Your maintenance to-do list becomes a lot longer when you are a homeowner. With the many types of equipment in your home, you need to take utmost care of them and make sure they’re in good working order for the best results. And there’s no better example of this than your AC unit.
The AC is tasked with ensuring that your living space is a comfortable space for you and your loved ones. Maintaining your AC system is an integral part of responsible homeownership.
Maintenance keeps your AC on its toes for a good number of years. It also cuts cooling costs resulting from high energy bills. However, when it comes to proper maintenance, you have to plan and schedule for it.
But if you don’t know how often AC maintenance should be taking place, we’ll address these questions below.
AC maintenance: How often should it be done?
More often than not, homeowners don’t know when their AC might start to show signs of wear and tear and possible failure. Therefore, it’s crucial to have an answer to the question: how often should you maintenance your AC?
The simple answer is to aim to get it maintained at least once a year, as that’s what most professionals usually advocate for.
However, in some specific cases, you might need to have it performed twice a year – once in the spring and the other in the fall. This ensures that your AC continues to function perfectly.
Typically, HVAC technicians concentrate on your furnace or heater to be ready for the cold months in the fall. As for spring, they work on the tune-ups for your AC to be ready for the warm weather.
How often AC maintenance should be done: best tips
Regular AC maintenance is such an important investment if your home needs to be cool and comfortable. You can do it professionally or DIY, though we would recommend contacting an expert or professional for best results.
Here are more details on what AC maintenance entails:
1. Changing your AC filters
Air filters are essential in an AC. They help trap lint, dander, dust, and other harmful elements roaming around your house. The advantage of filters is that you can handle them on your own as the replacement process isn’t complicated.
It is highly recommendable that you change them once every three months.
2. Clearing the exterior portion of your AC unit
Most AC units will have two sections; the interior and the exterior. Since the external section is exposed to various elements and debris, it’s advisable to clean it and the area around it regularly. This helps to keep debris-free and prevent it from getting clogged, leading to decreased performance.
Prevent animals from getting too close to the AC unit, and leave at least a 2-foot radius between the AC and any plant life.
Do regular maintenance to ensure that the AC unit is not clogged by debris, animal nests, leaf buildup, or even branches. A monthly check-up on any external AC unit is ideal.
3. Leveling your AC
To be human is to err, or so the saying goes. In some instances, you will discover that your AC has not been installed at the correct level. Unlevelled AC units cause some AC components to fail early or become misaligned.
The good news is that you can figure out how to correct this by aligning it using a level tool.
Maintenance Tasks that Require a Qualified Technician
There are other instances when you need help in determining how often you should do AC maintenance. The following examples outline when a certified HVAC technician should handle your maintenance work:
1.Refilling and examining your refrigerant levels
The refrigerant is amongst the most important elements in an AC. It requires extra attention when it comes to maintenance.
A refrigerant is the medium of heat transfer from your indoors to the outdoors. However as a disclaimer, remember that it is a very harmful chemical and should be handled only by an expert. This includes both determining the refrigerant levels and refilling.
Before the start of any season, reach out to an expert to examine the refrigerant levels in your AC. They will ensure that the refrigerant is enough to take you through the season. Otherwise, the expert will refill it and dispose of any additional chemicals in the right way.
Note: Modern AC units are filled with enough refrigerant for efficient performance throughout their life. This means that under ideal circumstances, it won’t ever need to be changed or refilled.
2. Cleaning the blower
Onboarding the services of an HVAC technician to clean your blower is a plus for your AC maintenance.
The blower is tasked with sending cool air back into your house. Generally, any dust or debris buildup on the blower comprises your air quality. A professional can clean and inspect the blower motor, belt, and fan, then connect this component to the rest of the AC and ensure it operates effectively.
The technician can further lubricate the pulleys and fan motor to make the process function smoothly. Cleaning the blower motor should be done at least three times a year to have a functional and effective AC.
3. AC coils maintenance
The HVAC unit contains two types of coils; the condenser and evaporator coil. The former is situated outside the house and is tasked with releasing heat outdoors. As for the evaporator coil, it absorbs heat, and it is found inside your home.
Without these coils, you can forget about AC efficiency – therefore, it’s essential to maintain them properly. Maintaining your AC coils requires a professional hand, and should be done annually.
4. Regularly inspecting your entire AC unit
It is important to have a regular check on the entire AC system. It will help you determine whether to repair or replace any malfunctioning components in your AC. All these should be done by a certified professional.
If there is an issue with any component in the AC, they will highlight it and know how to handle it.