Maintain Your Air Conditioner

It only takes one sweltering hot day to teach you the importance of a functioning air conditioner; past a certain point, heat can have a negative influence on your emotions, productivity at work, and health. Therefore, if you decide to buy an air conditioner, it’s not only going to be worth your money, but it will be worth your time and effort to maintain it correctly. With the help of this article, you’ll have the knowledge to do exactly that.

air conditionerWhen it comes to maintaining your air conditioner, it helps to have a basic understanding of that components allow it to do its duty and where those basic components are located on the machine. Central air conditioners have a condenser and an evaporator. The condenser is generally located outside the house on a concrete slab, whereas the evaporator coil is generally mounted in the plenum or main duct junction above the furnace.

If you have a central air conditioner, its likely connected to your home’s forced-air distribution system, meaning that the same motor, blower, and ductwork used for heating are used to also cool down your house via the air conditioning system.

When you turn on your air conditioner, it causes hot air to flow to your furnace through the return-air duct. It then passes through the cooled evaporator coil in the plenum and chills out before it is redistributed across the house.

It’s important to note that if your air conditioning system is fully functional but your house doesn’t seem to cool as much as you would expect given the energy it’s sucking up, it’s likely that your air distribution system is at fault.

Because your evaporator and condenser are sealed, anytime you want to perform major revisions to your system you really ought to call a service professional. Even if you’re not having problems, it’s not a bad idea to have your central air conditioner professionally inspected and adjusted from time to time, especially at the beginning of summer when it’s about to get put to work.

air conditioner2Again, there aren’t many repairs that you’re fit to perform yourself, but there are specific maintenance procedures that even you can handle. If you choose to allot a little time to maintenance every once in a while, you can keep your system operating at peak efficiency and limit how often you have to call up professionals for necessary services.

The first and most important step? Make sure you turn the power to the air conditioner system (meaning to both the condenser and the evaporator assembly) is shut off.

If you want to clean the evaporator, remove the foil-wrapped insulation at the front of the plenum (and any tape that keeps it fastened in place) and unscrew and lift the access plate. Clean the underside of the evaporator unit with a stiff brush and a hand mirror for improved visibility. Clean the tray below the evaporator unit and pour one tablespoon of bleach over the tray to prevent fungus growth. Then put everything back.

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