Technician servicing air conditioner in Toronto, ON

The Best Tips for Maintaining Your AC System

No matter what type of air conditioner you have, you shouldn’t push its system past its limits. Instead, it would help if you took advantage of these tips for maintaining your AC system. That way, you’ll be able to stay cool and comfortable when temperatures rise. 

How Does Your Home’s AC System Work? 

The typical central AC system consists of two crucial components. Inside the home, near your furnace, there’s a unit known as an evaporator. An additional unit outside your house serves as a compressor and condenser. 

While some properties have a heat pump rather than a furnace, the system’s main parts will still serve the same purpose. You will find the indoor unit in the air handler in most cases. 

How to Fix Fins 

If the fins are bent, you can restore them using a dinner knife to apply light pressure. Make sure that you insert no more than 1/2 inch of the knife. 

Take the Time to Clean Your Unit 

Using a soft-bristle brush, vacuum your AC system’s fins. Since the fins are delicate, you’ll want to be cautious during this process. If you are having difficulty reaching the fins, using a screwdriver to remove a metal box protecting them may be necessary. Consult the owner’s manual for your unit to see what you need to do. 

What To Do If AC Pad Is Sinking 

As time goes on, the pads beneath AC units can settle. It’s not necessarily an issue if your pad has begun to sink. What’s important is that the unit is level and dry and that the electrical lines and copper coolant tubes are straight. However, if water is starting to accumulate around your unit, causing the lines to stretch, you’ll need to do something to address the issue, like call a professional for repairs.

Invest In a Programmable Thermostat 

With a programmable thermostat, you’ll have more control over your home’s temperature without constantly adjusting your dial. For instance, program the thermostat to lower the temperature when you’re not at home, allowing you to cut utility costs while still maintaining a comfortable temperature. 

Consider Installing a Booster Fan 

With forced-air cooling, you can send more cold air to a hotter room than the rest of your house with a booster fan. There are two main types of booster fans. 

An in-line duct booster provides additional cooling to rooms. The fan is mounted close to the outlet. When the cooling system is running, it will turn on automatically. 

The other option is to register or vent booster fans. Install these fans in place of or over registers on the wall, floor, and ceiling. You can manage remotely, manually, or automatically depending on the model. 

Dealing With a Loud AC System 

Newer AC systems tend to have quiet fans, so your compressor is likely the source of any loud noises. Reach out to the manufacturer to see if they offer sound blankets for your unit. Alternatively, look for a compressor sound blanket designed to work on any model. Blankets are easy to install. However, if you have an older unit, a blanket probably won’t solve your problem. The issue is likely your fan. 

Make Sure The Condensate Drain Tube Isn’t Clogged 

Your condensate drain tube is likely clogged if you notice water pooling around your furnace when your AC is on. Water pooling happens because of bacteria present in the condensation on your air conditioner’s coils. That bacteria can build up into slime, causing a clog. 

Change Your Filter 

Filters on AC systems require periodic cleaning or replacements. To replace a filter:

  1. Make sure that the power to your unit is off.
  2. Remove the filter and see if dirt or debris has begun to accumulate.
  3. Suppose it has, clean or change the filter. 

Make Sure Your System Is the Right Size 

You need to size AC systems according to the cubic feet they are cooling. If you’re planning home renovations or investing in a new system for your home, you’ll need to keep this in mind. If your unit isn’t large enough for your space, cooling the air in your home will put the system under great strain. The extra stress will reduce the system’s lifespan and higher energy costs. 

Look Into Whole-House Fans 

While AC systems can help keep your home cool, there are other options like whole-house fans. Homeowners have been using whole-house fans for more than a hundred years. Technicians often mount whole-house fans in the attic so they can push out hot air via the vents. Subsequently, it draws cooler air from outside, which creates a fast exchange of air that quickly clears out heat in a home. A more significant fan can remove hot air from the house in minutes. On top of that, fans produce a refreshing breeze. 

Use Windows to Help Control Heat 

In many cases, heat enters a home through its windows, mainly if they are open. You’ll want to take the right approach with your windows. When the weather is hot, ensure that you shut the windows tight. Use window treatments like blinds to limit the amount of heat entering your home. 

Do Some Troubleshooting 

If your AC unit stops working when the weather is hot, you may not be able to get professional help immediately. On top of that, repairs can be costly. That’s why you should try to do some troubleshooting yourself to see if there’s a simple solution to the problem. Just be cautious if there’s a severe problem. Working with electricity can be dangerous. 

Make Sure There Are No Insulation Issues 

The insulation near your exterior AC lines can become damaged over time. Replacing that insulation can be an effective way to make the unit more efficient. 

Pick Up a Fin Comb 

If you have a small air conditioner with bent fins, a great way to fix the problem is to use fin combs. Just make sure you put on gloves. That way, you can ensure you don’t get hurt while repairing your fins. 

Use a Brush for Deep Cleaning 

One of the best ways to get rid of debris built up on your air conditioner is with a soft bristle brush. Turn off power to the unit before starting and use a foam cleanser for best results. 

Take the Right Approach When You Replace Your AC Unit 

If you’re ready to replace your current AC unit, you’ll need to take the proper steps to dispose of the unit. Rules regarding disposal can vary based on location. That’s why it’s best to work with a waste management company in your area. 

Identify Air Leaks 

Most homes have air leaks, and if you can find yours, you’ll be able to seal them off. Start by shutting all of your home’s windows. From there, turn off your furnace, fans, and exhaust fans. Light up an incense stick and walk around your home’s outer walls. If you see smoke move towards or away from something, there’s likely an air leak nearby. 

Avoid Wrapping Condensers 

When temperatures start to cool, you may want to store your condenser unit until temperatures rise again. Make sure you don’t wrap a tarp around the condenser as it could lead to rust. Instead, use weighted plywood to keep it covered. 

Don’t Hesitate to Reach Out to AC Professionals 

Whether you need maintenance or repairs, you’ll want to work with professionals that can help you keep your unit in great shape. Don’t hesitate to call AC professionals to get the services you need.