What Type of Maintenance is Required After Replacing an Air Conditioner?

Replacing an air conditioner is a major investment, and it's important to ensure that it is properly maintained in order to maximize its efficiency and extend its life. The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to replace or clean the filters on a routine basis. Dirty, clogged filters reduce the amount of air flow and significantly reduce system efficiency. Maintaining your air conditioner and not only will you save money on energy, but you will also extend its life, saving money on expensive early replacements. Dr.

Kirby, leader of the state's Consumer Family Science program and professor at North Carolina State University, emphasizes the importance of maintaining your air conditioning unit. According to Dr. Kirby, who is also the deputy director of the North Carolina State Extension, a properly functioning air conditioner removes excess moisture from the air and keeps occupants comfortable. Dirty air conditioners or poorly functioning systems can cause microorganisms such as mold to grow, which can aggravate allergies and asthma. If the bleach solution drains easily, skip the next step.

If not, move on to Cleaning the Evaporator Drain. Replace the evaporator coil cover and, if necessary, use aluminum adhesive tape to re-seal it. Warm, humid air from inside your home passes through the evaporator coil inside. The cold coil absorbs heat from the air and cools it before the air is recirculated to your home. Moisture from the air condenses on the cold surface of the evaporator coil in the form of liquid water, which drips onto a tray below.

From the tray, water flows into a drain pipe that normally goes to the basement, floor drain, sink, or outside. Over time, algae and mold can build up and potentially clog the drain, so if the drain doesn't flow or flows very slowly, it will need to be unplugged. A clogged drain can cause damage when the floor is flooded or, if the system is equipped with a drain float, cause the system to stop cooling to prevent flooding. First, look for the drain line where it exits the evaporator coil cabinet. The drain is usually a 1-inch PVC pipe (white, gray, or black).

Follow it to the end where it drains. Often, the pipe drains to the outside, near the condensing unit, but it can also flow into a utility sink or basement drain or, in the case of attic units, into an outside wall. Hold a rag around the space between the vacuum hose and the drain. The filter in your air conditioning system should be changed at least twice a year - once just before the heating season begins and once before the cooling season begins. If you live in a particularly dusty area, you may want to change it more often.

Always replace the filter with a new filter that has the same air flow. Moody warns to be careful with “air purifying” or HEPA filters as they can dramatically reduce airflow in your system. This can cause the inner coil to freeze due to reduced airflow. While these steps will help keep your air conditioning system in good condition, keep in mind that there are items of maintenance that only a trained HVAC technician will be able to perform. For example, a slow refrigerant leak in your air conditioning system can cause a costly compressor failure but a homeowner doesn't have the tools or skills needed to check refrigerant levels. In addition, clean ducts and adequate air flow are essential for a well-functioning system but homeowners lack the equipment needed for this job. The final result? While an expert owner can perform some air conditioner maintenance tasks, it is necessary to have your system checked regularly by an expert technician. Dr.

Kirby suggests having a service in both spring before cooling season and fall before heating season. Perhaps one of most essential and easiest air conditioner maintenance tasks is regularly replacing or cleaning air filters. Dirty clogged filters severely limit efficiency of air conditioner by decreasing system airflow. In addition when filter is clogged air can bypass filter allowing unfiltered air to flow throughout HVAC system potentially damaging evaporator coil in process. Most manufacturers of heating and cooling equipment require annual preventive maintenance of their equipment to maintain warranty. Many contractors offer service contracts that include spring visit for adjusting AC system and fall visit for preparing heating system for winter. When you sign maintenance agreement you're also likely receive discounts on repairs and purchase of new equipment. High-efficiency air conditioners on market can now significantly reduce electricity bills but only if properly maintained.

However like any other major appliance AC units require routine maintenance maximize their benefits. You should replace filter more often if you find that it gets dirty very quickly or if you have pollutants in home such as pet fur or cigarette smoke. When it comes replaceable filters be sure buy ones with high MERV ratings maximize indoor air quality. Regardless scenario plan replace or clean your AC filters at least every three months. Air filters in central AC units usually located along return duct usually on wall or ceiling or sometimes in AC unit itself.

Carlos Bardney
Carlos Bardney

Infuriatingly humble zombie practitioner. Wannabe zombie maven. Devoted beer aficionado. Certified bacon geek. Total zombie junkie. Proud burrito enthusiast.

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