Just as you change the oil in your car, keeping your air-conditioning equipment well maintained will extend its operating efficiency and effective lifespan.
At the start of the cooling season, check the seals on the air conditioner as well as the seals between the unit and the house to ensure no cool air is escaping. Then, check all the fuses, circuit breakers, wire, and terminals for corrosion; check the condensate drain for proper drainage; and examine fans and other moving parts for signs of wear and tear.
Outdoor condenser and evap coils can become damaged or clogged with dirt, which blocks airflow and insulates the coils, reducing their ability to manage heat efficiently. In order to keep the coils from clogging, don’t place your AC components near dryer vents, and remove fallen leaves, grass clippings, and other outdoor debris regularly. Cut and remove any shrubs and other foliage to give at least two feet of space around the condenser, allowing for sufficient airflow around the unit.
Replace or clean all your air filters each month during the cooling season, and more often if the filter becomes excessively clogged with dust and dirt. A clean filter greatly improves an air conditioner’s efficiency, lowering your energy consumption by 10 to 15 percent. On central air conditioners, filters are typically located on the return ducts in walls or ceilings. Room air conditioners have a filter mounted in the front, while ductless mini-splits store their reusable filter in a removable panel. Always check your owner’s manual for exact instructions on changing the air filter and maintaining your system.
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