipes, thus protecting them from freezing temperatures. Wrap the foam covers around using duct tape to hold them in place.
- Cover your air conditioning unit using a waterproof cover to prevent it from coming into direct contact with dirt while in storage. Wrap it tightly with vinyl ropes to prevent it from being blown away by strong wind.
During the winter season, often check on your air conditioner to ensure that the cover is in place and also remove any form of dirt on it.
Remember, your AC requires more than just regular maintenance for it to serve you longer. You should hire a trained air conditioner repair contractor to help with services like checking refrigerant levels, measuring the airflow, cleaning electrical terminals and tightening them, and checking the accuracy of your thermostat. For these regular checkups and air conditioning repair, contact the pro AC contractors at Metro Plumbing, Heating and Air.