You may be someone that preps their air conditioner before the beginning of the warm weather season by doing things such as checking the thermostat or uncovering your condensing unit, but there may be a few things you could be missing. Most homeowners do not do some of the maintenance tasks that can save you money on your energy bill and also prevent a premature breakdown of your system. Read on for three maintenance tasks you may not be doing.
1. Inspect the Insulation
The insulation on the refrigerant pipe of your air conditioner serves a purpose. It helps keep this pipe from getting too warm. If it's too warm, it can cause your air conditioner to have to work harder to cool. Inspect the insulation on this pipe and replace it if need be. Check it for cracks, rotting or other types of damage. Replacing this insulation is not difficult and any homeowner can do this job. Purchase new insulation from your local hardware store, remove the old insulation and wrap the new insulation around the pipe. Hold it in place with black tape.
2. Remove Exterior Air Flow Obstructions
Things that can obstruct the air flow to your system are going to cause a problem for your air conditioner. If your system is not getting enough air, it cannot cool your home properly. It will run over and over to try and make up for the air it is not getting, which can result in high energy bills or a premature breakdown. Remove tall grass, weeds, plants growing too close to the system and other obstructions — this includes the new cover you made to cover up the ugly system. Anything surrounding the system that is within a foot of the unit is going to cause an issue with airflow — keep this area free of obstructions.
3. Straighten Fins
The fins on the unit can bend for any number of reasons, and over time you may have a lot of bent fins. If you have this problem, it may cause an issue with airflow to your system. Try to straighten the bent fins using a blunt knife or you can purchase a fin straightening tool from an HVAC supply store. If there are a number of bent fins, or the majority of your system has bent fins, it may be best to update your system instead.
You may have been maintaining your system, but there could be a few tasks you are missing. You can tackle these yourself or you can talk to an HVAC professional about setting up air conditioning maintenance services to have all of your maintenance needs done for you.