If you're a first-time homeowner, you might not think much about using and taking care of a central air conditioning unit. While maintaining an AC isn't labor-intensive, there are things you need to take care of so your equipment doesn't break down. Here are things you should know about caring for your air conditioning unit.
Adequate Airflow Is Important
If air is restricted around the condenser outside or the air handler indoors, your AC won't work very well. It could even overheat and shut down until you solve the problem. Putting a strain on your AC could burn out parts and lead to repairs that could be avoided through proper care.
Changing the filter on schedule is essential. A dirty filter doesn't sound too serious, but it could block airflow so much that your AC equipment is damaged. In addition to changing the filter on time, you should keep furniture and other things away from the air handler and condenser. You may need to mow back weeds or clear clutter out of your basement to keep the areas around your AC equipment free from things that block airflow.
Your Equipment Needs Professional Service Annually
Your air conditioner needs checks, cleaning, and servicing at least once each year. These tasks are beyond the light cleaning and servicing you can do on your own, which is why you need a professional. A licensed HVAC technician is also likely needed to keep your AC warranty and maintenance contract valid.
During an annual service call, the technician performs preventative maintenance, runs checks, and cleans the equipment. Dirty equipment is a major cause of AC problems, so thorough cleaning fans and coils is important or your air conditioning unit might break down.
Refrigerant Isn't Supposed To Leak Out
You may hear people talk about topping off the refrigerant in their AC units when it isn't making cool air. However, the refrigerant is in a closed system, and it isn't supposed to leak out. If it does leak and the pressure in the lines drops, an air conditioning repair technician has to find the leak and repair it before filling the refrigerant up.
Indoor Pollutants Can Harm Your Equipment
The copper lines that carry refrigerant as it circulates through the AC system can develop pinholes. These are a reaction between the copper and indoor air pollution. When the copper coils have several pinholes, the coils may need to be replaced instead of repaired, and that can be expensive.
You can't eliminate all the pollution inside your home since volatile organic compounds are in so many building materials, but you may want to maintain your indoor air quality even if you have to air out your home. If you can decrease the amount of indoor pollution, especially from VOCs, your AC equipment might last longer. For more information, contact an air conditioning contractor.