Hedges and other plants should be trimmed back at least two feet to provide adequate air flow to the outdoor condenser unit. Dirt, fallen leaves, and other plant matter can accumulate quickly on the outside of the condenser coils. It is especially important to periodically check that weekly hazards, such as grass clippings, have not been propelled toward the unit.
Cleaning The Unit
Replacing your home’s air filter is the first line of defense in improving air conditioner efficiency. Once the air filter has been replaced, the next step might be to clean the coils of the condenser unit. Before attempting to clean the condenser unit, it is essential for safety precautions that the power to both the outdoor unit, (the power shutoff should be located in a box near the condenser box), and the power to the indoor evaporator unit, which is usually located above the furnace (the shutoff for this is likely located in your home’s circuit breaker box) be shut off or deactivated. A gentle stream of water from a garden hose can be used to remove dirt and plant matter from the condenser unit. When dirt and other material sticks to the condenser fins, it can reduce the efficiency of the unit. A power washer should not be used, as it can damage the condenser fins. Bent condenser fins restrict air flow and reduce unit efficiency.
Calling A Professional
A routine yearly inspection and maintenance check should be done by a professional heating and cooling expert. Ideally, this should take place before the air conditioning season begins to avoid system failure and air conditioner repairs that need to be done on the hottest of days. It is important to know that attempting to repair or maintain your home’s HVAC system may void its manufacturer warranty, which is why it is so important to seek the help of a licensed HVAC professional. Please consult your air conditioner’s user manual for more details, if the unit is still under warranty. A licensed professional can perform such tasks as checking refrigerant levels, checking for leakages, and disposing of refrigerant in an environmentally responsible manner. They can also oil and maintain fans, belts, and motors. Moving inside, they can check ductwork and drains, and clean and inspect the evaporator.
If you have more questions or are ready to schedule your yearly air conditioning maintenance check and inspection, please contact the professionals of Expert Air and Refrigeration at (512) 255-6525.