Central Florida is currently going through a strong heat wave. Bringing extremely high temperature & humidity. Your air conditioner is working overtime to keep your family comfortable. An air conditioner’s (AC) filters, coils, and fins require regular maintenance for full functionality through its years. Neglecting maintenance can have a negative effect in air conditioning performance and energy use steadily increases. Below are some maintenance tips to help improve your comfort and the efficiency of your air conditioner:
1. AC Filters – This is the most important maintenance; routinely replacing or cleaning the filters. Dirty filters can block airflow and reduce the system’s efficiency. If normal airflow is obstructed, air that goes past the filter may carry dirt directly into the evaporator coil and weaken the coil’s heat-absorbing capacity. Replacing a dirty filter with a clean one can lower your AC’s energy consumption by 5% to 15%.
– For central air conditioners, filters are located at the air handler, and sometimes there are grills inside the house where you can open and replace them depending on what type of system you have.
– Some types of filters are reusable while others must be replaced. There are different types and efficiencies.
– Clean or replace your AC filters once a month if they are dirty but if your home is a cleaner environment (no pets, cleaner environment, etc.), your filter could possibly last two to three months.
– Ensure you are using a quality filter. Poor quality filters do a very poor job of filtration, allowing dirt through which settles on your coil, blower wheel, & ductwork. We recommend a minimum Merv 8 rated filter.
2. AC Coils – The AC evaporator coil and condenser coil can collect dirt over time. A clean filter can prevent the evaporator coil from getting dirty quickly. However, over time it will collect dirt.
– To avoid your coils from getting dirty quickly, you can check your evaporator coil every year and clean it as needed.
– Outdoor condenser coils get dirty if the environment is dusty and/or there is foliage nearby. You can easily see the coil and see if dirt is collecting on the fins.
– Dryer vents, falling leaves, and lawn mower are all possible sources of dirt and debris.
– Cleaning the area around the coil, removing debris, and trimming foliage back at least 2 feet allows for adequate airflow around the condenser.
3. Coil Fins – The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils are easily bent and can block airflow through the coil. AC wholesalers sell a tool called a “fin comb” that will comb these fins back into place.
4. Condensate Drains – The drain line should be maintained clean by either pouring bleach or vinegar into the cleanout T, wait 15 minutes then pour a gallon of water down the T. The vinegar or bleach will loosen up any sludge that may have built up in your drain line, the gallon of water will flush it out.
– A wet-vac also works well to maintain your drain line. Suck the drain line pipe at the outlet located by the outside unit, then pour a gallon of water at the cleanout T at the air handler.
5. Of course, when your AC needs more than the regular maintenance, it is best to hire a professional service technician