Growing up in a house full of girls, I unofficially took on the role as my father's only son. So when the time came to fix a leaky sink or change the oil in the family car, it was me that stood by my father's side. Thanks to him and everything he taught me, I am now able to take care of myself and my children in a way that not everyone can. I have tried over the years to engage my own daughter in the same way my father engaged me, but she's currently more interested in playing with dolls than fixing potholes. After my father passed away last year, I vowed to find a way to pass on everything he taught me, this blog is my way of keeping that promise. I truly hope that you learn as much as I have over the years.
Most central A/C repairs are avoidable if you plan for annual maintenance. The best time to schedule a yearly check-up and tune-up is in the spring, before you fire up your A/C for the first time each season.
#1: Check the Controls
A variety of controls in your A/C unit keep it running and cooling smoothly, as well as ensuring safe operation. The thermostat is a common cause of problems – if the unit isn't maintaining the temperature in the house that the thermostat is set to, you may need a new thermostat. The central controls, which control start, shut-off, and operation, can also pose a problem. If your A/C doesn't fire up or turn off when it should, it's time to have the controls serviced or replaced.
#2: Keep It Lubricated
An A/C motor is made up of many moving parts, and all these parts require lubrication to run smoothly. Friction can cause the motor to burn out prematurely, so it's a good idea to have an annual basic service to keep them well lubricated.
#3: Inspect the Connections
A variety of electrical connections inside the A/C unit can come loose over the course of normal wear. A loose connection can damage the unit or result in an electrical hazard. Have the connections inspected yearly so you can fix loose or worn wires before they cause a problem.
#4: Clean the Coils
The evaporator and condenser coils, along with the condensate drain, all require annual cleaning. Debris and dust can compromise the efficiency of the unit, which makes it work harder to cool your home. This can also shorten the life of the A/C. You can clean your own condenser by shutting off power to the unit, lifting out the fan, and vacuuming out any debris with a shop vac.
#5: Maintain the Blower
The blower controls the airflow, ensuring that cool air is actually reaching the interior of your home. If airflow from the vents seems weak, you may need to have your blower adjusted, repaired or replaced.
#6: Manage the Refrigerant
A/C units use a closed refrigerant system, so the levels should remain constant unless there is a leak. Have the levels checked annually by a repair technician like those at Dale's Heating & Appliance so you can catch any leaks early, when they are usually less costly to repair.
#7: Don't Forget the Filters
Regular air filter changes are the single best way for a homeowner to keep their central A/C unit in good repair. Replace the filter once monthly during the operating season.
These seven basic maintenance and inspection tips can help you catch any problems early, so you aren't left sweltering on a hot summer day.