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As a homeowner, air conditioner maintenance should be one of the many things that should be a priority. Not only does your air conditioner keep you cool when it is warm outside, but it also blows air into your home that you and your family breathes, so you want to make sure that you are doing your best to keep the unit clean and in its best working order.

Cates Heating and Cooling in Lenexa, Kansas, has a few AC maintenance tips for you!

1. Change Your Air Filters

If it seems like we harp on changing out the air filter frequently, but there is good reason. First, a clean air filter makes the air in your home cleaner. The duty of the air filter is to catch dust, dirt, and debris in the air and filter it out before you breathe it in. For this reason, you should check your air filter at least once a month. If your filter is dirty, you should replace it right away. If you live in a home with pets or an area with a lot of dirt or construction, you might need to check your air filter even more frequently.

You can also purchase reusable air filters that can be cleaned. If you choose to use these filters, we recommend keeping two on-hand at any time so that you can immediately replace the dirty one with a clean one while you get it clean.

2. Clean Around the Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit is made to handle a lot because it is always exposed to the elements, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to make sure the area around the outdoor unit is well-kept. You need to keep plants trimmed back at least three feet from the unit. By doing so, you are ensuring that your unit has adequate airflow on all sides for the most efficient usage possible.

You also need to clear off any leaves and other debris that has accumulated on the unit. You may need to pick out stuck debris to make sure that nothing is trapped in the small areas of the unit. If it is really dirty, you might be better off shutting down power to the unit and using a hose to gently spray down the unit. You never want to use a power washer, however, because you don’t want to damage the fins on the coil, which tend to be delicate.

3. Check the Condenser Unit Fan

The fan in the condenser unit needs to be in good shape for your AC to work properly. Turn off the unit first, and if you notice chips or cracks in any of the blades, you will need to get the fan replaced. The fan motor bearings might need to be oiled as well.

4. Check AC Wiring

The electrical components in your air conditioner can start to wear over time, especially if your unit has been overheating. To check the wiring, you should first turn off power to the unit. Then, look for melted insulation on the wires or any burned wires. You can also make sure that everything is tightly attached. If you see any problems, you should contact an HVAC service technician.

5. Check the Thermostat

When you check the thermostat, make sure temperature aligns with your home temperature. If not, check the setting of the thermostat and see if it has been altered.

If your thermostat isn’t working properly, you can try replacing the batteries. Please note, that if you have a programmable thermostat, failing batteries can alter any programmed temperature and lose the settings. If you need to replace your thermostat, you might want to upgrade to a programmable or smart thermostat, which are both likely to help you keep your home more comfortable.

6. Have Professional Maintenance Done Annually

There is no substitute for professional maintenance! You should have a professional service your air conditioner at least once per year. At Cates Heating and Cooling, we suggest that you have annual maintenance done in the spring before the temperatures get too hot and the A/C will be working the hardest.

When you have a professional maintenance check, the technician will check over anything that is likely to be a problem for the upcoming summer. At Cates, we have a checklist of things that we cover during an AC maintenance check. To schedule an A/C tune-up, contact Cates Heating and Cooling today at 913-888-4470.

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