Right now we’re enjoying warmer days and cool nights. This time of year open windows bring in fresh air, as well as a reminder that summer will be here before we know it. Take a few minutes to ensure your air conditioner is ready to work this season by following a few of our spring tips today. Not only will proactive maintenance improve the efficiency of your air conditioner, it will also cut up to 20 percent off your energy costs and decrease runtimes.
Check the following outdoors:
- Clean outdoor components. Overgrown plants, fallen branches and leaves can damage your air conditioner and reduce efficiency. The exterior condenser requires at least two feet of unobstructed space around it to function at maximum efficiency. Take a few minutes to clean the area surrounding the unit, and gently use a cloth or brush to clear dirt from the coil and fins. Give the condenser fan a good wash over with the garden hose, or use a vacuum and rag to clean the blades. You may also wish to tighten mounting bolts, and add a few drop of WD-40 into the ports for lubrication. Just be sure to turn off your thermostat before cleaning the system.
- Inspect fan belts. Check the fan belts on the outdoor system component and adjust or replace if necessary. Wyckoff has replacement parts available, and can help to ensure your new belt is compatible with your current system.
- Check coolant lines. Refrigerant tubes or pipes that run from the evaporator to the condenser outside are typically covered with foam coolant line insulation to prevent them from losing energy. If you see frayed or missing insulation, replace it with foam insulation sleeves.
Inspect the following indoors:
- Change the filter. While some air conditioners come with disposable filters, others have filters that can be cleaned with water. Cleaning or replacement should be a monthly routine. Dirty, clogged filters are the number one cause of system failure. They cause your HVAC system to work overtime, reduce efficiency and recirculate dust into your home. Filter updates are one of the least expensive ways to keep your air conditioner running at optimal levels.
- Clean indoor ductwork. The first step to keeping parts of your ductwork clean and dry is to remove registers in your home. Ensure there are no rugs or furniture obstructing airflow, and take time to clean and inspect for wear or water damage. The second step is to check any ductwork that travels through your attic and basement. All connections and seams should be sealed, with no holes. Condensation may cause air ducts to accumulate moisture. If you discover any water damage or mold, contact Wyckoff Heating & Cooling immediately.
- Check the condensate-removal system. Moisture accumulates when warm air passes through the cooling coil. This condensation will go one of two places – either into a gravity-fed drain or into a pan under the blower unit. What should you do? If it’s in the basement, the pan may have a small pump to move water to the drain. Test to ensure it’s functioning properly by checking the float. If the unit is in the attic, check to see if there is a kill switch. This is a wired water sensor set to a certain height in the pan. If the water touches it, the system should shut down.
- Schedule a pre-season tune-up. Consider Wyckoff’s Peace of Mind program or simply invest in routine service. Our certified technicians are trained to address issues before they become larger problems. The cost of planned maintenance often pays off in the long run, prolonging the lifetime and increasing the efficiency of your system.
You should also consider if it is time to replace your AC. There are numerous benefits to replacing your HVAC system, including improved indoor air quality, available warranties and peace of mind. Contact Wyckoff Heating & Cooling for your free estimate today.