The average new air conditioning installation costs between $7,000-$20,000. If you’d like to avoid needing to replace your air conditioning, or if you have replaced it and want to get as much life out of your investment as possible, the best thing you can do is keep up with your air conditioning maintenance. Here are a few things that you should have on your air conditioning maintenance checklist:
- Replace the Air Conditioning Filters
The most essential air conditioning maintenance task is replacing your filter. If your air conditioning filter gets dirty and clogged, it can seriously reduce the efficiency of the airflow. By keeping up with your air conditioning filter, you should save 5-15% on air conditioning energy costs.
If you have a joint air conditioning and heating unit, you should replace your filter every 4 to 6 weeks throughout both the summer and winter. If your air conditioning and heating are separate units, you only need to replace the filter in the unit that is being used once a month.
- Inspect the Condenser Coils
By changing your air conditioning filter on a monthly basis, you keep the dirt buildup out of the condenser coil. However, even with regular filter changes, over time the coil builds up debris and becomes less efficient. Inefficient condenser coils can lead to costly AC repair services. You should check your AC coils every year and clean them as necessary.
If your air conditioner coils are exposed to the elements, they collect debris much faster. You should make sure that there are no obstructions within two feet of the coil to optimize adequate airflow and prevent clogging.
- Clean Out the AC Fins
If the fins on the evaporator get bent, it will prevent air flow through the coil. Inspect the fins and make sure that they are not damaged. If they are, you can get a fin comb from an air conditioning supply store that will push the fins back into their original shape.
If your AC unit is on the ground and can be reached, you can clear any debris from the fins with a regular garden hose. If the fins are so dirty that the garden hose can’t adequately clean it, you can get a commercial fin cleaning spray from any air conditioning parts supplier. Do you not use the pressure washer to clean it, as the heavy stream can damage the delicate fins.
If your air conditioning is a separate unit from your heater, you should cover it in the off seasons. An AC cover protects it from damage due to winter weather and debris. An inexpensive air conditioning cover can be purchased at your local hardware store, or you can just use an insulating blanket attached with outdoor weathering tape.
- Bring in AC repair service for annual maintenance
Having a well-trained technician look over your air conditioning system and identify any minor repairs can save you a lot by preventing big issues. A certified technician should check the following factors:
- Refrigerant levels.
- Fluid leaks.
- Any cracks or leaks in your AC duct system.
- Check for airflow inefficiency in the AC coils.
- Inspect the electric control sequence.
- Ensure accurate tightness of belts.
- Inspect the thermostat for accuracy.
Do you know of any other AC maintenance tips that we didn’t include? Please share them with us in the comment section below