Whether you have a one-room or whole-house system, an air conditioner system shouldn’t work harder than it should. Here are air conditioner maintenance tips to keep your air conditioner system running smoothly and keep your home cool all season long:
Understand How An AC Works
A central air conditioner has two vital components: the indoor unit (evaporator) located in a central duct closer to the furnace and an outdoor unit (condenser/compressor) located next to your home. If your system has a heat pump instead of a furnace, you may have to refer to the owner’s manual to find your way around the unit. While the essential parts will be the same, the system’s indoor unit will be in the air handler.
Use gentle pressure with a dinner knife to realign crushed or bent fins of the system. Make sure that you don’t insert the knife more than 1/2 inch.
Keep It Clean
Use a soft-bristle brush to vacuum the fins of your AC unit to keep it clean. They are fragile and easily bent or crushed. Sometimes, you may have to unscrew and lift the metal box to get at the fins. Check the owner’s manual for directions. Lift off the box carefully to prevent the fins from bumping.
Fix A Sinking Home Air Conditioner Pad
The concrete pad under your AC and heat exchanger units will settle over time. It’s ok if the pad has sunk as long as the system is dry and level and there isn’t any strain on the electrical lines and copper coolant tubes. But if the unit continues to sink and pulls the lines tight, or if water settles around the system, you should immediately fix the concrete pad.
Get A Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is the latest trend in AC technology. With a programmable thermostat, you can set temperature levels throughout the day and automatically lower the temperature when you most need it. It helps you save money and manage the comfort levels in your home without hovering over the dial.
Add An In-Line Duct Booster For Your Home AC
If your home has forced air cooling and one room is still hotter than the rest, a vent or duct booster fan can increase the flow of cool air into that particular room. There are two types of booster fans, including the in-line duct booster fan that fits inside the duct of the room that you are trying to cool. When you mount the fan near the outlet, it will automatically kick on when the HVAC system runs. The second type is the vent and register booster fan that sits directly on a ceiling, floor, or wall register. You can set the fan to operate automatically depending on the model you choose. You may even control it with a switch or manage it remotely.
Quiet A Noisy HVAC Unit
If the unit has a newer condenser, the noise may be from the compressor. For example, the fans on the latest units are quieter. Contact the manufacturer of the brand to get a sound blanket for the model. If not, you may opt for a universal blanket by searching online for a “compressor sound blanket.” The installation process is quite simple. But it would be best if you don’t place a sound blanket on an older unit since you will still hear the noisy fan.
Unclogging The Condensate Drain Tube
If water is puddling around the furnace when the AC operates, you may be dealing with a clogged condensate drain tube. Condensation from AC coils contains bacteria-forming slime that clogs the condensate pan drain tube.
Replace The Filter
First, turn off the power to the unit at a nearby switch or the main panel. Then pull out the furnace filter and check it for dirt and debris buildup. Change the filter if necessary.
Is Your HVAC System The Right Size For Your Home?
Professionals will carefully size the AC unit to the cubic feet you need to cool. It is vital when investing in a new AC unit for your home. When the unit is too small for your home, it has to work harder to cool your home. Such a unit will wear out more quickly and struggle to meet your cooling needs.
Consider A Whole-House Fan
Whole-house fans have been cooling homes in the country for a century. The design of such a fan is simple. The attic-mounted fan will push out hot air through the attic vents and take in cooler outside air through open windows and doors. These rapid air-exchange large fans help purge hot air from your house in just 2-3 minutes. It removes built-up heat and creates a pleasant breeze in your home.
Control The Heat Through Windows
A lot of heat can enter your home through open windows. Pay close attention to the windows in your home if you want to control the heat in your home. Keep the windows closed and cover them with drapes and blinds during the hottest parts of the day – especially the windows that face the sun.
Troubleshoot Repairs Yourself
When your central AC unit fails during a heat spell, you may have to wait many days to hire an HVAC repair technician. You may also have to pay several hundred dollars for the repairs. If you are comfortable working around electricity and willing to spend $50 on AC parts, you can do the repairs yourself in about two hours to save money in the process.
Check The Insulation
Replace the rotted/damaged insulation around the outdoor AC lines to improve the unit’s efficiency.
A Fin Comb Comes In Handy
Fin combs are ideal for separating bent fins of a small room AC unit. Wear gloves when separating the bent fins to protect your hands from getting injured during the process.
Deep Clean Using A Brush
Scrub the crud off your AC unit with a plastic bristled brush and foam cleanser.
Time For A New AC Unit?
There are rules about the proper disposal of old AC units in your city. You can’t just throw your old AC unit in the trash. Contact your local waste management institution to know about the process.
Find Air Leaks In Your Home
Turn off all the exhaust fans, fans shut off the furnace and close all the windows in your home. Light some incense and stroll around the outer walls of the house. If there is an air leak, you will notice the smoke moving towards or away from something. Seal it now that you found it.
Why Shouldn’t You Wrap Your Condenser?
Cover the unit with weighted plywood when you need to pack up the AC condenser after the summer. It may rust if you wrap it with a tarp.