It seems to creep up on us every year. Just when you think winter might last forever, suddenly it’s the 1st of September and air magically moves hinting of the beautiful balmy summer to come. On the Central Coast, that means shorts, shirts and skirts, day trips to the beach, and retreating into the refuge of a cool, air conditioned house.
It’s also the perfect time to give some maintenance attention to your air conditioning system.
In case you forgot, summer on the central coast gets hot, and sticky, and you are going to want your air conditioner to be working at peak performance. Now, while it’s getting warmer but isn’t too warm, is the ideal time to make sure your system is working perfectly before that overwhelmingly hot day comes to break your air conditioning unit down.
While paying for air conditioning maintenance can seem like an unnecessary expense, over the long haul you are much better off. Regular maintenance keeps your unit energy efficient, and also ensures that it won’t fail when you need it most. While we highly recommend getting a professional to come in, if you prefer a DIY style, here are a few things you can do yourself to help prepare for the almighty Australian summer.
Clean The Condenser
The condenser is the outside element of your air conditioner and is not only a real workhorse, but also subject to all that mother nature wishes to throw at it. Basically, you want to ensure that there is minimal debris in and around the unit, so that the air can flow easily and uninhibited into the unit. To clean the condenser fins (the thin metal slats that run along the outline of the unit) carefully use a soft brush or dry paintbrush.
For a comprehensive video on how to clean the exterior unit, check out this step by step guide,
Double Check The Condenser Is Level
If your unit isn’t level, vibrations can occur in the refrigerant line which inturn create holes where the refrigerant will leak. There are two refrigerant lines, both made from copper that connect the outdoor air conditioner to the indoor evaporator coil. One carries cool gas and is insulated while the other carries a warm liquid.
Quite simply, if either are leaking, your AC will not work as efficiently, and consequently it will increase your energy bill too. Check the concrete underneath the condenser and prop it up to ensure it is level so this doesn’t occur.
Check The Insulation On The Refrigerant Line
The copper line that carries the cool gas is insulated and you can tell which one it is because it is the larger of the two. Too much exposure from the fiery sun can deteriorate the insulation. If there is damage to the insulation the air won’t be able to cool down as well, and you guessed it, your unit will be far less efficient.
Not something you want an impossibly hot summer day!
Clean Or Replace The Heater Filter
You’ll find this in the inside unit. It’s worthwhile to take out the filter to see if any dirt has built up. While the filter does not get used in Summer, the air still blows through it, so it’s worth making sure you’re not blowing dirty air into the room.
If you decide to replace the filter, take the old one with you to the store to make sure you get the right size!
Clean The Evaporator Fins
This can be a tricky one to do by yourself, but if you’ve done the outside condenser it is a similar process. Check for any signs of frost, as this will alert you to the possibility of your refrigerant leaking.
An alternative method to cleaning is to use a mild detergent and warm water: in a spray bottle squirt the solution onto the coils, wait a few minutes for it to loosen the debris and then wipe away with a cloth.
Clear The Drain
Inside your air conditioning system lives a drain, make sure that it’s clear, because if it’s blocked you’ll be causing damage to your unit.
If all the above seems like too much hassle, then give us a call and we’ll make sure your air conditioner is Spring fresh and ready for summer!