Your central air conditioning system needs to be maintained regularly not only for your comfort, but safety and efficiency. It is an expensive system and contains several components, using a significant amount of energy. It not only cools, but dehumidifies and filters your air.
The air filter should be replaced or washed, according to the manufacturer's instructions. A dirty filter causes the fan motor to work harder, consuming more energy and life. Making sure the filter is always clean will help provide relief to any allergy sufferers in your home. These filters can require changing or cleaning monthly during the heavy air conditioning season.
Other parts of your air conditioning system need to be cleaned and checked such as the water drain, the outside condenser unit. Call a professional before air conditioning season to perform a full cleaning and inspection.
You can help by removing the leaves and debris from the outside of the condenser unit. Push debris away from the fins, not into them. You can even get a special tool called a fin comb to straighten and clean them.
You can purchase a cover for your unit at the local hardware store or make one out of trash bags or a drop cloth and duct tape. This will keep debris out of your unit. You should put the cover on after air conditioning season ends. Turn the outside electrical switch to "off" when the cover is on and then turn the switch back to "on" when the cover is removed before air conditioning season starts.
Make sure your registers are not blocked by furniture, carpets or drapes.
You may want to have your ductwork cleaned professionally, especially if you see debris, insects and other blockages in it. This can increase the efficiency and life of your system and clean the air in your home.
If your home is equipped with a central air conditioning system you may have noticed a drain line on the outside dripping water near the air conditioner. This line drains condensation from the inside air handler to the outside. If this line clogs (usually from algae) it can cause water damage inside the house. You can prevent a clog by simply pouring a cup of household bleach into the line from the inside. To remove a clog once it has occurred, attach a wet/dry vacuum to the drain line outside (removing the paper filter first) and suck the clog out.
Make sure your drain line is clean and free of debris.
Create shade (that doesn't add debris) for your unit and increase efficiency and life.
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