Keeping your air conditioning unit in good condition will ensure its long life. By taking care of small issues that may come up, you can prevent them from causing a large problem. For example, keeping your air conditioner clean will reduce the amount of air that gets sucked into it.
You should also level the condenser and clean the condensate drain.
Clean Air Conditioner Filters
Keeping air conditioner filters clean will reduce the energy your system needs to run. They also prevent dust from accumulating, a major waste energy source. MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, ratings indicate how well these filters remove particles from the air. A low number indicates a weak filter, while a high number indicates a highly efficient filter. It is advised to get air conditioning service Albuquerque at least once a year, even if there are no obvious issues, to ensure it’s operating at its best. Air filters should be cleaned at least once a month. However, this task should be done more frequently during the summer and winter. To make cleaning easier, you can purchase washable filters or disposable ones.
Leveling the Condenser
Leveling the condenser when maintaining the air conditioner is important for proper functioning of the cooling system. Even a small amount of off-balance will cause problems for the unit, including increased speed and energy waste. A level unit will run more efficiently and save money on energy bills. A professional HVAC technician can check the base and pad and make adjustments to level the unit. If the outdoor unit is not leveled properly, you risk bending coolant lines, causing a leak, and allowing refrigerant to escape. Even a slight bend in copper tubing can have disastrous consequences for your air conditioner. Although it is easy to level the outdoor unit, you should consult a professional if you are uncomfortable performing the task. If dandelions or grass clippings grow around the unit, it is especially important to clean it. Another way to ensure the unit is level is to level the ground around the unit. Depending on the soil content and quality, you may need to lift the unit or replace the concrete pad temporarily.
Cleaning the Condensate Drain
Cleaning the condensate drain for your air conditioner is an important part of maintaining it. This drain is usually located outside the home, near the outdoor unit. It is an exposed pipe that is attached to the outside wall. This pipe usually has a T-shaped vent tee on it. If you notice a clog, it is best to call a technician to have it cleared out. You can clean the condensate drain line using distilled vinegar. The vinegar will kill the harmful buildup that has made it clogged. To clean the drain line, pour about 1/4 cup of vinegar into a funnel and pour it into the drain. Let the solution sit in the drain for half an hour, then rinse it with clean water.
Checking the Fins
First, disconnect the power source from the air conditioner and unscrew the access panel. Then, take a comb and gently comb the fins to remove any debris. If you notice that some fins are bent or discolored, you should use a fin-cleaning solution to restore their appearance. Finally, reattach the fins to the fan cage.
If you’re not comfortable removing the window unit, you can also try to straighten the fins with a fin comb. This tool has teeth sized to fit the spacing between the fins. It can separate several fins with one pass. You can use a credit card if you find only one bent fin. In addition, you can also use a fin straightening tool, which inserts into a gap between the fins and runs through the bent section. It may take several passes before it straightens the entire fin.