A few minutes of maintenance and care for your central air conditioner can ensure that it runs smoothly throughout the year, and can help you avoid unnecessary and very expensive repair bills down the road. Just as you take time to maintain your car before it breaks down, maintaining your home's air conditioner can ensure the parts last as long as they should and the unit provides you with the cool air you need during summer months. Note a few tips for maintaining your home's central air conditioner that you might have forgotten about.
1. Clean the fan
Many homeowners know to clean the condenser or grill of the outside unit, but they often stop there. You can clean the fan and the grill around the fan just inside your unit very quickly, and this will keep it from being bogged down by leaves, mud, dirt, and other debris. After shutting off the power, use a screwdriver to open the fan cage, or the part of the unit that holds the fan blades. You can then pull out the fan and give it a thorough wipe-down with a damp cloth, and pull out any leaves or other debris that are clinging to the blades and rotor.
2. Clean the fins properly
The fins, or the grill that surrounds the central air unit, need to be cleaned. However, homeowners often make the mistake of cleaning these from the outside alone, and with a high-pressure washer. The fins need to be cleaned from the inside as this is where dirt and other debris collect, and a high-pressure washer will actually damage the lightweight material of the unit. After removing the fan cage noted above, use a garden hose and spray the fins from the inside out to keep the unit clean.
3. Keep the unit level
If the air conditioner unit is not level, this can cause the compressor to work harder to circulate coolant and cool air. In turn, it may wear down more quickly than it should. The fan blades may also come into contact with unit itself or with other part inside the unit and they too can be damaged. Even if your unit is on a thick concrete pad, you want to check it with a carpenter's level every year. The pad can sink and sift because of soft soil and in turn, your unit can be damaged. Call an air conditioning maintenance team to brace up the pad as needed so the unit is level and protected.