Important Maintenance Tasks That Cause Air Conditioning Malfunctions

Regular maintenance is essential for an air conditioner. Without it, your AC is at a higher risk of breaking down and it will have a shorter life. Fortunately, maintaining an air conditioner isn't difficult. At the very least, it requires an annual service call from a technician and monthly filter changes and monitoring from you. Here's a look at some of the important things that should be done to keep your AC working throughout the summer.

Keep The Air Conditioner Clean

Your AC is constantly pulling in air and circulating it through your home. While the filter is there to block dust from getting inside the unit, it's still possible for dust and dirt to accumulate on the coils over time. This is bad for your air conditioner because the coating of dust acts as insulation that keeps your AC from cooling as well as it should. Buildup on the coils can cause the AC to ice over and shut down. This problem is eliminated by having your AC cleaned by a technician annually and by changing the filter on time, which might be as often as monthly depending on the manufacturer's recommendation. To schedule a maintenance checkup, contact a service, such as Dependable Heating & Cooling.

Allow Air To Circulate Freely

Air needs to circulate freely throughout the HVAC system. When airflow is obstructed, your air conditioner will struggle to cool your home. A clogged filter is one thing that restricts airflow, and that's one reason the filter should be changed on time. The outdoor unit may develop obstructions too. This can happen if an enclosure or tall weeds are too close to the cage. Check your AC throughout the summer to make sure there is clearance around the cage to allow for adequate airflow. Also, keep an eye on the fins. The fins are the thin strips of metal on the outside of the condenser. When these get bent, they restrict airflow.

The HVAC technician checks these during an annual service call and straightens them if necessary, but you should also check them throughout the summer. They can be bent easily since they are so thin, but you can straighten them back out with a fin comb so air keeps flowing through the unit as it should.

Keep The Drain Flowing

The process of cooling air produces condensation in your HVAC. As the water forms, it drips into a collection pan and then drains out of your house through a small condensation drain. This area of your HVAC is always moist, so mold can grow inside the drain and cause it to clog. A clogged drain causes water to overflow if it can't drain outside. This can cause water damage to your floor and affect your HVAC unit. The technician checks and cleans the drain as a form of preventative maintenance, but you'll also want to be alert to water and dampness around the air handler so you can clear the drain if it gets clogged in the middle of the summer.