Extreme heat is so dangerous it claimed the lives of over 600 people in the US each year from 1999 to 2009. For the same reason, health experts advise staying in an air-conditioned area to beat the heat.
In short, energy-efficient air conditioners can be a lifesaver.
However, without proper air conditioner maintenance, these devices can also pose dangers. That’s why it’s a must to know how to give your AC some TLC.
This guide lists some of the top tips to keep your AC well-maintained, so be sure to read on.
1. Keep the Filter Clean
Filters help get rid of impurities in the air that circulates within the air conditioner. The primary purpose of these devices is to help maintain the cleanliness of the AC itself.
After all, dust, debris, and other contaminants can form layers of residue on AC components. This can then affect the cooling and moisture-absorbing properties of air conditioner parts. The result is poor cooling performance and higher energy bills.
So, one of the best air conditioner maintenance tips to abide by is to check your AC filter at least once a month. Then, as soon as you see it getting all filthy, wash or replace it right away.
2. Vacuum the Air Vents
Air vents are the openings in your air conditioner in which air enters or exits. HVAC registers, grilles, and returns are all types of vents.
Since air passes through vents directly, their slats or grills can get coated with debris, too. This is especially common in homes with poor indoor air quality (IAQ). Do note that indoor air can have two to five times more pollutants than outdoor air.
Vents can also get clogged with debris if you forget about your AC (or furnace) filter.
Either way, dirty vents can restrict airflow, leading to inadequate cooling (and heating). So give these openings a look-see at least once a month, and clean or vacuum them as soon as they become dusty.
3. Clear the Drain Tray
The drain tray in your AC unit catches water droplets that form during the cooling process. From there, the water flows into a pipe connected to the tray. The pipe then directs the collected condensation outside of your home.
Like any drain in your home, the AC drain tray can also collect debris that clogs the drain pipe. Moreover, the fact that this device remains damp whenever you use the AC makes it a prime spot for molds. Molds, in turn, can take as little as 24 to 48 hours to multiply, so it won’t be long before they clog the tray’s drain pipe.
When that happens, water can overflow out the pan and cause water damage. This can then promote even more mold growth. Worse, your AC can harbor infection-causing molds, such as Aspergillus.
To prevent such problems, make it a habit to inspect your AC drain tray once a week, especially if you use it a lot. Then, remove the gunk out of the tray and drain with gloved hands. You can also clean it with a solution of 50% water and 50% household bleach.
4. Set a Date with a Licensed Air Conditioner Maintenance Specialist
To ensure you really are hiring a pro, verify the license of the air conditioner service provider. Moreover, be certain that the company has adequate liability insurance. You should also look for accreditations from organizations like the Better Business Bureau.
The folks at Larsen HVAC say those credentials indicate excellent AC solutions. Besides, your state may be implementing laws regarding mandatory HVAC worker licensure. All states also require businesses to carry liability insurance.
Stay Cool and Safe at Home with Proper AC Maintenance
As you can see, some air conditioner maintenance tasks, such as filter changes, are easy to do on your own. However, it’s best (and safer) to leave the more complex parts of the tune-up process to the experts. This way, the pros can help ensure your AC functions properly and remains efficient. Ready for more home and living tips and tricks like this? Then feel free to browse our other recent blog posts!