Do you have air conditioning in your Seattle home? If so, you may want to check your air conditioner out to make sure that it’s ready to handle the upcoming summer’s heat. The last thing you’d want is to flip on your air conditioner on a hot summer’s day, only to discover that it doesn’t work! Here are some cleaning and maintenance tasks that will help to ensure that your air conditioner is operating at maximum efficiency:
Clean or Replace Filters
To boost your air conditioning system’s efficiency, improve airflow, and avoid re-circulating dust into your home, clean or replace the filters when dust begins to accumulate. Disposable filters should be replaced every one to three months, depending on the brand of filter you use, and non-disposable filters should be cleaned every month. Changing or cleaning your filter regularly will help to keep your air conditioning system’s indoor coil clean and reduce your energy bill.
Inspect and Clean the Outdoor Condenser Unit
An air conditioning system’s condenser unit is typically located outdoors and looks like a large fan in a metal box. If you don’t keep it covered with a tarp or condenser cover in the winter, it will likely contain dirt, debris, and leaves that need to be cleaned out. The coils inside of the unit should also be cleaned because any debris clogging the coils will affect its efficiency.
Prior to cleaning the condenser unit, turn off power to the unit. You will need a screw driver or nut driver to remove the protective grilles from the metal box. Use a refrigerator coil brush or soft brush to clean the coils gently and then use a vacuum to clean the coils from the inside. If some debris is difficult to remove, you may need to use a commercial coil cleaner from the inside, being careful not the spray the cleaner onto the fan or electrical components. In addition, be sure to scoop out leaves and other debris from the base of the condenser unit. You can use a vacuum and a rag to clean the fan blades.
The longest a condenser unit should go without being cleaned is two to three years, depending on how often you use your air conditioner during the summer. It’s also important to remove airflow restrictions around the condenser unit by cutting tree branches, shrubs, and grass that are at least three feet away at the sides of the unit and five feet above it.
Check Coolant Lines
Check the pipes that connect the evaporator to the outdoor condenser unit to see if any parts of the insulation covering them is missing or wearing thin. If it is, reinforce those areas with foam insulation tape.
Get an Air Conditioning Check-Up
There’s no better time than now to have your air conditioning system checked out by a professional. Annual check-ups extend the life of your system, keep it running more efficiently, and address small problems promptly, so they don’t lead to major, expensive repairs down the line. If you live in the greater Seattle, Tacoma, Redmond, and Bellevue areas, call MM Comfort Systems at 425-533-9058 or fill out our contact form for more information about our air conditioning services.