At Foothills Heating & Cooling in Denver, we want to share with you how to care for your AC in 5 steps. Having a regular maintenance schedule for your air conditioner is a great way to help you stay cool all summer and save on cooling costs. Also, regular maintenance will help you avoid a possible breakdown and enable your AC to last longer.
Important Maintenance Note
While there are a number of tasks that can be done by the average homeowner, some tasks really require proper training and a license. Be sure to follow all safety precautions. One of the most important safety rules to follow is to ALWAYS shut off the power to your AC unit from your electrical box. Anytime you feel uncomfortable with doing a maintenance task yourself, it would be best to call an AC professional.
Step 1: Replace and/or Clean the Air Filter
If you have a reusable filter, the filter should be cleaned monthly when it is being used as well as once in the spring and once in the fall. Filters that are not reusable should be replaced on the same schedule.
Where is Your Air Filter?
If you are not sure where your air filter is located, you can check a few common locations: in a central room of a house behind the return air grill which is usually located on a wall or ceiling; in the compartment of the blower for either the air handler or the furnace; inside your furnace on a side, bottom, or top slot.
Step 2: Inspect the Wiring and Components
After shutting off the power to your AC at your main box, open your condensing unit by removing the access panel. Look for signs that your unit is overheating: melted wire insulation or burned or blackened wires. Check all the electrical connections to ensure no wired are loose. Check the capacitors using an electrical test meter. Check the contactor switch for excessive pitting. Feel free to contact a professional, such as Foothills Heating and Cooling in Denver, if you need assistance with any of these steps.
Step 3: Check Your Thermostat
Check your thermostat to ensure that it registers the correct temperature. If you have an older unit, consider switching it for one that is programmable. This is a great way to save money by allowing you to keep the AC from running constantly.
Step 4: Inspect Your Condenser Unit Fan
After turning the main power to your AC off, check the fan on the top of your condenser unit. Ensure that it is still in good, functional condition. If there are any chips or cracks in the blade, the fan should be replaced. On older AC units, fan motor bearings may need regular oiling.
Step 5: Clean Outside Unit
Clear away any dirt, grass, or leaves to avoid reducing the airflow of your AC unit. After turning off the power to your AC unit, use a garden hose to gently wash out debris the unit holding the hose at 45°. Never use a power washer. It can damage the coil. Trim or remove any plants that are obstructing or impeding any airflow.
A regular maintenance schedule for your air conditioner will keep it running smoothly and efficiently. We here at Foothills Heating & Cooling in Denver hope that knowing how to care for your AC in 5 steps will help. For assistance with any of these tasks, simply get in touch.