Maintaining your home’s air conditioning system is vital to its function and lifespan. By taking good care of it, you will also ensure that you continue to get your money’s worth from it. There are 3 major things you can do to maintain your air conditioning system, which includes cleaning of the evaporator, changing the air filter, and replacing the thermostat battery. As a safety precaution, it is important to make sure the power to the condenser and evaporator is turned off before performing any work on the AC system.
Cleaning the Evaporator
If the evaporator of your air conditioning system is accessible to you, it’s important that it is cleaned at least once every year. Many evaporators are concealed in a metal box. If this is the case, you should skip this step and have it done by a professional. However, if the evaporator is easily accessible to you, it is fairly easy to maintain the cleanliness of it yourself. After carefully removing the access plate, you will want to clean the underside of the evaporator with a stiff brush. Next, you will want to pour about a spoonful of bleach into the weep hole of the tray, located underneath the evaporator unit. This tray carries away condensation, making it susceptible to fungus growth. It is advisable to check the drain and pan often to ensure there is no moisture trapped in it.
Changing the Air Filters
Changing the air filter in your air conditioning system is crucial. Over time, the filter becomes clogged by particles such as dust and pollen. According to the US Department of Energy, clogged air filters can reduce the system’s energy efficiency between 5 and fifteen percent. Since it only takes minutes to replace an air filter, there is really no reason to ignore this task. After all, you are practically throwing away money when you do not replace the filter once every 1 to 2 months of it being in use. You simply need to locate your system’s filter and determine if it is disposable or reusable. If it is reusable, you should remove and thoroughly clean it according to the manufacturer’s specifications. Obviously, if it is disposable, you should remove the used filter and dispose of it. Then, simply slide the new filter into the return duct where you removed the old one from.
Replacing Thermostat Batteries
Lastly, one of the most simple yet effective ways to maintain your air conditioning system is checking and replacing the thermostat battery. One way to remember to do this is to check and replace it the same time you routinely check and replace your smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm batteries. This should be done twice per year. It is much less expensive to do this yourself than to pay a service call price for a professional to do this simple task for you!
No one likes to throw away money. By following these general guidelines, you can have peace of mind that your air conditioning system is functioning at an optimal level. If you have trouble remembering to complete these tasks, it is a good idea to set a reminder on your cell phone. Doing so is sure to keep your home cool and your wallet happy.
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