Preventative Maintenance

  • A Guide to Air Conditioning Maintenance

    Man repairing outdoor AC unit

    Spring is here with summer to follow quickly on its heels. If you're a home or business owner in Florida, you know it's time to prepare your air conditioner for the harsh temperatures to come. Just because your air conditioner will work when you turn it on doesn't mean it's running at peak performance. Regular maintenance will ensure your system is working like it should, and prevent an outage during extreme summer temperatures.

    Maintenance Tips

    It's common for homeowners to know little about AC maintenance. As long as cool air is available, it's easy to forget the details and take the comforts of home for granted. However, these simple maintenance tips can keep your home cool and help you prevent an outage right when you need your air conditioner the most.

    Change or Clean the Filters

    Your air conditioner's filters make a big difference in the system's ability to cool your home effectively. When these filters become clogged with dirt dust and debris your system can't run as effectively as it should. Dirty filters result in reduced air flow, increased dust and allergens, and extra stress on your AC system.

    The main filter in your air conditioning system is located directly in the unit. Additional filters are often located in wall or ceiling ducts. When cleaning your filters, it is important to follow the manufacturer's instructions to avoid damage. If you are replacing the filter, ensure the replacement filter has the same airflow quality as the original. The right replacement for your system should click easily into place.

    Clean the Coils

    The evaporator and condenser coils in your air conditioner have an important job to do. These coils, located on your air conditioning unit outside, are responsible for controlling the main source of air through your home. They remove heat from your home and bring in cool air, which means they can accumulate dust quickly.

    When cleaning the exterior air conditioning unit, vacuum the coils to help clear away accumulated dust. If you notice your air conditioner running often or working harder to keep your home cool, the coils may be clogged. An air conditioning specialist can inspect and clean the portions of the coils that you can't reach with your vacuum cleaner.

    Remove Debris

    Your air conditioning unit is subject to all types of weather. Over time, leaves and outdoor debris build up around the outside of your air conditioner. Leaves, dirt, and even small twigs can get stuck in the working parts of your outdoor AC unit. If you have bushes or shrubs close to the house, it's important to ensure they don't grow close enough to block air flow to your air conditioning system.

    Before cleaning your air conditioner, turn off the unit with the shut-off switch. Remove loose debris from the area surrounding your system. Trim tall grass and weeds, taking care not to damage the unit. Use an outdoor vacuum to remove dirt and grass from the exterior fins. To clean the interior of your AC unit, remove the grille and gently wipe dirt from the fan and interior parts. Clear any gathered debris, and complete the job by using a water hose to rinse the fins.

    Eliminate Blockages

    The fins on evaporator coils are made of aluminum which bends easily. When these fins bend, they can block airflow through the coil. When you are cleaning the fins on your air conditioner, make sure to note if they are bent or damaged. Cracked or damaged fins will need to be replaced. However, bent fins can be gently shaped back to their regular position.

    Professional Preventive Maintenance

    If the idea of digging into the network of your own air conditioning system makes you want to attempt to weather the summer with a series of ceiling fans, regularly scheduled professional maintenance can help you keep your cool. During each preventive maintenance visit, a skilled technician will inspect and clean all of the working parts of your system. Preventive maintenance will ensure your system is free of leaks and measure refrigerant and pressure levels. After inspection and cleaning, your technician will discuss any necessary repairs with you.

    Air conditioning maintenance is responsible for more than just keeping your home cool. Preventive cleaning and maintenance can lower your energy bill, eliminate dangerous allergens and mold, and prolong the life of your air conditioning system. If you live in and around the areas of St. Lucie, Indian River, and Martin County Florida, trust your air conditioning maintenance to the professional team at American Air Cares. Contact us today to set up an appointment and make sure your system is in top form for the summer ahead.