As long as your central air conditioning unit is keeping your house as cool as you and your family desire, you may not give much thought to its overall condition. However, routine maintenance is important for keeping the system running smoothly as well as at optimal efficiency to reduce energy costs. While many tasks are best left to a professional service, there are a couple of things you can do monthly during the summertime to help keep the unit maintained.
1. Flush the Drain Line with Bleach Water
Besides being responsible for keeping your house cool, your AC unit also helps to remove excess humidity from the air. Because of this task, condensation will build up inside of the unit, which is compounded if the air outside of the air conditioner is also extremely humid.
As part of the system, there is a drainage tube that collects this excess moisture and channels the water to the opening usually located at the bottom of one of the AC's side panels. However, especially if the sun hits the tube with water inside of it, algae can quickly grow inside of the tube and eventually block the water's passage.
To help counteract the growth, you can flush the tube with a small spoonful of bleach mixed with a couple of cups of warm water. The bleach will kill the algae while the water will flush it away and reopen the tube.
2. Change or Clean the Unit's Filter
Another thing you can do to ensure that your AC unit is running at optimal efficiency is to change or clean the filter every month. Especially if you are constantly running the unit in the summer, pollen, grass, dust, and dirt will be pulled into the unit and clog up the filter.
If you neglect to change or clean the filter, depending on whether or not you have a reusable one, the holes can become completely blocked. This will then make the unit have to work harder to pass air through the system. This will not only wear down the unit faster because it is working harder, but it will also increase the amount of energy your air conditioner has to use.
Besides performing the above tasks yourself every month to keep your air conditioner running properly, you should also have the unit fully inspected and maintained by a professional once or twice a year. Contact an HVAC contractor who offers air conditioning maintenance services near you to schedule a routine appointment.