June 15, 2015

3 Areas Key Areas Checked During AC Maintenance

w_e_brown_air_conditioning.jpgProper AC maintenance is a must after your air conditioner has been idle for the winter months. Problems frequently make themselves known when the cooling load on the home is greatest, usually during the period of highest demand during a heat wave. Scheduling annual preventive maintenance with a qualified HVAC technician can help you stay cool all summer, as a technician has the training and tools to bring your system up to manufacturer’s specifications and detect small problems now that could become major malfunctions if they go unnoticed.

In addition to scheduling professional air conditioner maintenance, there are a few things you can handle yourself.

Change the Filter Every Month

A dirty air filter impacts cooling performance and efficiency. That’s the reason it’s usually the very first thing a trained technician checks on a service call. Filters purchased in multi-packs are economical and changing it just takes a minute or two. Ask your HVAC contractor to suggest the right filter for your system and demonstrate how to change it.

Maintain the Outdoor Unit

The compressor/condenser unit outside, either behind or to the side of the house, needs adequate air circulation through intake vents. Cut back encroaching weeds or vegetation to clear two feet of space on all sides. Make sure the fan grille is free of fallen leaves, branches or other obstructions.

Check Condensate Drain System

On a summer day in Virginia, a central air conditioner may produce over 25 gallons of condensate. An overflow can cause serious water damage, so inspect the condensate drain pan under the indoor air handler. It should be wet but not holding standing water, which would indicate a sluggish or blocked drain. If you notice water accumulation, call your HVAC contractor ASAP. To inhibit algae growth that clogs drain lines, pour a cup of bleach into the drain pan once a month.

For more information on proper air conditioner upkeep, check out W.E. Brown’s air conditioner maintenance services or call (434) 295-1177.

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