Prepare Your AC Unit Before the Heat Rolls In
Spring can be a hectic time for a Raleigh homeowner, but the annual air
conditioner checkup should never be left out of the endless to-do list
of maintenance chores of the responsible homeowner. Unfortunately, most
of us wait until the first heat wave to crank the old air conditioning
unit, and more often than not, an unpleasant surprise awaits those who
Local air conditioning contractors are busy during the hottest months,
so to get in on the most convenient service and best air conditioning
time your service call between March and May.
To schedule your AC maintenance today - call (919) 948-1351.
Central Air Conditioner Maintenance Check List
A good cleaning can help your
air conditioner run more efficiently, saving you substantial money, and even prevent a
serious breakdown from happening when you need your system the most. The
best part is you can clean your air conditioner yourself if you have even
mild technical skills. Let’s take a look at how.
Physically inspect the surroundings of the air conditioning unit. Cut down shrubs and weeds, along with other plants that have sprung up
around the unit. This essential step ensures that the unit will manage
to suck in sufficient amounts of outside air to cool and blow inside the house.
Get rid of any debris or dirt. As your system operates, the fan sucks air through the fins, which pulls
in dirt, dust, grass, leaves, and other debris along with it. This debris
can get stuck in the fins of your condenser coil, which decreases airflow
and energy efficiency while simultaneously increasing the chances of a
breakdown. Scrub the debris off your condenser coil, both inside and out,
and use a fin comb to straighten out any bent or dented fins.
Lubricate your unit & check for leaks. An improperly lubricated system will both be extremely noisy and use a
lot more energy to overcome the friction that will have developed. With
your system still disconnected from electricity, check your electric motor
and compressor and add a few drops of non-penetrating oil for electric
motors to the oil port if they have one (if they don’t, then you
have sealed units and you don’t have to worry about it). Use this
opportunity to also check for any leaking fluids, such as a dark drop
near the bottom of the compressor case or pad, which is usually a sign
of an oil or refrigerant leak. If you find one of these, call a professional
Check your evaporator coil’s condensation drain tube. Make sure it hasn’t been clogged with sludge or algae, particularly
at the drain port. If your drain pipe is slow or clogged, pour a solution
of 1 part bleach to 16 parts water down the tube to do away with the clog.
Clean your evaporator coil. Gaining access to the evaporator coil in your system isn’t always
easy. If you can, use a vacuum with a soft brush attachment to clean the
bottom side of your coil’s fins. It’s not uncommon to not
be able to do this, however, so if you can’t, simply have a professional
access it and clean it every few years or so to maintain peak efficiency.
Keeping your system clean can help you delay this even longer. Turning
off your furnace for the summer and vacuuming out the blower cabinet are
both good practices to follow to keep your coil clean.
Check the air filter, and change it if necessary. Some air filters may need to be replaced every year, whereas permanent
air filters only require annual cleaning for optimal performance. In either
case, dirty filters can create a multitude of problems for an air conditioner;
the unit’s energy usage will increase, while the evaporator may
even ice over when a filter is allowed to accumulate too much dirt. In
addition to making sure the filter is changed or cleaned, go around the
unit, picking out obstructions such as leaves or debris that may be blocking parts.
Check the Freon levels. If the Freon levels are low in the air conditioner, a leak is probably
present and a Freon recharge might be necessary to compensate the lost
Freon. Low Freon levels significantly decrease the life of the compressor,
the key component in any a/c unit, and overheating is likely.
Tighten screws. A yearly air conditioning maintenance routine also includes checking that
all screws are tightly fastened.
Check air conditioner thermostat operation. While this may sound obvious, you should also double check that the A/C
thermostat is set on “cooling” mode, and the temperature is
well below room temperature to automatically turn on the air conditioning unit.
Safe Air Conditioning Maintenance
If you encounter a problem during the air conditioner test run and you
have a hunch of what may be causing the malfunction, don’t fail
to follow basic safety rules that apply to any home maintenance jobs.
Cut off power to the a/c unit first, and never just hose down a unit;
you will run the risk of electrocution.
If you run into problems that require professional
air conditioning repair service, as an early bird you are likely to get the fastest and most attentive
care from a local heating and air company.
Maximize the Life of Your AC Unit
Routine air conditioning maintenance is the most economical solution to
guarantee cool air blowing through your house during the summer months.
If it is time to install a brand new unit, make sure to look into energy
standards and tax incentives offered to homeowners who opt for environmentally
Schedule Annual Maintenance with R & S Mechanical
Annual maintenance is an important step for any homeowner to preserve the
life of your HVAC system, so it is strongly advised you let a professional
handle this process for you. At
R & S Mechanical, our goal is to make sure you receive the best quality care and service
in order to obtain your complete satisfaction.
repairs are all performed by highly-trained technicians who are NATE and YORK
certified, and we back up all our
services with a 100% satisfaction guarantee to give you the confidence that your job will be done right, or we’ll
make it right.
Prepare your air conditioner for the summer heat!
Call R & S Mechanical today at (919) 948-1351 to schedule a spring maintenance service.