How to Maintain Your Air Conditioner

Three-quarters of all homes in the US have air conditioners. Air conditioners use about 6% of all the electricity produced in the United States, at a cost of about $ 29 billion to homeowners annually. As a result, about 117 million metric tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air every year.

When temperatures get hot, it is cool to turn on the air conditioner. However, things should keep in mind to protect your air conditioner from working overtime and keep your comfort and the efficiency of your air conditioner.

Unplug the air conditioner.

Disconnect the power from the unit.

Change or clean the air filters

Remove the filter to expose the cooling coils. Additionally, some models require that the front cover or bezel be removed to allow full access to the coil. Usually the cover is secured by screws – some of which become visible only when the filter is removed.

The most important maintenance task that will improve the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace or clean the air filters. Vacuum the fins of your AC unit clean with a soft-bristle brush. Note: they’re fragile and can easily be bent or crushed. On many units you’ll have to unscrew and lift off a metal box to get at them. Check your owner’s manual for directions and lift off the box carefully to avoid bumping the fins.

Clean the air conditioner’s coils

The air conditioner’s evaporator and condenser coils collect dirt over time. This dirt reduces airflow and insulates the coil, reducing its ability to absorb heat. Outdoor condenser coils can also become very dirty if the outdoor environment is dusty or if there is foliage nearby. To avoid these problems, your Lennox Dealer will check and clean your air conditioner’s coils, if necessary, at your annual maintenance visit.

Remove debris from the unit

Over time, things like leaves, dirt and grass clippings will build up on the outside of your air conditioner, decreasing system capacity and reducing airflow. You should trim any shrubs or other plants back from around the air conditioner to keep from impeding airflow to and from the unit.

Run the air conditioner

Set the unit to “Cool” and adjust the thermostat to coldest setting. Warm, humid air in will condense when passing over the cold coils. The condensate will rinse the dirt and foam from the coils, and collect in the drip pan. The drip pan will drain outside – but only if the air conditioner is installed properly (back tilted slightly downward to the ground).

Straighten coil fins

The aluminum fins on evaporator and condenser coils are easily bent and can block airflow through the coil. Your Lennox Dealer will check these pieces at your annual maintenance visit and straighten them, if necessary.

Rinse foaming cleanser away with garden hose

Since no condensate is formed on the outdoor coil when the unit is run, it will need to be rinsed manually. Do not force a direct a stream of water into the coils, but merely allow the foam to float away as the water is allowed to flow over the coils.

Posted on July 9, 2019