Air conditioner preventative maintenance is more important than any other factor contributing to the long life of your home comfort equipment.
Just like ordinary wear and tear on your car necessitates regular maintenance, exposure to the elements and the consistent, heavy workload means your air conditioner requires some TLC from time to time.
A maintenance visit every year helps catch small problems before they develop into something big. Something as innocent as a layer of leaves on your outdoor unit can eventually cause your entire system to fail. And repairs are so much more expensive than an HVAC preventative maintenance visit.
Here’s your list of chores to keep everything in good shape between your regular maintenance visits.
Change the air filter every 30 days.
There’s no more important chore to protect your family’s health than regular air filter changes.
Dirty air filters don’t clean the air feeding into your house. You won’t notice until you replace the air filter how poor the air quality in your house was.
A filthy air filter results in:
- A buildup of dust around the house.
- Elevated utility bills.
- Respiratory problems.
If the airflow in your home is impeded, you’re more likely to see mould form behind the walls.
Once a month, replace or clean your air filters.
- For 1″ filters, look for one that you can’t see through when you hold it up to the light to make sure it’s actually doing the job in the first place
- For larger washable filters, thoroughly rinse and dry them every 30 days. Swapping between 2 filters every month is easiest.
Clear the drain tubes.
Condensation builds up in the air conditioning system and drains through a series of tubes. When left stagnant, the pipes are a breeding ground for mould and fungus, which can spread and clog your whole drainage system.
As part of regular air conditioner maintenance every year, your ClimateCare specialist employs a high powered vacuum to suck everything out of the pipes.
Between maintenance visits, take a look at the drain monthly. If you notice any sort of liquid stagnating in your drain pan or in the pipe, try to clear the debris blocking its escape.
To keep gunk from growing in the first place, every three months you should add 1/4 cup bleach mixed with 3/4 cup water directly to your drain line’s access port (usually a T-valve). If the plug on your access port has a wire coming out of it, make sure to switch off your air conditioner’s breaker before you remove the cap.
The condenser can be a pain.
But a clogged condenser is the most common reason for early-summer emergency repair calls to your ClimateCare technician.
Through the fall, winter and spring your condenser gets clogged with leaves and dirt. This impedes circulation and eventually stops your air conditioning unit from cooling down the house at all.
On the first of every month, visually inspect your air conditioner’s outdoor unit.
- Trim back any grass, weeds, hedges, or other plants.
- Remove any leaves or dirt you can see stuck inside.
- Switch off your air conditioner and rinse the outside surface. A garden hose with a spray nozzle works just fine.
Keep the thermostat running properly.
Your ClimateCare professional will calibrate your thermostat as part of the annual air conditioner maintenance, but if it goes out between routine checkups, the batteries are pretty easy to replace yourself.
Some thermostats have flip open battery covers, but usually you’ll have to gently pull the thermostat or its faceplate away from the wall. Turn off the thermostat breaker, swap the batteries out and pop the thermostat back in place.
That’s about all we recommend you doing between your regular air conditioning preventative maintenance. The rest is best left up to a professional.
Book a visit from your nearest ClimateCare retailer. We’re your best source for professional, courteous service in the HVAC industry.