Many of the problems we see that lead to unexpected air conditioner repairs are simply the result of poor maintenance, or ignoring the signs of a potential problems for too long. Annual maintenance is critical to ensuring your air conditioner operates reliably and efficiently. But there are also a few simple steps you can take yourself to ensure your central air conditioner is kept in good shape. Here are a few things you can do before you schedule your annual air conditioner maintenance.
Outside the House
The outside section of the air conditioner, called the condenser, should be clean and unobstructed. The unit draws air in from the sides to dissipate heat so ensure that there are no trees, shrubs or other objects near the unit that could be reducing the flow of air. The fins and condensing coils of the air conditioner should be clean, without excessive dirt or debris.
- Vacuum away any dirt, leaves and debris outside the main cabinet. Never use a power washer to clean an air conditioner!
- Inspect the base pan for blocked drain openings
- Inspect the coil and cabinet for any holes and leaks
- Inspect the fan blades for any damage
- Replace the air filter - A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, increasing the likelihood of early failure.
- Ensure that air vents or registers are unobstructed in every room of your home.
- Update your thermostat for the cooling season.
- Check for any unusual odors when your system starts.
- Listen for abnormal noises when your system starts.