Wintertime Maintenance Tips For Your Central A/C System

Posted on: 9 November 2015

With a demanding summer cooling season long gone, now is the time for your central A/C system to enjoy a much-deserved rest. Now is also the time to tackle those maintenance tasks you've been putting off over the past few months. Here are some things you can do this winter to prepare your A/C system to tackle yet another summer.

Thoroughly Clean Your A/C System

It's probably been a while since you've last cleaned your central A/C system. Dirt, dust and debris can gradually slow down your A/C system and rob it of its performance and energy efficiency. Here are a few areas you'll want to have cleaned as a part of your wintertime maintenance regimen:

  • Evaporator coil - Use a soft bristle brush and mild detergent to gently clean accumulated dust and dirt. You can also use a foaming no-rinse cleaner to tackle stubborn dirt, as well as mold and mildew.
  • Condensate drip pan - Use a wet/dry shop vacuum to remove leftover condensate and use mild detergent to thoroughly clean the pan.
  • Condensate drain lines – If there's mold and debris within the lines, suction them out with the shop vacuum and pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain to neutralize mold and mildew.
  • Condenser coil – Use your garden hose to rinse off the condenser coil and flush out any trapped debris.

Have Your HVAC Technician Check Refrigerant Levels

Making sure your central A/C system maintains its refrigerant charge is very important for its longevity and performance. Too much refrigerant can cause the compressor and other components to rapidly fail, while too little refrigerant can cause the A/C system to freeze over and short cycle.

Only your HVAC technician has the proper tools and training to check and, if necessary, recharge your A/C system. Ideally, these checks should be done on an annual basis.

Don't Forget to Change Your Air Filter

It's easy to overlook your central A/C's air filter, which is why should be the one thing you should always remember to check and change. A clogged air filter can have a significant negative impact on your A/C system's overall performance and energy efficiency, as well as your home's indoor air quality.

Most experts recommend changing the air filter at least once every 3 months, although monthly filter changes are usually preferred for the best possible indoor air quality. If you haven't gotten around to changing your air filter yet, now's the time to do just that. 

Contact an air conditioning service professional to learn more.


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