Central A/C Maintenance Tips

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It’s that time of season again, and summer is already here. While you probably have been busy with friends, family, and work, you probably haven’t thought much about your central A/C unit. We have a few routine maintenance tips to help you save money and energy so you can spend more time doing the things you love!

Before we start with some tips on common routine maintenance, we have to start with some proper safety. Be sure to turn off power to your A/C unit by using the service panel, typically located by the unit itself. CAUTION: Sometimes electrical charges can hold for a little, wait 30 minutes to an hour to ensure your own safety, and avoid touching electrical components to the unit itself.

  • Clean or replace your air filters

The first major improvement you can make to your central air unit is to clean the air filters, which should be done about every 3 months. (probably 2 if you have pets!) Filters are a major component of keeping your house cool – they regularly take out dust and allergens that enter but once they become clogged the air flow decreases and the efficiency of your unit also declines.

Typically there will be an air filter inside the unit itself, but there may also be air filters throughout your home in the walls. Be sure to make note whether these can be cleaned multiple uses or has to be replaced completely every cycle. This will be properly labeled on the filter, as well as the arrows indicating which way the filter is supposed to be put back properly into the system.

1st Source Servall offers original manufactured air filters for your units that you can find by clicking here

  • Remove Debris / Clean the Fin’s

Just like with the air filters, debris and leaves can become clogged in your outside unit and prevent proper efficiency from the unit. Cleaning it requires removing leaves and debris from the fan cage, then removing the fan cage and cleaning the fin’s. A garden hose will be effective enough to clean the fin’s, but if you find it particularly dirty, you can get a fin comb like this or some fin condenser spray.

  • Clean the Evaporator Coil

Now that we have taken care of the outside components to the problems, it’s time to dive into the unit itself. A common problem with the evaporator coil when it is dirty is that it will freeze over with ice. This might be a cause if your central air seems less cool then normal.  First you will have to locate your evaporator on the inside of your blower/furnace unit. There might be some foil around the outside. Some commercially available Evaporator Coil Cleaner will aid in this. Spraying it on the side and then waiting for it to foam up will clean your coil. You may also use a small brush to assist in cleaning the coils.  (Important Note: Make sure the drain pan is also clear from algae that may build up. You can pour a quart of 50/50 solution of bleach and water in there to clean the line regularly, you can also use some algae tablets to drop into the pan as well)

  • Replace your Blower Filter

Similarly to the air filters, blower filters need to be replaced as well which should be done at least twice a year before the heating and cooling seasons. You will find the filter generally between the unit and a large air duct that enters into it. Note: You may need to unscrew some bolts to access the filter itself.

Lastly, after you tighten up your bolts and latches around the house, it’s time to power on your unit and enjoy your central air!

Posted by: Michael Sim

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