Here in South Louisiana, air conditioning is a top priority! Just ask anyone who has spent a few days (and sleepless nights) without it! And if you have any elderly family members, or someone with certain health issues, the lack of reliable air conditioning can actually be life threatening. Your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is also one of the most expensive components of your home. With these things in mind, it makes good sense to do some routine maintenance in order to keep the unit operating effectively and efficiently. Simple maintenance can also extend the life of the equipment!
The first and easiest way to keep your HVAC unit running good is to change the filter! A clean filter will help keep the blower unit and the evaporator coils (the part of a central system that is located inside) clean. A new filter is also importsnt for keeping the air in your house clean! There are even special filters to help reduce certain allergens for people who have respiratory issues.
When the air filter gets as dirty as the one above, it greatly reduces the air flow which in turn will cause problems with the evaporator coils (inside unit) and can even cause premature failure of the system.
As you can see from the pictures above, dirty evaporator coils (caused by dirty or NO filter) can lead to even BIGGER problems!
The Second step in the HVAC maintenance routine is to keep the compressor/condenser unit (the part of a central system that is located outside) clean.
With a little TLC, you can stop your outside unit (Compressor/Condenser) from looking like the units below. By the time they get this bad, there may be some damage done and the upkeep may be beyond what some homeowners can do themselves.
After turning off the power at the compressor/condenser itself (breaker or pull out-see below), you can gently hose from the inside towards the outside of the coils first, then the outside can be thoroughly rinsed . There are several coil cleaning solutions available at your local hardware or home center. NOTE: If this seems like it might be more than you can handle, it's best if you get a pro to do it!!!