Most people know they should change air conditioner filters on a regular basis and remove any debris that may have accumulated in their units. However, there are other minor air conditioning maintenance items that are often overlooked but which can have a big impact on how your appliance performs. Here are two of them that also need to be tended to regularly:
Clean and Straighten the Fins
Near the compressor and the evaporator are panels that look like grills. These are called air conditioner fins, and they help the appliance disperse heat more quickly. Over time, these fins can become dirty and dusty, and they may even be bent out of shape if the air conditioner sustained any external damage from impacts.
It's important to check these fins on a regular basis and clean them when they get dirty, which can be done by using a soft cloth and/or a can of compressed air. Even more critical, you need to make sure the fins are straight. Bent or warped fins can make it harder for the unit to get rid of warm air and reduce the machine's efficiency.
Bent fins are easily repaired by gently straightening them using a thin butter knife or a specially designed fin tool you can obtain from any home improvement store. Be careful when working on this part of your air conditioner, however, because these fins are delicate and may break if you are too rough with them.
Make Sure the Unit Sits Level
A second thing you need to do to maintain your air conditioner is to take out a leveler and make sure it's sitting evenly on its platform. A variety of fluids will travel through your air conditioner at any given moment (e.g. refrigerant, oil). When the unit is not sitting level, it may cause these liquids to separate or flow in a counterproductive manner that may hasten your unit's demise.
While it may seem unlikely your air conditioner will have moved, there are any number of reasons it could have become uneven. The ground underneath the slab the unit sits on may have settled or a minor earthquake could have thrown your yard off-balance. It's a good idea to investigate the cause so you can take steps to prevent it from getting worse or happening again in the future once you make the necessary adjustments.
To learn about other maintenance items you should do or help fixing any problems that come up with your unit, contact an air conditioner repair company.