Air Conditioning Maintenance Checklist
In order to ensure that your air conditioner will keep you cool this summer, our air conditioning maintenance includes all of the following steps:
· Clean the outdoor condensers and indoor evaporator coils; coils are among the most important parts of your air conditioner. The condenser coil houses the refrigerant lines and surrounds the fins that line the outdoor cabinet of your AC. The evaporator coil is the part of your AC that absorbs heat and makes the air cold. If you have dirt or debris on either of these, it can reduce your air conditioners efficiency and put unnecessary stress on the units moving parts, or blocked, that moisture can become trapped either in the unit or in your house.
· Check the refrigerant level – too little refrigerant in your air conditioner will require your system to work extra hard to provide cooling, reducing the efficiency (and, ultimately, the lifespan) of your unit.
· Inspect the indoor and outdoor drain pans and condensate drains – since air conditioners provide cooling as well as dehumidification, a lot of moisture can build up in the unit if the drains are dirty.
· Check the outdoor fan blades and indoor blower – the outdoor fan is what pulls air into the air conditioner; the indoor blower is what moves it through your home. These may need to be readjusted as part of your air conditioning maintenance so they can provide maximum airflow.
· Check the compressor and the refrigerant tubing
· Lubricate all moving parts (on older AC units); most older AC units have ports on all of their moving parts (fan motors, compressors, etc.) that allow easy lubrication. Most newer models have sealed parts and don’t need extra lubrication.
· Inspect all electrical controls, wiring and connections – all electrical components and hookups should be routinely checked during air conditioning maintenance for wear and damage.
· Run a general air conditioner test; an important step of air conditioning maintenance is simply turning the AC unit off and on to check the operating functions such as the start cycle and shut off controls. The air conditioning contractor will also check for unusual noises or odors, measure indoor and outdoor temperatures and check system pressures as needed.
· Check the ductwork for leaks or other issues; while you shouldnt need to inspect your ductwork as part of your yearly air conditioning maintenance, you should have it checked at least every few years to make sure there are no leaks or blockages. Problems in your ductwork are one of the leading causes of inefficiency in forced air AC systems, sometimes accounting for as much as 30% losses in efficiency!