With the winter heating season well underway, it's important to remember that your air conditioner could also use a little TLC. Even if you're not using it right now, it's still a good idea to keep up with its maintenance. The following offers 4 simple steps you can take to keep your A/C unit in great shape for the spring and summer ahead.
Keep It Clean
The most important part about maintaining your air conditioner is keeping it as clean as possible. A clean A/C unit is also one that performs at its peak when it comes to reliability and energy efficiency. Here's what you can do to keep your A/C unit free of dirt and other debris:
- Check the area immediately surrounding the air handler and remove any leaves and other debris you come across.
- Thoroughly clean the outdoor condenser cabinet. In most cases, you can simply use a garden hose to rinse off excess dirt and debris. You can also remove the outer case, grill and condenser fan to clear away leaves, weeds and other debris.
- Check the evaporator coil (located inside the plenum on central A/C units) for dirt, debris and mildew. If necessary, gently scrub the evaporator coil using a mild detergent and a soft bristle brush. You can also spray no-rinse cleaning foam directly onto the evaporator coil and let it work its magic.
- Always replace the air filter before you stop using your A/C unit for the winter. It's also good idea to replace the filter again at the end of the winter season.
Keep It Covered
Placing a high-quality mesh cover or even a simple piece of plywood over the condenser cabinet can help prevent leaves, twigs and other debris from getting into the unit throughout the winter. It can also help keep rodents and other small animals from taking residence in your condenser cabinet.
Keep an Eye Out for Leaks
Refrigerant leaks can easily go undetected during the winter, when you're least likely to use your A/C system. Keep a sharp eye on your unit's refrigerant lines and associated fittings. If you see oil leaking out of the A/C compressor or any of the refrigerant lines, then chances are there may also be a refrigerant leak. If you do suspect a refrigerant leak, you should have your HVAC technician take a look and also double-check your A/C system's current refrigerant charge.
Keep It Damage-Free
You should also be careful whenever you're around your A/C unit, since there are many components that are surprisingly fragile. For instance, it's usually a good idea not to touch the evaporator or condenser coil fins. These fins are made from very thin aluminum and can easily bend or even break if you're not careful.
These tips can help you preserve your A/C system until it's time to use it again next spring or summer. For more information, talk to a place like Shivani Refrigeration & Air Conditioning.