Schedule an Appointment

Send Message

Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

Since almost half of residential energy use goes to heating and cooling, it makes sense to keep air conditioning and furnace equipment in optimum condition. This saves both energy and money. There are several simple ways that homeowners can maintain their air conditioners. In a few situations, however, calling a professional service may be the best way to solve a problem.

Clean or Replace the Filter

The most common reason for air conditioner breakdowns is a dirty filter. All types of air conditioners have filters, from window units to central systems. Filters prevent airborne particulates like dirt, dust and animal dander from circulating within the system. Specialty filters provide enhanced air purification by removing bacteria and mold.

The filter keeps the working components of the air conditioner clean. As a filter does its job and removes particles from the air circulating through the unit, dirty matter clings to the filter fabric. Some types of filters cannot be cleaned and must be replaced. Check your user’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.

Depending on the conditions of the environment in which you live, filters may need to be cleaned or changed as frequently as each month or only every few months. More frequent cleaning is recommended for dusty areas or for climates that require constant air conditioning.

Calibrate the Thermostat

A dirty thermostat, or one that is not level, may give inaccurate temperature readings. For each degree the temperature is reduced, energy usage increases by 8 percent. Inaccurate readings of even three degrees can increase energy usage by up to 24 percent. To clean the device, remove the cover and blow out dust from the unit. Wipe the face and other parts gently with a soft cloth. Clean the cover and replace. Check to see if the device is level.

Some homeowners choose to replace standard mercury thermostats with programmable units. Programmable thermostats can be set to adjust indoor temperatures automatically based on the lifestyle of the occupants. If you are away from home all day, the unit cycles down so that it does not cool while you are out, then cycles back on before you return so that the indoor environment is comfortable when you arrive home.

Clean Drains and Hoses

One of the functions of an air conditioner is to control indoor humidity levels. Moisture is removed from the air, drips into a collection pan and is routed through tubing to a drain. Some units have a condensate pump that mechanically removes water from the system. In humid environments, gallons of water are removed from the air each day.

A blocked drip pan or faulty hose makes water back up. If the pan overflows, moisture may seep into walls and floors, which can cause structural damage. Pooled moisture also affects the ability of the unit to dehumidify effectively, making the system run longer and work harder.

Check collection pans to make sure that there are no clogs and that water drains freely. Examine tubing for holes or crimps that impede water flow. Make sure the tubing runs downhill to facilitate drainage. Gently squeeze the tubing to loosen dirt that may have accumulated inside. Over time, hoses become brittle and need to be replaced.

Clean Coils, Blowers and Grilles

Evaporator coils must be clean to allow air to circulate freely. Impeded airflow affects efficiency, reducing cooling capacity by up to 30 percent. Dirty fan blades reduce the unit’s ability to circulate air and makes motors work harder. Cleaning blades and oiling fan motors increases efficiency. Although homeowners can manage this as a do-it-yourself project, it is advisable to call a professional who has the equipment and know-how to do the job properly.

Dirt, animal hair, leaves and other debris accumulate behind grilles and registers, impeding air flow. Homeowners can clean grilles with a household vacuum or mild soap and water. Check for loose joints to ducts behind grilles and tighten.

A Company Rooted in Trust and Integrity

At Robert Madden Industries, we strive to build trusting partnerships that our clients can rely on. We are a heating and air conditioning wholesale distributor that began in Lubbock TX over 30 years ago. We have since grown to 12 locations across Texas. Our unique size allows us to provide comprehensive HVAC solutions and customer service excellence. Please give us a call today, we would be proud to offer the integrity and commitment that we base our entire business on.