Although spring only just recently arrived in Scarborough, temperatures are now starting to rise to a happy medium. Before you know it, the weather will really warm up, and for this you will want to make sure that your AC is ready to go for the hotter months ahead. Whether that means getting a new Lennox AC or cleaning and prepping your current unit, you will still need to be prepared.
If you are looking at Lennox AC prices, you can factor in the rebates from home energy conservation programs that you may qualify for. If your AC is in good condition, then cleaning it will suffice to maintain a quality air filtration system.
From understanding how your AC works to changing out the filters, learn about the steps you should take to ensure your AC will be running smoothly in the summer.
Air Conditioning System Basics
In every central air-conditioning system, there are two main components: a condenser unit and an evaporator unit. These units extract the heat from room air through refrigeration technology while the air handler of the system blows the resulting chilled and dehumidified air into the home. This is important to understand as it helps identify the the various parts of the system which will come in handy when you clean your AC.
An AC repair, is not a do-it-yourself job — repairs should always be handled by a professional HVAC service technician; but cleaning your AC system can easily be done on your own.
Before starting, it is important ensure that the power of the condenser unit along with the circuit breaker is turned off. Any furnaces and air handler switches should be turned off as well. This is a safety precaution as working around these systems can be dangerous.
How Do You Clean your AC?
For your AC, you should be replacing the filters at least every 6 months or when they appear to be clogged with dust. The filter cleans the air flow through filtering it but if it is not switched for a long period of time, not only will it slow down the air flow and reduce efficiency, but it may recirculate the dust from the filter into your home.
AC Condenser Coils
Located on the exterior of the AC, the central air conditioner’s condenser unit is a large fan in a metal box. It is usually protected by a tarp during the winter months to prevent debris from going in. The function of the fan is to move air across the condenser so if there is debris within the unit, then it will obstruct the flow of the air there.
At the beginning of every season, you should be checking for debris, cleaning it out as soon as possible. If it is lightly soiled, use a garden hose to water it down, but if it is not possible to remove with water, buy a commercial coil cleaner for the coils. While washing out debris, make sure that you do not spray the fan or the electrical sections of the AC.
The refrigerant tubes that connect the evaporator unit to the condenser unit are usually covered with foam coolant line insulation to conserve energy. To ensure that no energy is lost in the process, install foam insulation sleeves or wrap the lines with foam insulation tape so that it is more stable. If there is any insulation that looks missing or damaged, make sure to replace that area as soon as possible.
These pipes are also important as they carry condensation away from your air conditioning system. If there is a clogging issue with these lines, it can affect your AC performance and drag the drainage into your home. To ensure that the condensation lines are functioning correctly, locate where it is draining and ensure that it is normal. If it is not, use an algaecide to clean the pipe.
Test the AC
During the winter months, it’s common for some ACs to malfunction. To test this, ensure that it is cleaned and dried — then turn the thermostat OFF and the power at the disconnect box and main panel to ON. Once you have switched the thermostat to COOL, you should be able to feel your AC system running.