6 Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips
Your AC unit works hard to keep your house cool, and it’s your responsibility to make sure it knows all its efforts are highly appreciated by giving it a nice deep clean.
We’ve rounded up the top six air conditioner maintenance tips you’ll need to ensure that your unit is in it for the long haul. This is a great way to prevent major issues and high electricity bills.
Clean/Replace Your Filters
If your air conditioner doesn’t seem to cool your house like it once did, the first thing to check would be the filters. This can be the filter directly on the unit of a ductless air conditioner(link) or the filter for your furnace which will help pump the cold air through your home during the hot months.
For mini-split units, where the air is filtered as it comes into the room from the unit, a dirty filter can cause buildup that prevents the evaporator's coils from absorbing heat as well as pushing dusty air into your room. This should be cleaned every two weeks.
For the big units, the large rectangular guys that sit outside the house, the filter is located near the furnace. Changing and cleaning this filter should be a habit that happens several times a year. This can result in dirt being carried into your unit’s evaporator coil and weaken the coil’s ability to absorb heat. If your filter isn’t cleaned on a regular basis, you’ll end up with dusty air and a warmer room.
Follow the easy instructions here for cleaning your HVAC-Furnace filter. To clean the filter for the mini-split ensure that the air conditioner is completely off first, and follow the following instructions:
Lift the front panel of the indoor unit.
Grip the tab on the end of the filter, push it up slightly, then pull it a little towards yourself.
Now pull down to extract the filter(s) that will be located behind the front panel
If your filter has a small air freshening filter, unclip it from the larger filter. Clean this air freshening filter with a hand-held vacuum.
Clean the large air filter with warm, soapy water. Mild dish soap works perfectly in this situation.
Rinse the back of the filter with fresh water, then shake off excess water.
Dry it in a cool, dry place, and refrain from exposing it to direct sunlight.
When dry, re-clip the air freshening filter to the larger filter, then slide it back into the indoor unit.
Close the front panel of the indoor unit.
Note: It is recommended not to run the unit without the screen in the event that the filter screen becomes damaged.
Remove Debris from Your AC
When was the last time you had a close look at the outer unit of your AC? Dirt, leaves, and small branches could all be building up there and decreasing the capacity of your appliance. While Napoleon outdoor AC units are more stylish looking than most on the market, you may be tempted to hide it with plants in your garden. Plants can impede airflow in and around your outdoor AC unit (both ducted and ductless), so it is suggested that plants are placed at a reasonable distance around your unit to prevent this from happening. When inspecting your outdoor units, always check to ensure that there are no weeds growing up between the AC unit and your home. Your AC will thank you for giving it a clean and clear space!
Clean the AC's Coils
With the coils of your unit working hard to absorb all the heat, it’s no surprise that they collect a ton of dust and dirt in the long run. One of our top air conditioner maintenance tips is to clean the coils at least once a year to ensure proper airflow.
Maintaining this AC component is simple, thanks to all the coil cleaning products available at your local hardware store. From foaming cleansers that are best suited for outdoor condenser coils to self-rinsing cleaners that work for indoor evaporator coils, you’ll surely be able to find the best deep-clean method for your unit.
The DIYers out there will be glad to know that a simple solution of water and mild household detergent works too! With a low-pressure sprayer, gently apply this mix onto the coils.
Unclog the Drain Channels
Ensure proper air conditioner maintenance and the effective reduction of humidity by paying close attention to drain channels. These tubes tend to accumulate bacteria and slime over time as a result of condensation. If you notice a puddle of water forming around the furnace while your AC is running, the chances are high that you need to do some unclogging.
Passing a stiff wire through the tube once in a while will get rid of the blockage. One of the most effective ways to prevent frequent buildup is by shoving pan tablets down the tube. These are usually available at hardware stores and plumbing centers.
Comb the Fins
Yes, there is a comb made specifically for your AC — and it’s called a fin comb. Evaporator and condenser coils both have aluminum fins that tend to bend easily. When this happens, it can end up blocking airflow through the coil. Straightening them out can easily be done with the help of a fin comb. As these components tend to be quite thin and sharp, just make sure to protect your hands with gloves when performing this air conditioner maintenance trick!
Call an AC Professional
To increase the longevity of your unit, it’s recommended to seek air conditioner maintenance services from the pros at least once a year. As the experts in their field, they can carefully inspect your unit and catch minor issues early on before they become a huge problem and the air conditioner tune-up cost becomes too high. Usually, the best time to set an appointment would be in spring, right before the summer months swoop in, which is when you’ll be using your AC the most.
AC technicians will generally take a close look at these elements:
The current condition of duct seals
The amount of refrigerant and any potential leaks
The amount of air that flows through the evaporator coil
The condition of electric terminals
Invest in a Durable Unit
Ultimately, no matter how much effort you put into air conditioner maintenance, the unit’s overall quality is the biggest factor that decides its longevity. This is why it’s important to make sure you invest in an air conditioner that can take you through endless summers. You deserve superior quality ACs that are quiet, cool, and durable. Napoleon offers nothing less than that.