There are some simple tasks that do not necessarily require a professional to handle. The following do-it-yourself practices can save you maintenance and repair expenses while extending your air conditioner's performance life cycle.
Cleaning the fins and filters
Use a fin cleaning spray to thoroughly clean the fins and blast out any dirt or debris that has clogged in-between them. Look out for clogged and dirty filters that can block normal airflow. Ignoring this will cause the air to bypass the filters and bring in dirt directly into the evaporator coil. This might weaken the coil's ability to absorb heat. All you need to do is replace the clogged filter with a clean one from your dealer.
Straightening the Fins
Any reduction in the airflow through the fins can slow down its effectiveness. So carefully straighten up any bent fins using a stiff wire or the fin straightening tool. You have to do this at least twice a year by passing a wire through the drain channels. If left unchecked, the drain channels will get clogged and this will stop the unit from reducing humidity. The result will be excessive moisture that can bleach your walls.
Cleaning the outdoor condenser unit
Much of the dirt in your air conditioner comes from outside. You can easily notice if any dirt or debris has accumulated on the unit's fins. The outdoor condenser unit can become dirty and the passageways become blocked if the environment around it is dusty and full of debris. Look out for any sources of dirt like falling leaves and outgrowing vegetation. The US Department of Energy recommends cutting nearby foliage to about 0.6 meters from the air conditioner unit. It takes less time to do all this than spending a lot of money and efforts in repairs when the air conditioner breaks down.
Safeguard your Air conditioner from winter chills
During winter season when the condenser is not in use, it's better to cover the top of the unit with a piece of plywood or plastic to prevent debris from falling in. Don't cover the unit's sides because moisture can accumulate inside and cause rusting. In addition, this will also attract bugs to build nests inside. At times you may remove your internal air conditioner and store it away in a safe place.
To keep your air conditioner functioning well, always pay great attention to both its external and interior operations. While inspecting it, ensure that the filters, evaporator coils and fins are in a good working state. Neglecting all these will cause a sudden decline in the air conditioner's performance and a sharp rise in its energy consumption.
For assistance, talk to an air conditioning maintenance professional.