Everything You Need to Know About Maintaining Residential Air Conditioners
As the weather starts to heat up, so does the importance of a working air conditioner. After all, there's nothing worse than coming home to a stuffy, hot house on a hot summer day. But to guarantee you'll be able to enjoy the cool air as needed, you need to make sure your AC unit is properly maintained.
Types of Air Conditioning Units
Did you know there are several different types of air conditioning units on the market? The right one for you will depend on your space, cooling needs, and budget. Here are three of the more popular units available.
Central Air: A Central Air system regulates temperature throughout your home via ducts installed in the house. It's a great way to cool multiple rooms.
Window: Window mounted AC units come in a variety of sizes and are best for cooling a single room. It's a single unit, ejecting heat through the outside of the window.
Ductless Mini-Split: Popular in apartment buildings and for those who don't want to deal with installing duct work. They include an outdoor unit, as well as one (or more) that are installed high on the wall in a room.
How An Air Conditioning Unit Works
Air Conditioners don't actually create cold air, rather, they work by removing the warm air from the area. Each type of unit will vary slightly, however, the basic process is quite simple!
Heat is absorbed from the air in your home via a refrigerant. The refrigerant, which is composed of coils that move from inside your home to outside, heats up and transfers the heat from inside to outside. Once the heat has been transferred, the coils inside cool again and the process starts over.
Now that you know the types of ACs and how they work, be sure to take proper care and maintenance of your unit to extend its life.
Here are some tips on how to maintain your home's AC unit so it will keep you cool during those hot months:
1. Clean Your Furnace Filter - It's important to clean or replace your furnace filter regularly. A clean filter will improve air quality and help your furnace run more efficiently.
2. Clear the Condensate Drain - Assuming you have a central heating and cooling system, your condensate drain is most likely located near your furnace coil unit.
3. Keep Exterior Vents Clear - One of the most important maintenance tasks for any home is to keep the exterior vents clear. This is especially true in the fall and winter when leaves and other debris can clog them up. Not only does this reduce your home's efficiency, but it can also be a fire hazard. Take a look outside and make sure there are no plants too close, chairs leaning against it, and so on.
4. Clean Your Condenser - Your AC condenser is an important part of your air conditioning system, and it needs to be cleaned regularly to keep it running properly.
Here are some tips on how to clean your AC condenser:
● Turn off your air conditioner and unplug it from the power outlet.
● Remove the protective cover from the condenser unit.
● Use a garden hose to spray down the condenser coils. Be sure to use a gentle stream of water so you don't damage the coils. Do NOT use a pressure washer!
● Use a soft brush to clean any debris that may be stuck to the coils.
● Rinse the coils with a garden hose and allow them to dry completely.
5. Set Your Thermostat – By keeping your thermostat set at 21°C (70°F), you can ensure your home is comfortable and you are not over-burdening your AC unit.
6. Check Your Manual - If you have any other concerns, it's important to read your AC unit's manual thoroughly, to familiarize yourself with all the functions and maintenance requirements to keep your unit running at peak performance. If you have any questions, call the number on your manual, and speak with an experienced technician.
By following these simple tips, you can help to ensure that your AC unit is properly maintained and that it will keep you cool all summer long!
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