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AC Maintenance Practices You Can Handle On Your Own

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Most air conditioning (AC) issues require the expertise of a professional AC technician. However, there are a few things you can do on your own to keep the AC running efficiently. Here are some of these DIY maintenance practices.

Keep the Exterior Unit Clean

The exterior unit of your AC system contains the condenser unit, which cools and compresses the refrigerant back into its liquid form, before pumping it back into the house. The condenser unit functions best if it has free air circulation, which carts away the air collected inside the house.

Unfortunately, the debris such as twigs, leaves, tree branches, and windblown debris can all clog the condenser unit and starve it of air. The required maintenance here is as easy as removing the debris so that the condenser can enjoy free air circulation. For example, you need to trim tree branches around the unit to allow some space between it and the trees.

Keep Vents and Registers Clean

Vents and registers aid in air circulation around the house by supplying cool air and fresh air to the rooms and taking out stale and warm air out of the same rooms. Like other parts of the house, the registers or vents can be clogged by debris such as discarded toys, discarded newspaper pages or even regular dirt. Clean these away so that you can enjoy the comfort provided by your AC.

Change the Air Filter Regularly

You can also change the air filter on your own if you are adequately familiar with the AC system. The filter needs regular replacement because it gets clogged with the dirt it grabs off the air flowing through it, and the clogging starves your AC of air. A typical AC has two main filters – one in the air register and one in the air handler.

Here are a few tips to help you replace the air filter in the return air register:

  • Remove the air register cover grill
  • Remove the air filter
  • Insert the new filter; make sure it goes the right way in by inserting it with the arrow side pointing inside the ductwork

Follow these steps to replace the filter in the air handler unit:

  • Switch off power to the AC
  • Look for a panel door on the AC; the filter is located behind this door (it is marked in some units)
  • Remove the old filter; it should be next to or under the blower unit
  • Insert the new filter keeping in mind the direction of airflow as indicated by an arrow on the filter

For more information, contact a company like Barnetts Heating & Air Conditioning.