3 Tips To Extend The Life Of Your A,/C Unit

air conditioner coilsThe hot, humid summers of the Los Angeles area take a lot out of your air conditioner, so it needs a little care to keep running reliably. Regular A/C system maintenance not only extends your system’s life, but also keeps your cooling bills low.

Maintain your filter – A dirty air filter is one of the most common causes of air conditioner breakdowns. When the filter becomes clogged with dust and debris, it doesn’t let air pass through as it should. The fan motor then has to work harder to pull in the air the system needs, using more energy and sustaining unnecessary wear in the process.

Preventing this problem is one of the easiest parts of A/C system maintenance. Once a month, remove your filter and hold it up to a light. If you can’t see light shining through, replace the filter. Standard fiberglass filters should be replaced monthly, but higher-efficiency pleated models last longer and clean your home’s air more effectively.

Care for the coils – Just 0.25 millimeters of dust on your indoor evaporator coil can cut your system’s energy efficiency by 20 percent. At least once a season, inspect the coil for dust. To remove a light layer of dust, use a foaming coil cleaner. For heavy dust buildup, rust or damage, contact a maintenance technician. Incorrectly cleaning a coil in this condition can cause serious damage.

Periodically remove grass clippings and other debris from your outdoor condenser using a stiff brush.

Schedule professional maintenance – Over the season, your system sustains wear and tear in places you can’t reach by yourself. Loose wires and corroded contacts, dust on the motor, a damaged crankcase heater, and many other problems that don’t show immediate signs drag down your system’s energy efficiency and put it at risk for early failure.

During an annual A/C system maintenance inspection, your technician can identify and correct issues like these so you can enjoy lower cooling bills and your system can reach its full lifespan. Aim to plan your annual A/C maintenance for early spring when scheduling is easier.