Proper servicing and maintenance of your air conditioner is a must to keep it running smoothly. But if you are on a tight budget and cannot afford the services of an HVAC professional, the thought of air conditioner servicing might scare you.
Well, don’t worry because aircon maintenance is not only for the experts. While you will need to hire an HVAC professional twice a year for routine maintenance and servicing, there are certain maintenance and servicing tasks you can perform to extend the lifespan of your unit. By doing these simple tasks yourself, you get to save on professional aircon service and keep that hard-earned money in your pocket.
Take a look at the following DIY steps to keep your air conditioner running at the highest efficiency:
Step 1: Turn your air conditioning unit off
You know the risk of working around electricity, right? When you service your unit, you have to make sure that you shut off the power so you can freely touch your air conditioner’s parts without fear of being electrocuted. Since your air conditioning system has an interior and an exterior part, it is crucial that you completely turn off power to both units by shutting down the outdoor shutoff box near the exterior unit and the breaker box at the interior unit. You may also simply look for the capacitor in your unit by following the instructions in your manufacturer’s manual.
Step 2: Get rid of obstruction in the condenser fan
The condenser fan is the part that usually gets the most dirt, but the good news is that you can easily clean it with a brush when it gets covered with dust and debris. While it would be best to hire an HVAC professional to inspect your condenser fan and repair it when necessary, you can do the initial cleaning before you require an expert. You can do this by brushing off the dust before taking out the cover grill to access and lubricate the oil parts. Just a simple reminder though—Don’t use a pressure washer to clean your condenser, unless you want to damage your fins. Once you’re done cleaning the condenser fan and the fins, bring the condenser back to level.
Step 3: Clean the evaporator coil
Since the evaporator coil is one of the most delicate internal components of your unit, make sure that you use a soft brush to clean it. After brushing off the dust, use a spray to apply a coil cleaner. After the solution foams up and trickles down into your drain pan, use soap, hot water, and a drop of bleach to tidy up your drain pan. You may also leave a commercially available tablet in your pan to prevent the growth of algae and other elements. Once done with the cleaning, use a duct tape to seal back the evaporator coil door.
Step 4: Service the filter
This part can be a little tricky, as you need to determine whether you just need to clean it or change it altogether. Unfortunately, making the wrong decision can lead to more problems. Ideally, you will need to change the filter of your unit twice a year but if you live in a particularly grimy area, you will need to be more vigilant of the condition of your filter because changing it twice a year may not be enough. To clean the filter, simply use a cloth with soap and water to wipe off the dust before leaving it completely dry. If you find that the filter is already filled with dirt, you may need to buy a new filter and install it by slipping it into place. As you install the new filter, make sure that the airflow direction arrows match the arrows on the unit. This step is fairly easy to do, but it won’t hurt hiring an HVAC professional if you are not confident doing it yourself.
Step 5: Switch it back on
After doing all the easy servicing steps, turn the power back on and check for any issue. The air coming from your unit should feel cooler and fresher after cleaning. If you hear any noise from the inside of your unit after the process, turn the unit off and see if there is any component that you haven’t screwed properly. Loose parts usually cause air conditioners to produce noise when running, so don’t ignore any clatter you hear from your unit no matter how insignificant you think it is.
Maintaining your aircon properly and regularly is key to keeping your unit running smoothly and more efficiently. If you notice more serious issues with your unit during one of your routine checkups, call an HVAC professional right away. Yes, there are maintenance tasks you can do yourself, but there are tasks that only a skilled and experienced technician can do. It is important that you hire an expert technician to inspect your air conditioning system on a regular basis to ensure that all connections are in place.