Air Conditioning Maintenance and the Life of Your Unit
Whether you have a window mounted unit or a complete central air conditioning system, maintenance is the key to the long life of your HVAC system and desired room temperature. Whether it’s a small unit from an obscure foreign factory, or one of the finest Carrier Corporation models, regular air conditioner maintenance is easy and saves you money on running the unit and on using the least possible amount of energy to stabilize and maintain a comfortable room temperature.
In addition to a higher electricity bill, a poorly maintained air conditioner can also aggravate sinus congestion, headaches and allergies. These maintenance tips are intended to extend the life of any air conditioning unit and to get it running more efficiently and effectively while providing you with comfortable room temperature on those sweltering days in NYC.
1. Replace air filters at least every 3 months. Pleated air filters are generally recommended and they’re as important for your air conditioner as changing the oil and filters in your car. People with allergies might want to replace filters every 6 weeks. Make sure you carefully check the direction of the filter, as many models are oriented for insertion and use in only one direction. Any airflow vents should also be inspected for obstructions or dirt build-ups or blocking.
2. Check the thermostat. Don’t set it to a ridiculously low temperature. It usually just makes your air conditioning run longer but without actually dropping the room temperature. Obviously, the electricity use will be much higher, too. You also want to annually make sure that all of the controls operate correctly.
3. Inspect the ductwork. And patch it with duct tape if necessary. Window mounted or smaller units need to be unobstructed with a clear area for ventilation. You’ll also want to protect smaller units and any entry or exit points of your ducts during construction.
4. Insulate. Insulating your ducts keeps the cool air inside while it’s traveling. Foil backed insulation wraps will improve the efficient delivery of colder air to all the parts of your house where you need it.
5. Clean outside. Thoroughly clean and inspect your outside air conditioning unit or heat pump at least once per year. Any blocked air vents will cause the air conditioning unit to work harder, raise energy consumption and reduce the life of the unit.
6. Tighten all electrical connections. Have your ac service technician should measure the voltage and current on the motors. Faulty electrical connections will reduce the life of the air conditioning unit and could lead to unsafe operation.
7. Lubricate any moving parts. Motor friction will seriously reduce the life of any AC unit, so you’ll want to speak with a technician about properly lubricating your machine.
8. Check the Drain. A central air conditioner, or a heat pump in cooling mode needs a clear, operable drain, and can provide an ample source of free distilled water.
9. Clean the coils. Dirty evaporator and condenser coils will reduce cooling efficiency and can cause odors and unpleasant, inefficient operation.
10. Refill the refrigerant level if necessary. Ask your service technician how if you’ve never done it. Too much or too little refrigerant will impair the efficient operation of your air conditioning system and it will also severely reduce the life of the unit.
No matter the make or model of the air conditioning you’re running, your room temperature and ultimate comfort depend on a regular maintenance schedule. Contact us now at 646-783-2478 to schedule air conditioning maintenance.
Filed under: Air Conditioning Maintenance