You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out if you have an air conditioning problem. All it takes is some common household items and knowledge of what to look for and where.
For the most efficient and cost-effective air conditioning, it’s highly recommended you schedule professional maintenance in the early spring. But that’s not all. You should also be replacing the air filter every 30-60 days and conducting some DIY maintenance and troubleshooting of your own.
Use this AC inspection guide to check the status of your air conditioner at least twice a year—once in the beginning of the cooling season and again toward the end.
Warning: Always turn off power at the source (breaker box) before inspecting, cleaning, or poking around any HVAC components. This includes changing air filters, cleaning condenser coils, opening access panels, and cleaning vents and registers.
Here are the materials you’ll need:
Although many vents come with louvers to adjust the airflow, it’s best to keep them all the way open, all the time. This allows your duct system, which has been specifically designed for your building, to flow freely. Closing or blocking HVAC vents can restrict airflow and cause pressure buildup leading to duct leaks.
Facilitate airflow throughout your home by remembering to:
Now that all of your return and supply vents are open, clean and clear, it’s time to head to the indoor air handler.
Clean air filters are crucial to the performance of your air conditioner and the quality of your indoor air. First, you need to know where the air filter is located.
Your air filter could be inside the indoor air handler or behind one or more return grilles. Keep in mind that many homes have multiple air filters. Check both places. You may have a filter in both locations.
Once you have located your filter, check to see if it is clean.
When replacing your air filter:
If you have a washable filter, clean it once a month. Follow manufacturer directions. Usually, they should be washed with detergent water and a gentle brush. Before reinstalling the washable filter, make sure it is completely dry.
When inserting any HVAC air filter, make sure the arrows printed on the filter are pointing in the direction of the airflow.
While you are inspecting and possibly replacing the air filter, take the time inspect some other important system components.
According to Energy Star, “about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the duct system is lost due to leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts.” If the seams of the ducts are not properly sealed, you are losing a lot of energy and allowing contaminants to enter the air supply. It’s important to find and seal duct leaks for the benefit of your health and energy costs.
Your air ducts should also be insulated. Learn about our PureFlow Duct System.
If you notice any loose seams, do NOT use duct tape—the name is misleading. Instead, contact a professional for comprehensive duct sealing or seal the loose duct connections you can reach with mastic sealant or aluminum foil tape.
A properly maintained air conditioner will last longer, cost less, cool more effectively, and improve the quality of your indoor air.
Service Champions is known for trustworthy, on-time heating and air conditioning service throughout the East Bay, South Bay, and Sacramento areas.
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to Contact the Champions.
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