1. Clean the Condenser or Heat Pump
Outdoor air conditioners and heat pumps can get notably dirty, causing the system to work harder to create the necessary cold and warm air you want in your home.
Cleaning condensers and heat pumps reduce the likelihood of damage to any internal components. Households must ensure that there is no debris on the top and sides of their outdoor air-conditioning pumps and units.
Use your garden hose on the fins, making sure that you get in-between the crevices to get all the gunk out.
Also, double-check that your unit is level. If lopsided, the refrigerants that are so important in helping your A/C work well, will be disjointed. Your condenser and compressor could be at an increased risk of breaking down as a result.
2. Check the Filter
One of the most apparent reasons for air conditioner repair is a dirty air filter. Changing the filter is one of the more straightforward ways of doing HVAC maintenance to improve the air conditioner’s efficiency, reduce energy costs of heating the home, and decrease the likelihood of needing repairs.
Check your filter monthly to ensure it isn’t dirty or clogged. If it is, it’s a good idea to give it a good wash and run air over it. As for changing the filter, about once every three months should suffice. If it looks dirtier than usual, then replace it at once, especially if your households have pets.
The AC filter can freeze if it is too dirty and then thaw, causing water damage.
If you have a reusable filter, clean it gently with a soft cloth. After that, add some mild soap and water.
If it’s not reusable, head to the store and buy a new one. If you or your family have allergies, it’s good to get a HEPA or hypoallergenic filter. These filters will help the most purify the air.
3. Regular or Annual Professional Check-Ups
A check-up comprises an on-site visit from an HVAC technician who will examine the HVAC system and ensure it operates at optimum performance. Depending on the technician involved, the inspection may include doing any of the following:
- Ensuring the fan is working correctly
- Cleaning the coils
- Checking (or possibly changing) the air filter
- Cleaning drain lines
- Checking the refrigerant level
- Checking for leaks in the heat exchanger
A check-up can be a one-time event or provided yearly as part of regularly scheduled maintenance.
A professional check-up only needs to be completed once a year and aids households to ensure that their HVAC does not break down when they need it most during the high summer and winter months.
Getting your HVAC serviced means that all the components will be cleaned and inspected, and working at their optimal best, preventing costly energy bills, not to mention expensive, unexpected repair bills.
4. Clean the Drain Lines
An air conditioner, along with cooling, also takes out the moisture from the air. This moisture then accumulates within the drain lines of the air conditioner and is directed outside. Over time, with the accumulation of dirt and dust, the drain lines can become clogged and even be a home for algae and mold.
It is thus a good idea to periodically clean the drain line. Take off the air conditioner’s outer cover and clean the drain line with a clean piece of cloth. Moreover, you can rinse it with a mixture of water and vinegar, removing any mold which might have formed.
5. Keeping the Outdoor Unit Clear
The outdoor unit is continuously exposed to weather and other environmental factors such as dirt and debris. Furthermore, growth and vegetation can cover the outdoor unit over time and prevent the exhaust air from being ejected effectively. Sometimes, the branches and leaves can even get inside the outdoor unit and interfere with the fan’s smooth functioning.
It makes sense to monitor the area around the outdoor unit, and observe any bushes or leaves that might need trimming. This is a DIY job, which does not take up a lot of time, but can save you significant expenses later on.
6. Get a Smart AC Controller
By making your HVAC system smart, you can access additional features that can help with preventive maintenance. For instance, smart air conditioners or smart AC controllers allow you to monitor your usage history and receive alerts every time your AC may need a filter status cleaning.
Some thermostats can even detect when your AC is not performing optimally or if there is an issue with indoor air quality. These are significant signs of a defective HVAC system.
With other modes such as scheduling or geofencing, you can activate your HVAC systems depending on your set-time or location. This ensures your HVAC system performs efficiently, does not run unnecessarily, nor wastes energy.