Even though we expect our heating and air conditioning to kick on without problems whenever we need them to, that’s not always the case. There may come a hot summer day when your air conditioning doesn’t work and you’re left with an unbearably hot house but it is preventable. With a little bit of routine maintenance and inspection, you can make sure your air conditioning is ready for action when you need it most.
To ensure the cool air pumped into your home is free of contaminants, your air conditioning unit has an air filter in it. Before you run your A/C all summer, it’s a good idea to change this air filter. If you’re looking for better indoor air quality, you can replace it with a filter with a higher MERV rating however, this may slightly reduce airflow. Your A/C air filter should be changed at least once every two months.
If you don’t cover your A/C unit during the winter months, debris can build up in its coils. The condenser coils are an integral part of your central A/C, and dirty coils can reduce its efficiency and cause other operational problems. You can clean your coils with a refrigerator coil brush, but be careful not to bend the fins. If you do accidentally bend them, you can use a fin comb to straighten them back out.
Condensate Drain Line
Your condensate drain line is another common source of air conditioning problems. As your A/C unit works to pump cold air into your home, it constantly creates condensation which needs to be removed from the unit. If there’s something blocking your condensate drain, however, moisture begins to build up that can damage your walls and other parts of your home. Your condensate drain line may even grow mold or algae which posehealth risks and greatly hinder the effectiveness of your air conditioning.
Your condensate drain line should be cleaned regularly to ensure there’s nothing blocking it’ running a simple thin wire through it will do the trick.
Hiring a Professional
At the end of the day, we’re not all HVAC professionals and we all have different comfort zones. Preparing your HVAC system for summer is a relatively large job that involves plenty of equipment and effort. If you’re not comfortable maintaining your own air conditioning system, hire an HVAC professional to do the job for you.
Even if you do feel comfortable performing maintenance yourself, there are still many benefits to hiring a qualified professional:
- Safety: Even though you’ll save money performing HVAC maintenance yourself, safety should be your number one concern. An HVAC professional will take safety precautions while working, and your maintenance may pose an unforeseen health or safety risk to you and your family down the road.
- Cost: While you’ll probably spend more money hiring a professional than you would on equipment, you also run the risk of breaking something and costing yourself hundreds of dollars and even more time.
- Inspection: A professional will know exactly what they’re looking for when cleaning your A/C. If there’s a problem in its beginning stages, they can let you know and get it fixed before it becomes something major.
- Speed: When you hire a professional who’s cleaned hundreds or thousands of A/C units, you’re saving yourself all the time you may have spent learning how to do the job and stumbling through it.
Preparing your HVAC system for the summer isn’t rocket science; with a bit of regular maintenance, you can keep your family living in comfort all summer long. And if you’re not thrilled about the idea of breaking out your tools and doing it yourself, you can always call an HVAC professional.