There are several things you can do on your own to maintain your central air conditioner and keep it running efficiently and smoothly for years to come. What follows are some suggestions on how you can take your air conditioner’s maintenance into your own hands and prevent otherwise costly repairs and part replacements.
If, however, your central air system is experiencing a problem that you simply do not have the tools or the know-how to fix, no worries. Ambient Edge is here to help! Just give us a call today at (888) 240-8283 to get started.
Cleaning the Fins
Keeping your AC unit clean is key to prolonging its life and efficiency. For window units, this is just a matter of cleaning the filter regularly and changing it out every 2 to 3 months. For central air conditioning units, though, this process is a little more involved.
One thing you can do is vacuum the AC unit’s fins with a soft-bristled brush. You don’t want to use a brush with hard bristles because the fins are delicate and can easily bend or crush. For most AC units, the fins are difficult to reach (and with good reason, as they need ample protection). To clean them, you’ll need to unscrew and lift off the metal box that covers them. You can check your owner’s manual to ensure you do this as carefully as possible to protect the fins.
NOTE: If you do damage a fin, don’t panic – you may be able to fix it by re-aligning it gently with a butter knife. Just make sure you don’t insert the knife any further than a half-inch into the unit.
Cleaning the Condenser Coils
The best way to keep your condenser coils clean is to prevent dirt and debris from collecting around the unit. Everything from falling leaves to lawnmower clippings can become trapped in the condenser, reduce its efficiency, and potentially cause a breakdown. Clean the area around the coil by sweeping away any dust and dirt, removing debris, and trimming the surrounding foliage back by at least two feet so your condenser can enjoy an adequate airflow.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Nowadays, it’s a given that you should have a programmable thermostat, especially if your central AC unit is a more modern version. The great thing about a programmable thermostat is that you can set it to different temperatures depending on the time of day, so that it lowers the temperature in the home when you are away – which saves wear and tear on your HVAC system and saves you money in the long run.
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Level the Unit
As the soil settles beneath your condenser unit, the pad it sits on may tip to one side. If the unit continues to run while not properly settled, this can cause the compressor to break down. Check to make sure the unit is level and, if not, use shims to level it. Just make sure the shims you choose are rust-resistant, or else they’ll wear down over time and you’ll be right back where you started, needing to do the work all over again.
Schedule an Inspection
If you want to make sure all the bells and whistles are squared away before the summer season starts, your best bet may be to schedule a professional inspection of your unit.
For instance, when you schedule an inspection with our qualified team at Ambient Edge, you can expect the technician to perform the following services.
- Check refrigerant levels and, if they’re low, re-fill them and check for leaks
- Check ducts and seal any potential leakage spots
- Inspect, clean, and tighten electrical connections
- Lubricate motors and check for wear
- Tighten belts and check for wear
- Check that your thermostat is providing an accurate readout
Note that the services we provide are not limited to this list, and you can always let us know if there is something in particular that you are concerned about with your unit. Going forward, you may also want to sign up for a preventive maintenance contract with us. With a preventive maintenance contract, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing a professional is continually checking up on your system and cleaning and repairing it when necessary.
Need Help with Your Central Air Conditioning Unit? Call Ambient Edge Now!
At Ambient Edge, HVAC is what we do. If you need an issue solved with your central air conditioning unit, don’t be shy! Give us a call at (888) 240-8283 or send us a message on our website. We provide everything from inspections and cleanings to preventive maintenance, so give Ambient Edge a call today, and you’ll never need to worry about your central air conditioning system again!