Savvy homeowners have a DIY air conditioning maintenance routine for cleaning the furnace and evaporator compartment as well as their compressor unit before winter sets in and when spring breaks. And, they know the importance of monthly filter changes.
The climate in Utah’s capital and largest city is one of the features that draws newcomers to the region and keeps long-time residents enchanted with the natural beauty surrounding the area. The distinction between the four seasons is clearly defined, with a couple of weeks between each season when the temperatures gently rise or drop to usher in the warmer and colder periods.
DIY air conditioning maintenance Salt Lake City residents perform in the spring and fall is best accomplished by putting the tasks on a regular home maintenance schedule. During the months when the temperatures routinely reach 90 degrees or higher, the cool air circulating through the house is a welcome relief from the intense outdoor conditions. Proper maintenance helps prevent cooling system failure during the time when it is most needed for the comfort and well-being of the home’s occupants. DIY air conditioning maintenance isn’t just for Salt Lake City Residents…Everyone should address these A/C maintenance chores on their homes:
Important components of DIY air conditioning maintenance to address are the condenser coils and the evaporator coils. These parts get dirty, even under normal conditions, and need to have the built-up material carefully cleaned.
Most models of central air units have thin metal fins attached to the outside of the compressor unit. These may be accidentally knocked out of alignment for various reasons, blocking the even flow of air across the coils.
You can use an Air Conditioner Fin Comb or even a household butter knife to move the fins back into place, returning the flow to normal so that the air conditioner functions most efficiently. It takes some time if your fins are badly bent, but it’s pretty important that you get good air flow across them.
While you’re at the outside unit, you can check that your compressor unit is nice and level. A unit needs to be level so it can lubricate itself properly. If it isn’t level, you can prop the low side up with pressure treated wood wedges or flat concrete blocks if it’s really bad. If you find that you really need to level it with concrete blocks, it is very likely you need a new composite or concrete pad.
The drain lines, which allow the condensed moisture to flow away from the air conditioning unit, need to be cleaned out, too. You can run a tiny brush through the lines to loosen and push out any debris that, left unchecked, could cause a blockage. Try a shop vac on the end of the condensate drain line to suck out debris that can build up. It works!
Filters are critical elements of the operating system for air conditioning residents appreciate in the summer. you can use compressed air or other professional type techniques to clean reusable filters. Some types of air conditioners have filters that must be replaced routinely. Most air conditioning service company vans are stocked with several sizes and styles of filters. You can buy these inexpensively and It’s always a good idea to verify the exact size before you head to your home improvement store, in case the system requires an unusual size filter that wouldn’t ordinarily be available.
Stop whining and just do it. During the months when the air conditioning unit is in nearly constant use, homeowners can increase the efficiency and reduce the wear on the system by changing filters every few weeks. The frequency of changes may be more often if there are significant dust storms that clog up the filters, or if there are pets indoors that shed hair that can get caught in the filter at the uptake end of the vents. When there is an outdoor condenser in the unit, homeowners should keep the area clear of leaves, branches and other items that could block the flow of air. The thing to know is, there is no such thing as a 60 or 90 day filter!
If you’re handy and want information about DIY air conditioning services, check out my articles on outdoor condenser unit cleaning, and evaporator coil cleaning for step by step instructions and more in-depth maintenance you can perform yourself.
When scheduling professional inspection and maintenance procedures that contractors and A/C technicians supply, it is best to call several weeks, or even months in advance of the expected arrival of summer. The appointment calendar of companies and contractors that specialize in residential air conditioning services fills up fast as homeowners prepare for the days to get longer and hotter.
When service technicians arrive for general service, they inspect all the components of a central air unit, often starting with the air intake vents. The vents are cleaned to remove any dust and residue that has accumulated during the off-season, and the closures and seals examined to make sure they are secure.