This is something that I hear all the time from clients new and old: “How do I take care of my air conditioning system?”
Let’s start with the folks out there that have just had a new air conditioner installed. You just spent thousands of dollars on your new comfort system and the biggest thing you need to know is that your air conditioning system is not, I repeat not, set it and forget it as many homeowners often think it is. You change the oil in your car, you clean the lint screen in your clothes dryer, and you maintain may other things in your humble abode. Please don’t forget one of the most expensive and important systems you have.
So what do I need to do you ask? First and foremost, one of the most vital things to maintaining your system is to make sure you change your air conditioning filter every thirty to ninety days depending on the quality of the filter you have purchased. The purpose of the filter is also often misconstrued as well. Filters are not on your air conditioning system to clean the air; they are there to protect the coil and the blower from getting dirty. A very small amount of dirt on the blower or coil greatly reduces the efficiency of the unit, and ignoring a filter is the worst thing you can do. There are filters out there that are designed to clean the air, however, the typical over the counter air filter is not designed for that purpose.
Next up is the drain line of the unit. Again, a huge fallacy is that pouring bleach down the air conditioner’s drain line is a great idea. Wrong – but thank you for playing! Bleach over time can make PVC piping brittle and more likely to crack or break. Drain lines do have a tendency to clog up thanks to those wonderful algae known as Zooglea, so again, what to do?
Back to changing your filter… Every time you do, dump two to three cups of white vinegar down the drain line and that should prevent most condensate back up situations. On a side note, if your air handler is in a closet please do not keep any chemicals in the same area, it can lead to very grave consequences if any of those chemicals leak in the area and are pulled into the air stream.
The other big thing you need to do is to have your air conditioning system tuned up either annually or bi-annually depending on the age of the equipment. We recommend that on equipment five years or younger and once a year is fine after a unit reaches the six to seven year old mark. Twice a year will give you the best longevity from your air conditioner.
On a side note, why does algebra keep asking me to find x? I really don’t want her to come back…….
House Whisperer out!!
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