With the summer weather starting to hit its temperature peaks, you may have discovered that your air conditioning unit isn't doing what you'd hoped. Before you write it off as needing replacement, you should think about doing full seasonal maintenance to try to boost its cool air production. If you've never done it before, you may not be sure where to start. Here's a look at a few steps that you can take to help your air conditioner function at its best and potentially keep your home more comfortable through the rest of the summer months.
Inspect And Clear The Condenser Exterior
One of the biggest culprits of poor air production for a central air system is a condenser that's clogged up with debris and plant overgrowth. It hinders airflow into the system, which then reduces the air production out of the system.
Take a walk around the condenser and look for any debris or objects that may be too close. Anything within a couple of feet of the concrete pad is too much. Cut down the overgrowth, trim or pull hedges, and move any other items out away from the unit's location.
Install New Air Filters
Your air conditioning system should be fitted with at least one, if not several, air filters throughout the system. Since those filters collect all of the pollen and debris in the air, they can get clogged quickly during peak dust, dander, and pollen seasons. Install new filters at the start of every season, then check them periodically. The more the system runs, the more likely you are to find that the filters are dirty. Keeping them clean will make a significant difference in your air flow as well, which helps the system work more efficiently.
Examine And Clean Your Ducts
Another common cause of poor air flow and reduced air quality is problems with your duct work. Whether the air ducts are dirty or leaking, they can lead to problems with your cooling system. Remember that any moisture in the air ducts can lead to the development of mildew, mold spores, and similar problems. As the air passes over these areas into your home, it will transport those spores throughout your home. Keeping the ducts clean will keep your home's air safer and cleaner. It also reduces any risk of clogs or other problems that can hinder air flow, reducing your energy consumption.
Leaky air ducts are just as problematic, but in a different way. If the air is leaking out of your air ducts into areas that aren't insulated or aren't finishing living space, it will lead to air loss that can force the air conditioner to work harder. In addition, these cracks in the ducts will also draw in dirt and dust, which can then be distributed throughout your home. If you can find the source of the leak, you can often use duct sealing tape to block it and restore proper air flow.
If you're worried about the condition of your air ducts, you should talk with a local air conditioning installation company about scheduling a full cleaning. They have the equipment that's designed specifically to reach areas of air ducts that you may not be able to reach on your own.
Flush The Humidifier
For central air systems equipped with humidifiers, you'll have separate lines that run the water vapor into the air in your home. Since these lines are consistently exposed to moisture, mildew and mold growth is common. Flushing the lines at least once a year will help ensure that you don't have any mold spores clogging them up, and it will also reduce the risk of potential allergens and mold spore introduction into your air conditioning system.