Regular maintenance of your air conditioner (AC) system is crucial for long-term function and efficiency. Neglecting maintenance can eventually result in a decline in AC performance, increasing the amount of energy used and your monthly utility bills.
Many parts of your Air Conditioning unit require regular maintenance, including the air filters, coils, and fins. These parts must be maintained to ensure they can work together to function efficiently.
How Your Air Conditioning Unit Works
Before getting to the importance of regular maintenance, it’s essential to understand your AC unit, how it works and the different components.
There are three main components to your Air Conditioning (AC) unit: a compressor, a condenser coil and an evaporator coil. A fan draws in the hot indoor air over the evaporator coil, absorbing the heat from the air, changing the hot air to cool air, then re-circulating the now cool air back into the house. The heat moves from the evaporator coil to the compressor, which raises the pressure and temperature of the refrigerant. The refrigerant then moves to the condenser, which exhausts the hot air outside the house and cooling the refrigerant to start the process over again.
On top of these, there is also the air filter, which helps to remove particles, pollutants and other debris from the air, improving your indoor air quality.
Now that you have a basic understanding of your Air Conditioning unit, here are a few areas that require regular maintenance to ensure you continue to get high-performance during the hottest summer months.
1. Air Filters
Ensuring your air filters are cleaned or changed regularly is one of the most important parts of your AC & HVAC unit maintenance. Clogged and dirty filters obstruct airflow, which can lead to poor air circulation and worsening AC performance. Not only can a dirty filter cause strain on your HVAC system, but the air that passes through the filter can also carry dirt directly to the evaporator coil and impair the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity.
We generally suggest replacing your HVAC filter at least every 90-days. More robust filters might need more frequent replacements, and you may want to change your filter more regularly if you have seasonal allergies or pets.
2. Unit Coils & Fins
Your AC unit evaporator coil and condenser coil collect dirt from years of service. To avoid any issues, make sure to check your evaporator coil every year to see if it needs cleaning. The coil will still collect dirt over time, which can impact the performance and longevity of your system. The outdoor condenser coils are easily visible from the outside, so you can notice if dirt is collecting on its fins. Cleaning the area outside your home, and round the coil, such as removing leaves and other debris, allows for better airflow around the condenser.
Before you grab the hose and start cleaning your coils, it’s important to note that the coils themselves have fins and are very delicate. One wrong move could cause expensive damage. Having a regular inspection by an HVAC professional can help ensure that the system is kept clean and ready for the summer heat.
As mentioned above, your AC unit works by moving the heat from inside your home to the great outdoors; it does this by using what’s called “refrigerant” – a chemical fluid. If your AC unit is continuously running but doesn’t cool your home, vents are blowing warm air, or there’s an issue with the refrigerant line (ice, bubbling or hissing), the refrigerant fluid may need to be recharged or refilled.
Refrigerant is toxic and extremely dangerous to handle, so it’s best to leave any recharging or top-up to the Precision HVAC professionals.
Leave your Air Conditioner maintenance to the professionals at Precision HVAC.
Cleaning and maintaining your Air Conditioning unit might seem like an easy weekend project, but there are a number of risks involved, whether from toxic exposure or damaging the unit. So, outside of regular filter changes, it’s often best to leave it to the professionals.
At Precision HVAC, we have various maintenance packages available to suit any budget, designed to ensure that your unit is properly maintained and ready for the hottest weather.
Speak with our experts today about our packages or to schedule a consultation.