Air Conditioning Preventive Maintenance [Checklist]
Perhaps the most important piece of equipment in your Phoenix home is your air conditioner. Your air conditioning system helps to keep your home at the perfect temperature so your family has the level of comfort that they deserve. Because you rely on your air conditioner so heavily, it can be very concerning when your system doesn’t work the way that it should.
When an air conditioner works below its optimal level, many homeowners worry about the necessity of a repair. Fortunately, by going through a simple maintenance checklist, you can determine if your system needs attention from a repair expert. Here is an easy air conditioning preventative maintenance checklist that will help you fix minor problems and let you know if there is a more serious issue developing.
Check the Thermostat
Your thermostat is the command center of your air conditioning system, setting the temperature and making sure your home is at its ideal temperature. The thermostat works by reading the ambient temperature inside the room where it’s located, then automatically triggers the AC when the desired temperature is eclipsed. However, there are multiple settings on the AC thermostat that must be ‘clicked’ correctly.
If it seems like your system isn’t running well, check your thermostat. Here are a few important items to verify:
- Check the cool/heater/off switch. Most thermostats are multipurpose, meaning they are used to power the AC and heating system inside your home. This type of thermostat typically has three operating positions: Cool (which powers your AC system) Heat (which powers your heater), and OFF. Sometimes the thermostat switch will be turned off by another household member – so check that one first.
- Settings. Programmable settings can also ‘change’ (either by input or an electrical glitch). Verify the programming options are set correctly.
- Power Supply. Another leading reason why an AC system might not work well is if the thermostat is not receiving power. Double check the power supply to the thermostat.
If it seems like your system isn’t running well, check your thermostat. Make sure that your air conditioner responds when you adjust your thermostat. If it doesn’t, you may need to contact Phoenix air conditioning repair technicians.
Make Sure Your Connections Are Tight
We spoke above about how electrical malfunctions in the thermostat can cause in-efficient operation. This issue is also possible with the AC system and supporting components as well. A common cause of your air conditioner not coming on is a loose or disconnected electrical hook-up. If your air conditioner doesn’t turn on, inspect all of your electrical connections. Specifically – there are two items you can inspect:
- Check the breaker that your air conditioner is located: Most AC systems operate on a direct circuit, since it requires so much electricity to power the system. Sometimes, the AC system can overload, especially if it’s extremely hot outside or the AC indoor filters are clogged. When it overloads, it will trip the circuit on the electrical panel to protect the motors and other electrical components.
- Check the electrical connections to the Unit: Most AC units are outdoor systems, installed on the ground or on rooftops. This makes them exposed and easily accessible to little critters – such as squirrels, birds, and field mice. Sometimes these little animals will chew through electrical wires. It’s also common for electrical connections to come loose. Frequently, tightening electrical connections will get your system back up and running.
Lubricate Your Moving Parts
Your air conditioner depends on its moving parts to work properly. If these moving parts are under-lubricated, it can result in tremendous wear and tear and an expensive AC repair in Phoenix. As part of your AC preventative maintenance, you should shut down your unit and lubricate your air conditioner’s moving parts. This will help to increase the lifespan of your system and will ensure functionality.
Examine the Condensation Drain
Every air conditioning unit features a condensation drain, which allows moisture to drain from your system. When the condensation drain is blocked, moisture can accumulate in your air conditioner and cause major damage. Periodically check the condensation drain and make sure that it is free of debris and that moisture can leave your system unimpeded.
Deep Clean Your Air Conditioner
One of the most important parts of maintaining your air conditioner is regular cleaning. Dirt and other contaminants can easily build-up on your unit and interfere with its operation. To make sure your system runs well into the future, you need to occasionally clean the evaporator, the condenser and the blower of your air conditioner. Also, while cleaning, check the refrigerant level in your system and add some if the level is low.
An AC system is a highly complex mechanical and electrical system, so it’s always best to have a professional HVAC technician come to your location on an annual basis to complete a detailed maintenance tune-up. However, you can complete basic clean-up, especially on easy to access outer panels and support equipment to reduce the potential of issues.
Inspect Air Filters
The key to a well-functioning air conditioner is unblocked airflow, which makes inspecting your air filters a crucial portion of preventive maintenance. Our hot and windy climate is a prime environment for the collection of dust and blowing sand. These contaminants can and usually will clog indoor HVAC filters, which reduces the HVAC systems ability to breathe easy. Examine your filters and clean them if there is dirt that may restrict airflow. You should also periodically replace your air filters so that they can work effectively. In fact, replacing your indoor air filters every 3 months is a good idea.
If you find a major issue with your air conditioning system, you need to immediately contact a local HVAC service contractor in Phoenix Arizona. An HVAC professional can fix any issues with your system and give you the peace of mind that comes from having a working air conditioner.
Read related articles:
- 3 Best Central AC Units for Phoenix Homeowners
- How Dust Storms in Phoenix Arizona Wreak Havoc on AC Units
- 3 Common Phoenix AC Electrical Wiring Problems
About the Author
Chris and Stacia Hays, are the owners of Hays Cooling, Heating & Plumbing; a family owned and operated HVAC company in Phoenix founded in 2001 that services both commercial and residential customers. Chris leads a team of certified technicians who have over 45 years of combined experience and has earned and A+ rating with the BBB and a strong five star rating online. Hays Cooling and Heating focuses on providing support to their customers every step of the way, with exceptional service and competitive prices. If you are looking for top-notch air conditioning and heating service, contact Chris or Stacia today.