Scheduling air conditioning service is one of the most important steps a homeowner can take this time of year. Even if you don’t think there’s anything wrong with your air unit, regular maintenance will detect problems before they become big issues.
Most professionals recommend having air conditioning units inspected, serviced and cleaned once a year with spring being the best time, prior to more intense summer heat. They need to handle things like adding coolant or replacing parts, but there’s a lot the average homeowner can do to help maintain the system.
Parts of any HVAC system generate and gather dust and dirt that can affect efficiency and that holds true for air conditioning units, too. Efficiency, of course, affects your utility bills and we all like to keep those in tow.
Basic Cleaning Removes Debris
Still, there are things you can do to help keep your AC unit running well. Your main job outside is to clean the condenser coil. Because it sucks in air to work, it also sucks in debris. Leaves, grass clippings and cotton from cottonwood trees are among the biggest generators of debris. In fact, you may need to clean debris weekly until the cottonwoods stop shedding and your lawn mowing schedule go dormant.
Before doing any type of checks or cleaning, make sure you cut the power to the outside unit. Usually the box is nearby. It could have an on/off switch or you may just need to pull out the interior power unit. If you’re not sure, cut off the power at the source – in the breaker box.
Some people hose down their outdoor units, but vacuuming if more effective. Hosing down an AC unit tends to drive the debris downward where it has no place to go. Over time, the debris just piles up on the bottom. Vacuuming does a more thorough job of pulling out debris and will be better for your air conditioning unit in the long run.
Inside your home, make sure you change the filter, just as you do in the winter for your furnace (you do this, right?)
Regardless of how much or how little you feel comfortable doing, there are certain things that are best left to a professional:
- Checking and replacing coolant.
- Tightening hoses to the right amount of tension-too tight can cause damage
- Replacing parts
- Straightening fan fins (or replacing)
Schedule Air Conditioning Service Now
Rather than wait until July, when your cooling isn’t working quite right, schedule a checkup in spring before HVAC contractors are swamped with requests. In Marion-Cedar Rapids, IA area, call Arctic Insulation at 319-261-1000 for all your heating and cooling needs.