Regular maintenance of your air conditioner is essential for reducing utility bills and ensuring its optimal performance. If you’re seeking assistance with air conditioner maintenance and care in Los Angeles, California, you’ve come to the right place. At Goodman Appliance, we’re here to provide insights into AC maintenance and care tips. Read on to discover how this blog post can benefit you.
Regular maintenance is key to keeping your air conditioning system in top shape. Here are some tips to help you maintain your AC unit:
Change the Filters
Dirty filters can significantly impact your AC’s efficiency. During the cooling season, consider changing or cleaning them monthly. If you have washable filters, clean them regularly to remove accumulated debris and dust.
Check the filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value (usually ranging from 1 to 12 for home AC units). A higher value indicates better filtration but can affect monthly energy costs by requiring more energy to pull air.
Clean the Exterior Condenser or Compressor
The exterior condenser or compressor, located outdoors, is exposed to leaves, twigs, dust, and debris. Use a vacuum to clean its interior, ensuring you remove all accumulated debris.
Check and Fix Any Leaks
Leaky ducts can lead to a loss of approximately 30 percent of airflow. Ensuring that your air conditioning system is well-sealed is essential. For window AC units, detecting leaks can be done using the old smoke trick.
Simply take a stick of incense and hold it near the junction of the AC unit and the window frame. If you have a central AC system, hold the incense stick near duct connections. If the smoke blows around the incense stick, it indicates that your AC system has leaks that need proper sealing.
To seal ducts, you can use foil tape for smaller gaps and duct mastic for larger ones. Window AC units can be sealed with foam to fill the space between the unit and the window frame.
Set the AC on a Timer
To maximize energy efficiency, consider using a timer with your AC unit. Set the timer to operate the AC at an efficient temperature only when you’re at home. If you have a central AC system, program the thermostat to maintain higher temperatures when no one is home and cooler temperatures when you are present.
Newer models of window AC units come with built-in timers and adjustable thermostats. However, if your AC doesn’t have a timer, you can easily purchase and install one. This will help you optimize your AC’s usage and save on energy costs.
Check the Insulation of Your Home
Proper insulation in your home is crucial for maintaining a cool indoor environment and preserving temperature control. It’s important to inspect the insulation in areas such as ducts in attics or crawl spaces.
These spaces must be adequately insulated to prevent heat from infiltrating. Consider using insulating materials like spray foam, batt insulation, or rigid foam insulation for optimal results.
Maintain the Compressor or Condenser
Condensers or window units should ideally be installed on the north or east side of the house to avoid direct sunlight. If they are exposed to direct sunlight, their efficiency can decrease by up to 10 percent.
Make use of screens to shield them from excessive sunlight. Additionally, ensure that the outdoor air compressor and condenser, usually situated near the home’s foundation, have about 24 inches of clear space around them. Keep this area free from shrubs, tall grass, leaves, branches, and other obstructions to maintain proper airflow.
Keep the AC System Cool
Enhance the lifespan and efficiency of your AC system by using blinds or shades during the daytime. Awnings can be used to shield south-facing windows from direct sunlight, reducing the heat that enters your home. When the AC is running, it’s a good practice to use fans inside the house to help circulate the cool air more effectively.
Regular AC Maintenance
Consistent AC maintenance is essential. Schedule a yearly cleaning and maintenance service with a professional AC contractor. They will not only clean the filters but also inspect the entire unit for any issues and make necessary repairs. This routine maintenance will help keep your AC system operating efficiently and extend its lifespan.
The checkup and maintenance schedule must be done before the cooling season begins. They can perform the following tasks:
- Clean and inspect the coils
- Clean and replace the filters
- Adjust and replace fan belts
- Lubricate motors, bearings, and other moving parts
- Clean and check the fans and blowers
- Inspect the AC controls and check its safety measures
- Inspect refrigerant levels and pressures
- Check operating temperatures
Ensure Adequate Airflow
Keeping all interior doors closed can hinder the proper circulation of air throughout your home, affecting the efficiency of your AC system. To maintain privacy while allowing adequate airflow, consider leaving the doors slightly ajar or installing devices like doorstops that can help facilitate air movement.
Consider Upgrading to a Newer Model
If your AC unit or system is a decade or older, it’s a good time to consider an upgrade. Newer models are designed to be more energy-efficient, which can result in cost savings on your electricity bills.
When searching for a central AC system, pay attention to the seasonal energy-efficiency ratio (SEER), and for window AC units, look at the energy efficiency ratio (EER).
A standard AC unit typically has a SEER of 13 and an EER of 8. However, models with higher numbers are more energy-efficient and cost-effective to operate. Upgrading to a newer, more efficient model can be a smart investment in the long run.
Here Are Some Additional Tips For Properly Maintaining Your AC System:
- Check the Fins: Regularly inspect the fins of your AC unit. If you notice any bent fins, it’s essential to straighten them. Bent fins can reduce the efficiency of your AC system.
- Protect the Condenser During Colder Months: In the colder months when the condenser is not in use, consider covering the top of the unit with a piece of plastic or plywood. This helps prevent debris from entering the unit. However, avoid completely covering the sides, as it can trap moisture, leading to corrosion. Additionally, check for any signs of pests like rats, mice, squirrels, raccoons, or vermin that may have nested inside during the off-season. Remove the cover completely when warmer weather returns.
- Regularly Clean the Evaporator Coil and Drain: To prevent the growth of algae and mold, it’s important to clean the evaporator coil and drain regularly.
- Replace the Blower Filter: Change the blower filter at least twice a year – once at the start of the heating season and once before the cooling season begins. In areas with high dust levels, consider replacing it more frequently.
If you require assistance in maintaining your AC system in your Los Angeles home, you can count on Goodman Appliance. We are a family-owned and operated company with a history of serving clients since 2000. Our services include heater installation and replacement, central air conditioning services, AC installation and replacement, and appliance installation.
If you have any questions about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can reach us at 1-310-925-4079 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Choose Goodman Appliance for your AC maintenance needs. Contact us today!