Although Spring is in full motion, it isn’t too late to check and maintain your air conditioning unit before summer. The last thing you want in the middle of June is your AC unit going out while hosting friends and family.
It’s not a pretty sight.
Everyone looks exhausted, fans and ice are strategically placed in every room, but no matter what you do the thermostat won’t go below 85 and your guests begin coming up with elaborate excuses to leave.
Yes, it happened to me last summer.
So if you want to avoid experiencing a horror story this summer, take note of these maintenance tips.
1. Perform an air Leak Test
Although not directly related to your AC unit, leaks in your home can allow cool air to escape and hot air to penetrate your home. Leaks can make your AC unit work harder, causing more wear and tear, and can cause your electric bill to rise.
To perform an air leak test, simple light an incense stick, close all doors and windows, and turn off any fans. With the incense in hand, walk around the border of your home. If you notice the smoke from the incense being pushed or sucked, you may have a leak.
2. Check Insulation
An easy way to improve your AC efficiency is by replacing damaged or old insulation around the AC lines.
3. Clean the Fins
Many people aren’t aware that you actually have to clean your unit periodically. AC units are built with a filtration system that utilizes many metal fins surrounding the unit. Over time, these fins tend to get clogged with dirt, leaves, and grime. Luckily, cleaning these fins are easy! Just grab a hose, open the top of the unit and spray through the fins from the inside out. Make sure that the unit is turned off and remains off until it is dry. Fins should be cleaned every few months, however if they haven’t been cleaned for a while, you may need a deep cleaning using a brush and vacuum.
4. Fix Fins
Those tiny metal fins we just mentioned are quit delicate and can get bent easily, allowing debris to get into your AC system. An easy way to realign them is to use a butter knife to bend them back into shape. You can also opt to purchasing a fin comb.
5. Replace the Filter
Replacing the air filter is common knowledge, but some of us need a reminder.
So, for those in the back:
switch out your air filter every 6 months!
6. Unclog Condensate Drain Tube
For the most part, your condensate drain tube shouldn’t be clogged. However, if you notice water around the furnace, the condensate drain may be clogged. Fixing a clog tube will require using air conditioner pan tablets, and a new larger tube. The tablets will reduce slime formation and the larger tube will enable faster condensate flow.