DIY air conditioning service tips to save hiring an air conditioning service provider
Maintaining your air conditioner before each hot or cold season begins is critical. Necessary maintenance ensures steady improvement in AC performance and steady decline in energy use. Best of all, you get to save money on costly early replacements and constant repairs. You can save even more bucks by repairing, cleaning or replacing your air conditioner by yourself. Some AC maintenance tasks don’t require the assistance of an HVAC expert. These DIY tips apply to your home’s air conditioning system.
1) Remove debris
You should minimise debris near the exterior condenser unit. Falling leaves, dryer vents, and your lawn mower are some potential sources of debris. Removing debris around the coil allows for sufficient airflow. For effective cleaning, use a dry vacuum cleaner.
2) Clean coil fins
In time, outdoor condenser fins collect dirt and debris. This dirt reduces efficiency by reducing airflow through the fins. Using a fin cleaning spray, clean any built up dirt from the unit. Alternatively, you can spray steam through the fins using a garden hose to blast any debris in the condenser.
3) Straighten the fins
Bent aluminium fins can block airflow through the condenser or evaporator coils. Fin straightening tools, such as fin combs, will fix the fins back into their original condition. You can also use a butter knife to straighten these fins. Be careful not to damage the tubing within the fins.
4) Clean evaporator coil
The air conditioner’s coils collect dirt over their years of service. Likewise, if you neglect to maintain your unit, algae can grow on the evaporator and condenser coil. Dirt collection and algae growth insulate the coil and reduce airflow, thus affecting heat absorption. To avoid this issue, check and clean your evaporator coil at least once every year. If the coil is too dirty, dust it off using a soft brush, and then spray it with a no-rinse coil cleaner.
5) Change the blower filter
A clean filter prevents coils from soiling quickly. But, if you live in a dusty area, over time, the evaporator coil will collect a lot of dirt. Therefore, it is important to replace your filter at least twice a year, particularly before the heating and cooling seasons begin. Be cautious with HEPA or Air Purifying filters, because they can reduce airflow in your unit. Only replace the filter with a new filter which has similar airflow rating.
6) Clean condensate drains
The build-up of mould and algae may potentially clog the drain. Blocked drain channels increase humidity in a unit. The excess moisture can discolour carpet or walls. To prevent flooding in attic units, basement floor, and utility sink, it is best to clean the plugged evaporator drain. Use a dry vacuum to remove any growing biological matter. Also, occasionally pass a wire through your air conditioner’s drain channels.
In the winter or in the summer, an air conditioner in good condition will improve your comfort indoors. If your air conditioning system requires more than regular maintenance, it is best to hire a professional AC service expert. A well-trained technician will locate and fix problems in your unit.