A/C Maintenance: What to Do Yourself and What to Leave to a Professional
Now that warmer weather is just around the corner, it’s time to start thinking about turning on your air conditioner. Before you do, though, it’s important to make sure it’s ready to keep you cool all summer long without a dreaded breakdown requiring expensive service. The best way to ensure the air conditioner in your greater Cincinnati home is in tip-top shape for the coming warm weather is to schedule professional A/C maintenance. Preventive maintenance on your air conditioner by a qualified HVAC professional isn’t expensive and will extend the life of your unit. And knowing the system will operate safely all season will provide you with peace of mind. Professional maintenance will include these essential checkpoints:
- Lubricate the moving parts of your system to reduce friction.
- Test the controls to ensure that they’re working properly.
- Record the operating temperatures and pressures.
- Inspect the start and run capacitor and relays for damage.
- Measure and fine tune the refrigerant charge.
- Flush the condensate drain to prevent overflow.
- Tighten electrical connections.
- Check the blower motor and belt.
- Check and adjust the thermostat.
- Measure the amperage and voltage on the motor, and check the condition of the bearings.
- Check the compressor contacts.
- Clean the outdoor condenser coil.
- Check your air filter every month and replace it when it’s dirty to prevent overheating and to improve your indoor air quality.
- Keep the outdoor condensing unit free of debris such as leaves, grass clippings and plants.
- Spray the condensing unit with a hose periodically to remove dirt buildup.
- Don’t close off more than 20 percent of the vents in your home in an attempt to save money on energy costs. Doing so can disrupt the airflow to your unit and cause overheating.