If you have a great AC system, you want to keep it running well. One of the best ways to do that is to get a 128 Plumbing maintenance plan that will help you with circumvent most repairs.
But that’s not all you can do. There are plenty of simple checks that will help us out when we come in to do AC maintenance, and the good news is that nearly all of them are DIY tasks.
Here’s a rundown on what you can do to keep your air conditioning system running the way it should, and what you should do depending on what you find.
Replace Your AC Air Filter Before HVAC Maintenance
This is one of the simplest procedures on the list, but it’s also one of the most important. Dirty filters can hinder the operation of your AC, so they should be checked and replaced according to the manufacturers recommendations.
In most systems that’s every month or two during summer usage, and every three months regardless. As long as you do it regularly, though, you can help avoid expensive repairs down the line.
It’s also important to clean your filters if the manufacturer recommends doing that. Usually this is a simple process, but if it feels overwhelming you can just replace the filter. When you do, make sure the airflow arrows are pointing the right way, too.
Clean AC Evaporator Coil and Condenser Coil
If you want your AC to run efficiently, you definitely need to clean these two parts of your system. Dirty coils will definitely hurt the efficiency of your AC system, and the evaporator is responsible for removing extra water that can also hinder proper operation.
When you clean these two parts, look for cracks or holes in the coil, or evidence of refrigerant leakage that can indicate a possible problem.
Cleaning the condenser coil can usually be done with an outdoor hose—most outdoor units can handle getting wet. If the coil is especially dirty you can use a cleaning solution specially made for AC coils, or you can call us to do it for you as part of our maintenance procedures.
Inspect and Clean the Drain Line and Drain Pan
The drain line and drain pan combination also helps eliminate extra water, and not cleaning it can cause a major mess. In addition, you can prevent a clogged drain pan by performing this simple procedure, which can save you hundreds of dollars in future repairs.
As you perform these procedures, look for an excess buildup of gunk or slime, which can coat the drain lines and eventually cause problems.
Remove all standing water when you clean your drain pan, then use a rag or a wet dry vacuum to finish the job if you’ve accumulated a lot of water.
Under normal circumstances, though, there shouldn’t be a lot of water built up in your drain pan, so that might be a yellow flag to mention when we come for a maintenance visit.
Lubricate the Blower and Condenser Fans in Your AC System
Your AC system works hard to keep you cool, so you need to take care of the parts that keep it from overheating.
That includes the blower and condenser fans, which should rotate freely, and they also need oil to function properly. In some cases this is a DIY job, but if you’re not sure you should let us do it for you as part of our AC maintenance plan.
Make sure you turn off the power before you start these procedures, then do a visual inspection. The fan should be clear of dust and debris, and both the fan and the motor parts should rotate and move freely.
There shouldn’t be any vibrations, and you should also check the belts and pulleys if your system has those.
Inspect Electrical Wiring and Controls as Part of Your Maintenance Checklist
Your AC system is a major piece of equipment that draws a fair amount of voltage, so keeping the wiring in good condition is imperative. At 128 Plumbing, we have electricians who can help with this.
Maintaining your wiring isn’t just a matter of proper operation, though. Loose connections can become a safety issue, and if they’re not handled properly they can even lead to a house fire.
Make sure you turn off the power when you do this, and look for corrosion, too. Check all the connections, and you can use an air compressor or a dust blower to do the cleaning.
Check Your Thermostat and Stay on Top of Your Settings
It’s important to keep your thermostat working properly so that when you set the temperature it responds quickly.
Effective thermostat operation is essential when it comes to AC efficiency, and if your thermostat isn’t working properly it can be a sign that there are deeper problems in your AC system that need to be addressed.
Inspect and Clean Air Registers and Ductwork
Your ductwork functions as the lungs of your AC system, so it’s important to inspect it and keep it clean. Look for wear and tear that could lead to small holes, and make sure that dust and pet hair aren’t accumulating to prevent proper operation.
This is simple enough to do with a vacuum cleaner, and it can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs that can be easily avoided.
Also, look for mold buildup when you do your inspection. Check for insects or critters that have accidentally crawled into your ductwork, and check all the seams and the connection points. This will help you find any air leaks that can compromise the efficiency of your system.
Use a utility brush to clean mold, or a sponge or light scrubber for larger surfaces in the ductwork. Use a disinfectant to prevent future mold growth.
Check Screws and Panels Before You Schedule AC Maintenance
It may seem basic to look for loose screws in your AC system, but many homeowners forget to do it and end up paying for their oversight.
Loose screws can cause problems if they end up somewhere they shouldn’t, not to mention not securing the parts they’re meant to hold in place.
Loose panels can be worse, so make sure to check for those, too. They can cause problems like air leaks, excessive humidity production, so make sure everything is in place and where it’s supposed to be when you do this check.
Get Help With Your AC Checklist From 128 Plumbing
If you need help going through this checklist, you should call 128 Plumbing. Ideally, it should be combined with one of our HVAC maintenance plans to get an air conditioning service schedule to ensure proper operation of your system and keep it in top condition.
All of this starts with a phone call, and the numbers are (888) 419-4233 or (781) 670-3261. We’ll answer your questions, schedule you for maintenance and give you whatever help you need with the checklist.
To get more information about how this works, you can also go to 128Plumbing.com and start a live chat. We also have some great blogs and articles about your AC checklist and our maintenance plans, so make sure you stay cool this summer by checking these out.