8 Air Conditioning Basics for Newbies and Beginners
Plumbing

8 Air Conditioning Basics for Newbies and Beginners

Having an air conditioning unit that runs properly is essential, especially if you live in a hot and humid environment. There are a lot of simple maintenance tips you can use to ensure your unit is running in top condition. Check out these 8 air conditioning basics you need to know to keep your unit working!

1. Check The Coils On A Regular Schedule

The coils in your air conditioning unit play a crucial role in performance. Over time, both the condenser and evaporator coils will collect dust, dirt, and grime. This debris that builds up over time interferes with airflow and also insulates the coil. With the coils covered, they’ll struggle to absorb heat, which causes your air conditioning unit to work harder. The dirtier the environment is, the quicker your coils will become dirty.

If you live in an area with lots of winds or rainstorms, you’ll need to clean your coils more frequently. Regardless of your environment, make sure you clean your coils regularly for top performance.

2. Remove Debris From The System

Having your air conditioning unit outside puts it at risk of collecting a ton of debris on a daily basis. Things like dirt, grass clippings, and leaves can build up outside your a/c unit which will reduce airflow and decrease your system’s capacity.

Try using a vacuum to clear visible debris from your unit. For dust, dirt and other types of smaller debris, use the deep clean brush on your vacuum. Using a brush with foam cleaning capabilities will give you the best clean possible and increase the performance of your air conditioning unit.

3. Change The Air Filters Regularly

You’ll be amazed at the increase in performance you’ll get when you run your unit with clean filters. If you’re like most people, you aren’t replacing your air filters on a regular basis. Old filters are full of dust and other debris that significantly limit the airflow in your unit.

If you run your air conditioning unit most of the day or in a high traffic environment, you’ll need to replace your filters more often than normal. Try replacing your filters on a monthly basis to start.

4. Make Sure Your Air Conditioner Pad Is In Good Condition

Another overlooked part of maintaining an air conditioning unit is ensuring your unit is resting on a stable pad. Concrete pads used to hold air conditioner units often end up sinking into the ground as the years go by.

If you see signs like water pooling around your pad or if the cables on your unit are becoming tight, it’s worth replacing your pad. If your pad sinks too far, you could have to deal with electrical and flooding problems which can be expensive.

5. Straighten The Fins On Your Unit

Air conditioning units use aluminum fins to help control air flow. Simple wear and tear can cause these fins to bend and block airflow from your coils. Ensuring your fins aren’t bent is a simple way to get a high level of performance form your unit. You can buy a “fin comb” that will make it easy to push fins back into their original position. This is among the simplest air conditioning basics that will increase the longevity of your unit.

6. Invest In A Cover For Winter

A lot of people expose their a/c unit to unnecessary damage during the winter. Simply getting a high-quality cover will help you protect your unit from the elements. You also have the option of moving the air conditioner unit and storing it in a warm area.

Without a proper cover, the fins on your unit are at risk of freezing, which can cause them to bend out of place. Covering your unit in the winter will also reduce how much maintenance you’ll need to get it running next season.

7. Check For Condensation

Condensation is a natural byproduct of any air conditioning unit that’s running properly. However, it’s important not to let this condensation build up too much. Make sure you check your a/c condensate drain that runs from your evaporator out of your home. The condensate drain is where you’ll find a buildup of mildew which can create a clog, which reduces the performance of your unit.

8. Clean Your Return Air Ducts

A lot of people forget to clean their return air ducts. These air ducts easily get clogged with dust, dirt, and lint which forces your air conditioning unit to work harder. Having clogs in your air ducts shortens the lifespan of your air conditioning unit especially if you have it running all day.

Simply vacuuming these ducts works to improve airflow for your unit. It’s also worth cleaning the ductwork throughout your home. Construction debris, dust, and even animals can cause blockages in your system. These blockages can lower the air quality in your home if your ducts aren’t cleaned on a regular basis.

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