On a hot, blistering summer's day, the last thing you need is for your air conditioning to suddenly go kaput. Unfortunately, it happens more often than you'd think, and the root causes usually involve inadequate maintenance and poor A/C service procedures. The following is a simple list of things you can do on your own to prevent sudden A/C failure.
Always Inspect and Replace Those Air Filters
It's a simple maintenance task, but it's often the most overlooked of them all. Once an air filter becomes completely clogged with debris, it can add unnecessary strain on your A/C unit by depriving it of the return air it needs to properly function. The added strain on the blower fan motor, compressor and various other components could lead to premature failure.
Most experts recommend that you swap your old, clogged air filter with a fresh example at least every 3 months. Others recommend monthly air filter changes for maximum efficiency and system longevity. If your unit uses a fiberglass air filter, you should consider upgrading it to a more effective pleated filter, as these filters can block dust, dirt and other debris more effectively.
Keep Those Evaporator Coils Clean
Dirty evaporator coils can also cause the A/C unit to work harder than usual, preventing the normal transfer of latent heat from the air to the refrigerant circulating inside the coils. This can cause the coils to freeze over and suddenly stop working. Mold and mildew buildup can also prevent the coils from functioning properly.
If you can gain access to your A/C supply plenum, then you can clean the evaporator coils with a soft-bristle brush and mild detergent. For stubborn buildup of debris or mildew, you should use a foaming no-rinse spray formulated for use on A/C evaporator coils.
Don't Forget About the Outdoor Cabinet
If you happen to own a split-system central A/C, then you should pay attention to the state of your outdoor cabinet. For starters, make sure that the bottom of the cabinet remains free of dirt, foliage and other debris. You should also take note of any dust or debris buildup on the condenser coils within the outdoor cabinet. Fortunately, this buildup can be removed with a simple rinse, in most cases.
Last but not least, you should always have an experienced HVAC professional conduct a thorough inspection of your A/C system on a semi-annual basis. With the help of your technician, you may be able to catch developing problems before they have a noticeable impact on your A/C system's operation.
For more information, contact Elite Heating, Cooling and Plumbing or a similar company.