With February already upon us, perhaps we’re longing for those hot summer days. While we may not feel like it now, we will be grateful for air conditioning as the weather gets warmer. So, it might be time to start thinking about spring cleaning our central air conditioning system. Its important to have a professional perform a yearly check on this, but there are some basic maintenance steps that a homeowner can carry out to ensure a well-maintained a/c system.
One of the first steps to take is checking the filter. Give it a good cleaning or, if it looks too bad, replace it. This is important because an air filter that is dirty will reduce the air quality in the home and also put a strain on the unit’s motor.
Throughout the wintertime, dirt and debris can build up around the outside unit. The area should be cleared of all leaves, branches, spider webs etc. You will most likely find that when you remove the cover of the a/c unit, a lot of dirt will have accumulated there also, and this will need cleaning. The inside of the unit has hundreds of metal fins that surround coils of piping. Some of these fins will most probably have bent but they can be straightened using a tool called a fin comb.
Drainage lines are fixed to the a/c unit and are designed to drain away condensed water. These lines can become clogged which will mean the unit cannot function properly. Have a check of them and make sure they are not blocked and are fixed firmly to the unit.
If you feel the motor needs oil, check the operating manual first to make sure the right type of oil is used.
While it may be a little early to think of summer, good planning of spring cleaning and maintenance will ensure some enjoyable time around the home during the warm months.
Devereaux Van Dyne, Certified Professional Home Inspector