10 Easy Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips from NJ’s Heating & Cooling Pros
No matter what size your home is, having an HVAC unit that runs efficiently is essential for your comfort. That’s why providing heating and cooling maintenance to your equipment is so essential. As one of NJ’s leading heating and cooling repair companies, Air Temp is here to offer a little insight into how you can keep your machine well-maintained and extend its lifespan.
No one likes to have their heating or AC conk out during peak seasons, so here are 10 easy maintenance tips to help avoid such a scenario.
Step 1: Power Your System Down
Before touching any part of your HVAC system, it’s essential to cut the power to ensure there’s no risk of electrocution, or of the fans or condensers turning on while you’re working on them. You’ll often find an exterior box near your outdoor condenser to turn off your machine; you should also turn off the breaker switch just to be sure.
Step 2: Remove Any Debris
Over time, debris like fallen leaves and branches will collect on the exterior of your air conditioner’s condenser/compressor that needs to be removed. This will usually collect upon its fan cage and can make your AC work overtime if not removed quickly. First, scoop off any debris that’s collected upon your fan cage, then use a screwdriver or wrench to open the cage and clean away any debris that’s fallen into the interior.
Step 3: Cleaning the Fins
Your HVAC’s fins are what helps suck air into your AC unit to be cooled and pumped throughout your home. Cleaning the fins is easy enough, simply use a garden hose and spray them down to remove any dirt or debris that’s collected over time. Be sure not to use a high-pressure spray that will damage the fins, as this will impact your HVAC’s airflow.
Step 4: Straighten Any Bent Fins
As mentioned, your fins will reduce the air flowing into your condenser unit if they’ve been bent, so you’ll need to fix any noticeably bent fins. You can easily do this by using a butter knife or other thin object and straightening them out so there’s space in between each one.
Step 5: Clean Around Your HVAC Unit
To be sure that all of those fallen leaves, twigs, and other yard debris doesn’t simply collect upon your exterior HVAC unit once again, clean around the area and make certain there are no obstructions close by that might impact airflow or fall and damage your system.
Step 6: Check the Level of Your Unit
This step is a bit more complicated, as you’ll need a level to inspect your unit to ensure it’s level with the ground. If you find that for one reason or another, your air conditioning unit isn’t level, it might be time to call a heating and cooling expert to assess the issue. It could be a problem with your HVAC condenser unit or it could be something more complicated that needs to be addressed by a contractor. Either way, calling in the experts will help you determine what it is without a shadow of a doubt.
Step 7: Clean the Evaporator Coil
Although this is a relatively easy fix for most DIY homeowners, you’ll need to open up your air conditioning system and take a look inside the blower/furnace unit, so if you feel uneasy doing so contact a repair team. Once you’ve removed the plate to the unit, brush off the coils and spray it with some no-rinse coil cleaner, that can be purchased at any nearby hardware store. You’ll then want to clean out the drain pan just to ensure your unit is draining properly; this can be done easily with soap and water. For dirtier drain pans, use a 50/50 solution of bleach and water.
Step 8: Clean Your Evaporator Drain
Because your HVAC system uses coolants, it also creates condensation that evaporates and needs to be led away from your unit and home via a drain or tube. You can clean your evaporator drain much like you’d clean any other drain, by simply detaching it and cleaning out all of the gunk in it until water flows freely through it. You can also use a wet/dry vacuum for greater suction and effectiveness if your drain has a more stubborn clog in it. If that doesn’t do the trick, you’ll likely need to contact an HVAC repair specialist and have it replaced.
Step 9: Replace Your Blower Filte
One of the easiest things to overlook when performing HVAC maintenance is replacing its blower filter. However, the filter drastically affects the airflow in your home; if it’s dirty, there will be less cool air and your HVAC will have to work overtime. Dirty filters can lessen your HVAC unit’s lifespan, so replace them occasionally. Doing so will also ensure that the air you’re breathing in your home is of the highest quality and there’s minimal air-borne debris and allergens making their way through your ductwork.
Step 10: Power Your HVAC Unit Back On
The last and final step is to power your HVAC system back on and see how it runs. Keep an eye on it over the next couple of days and if it appears to be running a bit more efficiently then you’ve done your job well. If there are any noticeable issues, it might be time to contact your HVAC maintenance specialist for an annual inspection to diagnose the problem.
Contact Air Temp today for heating, cooling, and more!
For those in need of a reliable heating and cooling specialist, Air Temp is always available to take your call. We also specialize in ductless systems, oil-to-gas conversion, and more, so contact us online or call 1 (800) 969-1232.