Taking Care of Your Air Conditioner in the Sacramento Valley
According to weather.com, summer days in Sacramento are commonly in the 90’s. During the summer months, you probably don’t pay much attention to your air conditioner as long as it keeps you cool, year after year.
But your home’s air conditioner unit is a lot like your car. It runs pretty well for a long time, until it doesn’t. There are a number of problems that can creep up, slowly over time. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your unit until it becomes a big, expensive problem. Learning to take care of periodic maintenance will help you get the most from your air conditioner. Not only will it last years longer but the maintenance will save you money on your utility bill. And an AC maintenance checklist can really help.
What You Can Do
There are several things a homeowner can do to keep things running at their best.
Check the Air Filters
The first item on our AC maintenance checklist is the air filter. This filter traps dirt, pollen, dust and other particles during the cooling season. When those particles build up on the surface of the air filter, they slow the flow of air, so the HVAC blower has to work harder. Check the air filter every few months and replace it if it’s dirty.
Keep it Clean
Go outside and vacuum the fins of your AC unit clean with a soft bristle brush. They’re actually very fragile and can easily be bent or crushed. On many units you’ll have to unscrew and lift off a metal box to get at them. Check your owner’s manual for directions and lift off the box carefully to avoid bumping the fins. Make sure the area around the unit is clear of leaves, twigs and outdoor tools and equipment.
Straighten the Fins
Realign bent or crushed fins with gentle pressure from a small knife, but don’t insert the knife more than 1/2 in.
Calling on the Professionals for AC Maintenance
Beyond the important do-it-yourself items, it’s also important to get a professional service at least once a year. When you call your favorite hvac company for an inspection and maintenance service, there are number of other important checks they’ll perform.
One of the most common causes of A/C system problems is dirt. It builds up in the outdoor coil, making your air conditioner less effective and less efficient. It has to work harder and run longer until eventually, it breaks!
Another important item that needs to be maintained is the condensate drain. Your air conditioning system removes humidity from your home. In the process, condensation is created and drained to the outside. Most of the time, you can spot this drain somewhere near your outdoor a/c unit. Over time, these drains can clog. A clogged drain can result in thousands of dollars of water damage to your home when the condensation spills over onto your ceiling or floor. A good AC tune-up will include flushing this drain line, protecting your system.
Schedule Yearly Maintenance Service
HVAC systems are complicated and should be serviced by a professional at least once a year. Many systems last around 10 years if maintained regularly and serviced when needed. But if you take care of your unit but it keeps breaking down, it may be time to get a new HVAC system.
If it’s time for periodic maintenance on your AC unit or if it’s time to think about a new state of the art system, give Absolute Comfort Heating and Air a call today and we’ll be happy to help!