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AC Maintenance Tips

Modern life would not be the same without air conditioners, which keep us cool and at ease during the year’s hottest months. However, it’s crucial to perform routine maintenance on your air conditioning unit to ensure it continues functioning correctly and operating at maximum efficiency.

If you are looking for the best practices to maintain optimum AC health, you must conduct regular checkups and look out for oddities. However, it is also essential to get them checked by a licensed ac maintenance near Arlington, VA company, regularly. In case you find anything suspicious, a professional should immediately be contacted.

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What maintenance should be done on the AC unit?

Maintenance of an AC unit can seem complicated, but it is not. While annual checks and regular upkeep is an essential portions of extending the lifespan of an AC unit, there are a few simple things that can be integrated into one’s daily routine.

AC maintenance can be of various levels depending upon certain factors, most prominently the age and usage of the appliance. For instance, if your ac is quite old, the chances of its parts getting damaged increase, thereby requiring a more thorough inspection.

Similarly, an AC that is constantly in use will also run into significantly more issues and require higher maintenance. If you use your ac at an average level, you do not need to worry much. General inspections every month done yourself, and annual or bi-annual professional inspections and maintenance if more than enough.

Getting professional checks from a qualified company for AC maintenance near Alexandria, VA, is essential. Some of how optimum AC health can be ensured include:

  • Change the air filter: One of the key things one can do to keep the AC unit running smoothly is to change or clean the air filter regularly. Air filters are an essential component of your AC unit as they trap airborne particles, dust, and other pollutants, preventing them from circulating through your home.

Clogged filters obstruct airflow, making your AC unit work harder to achieve the desired temperature. This increased workload puts a strain on the system and can lead to premature wear and tear. Dirty filters also decrease the efficiency of the unit, leading to higher energy bills. You should change the air filter at least once every three months or as recommended by the manufacturer.

However, how often you need to change or clean your air filter depends on the type of filter and how often you use your AC. Check your filter at least once a month and replace or clean it as needed.

  • Clean the evaporator coil: The evaporator coil is responsible for absorbing heat from the air, so it must be kept clean and free from debris. Over time, the evaporator and condenser coils of your AC unit can become covered in dirt, dust, and other debris, which can reduce their efficiency and cause them to freeze up. Dirty evaporator coils make it harder for your AC unit to cool your home and can lead to ice buildup on the coils.

To clean the evaporator coil, you need to turn off the power supply to the unit, remove the access panel, and use a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner to remove dirt and debris. It is essential to be gentle and not damage the fins, as this can affect the unit’s efficiency.

  • Clean the condenser coil: The condenser coil releases the heat that was absorbed by the evaporator coil. Outdoor AC units are prone to getting dirty and clogged with debris, which hinders the release of heat from the system. To clean the condenser coil, turn off the power supply to the unit, remove the outer cover, and clean the coil with a commercial coil cleaner or a solution of mild detergent and water.

After this, allow them to dry completely. It is crucial to clean the coil thoroughly, before turning the power back on so no residue is left behind that can again harm the unit. Also, be sure to clean the fan blades and the surrounding area to ensure maximum airflow.

  • Check and clear the condensate drain line: The condensate drain line removes water that is generated by the evaporator coil. Over time, the drain line can become clogged with dirt, dust, and algae, causing water to back up into the unit and leading to water damage. This can lead water to back up and damage your unit or your home.

To prevent this, check the condensate drain regularly to make sure it’s clear. You can do this by pouring a cup of water into the drain and watching to see if it flows freely. If it doesn’t, you may need to use a wire or other tool to clear the blockage.

To clear the drain line, locate the drain line, and use a wet-dry vacuum to suck out the blockage. Another method is to use a wire brush to clean the inside of the drainpipe. It is recommended that you perform this task once a year.

  • Inspect the Ductwork: The ductwork of your AC system is responsible for delivering cool air throughout your home. Over time, the ductwork can become damaged, leading to leaks, gaps, or other issues that can reduce the efficiency of your system.

To prevent this, you must inspect the ductwork regularly to make sure it’s in good condition. Look for signs of wear and tear, such as cracks, holes, or loose connections, and repair or replace any damaged sections as needed.

  • Check the refrigerant level: Refrigerant is the substance that cools the air in your AC unit. If the refrigerant level is low, your unit may not be able to cool your home effectively. Signs that your AC unit may be low on refrigerant include reduced cooling power, a hissing or bubbling sound from the unit, and ice buildup on the coils.

Checking the refrigerant level is not a DIY task and should be performed by a licensed HVAC professional or ac maintenance Fairfax, VA company. They will check the level of refrigerant in your system and add more if needed.

  • Test the thermostat: The thermostat is the device that controls the temperature in your home. A malfunctioning thermostat can cause your AC unit to work harder than necessary, leading to energy wastage and higher bills. If your thermostat is not working correctly, your unit may not turn on, turn off too frequently, or fail to maintain the desired temperature.

To test the thermostat, turn it to the “cool” setting and set the temperature a few degrees lower than the current room temperature. If the unit doesn’t turn on, or if it turns on but doesn’t cool the room, you may need to replace the thermostat.

  • Keep the area around the AC unit clear: Adequate airflow is crucial for the proper functioning of your AC unit. To ensure that your AC unit can operate at peak efficiency, it’s important to keep the space around the unit clear of debris, plants, or other objects that could block airflow.

Outdoor units require unrestricted airflow to release heat. Make sure there are at least two feet of clear space around the unit and trim any plants or shrubs that are growing too close.

How often should I maintain my AC?

The frequency of AC maintenance varies depending on the type of unit, its usage, and the environment in which it operates. In general, it is recommended to have your AC unit inspected and maintained at least once a year. Consult your AC maintenance Fairfax, VA company to learn how regularly your AC needs to be checked.

Some crucial factors to examine when deciding how often to maintain your AC unit include:

  • Age of the unit: Older AC units typically require more frequent maintenance as they may have worn-out components or may not have been well-maintained in the past. If your AC unit is more than ten years old, it may require bi-annual maintenance to ensure it runs efficiently and safely.
  • Usage: If your AC unit is used frequently, it will require more maintenance than one that is used sparingly. AC units that are used year-round may need maintenance twice a year, while units that are used only in the summer may require maintenance once a year.
  • Environment: AC units that operate in dusty, dirty, or polluted environments require more frequent maintenance. The collection of dirt and debris in the system can cause it to work harder, leading to premature wear and tear. If your AC unit is located near construction sites or in areas with high pollen counts, it may require more frequent maintenance.
  • Type of unit: Different types of AC units require different levels of maintenance. For example, central air conditioning systems require more maintenance than window or portable AC units. Central AC units have more complex components, including ductwork and an outdoor condenser unit, which require regular maintenance to keep them functioning optimally.
  • Warranty: Some air conditioner unit warranties require regular maintenance as a condition for coverage. Failing to perform maintenance as required by the manufacturer could void your warranty, resulting in costly repairs or replacements. Make sure you check this at the time of purchase and do not forget.

It is important to note that neglecting regular maintenance of your air conditioning unit can lead to increased energy bills, reduced efficiency, and even complete system failure. Regular maintenance from licensed AC maintenance near Alexandria, VA company, can be highly beneficial as it can extend the life of your unit, lower energy bills, and ensure that it operates safely and efficiently.

In general, a suggested maintenance schedule for your AC unit should look something like this:

  • Spring: Have a professional perform a thorough inspection of the unit before the summer months begin. In most cases, they will clean and inspect the coils, check the refrigerant levels, and test the system’s controls. If any issue seems to exist, they will provide suggestions or solutions for it to avoid any bigger problems from arising.
  • Summer: Change the air filter once a month during peak usage months to ensure the system has proper airflow. Additionally, if you live in a high-pollution area, keep checking as frequently as possible, and wash the filters with water. This does not always require professional intervention.
  • Fall: As the summer season ends, it’s time to prepare the air conditioning unit for the winter months. To properly prepare the unit, turn off the power supply to the unit and remove any debris from around the outdoor condenser unit. If your unit has a cover, put it on to protect it from the winter elements.
  • Winter: Leave the AC unit turned off during the winter months and only turn it on for a few minutes every few weeks to keep the system from drying out. If your unit has a humidifier, ensure that it is clean and in good condition.

Thus, the frequency of AC maintenance depends on several factors, and in general, it is recommended to have your AC unit inspected and maintained at least once a year and more frequently if any issues arise by reliable AC maintenance near Arlington, VA company. Regular maintenance will help extend the lifespan of your AC unit, reduce energy bills, and ensure it runs efficiently and safely.

Electronics and electrical appliances come with an added duty of maintaining them, inspecting them regularly, and getting them checked by professionals at regular intervals. Along with the numerous comforts they provide, they are also a responsibility that must be taken seriously to avoid unexpected and extravagant expenses now and then, and an air conditioner is a prime example.

If you are on the search for a reliable company in the Virginia region, check out our website. We at Airecom are here to put a rest to all your air conditioner maintenance needs. Experts at Airecom conduct thorough inspections and offer the proper recommendations and solutions at competitive prices. So before the summer arrives, book your air conditioner inspections with us!

Summer is coming, and you don’t want to be caught in the Manassas heat with a malfunctioning AC unit. Regular maintenance is the key to ensuring your cooling system works efficiently when you need it most. Don’t wait for a breakdown to realize you should have had your AC serviced.

Here at Airecom Services, we bring our expert AC maintenance services to you, right here in Manassas, VA, and all the surrounding Northern Virginia areas. Our team of certified technicians is equipped to handle all your maintenance needs, ensuring your AC runs smoothly, lasts longer, and saves you money on energy bills in the long run.

Isn’t it time you gave your AC unit the attention it deserves? Contact Airecom Services today to schedule your AC maintenance appointment. With us, you can count on reliable, high-quality service at affordable rates, tailored to the needs of the Manassas community.