Maintaining your air conditioner in Bloemfontein can not only save you money on power, but it will also extend the life of your machine, preventing you from having to replace it too soon.
For energy efficiency, comfort, occupant health, and overall unit performance, it’s vital to keep your air conditioner in good shape.
When an air conditioner is working properly, it removes excess moisture from the air, allowing people to remain comfortable. Mold development can be worsened by filthy air conditioners or malfunctioning systems, causing allergies and asthma attacks.
The best time to put these tips into action is shortly before the cooling season begins. Your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system will consist of a furnace and air conditioner or a heat pump that heats and cools. In both forms, there will be an internal unit (evaporator and blower) as well as an outdoor unit (condenser coil and compressor). This is for a whole-house air conditioner or heat pump.
Disconnect the power.
Because dealing with electricity and the moving elements of an air conditioner can be dangerous, it’s crucial to turn off the power to the device completely. On the outside condenser/compressor, look for an exterior shut-off box near the unit. Inside the house, turn off the power at the breaker box.
Turn off the power to any outdoor HVAC units at the shut-off.
Turn off the power to the inside circuit breakers at the breaker panel.
It’s important to clean up the debris.
The external condenser/fan compressor’s cage must be removed. With a screwdriver or wrench, remove the bolts, then pull the cage or fan grill away from the device’s top. By hand or with a wet/dry vacuum, remove leaves and other debris from the interior.
The fins must be free of debris.
Remove the outer coverings and use a brush attachment on a powerful shop vacuum to vacuum up all outside dirt. Then, from the inside out, use a garden hose to spray through the fins to remove any dirt or debris that has accumulated. Cleaning the fins with a power washer can damage them.
If the fins are particularly dirty, use a commercial fin cleaning spray that can be found at home improvement stores. Read and adhere to the manufacturer’s guidelines.
With a strong spray from a garden hose, debris from inside the condenser unit can be driven out.
If an HVAC unit’s fins are severely dirty, a commercially available cleaning can be required.
Straighten the Fins & Clean the Area
Use a butter knife or a commercially available fin-straightening tool to carefully straighten bent fins because any loss in airflow through the fins may reduce efficiency. Make sure the tubing that runs through the fins doesn’t get damaged.
Keep a clean environment around the unit.
When you’re done cleaning, replace the fan cage. Cut back branches and plants at least two feet in all directions to preserve appropriate airflow around the condenser. It’s a good idea to cover the top of the condenser with plywood or plastic when the unit isn’t in use during the winter to keep debris out. However, don’t completely cover the device’s sides, as moisture can collect inside and cause corrosion. Furthermore, a completely enclosed container attracts rats to build nests. Remove any coverings after the device is turned on.
Make a level adjustment to the unit
The pad where the condenser unit rests may begin to tilt when soil collects beneath it. The compressor may fail prematurely if the condenser unit is out of level. Check if the condenser is level, and if it isn’t, level it with rot-resistant shims.
Coil Cleaning for Evaporators
Now is the moment to enter the building. On the inside of the blower/furnace, look for the evaporator coil door. A few screws or nuts, as well as some foil duct tape, might need to be removed. Dust the coil with a gentle brush on the inside, then spray it with a no-rinse coil cleanser that is commercially available (available at home improvement stores). Before trickling into the drain pan, the spray foams up and foams up again. Scrub the drain pan clean with soap, hot water, and a touch of bleach. Pour a cup of bleach/water mixed 50/50 down the drain after that. To keep the drain clear for longer, put a commercially available drain pan tablet in it. Algae will not grow in the future because of this.
If the bleach solution quickly drains, skip the following step. Clean the Evaporator Drain if necessary. Replace the evaporator coil door and reseal with foil duct tape if necessary.
Cleaning the Evaporator
Warm, humid air is blown into the evaporator coil on the interior of your home. The cold coil captures heat from the air and cools it before it is re-circulated into your home. On the cool surface of the evaporator coil, moisture in the air condenses into liquid water, which drips into a pan below. The water in the pan drains into a drain tube, which is commonly routed to a basement floor drain, utility sink, or outside.
Algae and mold can clog drains over time, so if the drain isn’t running or moving slowly, it has to be unplugged. A clogged drain can cause flooding on the floor or, if the system is equipped with a drain float, it can compel the system to turn off the cooling to prevent flooding.
To begin, identify the evaporator coil enclosure’s drain line. The drain is usually made out of 1-inch PVC pipe (white, gray or black). It will drain at the bottom if you follow it all the way down. In the case of attic units, the pipe normally drains outside near the condenser unit, but it can also leak into a utility sink or basement floor drain, or down an outside wall.
To clear a drain, locate it and suction it out with a wet/dry vacuum. It is preferable to take the paper filter out of the wet/dry vacuum to avoid damaging it. Connect the drain line’s end to the hose of the wet/dry vacuum. Closing the gap can be done using duct tape or a towel. Before turning off the vacuum, let it run for 2-3 minutes. Any biological debris that has accumulated in the drain will be flushed out.
If necessary, swap out the Blower Filter.
The filter in your HVAC system should be changed at least twice a year, once before the heating season and again before the cooling season. You may wish to replace it more frequently if you live in a dusty environment. Replace the old filter with a new one with the same airflow rating. “Be wary of ‘air purifying’ or HEPA filters,” Moody cautions, “because they can dramatically reduce airflow in your system.” As a result of the reduced airflow, the interior coil may freeze.
Look for the filter enclosure where the large fresh air return duct enters the furnace/AC. It may be necessary to turn the lock on the filter enclosure door with a screwdriver. Replace the old filter with a new one, making sure the air-flow direction arrows on the filter match the directions on the unit. Lock and close the door.
The computer should be restarted.
While following these steps can help keep your air conditioner in good operating order, some maintenance chores require the expertise of a skilled HVAC specialist. A slow refrigerant leak in your air conditioning system, for example, can lead to expensive compressor failure, but a homeowner lacks the tools and expertise to check refrigerant levels. Clean ductwork and sufficient ventilation are also important for a well-functioning system, but most homes lack the requisite equipment. In the end, what’s the point? Even if a qualified homeowner can handle some AC maintenance, it is still necessary to have the system inspected on a regular basis by a professional specialist. Most air conditioning companies recommend having your system serviced twice a year, first in the spring before the cooling season and again in the fall before the heating season.
Keeping it (the air conditioning equipment) in good operating order, like anything else, will extend its life and allow problems to be addressed before they become serious, or worse, an emergency. Instead, it is strongly recommended that you hire a professional air conditioning contractor to keep your air conditioner in good working order. Get up to four professional maintenance quotations by contacting us right now.