With warmer months on the way, now is a good time to make sure your air conditioning (AC) unit is in good working shape! A quick call to a reputable HVAC company to have a pre-season check-up could save you money and time, as contractors get busy once the summer heat arrives. An effectively maintained AC unit is less likely to need costly repairs, will improve the indoor air quality of your home, and achieves enhanced energy efficiency.
AC Maintenance Checklist
A typical HVAC maintenance check-up should include the following:
- Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
- Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
- Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use.
- Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
- Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly.
- Clean evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils. Dirty coils reduce the system’s ability to cool your home and cause the system to run longer, increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
- Check your central air conditioner’s refrigerant level and adjust if necessary. Too much or too little refrigerant will make your system less efficient increasing energy costs and reducing the life of the equipment.
- Clean and adjust blower components to provide proper system airflow for greater comfort levels. Airflow problems can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15 percent.
As a homeowner, you can take a few proactive steps to help ensure your HVAC system stays in good working condition:
- As a homeowner, take the time to inspect, clean, and/or change air filters once a month in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump. Be sure to use the right type of filter for your system; an HVAC contractor can show you how to do this. A dirty filter can increase energy costs and damage your equipment, leading to early failure and costly repairs.
- Maintain an area of clearance around outdoor condenser units, keeping it free of vegetation, leaves and debris that could impact its ability to “breathe.”
- Visually inspect the outdoor condenser fan blades before the start of the cooling season, brushing away any debris that may have accumulated over the winter months.