It’s never too late for a little preventative maintenance.
In Little Rock, the best time of year for an AC check-up is in the early spring before sunny days require us to lower the thermostat. Follow this guide to prevent many of the most common air conditioning problems, and hopefully to save money in the long-run.
Keep in mind that, just like vehicle maintenance, some things are best left to professional air conditioner repair technicians. Call BR McGinty air conditioning service and repair in Little Rock, Arkansas for all of your AC repair and maintenance needs, including annual maintenance and preventative care inside your AC unit.
AC Maintenance: Outdoors
Turn off the power. Air conditioners have a lot of moving parts that can be very dangerous. In addition, it’s never a good idea to gamble when working around electricity. Look for an AC shut-off box outside near your AC unit and flip the switch. Inside, shut off the power at the breaker box.
Clear debris. Remove any leaves or debris on the outside of your unit. Leave the inside to the pros. The blades can be very sharp, and there are a lot of moving parts that can be damaged if taken apart or put back together incorrectly. Your skilled AC service technician will clean debris inside your unit as part of your annual service contract.Beyond your AC unit, follow the “give it two feet” rule. Clean up the area surrounding your air conditioner, making sure there are no leaves, branches, or clutter within two feet of the unit. This will help to ensure your air conditioning has proper airflow.
Wash the fins. On an AC unit, fins are the small metal pieces that look like a grill on the outside of your condenser. Their purpose is to allow heat to escape the unit, but when they’re clogged, they obstruct air flow. Use a garden hose to rinse fins from the outside. Note: Do not use a pressure washer. This can damage the fins. Do not use cleaners or other products yourself; some products can damage copper inside your unit and should only be used by an experienced service technician.
Inspect the wires. Be sure power is turned off to both the unit and at the breaker. Evaluate the wiring leading to the unit to check for wear and tear. Wrap exposed wires with electrical tape as necessary. Not sure? Contact a professional.
Level it out. Use a level to make sure your AC unit hasn’t begun to settle on one or more sides. Out-of-level units may cause the components within the compressor to wear sooner. If it’s not perfectly level, use weather-resistant shims to even it out.
Turn the power back on. Once your unit is clean and level, you can turn the power back on—unless you take a little more time to complete the steps below.
Air Conditioning Maintenance: Indoors
Indoors, your HVAC unit also requires care. Your safest bet is to contact a professional air conditioning repair service. When in doubt, call the pros and avoid costly mistakes.
Here are a few preventative measures you may try on your own:
Clean the drain. The evaporator coil’s drain pan empties into a white, black, or gray 3/4” PVC pipe that often flows to the outdoors or empties into a basement floor drain. If the pipe isn’t cleaned regularly, algae or mold can grow inside, potentially obstructing the flow. To clean the drain, pour about a cup of solution made from equal parts bleach and water down the drain to kill any algae growing inside. Once that’s done, add a drain pan tablet, available at your favorite home improvement store, to the pan to prevent regrowth.
Replace the HVAC filter. You should replace your HVAC filter quarterly—or more often if you live in a particularly dusty area. The most important consideration is to make sure you replace your current filter with a new one with the same airflow rating. Be cautious of filters labeled as HEPA filters or “air purifying” filters because they can reduce airflow and cause undue strain on your blower motor.You can often find the filter where the large duct enters the indoor portion of your unit, in a wall, in a ceiling grille, or in other places in your unique home. Use a screwdriver to loosen the latch if necessary. Remove the old air filter and replace with the new, aligning the directional arrows. Replace and re-latch the door.
Bottom line: There are steps you can take to help maintain your HVAC system. For those times when you need us, BR McGinty air conditioning repair and maintenance in Little Rock is here for you. Call us today for all of your heating and cooling needs.