Air conditioning maintenance

Air conditioner maintenance
Regular maintenance of an air conditioner increases its lifespan. PHOTO/FILE
An air conditioning system must be checked regularly to ensure optimum enjoyment for its life.

For starters, neglecting regular maintenance tasks such as cleaning the unit and its components often reduces the system’s efficiency dramatically.

The following air conditioning maintenance tips can help you perform certain tasks that directly affects your system’s performance and energy use.

1.) Clean or replace air filters
Dirty filters obstruct normal air flow and diminish the system’s efficiency dramatically. As such, cleaning or replacing filters should be done monthly to ensure your air conditioner remains energy efficient.

However, if your systems are meant for air conditioning or heating only, the replacement should be done during the month they are in use.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, cleaning or replacing the air filter can lower your system’s energy use by 5-15 percent.

Air filters are generally located along the return duct, in ceilings, walls or the air conditioner itself or attached on the grill face in the room.

2.) Check evaporator and condenser coils  
The evaporator and condenser air conditioning coils collect dirt over years of use and they should be cleaned regularly. This is because dirty coils diminish the system’s ability to regulate temperatures in your home – causing you to run the air conditioner longer.

The evaporator coil should be checked yearly and cleaned as needed, while the outdoor condenser – whose coil is more detectable – should be checked more often as they are more susceptible to dirt than indoor units.

When cleaning an outdoor unit, it is recommended that you spray down the unit with water to wash off dirt and protect the coils.

3.)  Inspect condensate drains
Plugged condensate drains can cause excess moisture and water damage to your home as they forbid the units from reducing levels of humidity.

It is recommendable that you regularly inspect your system’s drain – occasionally passing a wire through the drain channel to determine and remove any obstruction.