Here in South Louisiana, we rely on our Air Conditioning Units ALOT! Some people run their A/C for 10 months out of the year in order to stay comfortable. When our units' break down, it can really put a serious damper on our morale, as well as our pocket books. In order to keep your Air Conditioning System running at maximum efficiency, it must be periodically inspected and maintained. It is highly recommended to have your unit serviced twice a year by a licensed HVAC technician, but in between those times, there are some things you can do on your own to help keep that A/C cooling properly.
The first thing a homeowner can do themselves is clean the exterior condensing unit and it's components. The exterior condenser is located outside the home, typically on the side of the house or in the back, and it's purpose is to push heat from the indoors to the outdoors. Inside the unit are coils made of pipe, that are surrounded by thin metal fins that allow the coils more surface area to exchange heat.
Follow these tips when cleaning the exterior condenser:
Now that the outdoor unit is cleaned, you can focus on the indoor unit. (Central Air Conditioners utilize a split system, meaning there is an outdoor condensing unit, and indoor evaporator coils. They function together to cool your home). The unit will typically be located in the attic, but sometimes it is in a hallway closet or somewhere similar within the living space. Once at the interior unit, the first thing to do is inspect the condensate drain line. Condensate drain lines are a white piece of PVC tubing that are usually located on the side of the evaporator coils. Their purpose is to collect and dispose of the condensation that takes place over the evaporator coils, so your unit and attic do not get soaked with water.
Follow these tips when inspecting the condensate drain line:
The last thing you can do to help maintain your Air Conditioner is the easiest, most obvious, least expensive, and all too often it is the least likely to be done: Cleaning the Air Filter.
Air Filters are designed to remove dust, pollen, pet hair, and any other particles that circulate indoors. They are the first line of defense to protect your unit from those particles coming in through the return. Filters are either disposable or washable, and are located either at the A/C return, or near the blower on the interior unit. A dirty air filter will not only degrade the quality of the home's indoor air, but it will also put unnecessary strain on the blower motor, because it has to work harder to move air through the unit. This also increases energy costs and decreases energy efficiency. Air filters should be changed monthly if disposable, and cleaned monthly if washable.
Southern Source Inspections, LLC is your premier home inspection company for Baton Rouge, Mandeville, Covington, Slidell, and New Orleans.