Household Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips

Household air conditioning is an investment in a clean, comfortable home environment, and just like any investment, you want to see the greatest return through optimum performance. Routine AC maintenance extends equipment lifespan, provides reliability, and lowers energy costs by ensuring your system works no harder than is necessary. 

Whilst a professional air conditioner maintenance service is recommended on a regular basis - and in most cases a requirement under manufacturer warranties - there are some simple tasks you can perform on your own. 

Before you attempt any of the air conditioner maintenance tips below, be sure to first shut off your system completely, and always wear the relevant safety gear. You should also consult your manufacturer user guide for full details on how to look after your system.

How To Take Care of Your Air Conditioner

Clean or Replace AC Filters

The filters in your system keep air that circulates through it free from things like dust, mould spores, pollen, animal fur and bacteria. Over time, these contaminants and particulates build up, obstructing airflow and lowering system efficiency. 

When in use, it’s advisable to check your filters once a month - more often if you live in urban surroundings where air pollutants are common, or if you have pets that shed. 

Filters will either be replaceable or reusable depending on your system. Some modern units are also equipped with an automatic cleaning function. Check your user manual for guidance on how best to care for your filters, and replace reusable ones if you notice any holes or tears.

Clean the Evaporator Coil

A build up of dirt on the evaporator coil prevents it from effectively absorbing heat, thus making your system inefficient. Regularly cleaning or replacing your filters will protect it, but it’s still important to have your evaporator coil cleaned around once a year. 

If you choose to do this yourself, avoid using household products, as these can often leave damaging residue. Instead, use a recommended commercial cleaning solution.

The system's condenser coil also needs to be kept clean, which you can assist with by taking care of your outdoor unit as below.

Check Your Condenser Unit

Your condenser unit houses components vital to system performance, but as it sits on the outside of your property, it’s easy to overlook when it comes to air conditioner cleaning. 

In fact, it’s because of its external position that your condenser unit needs regular upkeep. Keep it free of fallen leaves and other debris to ensure it operates effectively. You can also use a gentle spray from a garden hose to clean out finer dirt particles and insects, but avoid using pressure here, as this can damage some of the unit's more delicate parts. 

Your condenser unit also needs uninterrupted air flow, so keep space around it clear and cut back anything that grows near.

Check Fins

Whilst you’re cleaning your outdoor unit, remove the access panel to check the state of the fins. If these are clogged and/or bent, it again obstructs airflow and considerably impacts system performance. 

You can buy a tool known as a fin comb to clean and straighten your fins, but keep in mind this is a delicate job that can lead to costly repairs if done incorrectly. If you do spot an issue, it’s best to call in the professionals. They’ll also check the condition of the fins around your evaporator coil. 

Adjust Your Thermostat

Unless you’re at home all day, there’s no need to have the AC running continuously. Doing so will put increased pressure on the system and reduce its lifespan, as well as increasing energy consumption. Make use of a programmable thermostat to get your air conditioner working only when it needs to. 

Of course, if you have a smart system you have even greater control, with the ability to adjust its operation on the go through your mobile phone. You can get the same flexibility by upgrading older systems with smart AC controllers.

How Often Should You Have Your Air Conditioner Serviced?

Whilst the AC maintenance tips above can help with performance and longevity, they are in no way a replacement for an air conditioner maintenance service. To ensure it runs both smoothly and safely, it’s recommended that you have your system serviced on an annual basis.

A professional engineer will assess all working parts, cleaning and replacing where necessary. They’ll run a full performance test and check refrigerant levels, identifying and fixing any leaks that may be impacting both system performance and the environment.

With a proactive approach to AC maintenance, you’ll benefit from an energy efficient system that creates your ideal home environment for minimal cost.   

We provide maintenance packages and emergency call out services for domestic clients in Loughborough and surrounding areas. For full peace of mind, we’re endorsed by TrustMark, and regularly vetted for excellence in standards, trading practices and technical competence.  

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