A Central Air Conditioner’s Biggest Maintenance Items

January 2, 2019

You’ll be hard pressed to live in comfort in Florida without central air conditioning, so it’s important that you stay on top of your HVAC maintenance in Tampa, FL so you’re not left to look for alternative cooling methods when it gets particularly hot and humid outside.

Here are just a few of the most common items you should pay attention to with regard to your central air conditioner’s maintenance:

  • Filters: One of the most common causes of malfunctions or poor operation of a central air conditioner is a dirty or clogged air filter. Your manufacturer’s instruction manual will have information about how often you need to change your filter—they vary from monthly to three months to yearly, while others are reusable and simply need to be cleaned out. A good general rule is that if no light passes through the filter, it’s time for it to be changed or cleaned.
  • Leaking refrigerant: If you have coolant leaking in your air conditioner, you’ll experience fluctuating temperatures and a potential lack of cold air. The location of the leak will affect how costly the problem is to repair, so it’s important to keep on top of your annual inspections so you can avoid problems arising from these leaks.
  • Drainage: The drain line can become clogged with lint, dirt and dust, much like the filter. If it does get clogged up, you’ll have issues with the drain pan filling up and water leaking out, which could potentially damage the AC unit or anything else around the pan.
  • Compressor: The compressor inside an AC unit applies energy to the refrigerant, and then forces it through the coils to complete the process of heat exchange. If the compressor is not functioning as it should, the AC unit will not cool your house to your specifications. In addition, if there’s a lack of refrigerant, the compressor will start to get hot, and will eventually stop working. Too much refrigerant, however, will send it back to the compressor, which could cause it to fail.
  • Coils: Evaporator coils exist to absorb heat in the air and then send it back into the house as cold air through a series of air ducts. These coils can become rusted or corroded, but generally only need maintenance every few years if they’re located inside. Condenser coils, meanwhile, are located outside with the compressor, meaning they can become dirty when exposed to the elements. They can be cleaned off with a water hose on an annual basis, but if the dirt buildup starts to become too much, you can have a technician come to your home and clean them with a specially designed chemical cleaner.
  • Capacitors: Capacitors control the motors that power the compressor and fans. The start capacitor activates the motor, and the run capacitor keeps the motor moving. If either of those capacitors burn out, your AC unit will not work.

These are just a few examples of some of the pieces of an AC unit that need to be regularly maintained. For more information, contact Kenny’s Air Conditioning & Heating Services, Inc. to discuss HVAC maintenance in Tampa, FL.

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