Air conditioner service costs are high, and unless the air conditioner is maintained properly, they can lead to a major expense. There may be trouble with the air conditioner and you may have to call a professional to repair it. But, if you are knowledgeable about the maintenance and a few basic repairs, you can save AC money.
There are two types of air conditioners – Central and Window air conditioners. Here are a few air conditioning service tips to save you money:
Central Air Conditioner
1. Clean The Evaporator – Air conditioners have a component called an evaporator that needs annual cleaning. To clean it, first remove the tap, which is a foil covered insulation located before the plenum. Remove the screws. Use a stiff brush to clean the underside of the evaporator.
Clean the tray with household bleach. Check the drain line for clogs. Now put everything back together and check for leaks.
2. Maintain The Condenser – The condenser is another component that requires regular cleaning. Since it is placed out of the house, dirt and debris accumulate inside the fan. You have to clean it by removing the protective grill. Use a soft brush or a fin comb to clean the fins.
Check the level of the concrete pad on which the condenser is placed.
Cover it with a condenser cover or heavy plastic sheet during winters to protect it from ice and leaves.
3. Checking The Refrigerant – Freon is used in many air conditioners for cooling. If there is a Freon problem, then you need to have the coolant lines repaired.
Check the lines leading from the condenser to the evaporator. If you find that the insulation is worn or damaged, then you have to replace it with the same type of insulation. The new insulation will have the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow them for installing it.
Window Air Conditioner
Window units are smaller than central units, but both units have similar functions. They contain a compressor, thermostat, motor and 2 fans. The key components include, switch, condenser and evaporator coils, power cord, and filter. Dirt accumulation is the biggest problem with window air-conditioners.
Keeping the unit dirt-free will ensure that you will need less or no repairs. Here are a few tips to maintain these important parts:
1. Filter – Clean the filter every month during the cool weather. Dust and dirt accumulate in the filter. Remove the grill to clean or replace the filter, and clean it using a mixture of water and household detergent. Let it dry, and then re-install it.
2. Power Cord – If the power cord is worn out, then it is time to replace it. Check the cord’s condition by removing the control panel and unscrewing cord terminals. Use a volt-ohm-millameter and check the reading. A meter reading more than zero indicates that the cord needs replacement.
3. Coils – Clean the coils every month during the cool weather. Clean them as often as you need, using a vacuum cleaner, if you live in a dusty area. Straighten fins in case they are bent.
Following these guidelines will ensure that your air conditioner is getting regular maintenance. Regular maintenance will save you a lot of money on repairs.
About the Author
Nick Henderson is blogger from Uxbridge, Ontario. For air conditioning maintenance and installation he sugests using Climate Experts for their high quality producs and services.