Your air conditioner is one of the most important pieces in your home if you have one. You might not be thinking about it much in the winter, but come late spring you’ll want to make sure it’s working properly.
To make sure that you’re ready for the summer, you’re going to want to take the time to do some air conditioner maintenance. If you maintain it properly, you’ll be able to go into next summer with no worries at all!
But before we talk about maintaining your air conditioner, we need to know: how does it work?
How Does My Air Conditioner Work?
Most air conditioner systems use air cooling to move the flow of ambient temperature air into the cooling unit, and facilitate the flow of refrigerated air into the home. You might be familiar with the box outside your home that has a big fan on it: that’s the condenser unit and is only one part of the system.
The second part is the evaporator, which is located either in a fan coil in your attic, or above the furnace.
As the air comes in through the furnace, it blows through the evaporator which operates at a very low temperature. The evaporator takes in the refrigerant liquid. It evaporates the refrigerant liquid into a gas, moving it through the coil and into the compressor at a low pressure. This cools the system and allows for ambient air to be cooled. The blower in the furnace is usually what’s responsible for distributing this cool air throughout the house.
The compressor is what brings in the refrigerant that’s in a gas state, and compresses it at a high temperature and pressure. Then this hot gas is brought through the condensing coil to turn it back into a liquid. Then the cycle starts again!
Can I Do DIY Air Conditioner Maintenance?
There are absolutely some tasks that you can do on your own! In fact, doing these on your own will save you a lot of money in the long run, but be careful to do them properly!
The first thing you can do is make sure that your condenser unit, the big box with the big fan outside, is free of dirt, leaves, and various pieces of debris. This will make sure airflow is consistent throughout the condenser unit.
The second thing you can do is to change the filter on your unit. This is a pretty simple task, and you might not even need to change it: simply cleaning it out will suffice if you’re using a reusable filter. But if you need to replace it, you will need to know the right size!