How to Maintain an Air Conditioner

The best thing about living in the modern age is that we have access to air-conditioning. It’s amazing that it can be a hundred degrees and humid outside, yet we can sit comfortably in our homes, enjoying the day during such unpleasant weather. Especially in Texas, people really do appreciate their air conditioners.

That’s why it’s important to give them a little love and attention. Modern AC units are well made, but they still need a little routine maintenance to help them run better and last longer. For the most part, you can break routine AC maintenance into four specific tasks. Some are extremely simple. Others will require a little learning. But if you stay on top of them, your air conditioner will be in prime condition, and you won’t have to worry about losing your cool during the hottest parts of the year.

Manage the Air Filter

This is your chief job when it comes to air-conditioner maintenance. Depending on the quality of the filter and how much you run your HVAC, filters need to be changed every one to six months. You can check the manufacturer’s recommendations for the schedule. They are reliable.

Air filters are vital to improving air-conditioner longevity. They keep dirt and particles under control, which is great for air quality. But when a filter gets clogged, it resists airflow, and that makes the AC unit work harder to do its job. On the bright side, swapping air filters is one of the easiest maintenance jobs you’ll come across.

Check the Coils

The air-conditioning coils are where the unit vents heat in order to cool the home. As you can imagine, they’re quite important. You need to regularly inspect the coils to prevent a buildup of dirt and contamination. Foreign particles can insulate the coils and present them from venting heat properly. This leads to inefficiency and puts a huge strain on the system.

Roughly once a year, your job is to inspect and clean the coils. Remove any debris in the area. You can look at your manual for best practices. Or you can call a technician to do a coil inspection and cleaning. It’s routine work.

Look Over the Fins

Fins can be found on the condenser and evaporator. The fins help to direct airflow. If they sustain damage over time, they can cause airflow to become blocked or inefficient. At the start of each season, take a look at the fins. You’re inspecting them for bends. If they are bent, a fine comb can help you fix them. It’s also pretty normal to call a tech for help with this one.

If the fins are not bent, you’re good to go until the next inspection.

Keep an Eye on Condensation

The process of cooling warm air creates condensation. The AC unit gets a ton of condensation as it works. In fact, there is so much water pulled out of the air that your HVAC system has a drainage system built in just to manage it. Condensation lines and drains sometimes clog. When that happens, the water level will get too high. On modern units, the high water level triggers a safety switch that shuts off the AC. Keep in mind that this is most likely to happen when air temperatures are at their hottest. It’s not fun.

You want to inspect your lines monthly and look for signs of water where it shouldn’t be. If you ever see this or if you get random shutoffs, try unclogging the drain and lines. As always, you can also defer to a professional when the system needs to be unclogged.

Get Pro Help

Some maintenance jobs are easier than others. For any of it, you can call a pro if you feel uncomfortable or don’t want to do the job yourself. The added advantage is that you get an experienced eye to look at your system when they come for routine maintenance. That eye can spot early warning signs and prevent major problems down the road. It’s the best way to keep your AC unit and HVAC system in top shape.

For air-conditioner maintenance and any other service an HVAC system can need, you have access to the professionals at Metro Express Service. Call us today. We’ll discuss your issues and help you find a rapid solution to any HVAC problem. We’re committed to helping you stay safe and comfortable in your home or business throughout the year.


Randy Murphy

Randy Murphy has been building his knowledge of the air conditioning and heating business for several years now. He first started applying his knowledge while working for his father’s HVAC company. Later, in 1987, Randy started his own business: Metro Express Service. He has been a top 10 Trane & Amana dealer for over eight years. When it comes to heating and cooling, Randy knows the business better than anyone.
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