In the brutal summer heat, an air conditioner can be your best friend, but are you a good friend to your air conditioner? Many homeowners neglect basic maintenance on their home cooling units until it’s too late. Owens Heating & Cooling is the HVAC authority in Jefferson, IA, and we want to tell you about what preventative air conditioner maintenance is and how it can save you lots of money.

Jefferson, IA HVAC Experts: What Is Preventative Air Conditioner Maintenance?

A modern air-conditioning system is a complex piece of machinery with a lot of parts that require replacing or upkeep on a regular basis. Homeowners often overlook preventative maintenance because they don’t understand the importance of it or they think it’s not worth the cost, but it ends up costing them even more in the long run.

If you fail to properly maintain your air-conditioning unit, its performance will steadily decline over time, making it less energy efficient. As a result, your air conditioner will gradually start to use up more and more power and you’ll see the difference in your utility bills. So homeowners face a simple choice: take care of your air conditioner or pay for it later. Here are some of the preventative steps you need to take to maintain your air conditioner.

Cleaning or Replacing Your Air Filter

In order to keep your air conditioner working at maximum capacity, the most important task is making sure your air filter is in good shape. Over time, dirt, dust, and other material accumulate in your air conditioner’s filter, blocking the air flow. This greatly reduces the overall efficiency of the entire system.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, cleaning or replacing an air filter can lower your unit’s energy consumption by as much as 15 percent. During months when your air conditioner is in use, it’s recommended that you clean or replace your filter once every 1-2 months for best results. You need to pay special attention if there are particularly dusty conditions in the house or you have pets that shed a lot of fur.

Cleaning the Condenser and Evaporator Coils

The evaporator coil is a key component of your air conditioner unit that absorbs heat. It gradually accumulates dirt over time, which acts as an insulator, so it doesn’t cool down properly. Properly maintaining your air filter prevents dirt buildup, but the evaporator coil will still require periodic cleaning. It should be checked once a year and cleaned as needed.

You should also take steps to prevent outdoor condenser coils from getting dirty, such as trimming back surrounding foliage and checking periodically for dirt and debris on its fins. When inspecting the condenser and evaporator coil, check the aluminum fins to make sure they’re not bent and blocking airflow. They can be maintained using a tool called a “fin comb,” which you can run over them to bend them back into place.

In addition to these easy preventative measures every homeowner should do on a regular basis, it’s also recommended that you hire a professional to give your system a full check-up. Call Owens Heating & Cooling today at (515) 370-5303 for a free inspection and estimate.