Central Air Maintenance And Air Conditioning Services

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Air Conditioning Maintenance and Servicing

An air conditioning system is a complex mix of machinery and electronics. Careful maintenance keeps an air conditioner running effectively.

Before attempting any central air maintenance, read the owner's manual carefully, and only perform maintenance tasks the manual recommends. Leave all other tasks to an air conditioning service.

Air Conditioning Basics

Air conditioning maintenance starts in the early spring. Check the outside condenser to make sure it isn't covered with debris, leaves or other items that could impair air flow, then turn the system on for a few minutes to make sure it still runs.

Don't wait until the heat of summer to check the system: You'll get faster service from an air conditioning repair company in the spring than during the height of summer.

Other simple, early spring air conditioning maintenance tasks include:

  • Making sure all access panels are secure
  • Setting the thermostat to cooling mode
  • Trimming bushes and trees close to the condenser.

Changing Air Conditioning Filters

Change air conditioning filters every month when the system is active. Disposable fiberglass filters can simply be replaced once a month. Electronic or electrostatic filters can be taken out and washed according to manufacturer's instructions.

Air Conditioning Maintenance and Mold

Check condensate drain pans for mold and other potentially harmful growths. Mold can be cleaned off pans with a mixture of one part bleach to ten parts water. Be sure to rinse pans well with fresh water after cleaning them with the bleach solution.

Annual Air Conditioning Service

Air conditioning service companies are busiest during the summer, and may not be able to accommodate you if you wait too long. Homeowners should schedule an air conditioning service every spring, before the heat of summer.

An air conditioning service takes care of central air maintenance tasks that are too specialized to be safely handled by homeowners. During your annual air conditioning service the service person will complete the following tasks:

  • Calibrating the thermostat
  • Checking all electronic parts
  • Checking filters and condensers
  • Checking Freon® levels
  • Cleaning the evaporator and condenser coil, if necessary
  • Cleaning the air conditioning drain
  • Oiling the motor, if necessary.

Some online resources suggest cleaning external air conditioner components with water and a garden hose. This practice can result in electric shocks and damage to the air conditioning unit. Cleaning the interior of a unit is best left to an air conditioning service.

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