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Heating and Cooling Guide - Step 1

A/C Maintenance Tips

The last thing a homeowner wants is a malfunctioning air conditioning unit in the middle of summer’s heat.

Fortunately, there are some easy tasks you can perform to maintain your unit to help it last longer and prevent an emergency call to your local HVAC company this summer.

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

Air Conditioner Maintenance

If you are not comfortable performing maintenance on your air conditioning unit, don’t hesitate to contact us to schedule a service appointment! At Modern HVAC, our A/C maintenance specialists are dedicated to providing quality work!

Before we get into the 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: that A/C 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.

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.

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. This is the process that makes your home cool.

A/C Maintenance Tips

Air Conditioning

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.

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 debris: Removing the cap and taking a shop vacuum to the inside of the condenser is a great way to clear all the debris that may be building up in your unit. This will help limit the particles and junk that enter and clog the unit.
  3. Clean the fins: Cleaning the fins is important as 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: You should clean our your air conditioning vents for bugs, dirt, debris and more to ensure best performance.
  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. Check on this insulation regularly, as it keeps the refrigerant cold and protects anything from happening to the pipe.

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:

  • Clear the drain: Your AC 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 AC pan pills to keep your condensate drain from clogging, or use a shop vacuum to remove a clog if it’s already formed.
  • 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.
  • Check for leaks: Unfortunately, not every AC maintenance service can be performed at home. If you detect a leak in any of the refrigerant lines in your AC unit, you need to employ the help of a professional.

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.

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

Here also are 10 common air conditioning myths that could be costing you money. Simply give our team a call today at (920) 733-4713.

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!