In the Okanagan summer, your air conditioner works hard. Keeping your house or business cool is a difficult task. In previous posts we have discussed ways to make your space more efficient so your air conditioner works less, but it is still a hard working piece of equipment and you don’t want to have to replace it any earlier than necessary. Neglecting regular maintenance can increase power bills and shorten the life or your unit. How do you ensure it is properly maintained so that you get the maximum life out of it?
Here are some expert tips to keep your air conditioning unit properly maintained so that it will be cooling you for as long as possible!
The easiest and most important task to keep your A/C unit functioning well is to ensure that your filters are clean. If you have room or window mounted units, the filters are inside the grill that faces the room. For central air conditioning, often people assume that since their furnace isn’t running they don’t need to change their filters. Not true! There is as much air circulating as in the winter. Check your filters and change them regularly. A clogged or dirty filter can reduce your unit’s efficiency by up to 15%, forces it to work harder, reduces air quality and can shorten its life. A clogged filter can force dirt into the evaporator coil, greatly impacting your air conditioner’s efficiency and longevity. Change your filters regularly!
Most filters are easily replaced, however some are reusable and need to be cleaned. If you are unsure, contact a professional such as the experts at Vision Mechanical Ltd. in Kelowna, and they can help you assess the situation. The frequency with which you change or clean your filters will depend on your usage of A/C, how dusty your environment is (are they building next door?) or if you have pets.
Monitor the Condition of your Coils!
An air conditioner’s coils work hard and collect debris and dirt while they work. Clean filters prevent most of this, however over time the evaporator coil will still get dirty, reducing airflow and restricting its ability to absorb heat. In addition, outdoor condenser coils can get dirty fast if there is dust or dirt in the environment.
You can easily see the coils on most units and will notice if there is dust or dirt collecting on the fins. There are some key steps you can take to reduce this build up – remove any plants, foliage or growth around the unit, clean the area around the unit and ensure there is adequate ventilation around the condenser.
In most units today, cleaning the coils is best left to professionals as you risk damage to the fins or coils themselves. Call a professional at Vision Mechanical Ltd. to assess the situation and help you get your unit operating cleanly and efficiently!
Carefully Clean Coil Fins!
The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils can become clogged with foliage, debris, newspaper and dirt. They need to be clean to work efficiently, however you need to be very careful with them. They are easily bent or damaged and then can block airflow into the unit. Remove any papers, leaves or debris that are easily accessible, otherwise call Vision Mechanical Ltd. and have our careful team of experts clean the fins. This important step will increase the life of your unit and improve its efficiency.
To prevent the build-up of debris in the coils, keep newspapers, garbage, leaves and debris well away from your air conditioning unit.
Perhaps the best thing you can do to maintain the life of your air conditioning unit and keep it running efficiently is to have it regularly maintained by a professional. The technician you engage should:
- Inspect the unit to ensure there is the correct amount of refrigerant
- Test for refrigerant leaks using a leak detector
- Check for and seal any leakage through ducts or other areas
- Measure the airflow through the evaporator coil
- Inspect all electric terminals, clean and tighten connections, and make any necessary fixes
- Check any belts for tightness and wear
- Check the accuracy of your home or business thermostat.
By following these simple tips, you will ensure that your air conditioning unit is operating efficiently and will last as long as possible. Not only will you put off the cost of an expensive replacement, but you will reduce your operating costs now and enjoy a cooler, cleaner environment. If you have any questions about these steps, or are looking for assistance, please call the expert at Vision Mechanical in Kelowna who will be happy to guide you through them.
The easiest way to ensure that your air conditioning unit runs smoothly is to book a regular maintenance plan with an air conditioning expert. Knowing that a professional technician is regularly inspecting and maintaining your unit ensures that you don’t need to worry about an untimely breakdown or unexpected maintenance costs. Contact the professional team at Vision Mechanical in Kelowna today and we can provide you with a free estimate and overview of our service plans. A maintenance plan from Vision Plumbing, Heating and Cooling will ensure that your cooling needs are well looked after this summer.
Vision Mechanical 778-760-1328 for all your plumbing, heating and cooling needs.