Warmer temps have finally arrived and many homeowners have a long list of spring cleaning chores. Some simple air conditioner maintenance can help prepare your system for the long, hot season ahead, but it shouldn’t replace a professional tuneup. Just remember to ALWAYS turn off power to the unit before beginning any service on your air conditioner. Get started with these tips, then turn to the experts at Roth Heating.
There are three main things you should do to get your air conditioner ready. First, inspect and replace your air filter. If it’s dirty or clogged, it slows airflow, causing your system to work harder. It also won’t be as effective at removing airborne contaminants that can affect your health in high quantities—like dust, pollen, and pet dander.
Next, trim back bushes and shrubbery that are growing around your outdoor condenser. Air conditioners need at least a two-foot radius of clearance to get the airflow they need to be efficient and effective.
Finally, rinse your system with a steady stream of water from the inside to push dirt buildup out. These three steps are simple and can make a big difference in how your system operates.
Compressor fins are the dark-colored, grill-like panel on the exterior of your air conditioner. They work to move heat away from the condenser. If they become dirty, clogged, or bent—which happens easily—your air conditioner must work harder because it doesn’t have proper airflow.
Vacuum the exterior of your condenser fins to remove dust and cobwebs—you may have to remove the outside metal box first to do so. Then, use a fin comb or an old butter knife to straighten out any bent fins. This will ensure your system receives enough airflow.
Did you know that how your air conditioner sits can affect how comfortable you feel? Manufacturer installation standards specify the system needs to be level. If it’s not, the refrigerant and oil that cycle through your condenser can separate and put added stress on the unit.
You can tell your system is off-kilter just by looking at it or by using a standard leveling tool. It’s important to check this each year as the soil underneath settles and shifts. If your system is off balance, call an HVAC professional to reposition it.
A final tip from our pros—contact us to schedule your professional system cleaning today. We service all air conditioner makes and models, including Carrier®, and can test your air conditioner now, before the next heat wave arrives. This is when we get flooded with calls for emergency air conditioner repair and you might have to wait for service.