Spring is the ideal time to get your air conditioner ready for the summer ahead. Preventive A/C maintenance will not only extend the life of your system, but also ensure its efficiency, which translates to reduced energy bills and a lower carbon footprint, and will help prevent expensive and inconvenient mid-summer breakdowns. A comprehensive tuneup by a qualified technician should include these key points:
- Tighten electrical connections.
- Lubricate moving parts to prevent friction.
- Test controls to ensure your system cycles properly.
- Check refrigerant level and adjust if necessary.
- Check blower motor and belts for wear, and tighten loose belts.
- Clean and adjust the thermostat for accuracy.
- Clean the condensate drain to prevent overflow, which can promote mold and mildew growth.
- Record operating pressures and temperatures.
- Measure the temperature drop at the registers and adjust the blower.
- Check compressor contacts.
- Clean outdoor condensing unit.
- Check voltage and amperage on the motor.
Once your air conditioner has been tuned up, there are several things you should do during the cooling season to ensure its continued efficiency:
- Check the air filter every month and replace it when it’s dirty. A clean air filter keeps air flowing smoothly in your system, preventing overheating and lowering its operating costs.
- Keep the outdoor unit clean. Hose it down monthly to remove dirt buildup and check it for grass clippings after you mow. Remove weeds around the unit and keep it free from other obstructions.
- Keep the area around your indoor unit free of dust, which can build up inside and damage the equipment.
- Make sure your return and supply registers aren’t blocked by furniture, rugs, drapes or other objects. Don’t close off more than 20 percent of your registers in an attempt to lower your energy costs. Doing so reduces the air flow to the system, makes it operate inefficiently, and can cause overheating.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about A/C maintenance and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.
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