Here in Kansas we have already had a glimpse of the summer heat, so before we hit those inevitable stretches of 100+ degree days, it is a great idea to do some preventative maintenance on your Air Conditioning (or AC) unit, if you haven’t already. There are a few items that you can take care of on your own, but Craig Sharp Homes recommends contacting a professional annually to give your system a thorough inspection and cleaning. As the temperatures climb, the technicians schedules get backlogged, so the sooner you can get on their calendar the better.
Inside The House
DIY: If your inside AC unit has a mesh filter, it is easy to take it out and vacuum / wash it off every month or so. If your system uses disposable filters they often need changed every 3 months. During high pollen times of the year or after a major remodel job, these filters should be changed more frequently. It is also important to keep the supply and return ducts free of cobwebs and other obstructions, especially if you have floor registers that may get toys, dirt, or other objects slid down the vents.
Call a Professional: A Technician can perform a more detailed inspection of your AC unit, and use a vacuum to clean the guts of your unit without fear of breaking any parts. They should also look over your fans, evaporator coil, and make sure the drain pan and/or pump are functioning properly. While they are out servicing your home, they can also test for proper balancing and temperature settings in the different rooms of your home as well.
Outside The House
DIY: Before cleaning or inspecting the outside AC unit, it is important to disconnect the power. There should be a disconnect switch near the unit or you can also throw the breakers in your main electrical panel to ensure you do not get accidentally hurt. Most outside units have a few screws to remove the outside cover. Once it is off, you can vacuum off the vent fins to remove any leaves or debris. While the cover is off, you can use a hose and a light stream of water to rinse of the interior components. When you are done be sure to securely reattach the cover and turn the power back on.
Call a Professional: The technician will again look more closely at the exterior AC unit on the same visit as when they look at the interior unit. Outside you’ll want to make sure they test the refrigerant pressure to locate and repair any leaks, and perform a standard diagnostic test of the outside unit to make sure everything is up and running properly.
These few steps will ensure you are ready for the heat waves of summer and catch any minor issues before they become major problems.