Air Conditioner Maintenance

Summer is almost here! The warmer days we’ve had recently on the north shore gave homeowners with air conditioners some relief and some surprises. If your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home the way you expect it to, check on these simple maintenance items before calling out a professional. BTW, if your system is working properly, check these things anyway to head off problems that might be brewing.

The Air Filter

Air filters are the most important thing for homeowners to maintain i.e. change regularly. In most central AC systems, the AC filter and furnace filter are one in the same. If you have one of those cheap single-ply filters, it should be changed at least once per month. Better yet, speak with your HVAC professional about upgrading to better quality filters. Inexpensive filters can’t trap small particulates that can accumulate on the evaporator coil where they restrict airflow, reducing system efficiency.

The Condensing Coil

The compressor and condensing coil are the parts that sit outside the home. To help dissipate the heat that gets removed from the home, a big fan pulls outdoor air over the condensing coils. To work properly, it needs plenty of airflow. The condensing coil should not be obstructed by plants, weeds, flowers or decorative shrouds. Condensing coils also need to be cleaned regularly. When operating, the fans suck air in on all the open sides. This tends to pull in debris such as dirt, grass clippings and most everything else in the air. Inspect all sides of your outdoor unit and clean the coils off annually, or as needed.

If you notice ice on your unit either inside the house or outside and you’ve already checked everything listed above, it’s time to call in a professional. Just be sure to contact someone you know and trust.

At Spyglass we maintain a list of professionals we recommend to our clients. These are licensed professionals who have worked for us on our own properties. After 50 years in the business we’ve learned to separate the pros from the posers. If they haven’t proven to us to be skilled, reliable and fair, they never make the list.

At Spyglass we never leave our clients with a list of problems without suggesting some solutions. Just another example of our commitment to seeing you safely home.

By: Bern Galat, Principal, Spyglass Home Inspections

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