Central Air Conditioner Maintenance—What, Why, How

Published On: July 14, 2019Categories: Air Conditioners

Beating the heat in the summer is as easy as walking into a home that is cooled by a central air conditioner. These systems are an investment in your family’s comfort. Protecting your investment means a happier family, lower energy bills, and fewer costly repairs. The easiest way to accomplish this is through regular maintenance.

Simple tasks such as cleaning away debris from the unit, sweeping out the interior, and using an AC cover in the winter ensures your system will last for years to come. At The Energy Centre, we understand that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When we say our work is our passion, and your comfort is our mission, we mean it.

Important of maintaining your A/C Unit | The Energy Centre

Read further to learn more about year-round central air conditioner maintenance, and then call us to schedule a maintenance appointment for your unit.

Central Air Conditioning Maintenance – Get the Most of Your Investment

How should you clean your central air conditioner?

Keeping your unit clean is critical to its efficiency. If you do not have a regular maintenance plan set up to service your system, you can take these steps to clean your central air conditioner:

  1. Shut off the power at the unit and the breaker.
  2. Clean out the built-up debris on the inside using a shop vacuum after removing the fan cage.
  3. Clean off fins with a shop vac or a gentle stream of water from a hose.
  4. Straighten any bent fins gently using a fin comb.
  5. Pick up items around the outside of the unit such as leaves, debris, and vegetation.
  6. Re-level the unit using rot-resistant shims.
  7. Clean the evaporator coil with a commercial no-rinse coil cleaner.
  8. Unplug the evaporator drain of any mold or algae.
  9. Change the blower filter before the cooling season begins.
  10. Button everything up and turn the power back on.

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What steps should you take for air conditioning preventative maintenance?

To get the most useful life out of your unit, regular preventative maintenance is a must. Start with routinely replacing or cleaning the furnace filters. This allows proper airflow resulting in greater comfort and efficiency. Next, check your evaporator coils at least annually, and clean them as needed. Also, keep debris away from the outside of the unit. Any bent coils should be straightened with a fin comb. Finally, check and clean out the drain channels of your air conditioner to keep it from getting clogged.

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Hiring an Energy Centre HVAC professional to regularly inspect your system helps keep unexpected repair costs low. Our crew is trained and experienced to find small problems before they become expensive ones.

What should I know about using my central air conditioner after winter?

As the thermometer creeps up, you might be tempted to turn on your central air conditioner without a second thought. There are a few steps you need to take to make sure everything is working well before you need it most:

  • Replace the furnace filters. Keep the air flowing all summer long by consistently replacing or cleaning the furnace filters.
  • Clean up winter debris from around the outside of the unit. Rake up leaves. Pick up sticks. Trim back branches and hedges.
  • Check the insulation on the coolant lines. The lines connecting your unit to your house should be insulated. If it is missing, cracked, or frayed, call in a professional.
  • Turn your unit on before you need it. It is best to know it is working before the mercury rises and you can’t do without air conditioning.
  • Inspect the inside registers. Take a walk throughout your home and make sure the registers are not blocked.
  • Have your HVAC specialist check your system. To get the most efficient, long-lasting use of your unit, call in a professional for regular inspections.

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What should I do when preparing a central air conditioner for spring and summer?

As winter fades away and the first whiffs of spring are in the air, it is the perfect time to prepare your central air conditioner for the upcoming hot months.

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All winter long, your unit has suffered through cold, ice, wind, and rain. To get the desired cooling results, there are a few items you should prepare for:

  • Check the outdoor unit panels to ensure none are missing or misaligned. If you find they are, contact a professional in before you start your system.
  • Remove any condenser covers, coil blankets, or lids before you turn the unit on, to avoid damaging your system.
  • Repair or replace any pipe insulation that is damaged. Your Energy Centre HVAC professional can take care of this step for you.
  • Remove debris and vegetation from around the unit so the airflow will not be blocked.
  • Take a moment to replace the air filters indoors to keep proper airflow.
  • Double-check that the draining hose is not clogged.
  • Clean any supply vents and return grills on your home from pet hair or dust.

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What is involved in central air conditioner winter maintenance?

Just because summer has turned to fall and then winter, does not mean your central air conditioner can be neglected. Taking a few steps to prepare your unit for winter will help when you are ready to start it up next spring:

  • Turn off power to the central air conditioner.
  • Clean around the unit and remove leaves, debris, dirt, and bird droppings.
  • Look for cracks or rust in the casing, and check for leaks.
  • Put a waterproof vinyl or plastic cover over the unit.
  • Cover any exposed pipes and wiring with foam pipe covers and duct tape.
  • Check the central air conditioner unit weekly by keeping it clean of debris.
  • Remove water, snow, and ice as it accumulates on the cover throughout the season.

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Schedule Preventative Maintenance for Your Central Air Conditioner

Before you flip the switch from heat to cool, make sure your unit is ready for the sweltering temperatures. Preventative maintenance and regular cleaning ensure your system can perform year after year when you need it most, instead of leaving you sweating in the height of summer.

The professionals at The Energy Centre are ready to inspect, maintain, and repair all major brands of air conditioning systems. For more than 25 years, we have served the residents and businesses in Ottawa and the surrounding communities. We even offer emergency 24/7 service for those times when life happens, and your unit fails. Call us today!

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Contact The Energy Centre to schedule your free in-home estimate. Call us at 613.746.7000 or use our online form. Reap the rewards of your HVAC investment and get in touch today.