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How to Maintain Your Central Air System

AC Maintenance Tips

Your air conditioning system is not a set-it-and-forget-it situation. You need to perform regular maintenance to get the best performance and efficiency. Similarly, your system will need fewer repairs and likely last longer.

Follow these maintenance tips to ensure a functional and efficient AC system.

Get Your Yearly Tune-Up

Every year, schedule a time for a local HVAC professional to come and inspect your HVAC system. A professional can help adjust your system to run at maximum efficiency and will discover any problems that may be lingering.

Schedule your tune-up just prior to peak season (summer). For Texans, schedule your appointment in the early spring (although it is never too late to schedule one now). Getting a tune-up not only improves the long-term performance of your system but will dramatically reduce the chances of a system failure in the dead of summer.

Change Your Filters

One of the easiest and most effective ways to maintain your AC unit is to change out your air filters regularly. A good rule of thumb is to check and/or change the filter every 30 to 90 days. This number, however, largely depends on your AC use, home size, weather, and the type of filter you have.

Filters collect dust, debris, and other contaminants from entering your indoor air. Over time, this debris collects in the filter, reducing the amount of air that can cleanly flow through the filter. Reduced airflow makes your AC work harder, costing you more energy. Dirty filters may also cause the coils to get dirty, which reduces their ability to absorb heat, a major factor in producing cool air for your home.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, changing your filter can reduce energy consumption by 5 to 15 percent!

Cleaning Your System

A clean AC is a proficient AC. There are simple ways you can clean your system without completely taking it apart or worrying about messing things up.

Take a vacuum to the outside of your condenser, the large unit on the exterior of your home. Vacuum up and down the sides to remove debris that may block the flow of air. If the vacuum doesn’t get the job done, try using a cleaner and a brush to remove any built-up dirt. While at the condenser, carefully open up the lid and clear out any foreign objects that may have landed inside (leaves, branches, baseballs, etc.). Wipe down the fans and make sure the fins along the sides are not bent or broken.

If there are obstructions near your condenser, try to scale them back, so they don’t potentially damage the unit. For example, your unit may be tucked in between trees or bushes. If that’s the case, cut back the foliage at least a couple of feet to prevent falling debris from entering the condenser.

Note: make sure to turn off the power to your AC unit before cleaning or performing any maintenance.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you turn on your AC and notice a problem, here are some quick troubleshooting tips to help figure out the problem.

  • If your AC isn’t blowing cold air, there could be a leak in the refrigerant. Don’t try to refill this yourself, as it will just leak again.
  • If your AC isn’t blowing anything, check to see if there are any frayed or broken power chords. This can be a safety hazard, so turn off the power and have the problem fixed right away.
  • If your AC is making excessive noise, there may be loose or broken parts.

HVAC Repair the Sunrise Way

Sunrise Plumbing & Air is the premier HVAC and plumbing company in central Texas. When you need maintenance, repair, or replacement, bring in our experts to get the job done right. Contact us today at (214) 997-6707 to make an appointment!