Central air conditioning maintenance not only allows you to enjoy vast savings on your energy costs, but it also aids in optimizing the functionality of your unit and increasing its overall lifespan.

residential central air conditioning unit

Air conditioners require regular attention in order to operate at their absolute highest level of efficiency. A home HVAC system will be either a system that has a furnace and an air conditioner unit or it will be a heat pump, which is designed to cool and heat your home.

Both of these consists of an interior and exterior component.

The interior will have an evaporator and a blower. The exterior will include a compressor and a condenser coil.

In order to optimize the functionality of your system and get the most use for your money, you must maintain the system and engage in basic upkeep. In this guide, you will be introduced to the steps you must take in order to properly maintain your central air.

Power Source

Before starting any work on your central air conditioner, you must first eliminate the power to the unit. There is a breaker box in your home that has a direct line to the unit. You may start by turning this off. Then, you must go outdoors and look for an electrical box near your system.

This is called a “shut-off box”.

Once you find it, open it and turn the power off. Sometimes, this has a plug that must be pulled out in order to turn off the power. If this is the case, pull the plug out gently.

Eliminating Natural Debris

The next step to maintaining and upkeeping your central air unit is to eliminate the natural debris that has found its way into the system. You will need a tool so that you may remove the fasteners that are holding the fan grill in place. Typically, either a wrench or a screwdriver. Once the fan has been lifted and set to the side, you may then remove the debris with a wet-dry vac.

Fin Maintenance

While the fan grill is removed, you should take off the covers from the outside of the unit. Use the wet/dry vac to remove debris located throughout the fins. You should then use a water hose down in the hole of the unit to spray through the fins to remove anything that has become lodged within the area that was not removed by the vacuum.

If you find that the fins have been bent, straighten them with a special tool designed for air conditioning fins.

The Evaporator Coil and Plug

Now, it is time to clean the evaporator coil and plug of the central air unit. This is on the inside of the unit and is typically protected by a door. This may involve removing the door. Once you are able to access the coil, dust it off and utilize coil cleaner that does not require any rinsing.

The foam will fall into the drain pan. Once finished, simply clean the drain pan.

Next, check the evaporator plug to ensure it is not clogged. If it is, clean it out thoroughly. Failure to complete this step may result in the system’s failure to deliver cool air inside of the home. Just use the wet/dry vac for about 2 minutes to remove debris from this drain.

The Filter

The next step to maintaining your central air unit is to change the filter that is in your home that is located near the blower of the system. If you live in an area where you run the air a lot or if your home has a lot of people, pets, and/or dust, you should change this filter each month; however, if you do not, you may change the blower filter every other month.

While you may opt to replace with air purifying filters, it should be understood that these may block air flow and may result in the freezing of the coil. In turn, this could result in the need for costly and unnecessary repairs later.

Clean Around the Unit

It is important to make certain that the entire area around your central air conditioner unit is clean and free from debris. First, you should rake all leaves away from the unit so that they are not sucked within when it is in operation. You should also make sure that the dirt levels are not high enough to block the evaporator plug.

If there are shrubs or trees around your system, they should be trimmed or cut in such a way that they do not pose any risk to your system. All forms of vegetation should be at least 3 feet from the air conditioner unit.

Annual Inspection

An important component of maintaining and upkeep on your central air conditioner is to have a professional inspect the unit at least once a year.

Upon their arrival, they will clean and completely flush all of the condenser coils. They will clean the drainage system, vacuum out the components and compartments associated with the blower unit, and will check the mechanical components to ensure optimal functionality.

Finally, they will check the refrigerant levels of the air conditioner. In some instances, they may also inspect the ductwork to make certain there is no damage and it is fully intact.

Maintaining and staying up on your air conditioner is a challenging endeavor. While many are comfortable performing the steps outlined in this guide, caution is advised. Failure to complete the steps correctly could detrimentally affect your air conditioner and render the unit dysfunctional.

By having a licensed technician perform these steps, you can rest assured that the job will be done right and that no damage will occur. We here at Reynolds specialize in central air conditioners.

If you need your system maintained, inspected, kept up on, or repaired, we will be there! For more information, Contact us Today.