Homeowners’ Guide To Optimizing Air Conditioner Efficiency

In the last post, we discussed some maintenance steps necessary for your AC unit to work as efficiently as possible. Studies show that regular maintenance of your commercial HVAC system will reduce unexpected breakdowns by about 70% to 75%, and having an understanding of the full range of maintenance procedures can help your air conditioner work as efficiently as possible throughout its entire lifespan. Here’s part two of our homeowner’s guide to optimizing air conditioner efficiency.

Clean The Coils

Near your air conditioner’s evaporator are the condenser coils, and both of these components of your air conditioner need to be cleaned every so often, as they accumulate dirt and debris over time. When too much debris gathers around the coils, it not only reduces air flow, but it insulates the coil and makes it harder for it to absorb heat. Look at the area surrounding the outdoor condenser coils; if it’s particularly dirty or dusty, or if there’s a lot of foliage in close proximity, chances are the coils will build up dirt faster than normal. It’s best to consult an HVAC professional to assess this problem and help you find and maintain a solution, but fortunately, the cleaning process tends to be relatively simple.

“Use a soft brush to dust off the coil, then spray the coil with commercially available no-rinse coil cleaner (available at home improvement stores). The spray will foam up and then drip into the drain pan. Clean out the drain pan with soap, hot water, and a little bleach. Then, pour a cup of 50% bleach/50% water down the drain. To keep the drain clear longer-term, place a commercially available drain pan tablet in the pan. This will inhibit future algae growth,” writes Jeff Wilson on DIY Network.

Readjust Coil Fins

Finally, it’s important to mention that over time, it’s not uncommon for the aluminum fins located on the evaporator and condenser coils to bend and affect airflow. Straightening the coil fins isn’t too difficult, but unless you know exactly what you’re doing, it’s best to consult an HVAC professional.

Ultimately, understanding these essential maintenance tips is the key to maximizing the efficiency of your AC unit.

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