Steps to Keep Your Air Conditioning Unit in Tip-Top Shape

Steps to Keep Your Air Conditioning Unit in Tip-Top Shape

December 11, 2019

It should go without saying that regular air conditioning maintenance in Altoona, PA can save you money on energy bills and repairs and extend the life of your HVAC system. As homeowners know, a brand-new, energy-efficient replacement AC unit is not cheap, which is why you might consider signing up for a maintenance plan to prevent the need for emergency replacement.

The good news is that there are things you can do to prep your central air conditioning unit before hot weather arrives. If you are not comfortable doing AC maintenance yourself, hire a pro for seasonal cleanings and checkups. Below are steps you can take to keep your air conditioning unit in good condition and running smoothly:

  • Cut the power: Danger accompanies electricity. When working on your air conditioner, the first step is to turn off the power to the system. The outside unit is connected to a power box, typically attached to the closest exterior wall. Shut this off, as well as the power to the main breaker box.
  • Clear away debris: On the unit, carefully remove the fasteners and fan cage using a screwdriver. Lift the cage or fan grill off the top of the unit. Next, use an outdoor vacuum or gloved hands to clean leaves and other debris from inside the unit.
  • Clean the fins: After removing the outer cover to the unit, use the brush attachment on a shop vac to remove dirt. Never use a pressure washer. Gently hose the fins from the inside to spray out debris buildup.
  • Straighten fins: Bent fins will reduce airflow, and therefore will negatively impact efficiency. Use a butter knife or specialty tool to bend fins straight. Be careful not to damage the tubing embedded within the fins.
  • Clean around the unit: When you’re done cleaning, put the fan cage back on and begin cleaning the area around the unit. Rake leaves, pull weeds and trim back trees and vegetation to ensure proper airflow around the AC unit. Although it’s not absolutely necessary, some homeowners cover the top of their unit during periods of non-use to keep debris from falling in. If you do this, leave the unit’s sides uncovered to prevent interior moisture buildup and corrosion.
  • Level the unit: Use a level to ensure the soil underneath the pad has not settled. A condenser that is not level can cause the compressor to fail.
  • Clean components: Be sure to clean the evaporator coil inside the blower unit. Also, clean the evaporator drain and drip pan. A technician can also clean, inspect and service these parts and others.
  • Change the filter: The blower filter should be changed twice a year. It can’t do its job properly if it’s clogged with dust from last season.
  • Turn the power on: Once the AC unit is clean and free of problems, flip the power to it back on. Test the system and make sure cold air comes out.

Regular HVAC cleaning and repairs can help your system last longer. For professional assistance with heating and AC maintenance in Altoona, PA, don’t hesitate to contact Caporuscio Plumbing & Heating Inc. to schedule an appointment!

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