Air conditioner maintenance is likely more important than you might think. Just like your car, if left unattended is can cause problems.
The filter in your furnace is also the filter for your air conditioner. As that filter in your duct work gets dirty it traps more particles, but increases resistance and reduces airflow too. That’s when it’s time to change the filter with one recommend by the manufacturer. How often will depend on how dirty your indoor air is, the size of the filter, how often you clean, if you have hardwood or carpets, how many furry pets you have, etc.
Make sure you trim back any vegetation around the condenser unit on the outside of your home so it can efficiently expel the captured warm air from the home. If this unit is dirty, turn off the power supply to the unit and hose off any debris. Once allowed to dry, turn the power supply back on. Don;t block this unit or obstruct it otherwise the air conditioner will have to work longer causing higher energy costs and premature failure of the unit.
The fins on the evaporator and condenser coils can block airflow if they are dirty as well. If the fins are bent they can be straightened using a “fin comb”. Dirt and obstructions on the evaporator (“A” coil) and in the drain line should be checked & cleaned periodically too. Typically, work to the “A”coil is done by a licensed contractor as it is located above the furnace cabinet inside the duct work and not easily accessible.
The duct work in your house (and the home’s building envelope) should be sealed to maximize performance ensuring you have a properly insulated home and managed humidity levels.
When your air conditioner and filters are dirty, they cooling system will operate longer to cool the house. That not only increases your energy costs, but wears your unit out faster. As a general rule, air conditioner maintenance should be carried out at the start of each cooling season.
Read more about Air Conditioning Energy Saving & Maintenance Tips.