Four Easy Preventative Maintenance Tips For Your Air Conditioner

Posted on: 3 November 2021

Preventative maintenance on an expensive system like your air conditioner is a great way to avoid surprises and keep it running reliably. There are several ways to do this, from keeping the area around the condenser tidy to keeping drains clear and scheduling regular servicing from technicians.

Keep Outdoor Unit Clean

Your air conditioner's outdoor unit houses some of the most important components. The cabinet is designed to protect everything inside, but it helps to keep the area around the cabinet clear. Weeds that grow near it could grow inside or shed dead leaves inside, piles of wood or debris can attract pests, and any loose debris like small rocks that get inside can dent or misalign your fan blades. During inspections, technicians will often do some cleaning around the cabinet, but keeping it clear on your own is a good way to protect very valuable components.

Inspect Filters, Fuses, and Batteries

Regularly inspecting parts that are easy to locate and access is a good way to catch simple problems early that can otherwise prevent your entire air conditioner from running. For example, if your air filter is too dirty, your air conditioner may overheat and shut down early. Fuses that no longer work effectively cut off electricity to your condenser unit, and thermostat batteries that lose power or corrode can prevent you from using your system. Make this part of your annual inspections for the best effect.

Set Up a Service Contract

Service contracts let you set up an annual maintenance with a professional service provider for a flat fee. For older air conditioners that need more regular servicing, this can be valuable. Not all contracts are alike, and it helps to take a close look at what each service offers. Typically, however, you will get basic services like checking coolant levels, cleaning your condenser unit, and getting a thorough parts inspection. The flat fee helps you avoid surprises, and since you get service every year, it also serves as an effective method of preventative maintenance.

Keep Drains Clear

Because your air conditioner pulls moisture out of the air as it cools, it needs a way to drain that moisture. Usually, moisture is diverted safely outside your home, and most air conditioners will have a primary and backup drain. If these drains aren't kept clear, this moisture can start to back up into your house. In some cases, it can trip an air conditioner's safety mechanism, and it will automatically shut down to prevent flooding.

If your drains haven't been looked at in a while, ask your air-conditioning technician to inspect them and clean them as necessary. You can also do this yourself with minor blockage by using mixes of vinegar and baking soda or using a metal wire to push out obstructions. These drains shouldn't need to be cleared out very often, but because of what can happen due to clogs, it's worth the time to check.