Air conditioners effectively help to keep our homes cool and comfortable during the hot summer months when the temperature continues to rise. While they are wonderful to have, they do require some work! It is important to take good care of your AC unit all year long in order to ensure it works properly in the summertime when you need it most! Be sure to perform necessary maintenance especially in the spring as the summer approaches. Here are 5 outdoor air conditioner maintenance tips for homeowners to keep your AC unit running as best it can for as long as possible.
- Clear the condensing unit outside. This is the box that sits on the outside of your home. Throughout the year this box can fill up with debris and junk that can inhibit its performance or even break the unit. Be sure to clear the unit out completely by removing debris such as dirt, ticks, twigs, grass, leaves and other items that may have gotten stuck inside. This will help to make sure the unit works as efficiently as possible and that airflow is consistent. For a deeper more effective clean, you can even spray the unit down with a water hose, just be sure it is powered off!
- Once you clean the condensing unit itself, be sure to clean up the surrounding area to prevent this build up of debris in the first place. Cut any nearby grass and rake it up appropriately to reduce clogging the unit. Also cut back any overgrown bushes and weeds so the unit has appropriate airflow. Keep gravel and rocks at bay as needed. You may even want to cover the unit when it is not being used in the fall, winter and spring.
- Have your air conditioning unit inspected by a professional at least one time each year. While the homeowner can do a lot of air conditioning unit maintenance, there are usually some things that should be left to the professionals. Often a pro will be able to identify issues you would not have even noticed on your own so they can be fixed early on before they become a more serious or more costly issue.
- Check the condensers coolant lines. Examine the lines from the condenser that run to the evaporator inside of your home. Make sure the insulation is intact. If you notice that the insulation of the coolant lines is at all damaged, worn down or cracked this will reduce the cooling efficiency of your AC unit significantly and so the problem needs to be repaired as soon as possible. Replace this insulation with new insulation by following your system’s manufacturer’s instructions.
- Make sure that coolant levels are appropriate. If you suspect a coolant or Freon problem, it is not something you should handle on your own. Call a professional who can check to see if there is enough Freon in your system. Too little Freon means little to no cooling will take place. A professional will recharge the system and get coolant levels back to normal.
Maintaining your outdoor air conditioner, whether it is a retrofit vs. new system, is essential to its effectiveness and longevity. Protect your investment and ensure that you can stay cool in the summer by taking good care of your unit and providing it with the best maintenance you can.