As long as your air conditioner runs smoothly, it’s easy to forget that the system needs annual maintenance. In fact, many homeowners don’t even look at their air conditioning units unless something goes wrong. Whether your system is brand-new or is several years old, regular HVAC maintenance is an important part of keeping your home and family cool. If you haven’t checked these three parts for a while, it’s time for an air conditioner tune-up.
Replace the Air Filter Regularly
Many HVAC specialists recommend changing your air filter once a month, especially if you’re prone to asthma or allergic to airborne particles like dust and pollen. However, it’s easy to let a month or two slide in between filter changes. To help you remember, consider setting your filter replacement schedule around major holidays. If you remember to change your filter around Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, and Halloween, then you’ll have a clean air filter for much of the year. If you want to change the filter monthly, set a replacement reminder on the first of the month so that you’ll never forget.
Check for Level Placement
If you have an outdoor unit situated on the ground, you’ll need to ensure that it remains level over time. This doesn’t require much maintenance, but your system can develop problems if it becomes too slanted. This is because refrigerant needs to move through the unit freely without pooling in certain areas. A system that isn’t level can also cause the compressor to fail prematurely, which can lead to a major breakdown.
Your unit could become uneven if the ground settles below the rubber pads. A little slant is okay, but you may want to call a professional if you’re not sure. A knowledgeable technician will tell you if the imbalance is causing a larger problem.
Clean Hoses and Coils
The coils and hoses in your system collect gunk over time in the same way that your shower and sink pipes get clogged. While a clogged hose doesn’t necessarily require an expensive fix, it can still cause a frustrating breakdown. Often the first thing that experienced HVAC techs check when looking at a system is the state of the hoses. Even if they’re running properly, your technician might do an algae treatment and show you how to flush out the hoses and drain pan on your own in the future.
It’s relatively easy for technicians to clean coils or replace hoses without dismantling the entire system. That means you can save on repairs, and you’ll feel a sense of relief knowing that the problem is an easy fix.
Maintaining your HVAC system doesn’t have to be complex. It’s easy to make sure everything is flowing as it should and that the overall system is clean. During your next HVAC maintenance visit, ask your technicians to show you how they clean and maintain the units, and see whether they have a multipoint checklist so that you can take on the easy tasks yourself.
By Ashley Carter with DIYer Guide