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Heating and Cooling Guide - Step 1

Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips You Should Know

As a homeowner, there are several air conditioning maintenance tips that you should be aware of to ensure your unit run smoothly and keeps you and your family cool!

Trust us – we know from personal experience – the last thing a homeowner wants is a malfunctioning air conditioning unit in the middle of summer’s heat.

So, what to do? Fortunately, there are some easy air conditioning maintenance tips you can follow to maintain your unit to help it last longer and prevent an emergency call to your local HVAC company this summer. To help, here are 10 things to check before calling an HVAC technician.

Outdoor Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips
Outdoor Air Conditioning Maintenance

Use these A/C maintenance tips and tricks to keep your air conditioner running smoothly!

Before we get into the air conditioning maintenance tips, first let’s talk about how your air conditioner works, so that you become familiar with its parts.

Understanding How Your Home’s A/C Works

Air conditioning systems got its start when Willis Carrier invented the first modern air conditioning unit on July 17th, 1902.

While all modern air conditioners are available in various sizes and brands, they all operate on the same basic principle as the earliest A/C unit did: the air conditioning gives off cold air inside a home or building by removing heat and humidity from the indoor air. The unit then returns the cold air to the home, and transfers the heat outside.

Air Conditioning Parts

Usually, your central air conditioning will have two basic parts:

  • Outdoor unit. This is the compressor/condenser that is installed next to your home.
  • Indoor evaporator. This is in a central duct by your furnace.

Air Conditioning Process

Before we cover the air conditioning maintenance tips you need to know, let’s talk a little bit about the A/C process.

A standard A/C unit utilizes a special chemical, refrigerant, and a compressor, condenser coil, and an evaporator coil. These parts work together to convert the refrigerant from gas to liquid and back.

  1. To start, the compressor raises the pressure and temperature of the gas and transfers it to the condenser coil, where it is changed to liquid.
  2. The refrigerant transfers indoors and goes into the evaporator coil. At this point, the liquid refrigerant evaporates, and cools the indoor coil.
  3. Then, a fan will blow the the indoor air across the evaporator coil and the heat will be absorbed into the refrigerant.
  4. Next, the cooled air is pushed throughout the home while the heat is transferred back outside to the compressor and outdoors.
  5. Finally, the refrigerant will become liquid again.

A/C Maintenance Tips

Now, let’s talk about outdoor and indoor air conditioner maintenance tips.

Indoor Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

As you may have guessed, the optimal time to perform maintenance is in the spring before you need to use it for summer. By maintaining your unit before the heat of summer rolls in, you can be sure your AC will work more efficiently when it needs to. This will save you money and keep your home cool.

Since components of your air conditioning unit are both outside and inside your home, you should dedicate time to both sections.

6 Outdoor Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

Your condenser unit may look hard to perform maintenance on, but keeping this component clean and running efficiently is rather easy if you follow these steps:

1. Power off the unit

The first step before you conduct any maintenance is to turn your unit off before you begin. By cutting off the power supply, you can ensure a deep clean and limit the risk of injury.

2. Clear the debris

Now, it’s time to clean out any debris in your A/C unit. To start, you’ll remove the cap and take a shop vacuum to the inside of the condenser. This is an efficient way to clear all the debris that may be building up in your unit. In addition, this will help limit the particles and junk that enter and clog the unit.

3. Clean the fins

Now, you should clean the fins. This step is important since many homeowners experience clogged fins on their air conditioners. The fins are the small metal prongs that protect the condenser coil. You can use a hose to remove any buildup on the outside of your fins. If possible, remove the lid of the condenser and spray from the inside out.

4. Fix the fins

These delicate metal pieces are prone to being bent. To ensure they are working properly, you can buy a fin comb, which is a small tool that will drag and straighten many fins at one time.

5. Clean the vents

Following a good cleaning of debris and fins, you should next clean out your air conditioning vents for bugs, dirt, debris and more to ensure the air conditioning unit can perform at its absolute best.

6. Check insulation on coolant pipes

The line that transfers the refrigerant through your air conditioning system is covered by a layer of thick insulation. Sometimes sun exposure and other elements can destroy the insulation. To prevent this from happening, you’ll want to check on this insulation regularly. This will keep the refrigerant cold and protect the pipes.

Indoor Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

Keeping track of the indoor components of your AC unit is just as important as the outside. Here are some indoor A/C maintenance tips you should follow:

1. Clear the drain

Your condensate drain fills with condensation and water that your air conditioner releases. The plastic tube can be a breeding place for mold, which could clog your system and really back everything up. Use special A/C pan pills to keep your condensate drain from clogging, or use a shop vacuum to remove a clog if it’s already formed.

2. Check your filter

A quality filter is essential for keeping dirt and grime out of your blower. Typically, we recommend that every home change its filter every three months or so. This allows your AC to work efficiently and avoid performance issues.

3. Check for leaks

Lastly, you should scan your A/C unit for any leaks. In the instance that you detect a leak in any of the refrigerant lines in your AC unit, you will need to contact a professional.

If you are not comfortable performing maintenance on your air conditioning unit, please contact us to schedule a service appointment! At Modern HVAC, our A/C maintenance specialists are dedicated to providing quality work. Of course, our friendly technicians can also provide practical advice and additional air conditioning maintenance tips and tricks if needed!

More here on maintaining your air conditioner.

Choose Modern HVAC for A/C Maintenance

These A/C maintenance tips should keep your air conditioning unit in tip-top shape, but sometimes professional HVAC service is the safest and most effective way to solve your heating and cooling system problems. Modern HVAC offers air conditioner services in the Fox Valley area and guarantees quality work. This includes installation, replacement, repair, maintenance, and routine inspections.

Need help? Our technicians can provide A/C maintenance tips and troubleshooting steps to get your air conditioning up and running again.

Contact Us

Simply give our team a call today at (920) 733-4713. Our A/C maintenance technicians serve the entire Fox Valley community. This includes the cities of Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Kimberly, Little Chute, Kaukauna, Greenville, Hortonville, and Darboy.

Read our article about 10 common air conditioning myths that could be costing you money for further information about air conditioning maintenance.

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Modern Sheet Metal provides furnace and air conditioner service, repair, replacement and installation throughout Appleton, Neenah, Menasha, Darboy, Kimberly, Kaukauna and Greenville. Please call us at 920-733-4713 to discuss your residential or commercial heating & cooling needs!