Keeping Your Central Air System, Working Efficiently

Maintaining your central air system will help it to run efficently for many years. It is not a difficult task. These tips will help you understand where and how to start.

The air conditioning in our home is one of the most expensive systems to repair or replace. It can last many functional years if it is kept in good working order. To keep it running freely and economically follows these practical tips.

Before working on your air-cooling unit, the power should be turned off to both the furnace and the air conditioner. Never assume it is off; test it before beginning your work.

The air filter behind the front cover of the air-conditioner should be removed and cleaned. This should be changed at least every other month. The instruction manual that came with your system when it was installed, will give directions on the removal of the front cover and filter. The handbook has much valuable information to help with maintaining your cooling unit; it should tell you how to remove the front cover, to get to the filter. If the filter is disposable, discard it, and install the new replacement. If the filter is one that can be cleaned and re-used, then wash in warm water and some sort of mild detergent. Allow drying and then re-install.



The evaporator coils will need to be cleaned. These are located in the main duct at the top of your air conditioner. Remove the inspection cover to get to the coils, which look like an inverted A shape with coils on each incline. The crevice tool of your vacuum cleaner will work to clean the evaporator coils. A soft brush can also be used however, clean gently, try to avoid damaging the coils. You will notice the dirt and dust that have accumulated. After cleaning with a brush or vacuum, reverse the airflow from intake and blow the remaining loose dust and soil from the coils.

A drainpipe is located in the upper furnace duct to remove moisture or condensation from the unit. This maybe obstructed with dirt or lint and blocking the flow of water, which should freely flow through to the tube. The condensation collects especially on very humid days around and on the coils. The water collects in a "drip pan under the evaporator, if the drain on this pan is clogged water will drip inside the furnace and possibly out the ducts.

The inadvertent planting of shrubbery or other plants near the compressor unit may be blocking the airflow around the unit, which is needed to cool the condenser. Remove any plant interfering with good air circulation. Clean away any loose leaves, paper, or debris that may have accumulated around the compressor unit.

© High Speed Ventures 2011