Actually, January and February are excellent months to service your home’s air conditioning system. Here are 5 good reasons:
In our most recent article, we covered how to provide a basic cleaning to the outdoor unit of your home’s air conditioning system. Add to this our article on changing your home’s air filters, a monthly MUST DO throughout the year for both heating and air conditioning optimization.
In this article, we’re going to give you some quick tips for cleaning and preparing your indoor air conditioning unit ahead of the time Las Vegas outdoor temperatures begin to rise to uncomfortable levels. You can perform these basic DIY maintenance processes at any time of the year, and it’s a good idea to perform them quarterly for continued, uninterrupted air conditioning performance for your home creating greater comfort at a lower energy cost.
The outdoor part of your home’s air conditioning unit is called the Air Condenser. The indoor part of your home’s air conditioning unit is called the Evaporator. This article covers maintenance of the Evaporator. Once you’ve got the hang of it, this basic Evaporator maintenance can be done in as little as 30 minutes!
Unlike the outdoor Air Condenser unit which can be discovered simply by walking around your home, the indoor Evaporator is in an unobvious location like your attic. The access point may be a small square covered opening in the ceiling of a bedroom closet, and if so, you will need a ladder to climb up through the opening to access the Evaporator. Why is the evaporator unit located in such a high place? Basic science: Cool air descends, so you want to generate the cool air in a high location to aid its descent into your home.
The first need you will experience is once you’re crawled through the opening into your attic is the need for light! Most attic spaces are equipped with lights, but on the chance that the bulb may be burned out, be sure to have a good flashlight.
Now before you begin to walk around up there in your attic, note that there are places you may step, and places to avoid stepping so that you do not fall through the ceiling and end up in the living room or kitchen! Stand ONLY on firm flooring or beams. Normally, there will be plywood flooring installed around the air conditioning and heating units in your attic. DO NOT tread on areas covered with insulation. They are likely not protected by a firm standing area but rather, have a thin sheet rock base which you would easily fall through!
Okay, you’re in the attic, with good lighting and standing on a solid foundation.
You’ll note that there is a blower fan to circulate the air, a series of copper coolant tubes, some duct work for circulation and an evaporator pipe which empties into a drain. Here’s how the system works: The fan pushes warm air over the surface of the coolant tubes where it is cooled. As it is cooled, condensation occurs, which is channeled out through the condensation drain tube. The cooled air then circulates through your home, keeping your home comfortable on hot days. There is also a shut-off switch.
Turn off the power to the evaporator unit before performing any maintenance. The best location is your home’s main electrical circuit board. There should be a switch that is clearly labeled.
The condensation drain tube is plastic. Gently pull it off and run a 1:16 bleach/water solution through the tube to clear out any algae growth which if untreated could eventually block the tube causing the condensation water from the evaporator to find another exit, potentially onto that sheet rock ceiling we mentioned above destroying the ceiling of one or more of the rooms of your home. You easily prevent this catastrophe by keeping that condensation tube clean!
The upper end of the drain tube is connected to the evaporator unit by a drain port. Clean the drain port with a pipe cleaner before reconnecting the drain tube.
Once you’ve flushed out the condensation tube and cleaned the drain port, replace the condensation tube in the exact position it was originally.
Note: If the condensation tube or drain port have become too rigid and cannot be removed you may need to replace them. We suggest having a professional perform this. Contact Mastermind Mechanical to perform annual maintenance of your air condenser and evaporator units and replace any parts that need replacing.
Vacuum out the blower and the fins which will likely be inside a metal duct downstream from the blower. Change the filter.
Congratulations! You’ve successfully performed basic maintenance of your home’s air conditioning evaporator unit. Along the way, if you encounter any difficulty performing maintenance to any parts, never try to force things to open. When you encounter difficulty, it’s best to contact Mastermind Mechanical for professional servicing. However, you’re likely to be successful and not encounter difficulty with the basic maintenance we’ve described in this article.
By performing this basic maintenance 4 times per year: Winter, Spring, Mid-Summer and Fall you may avoid an emergency breakdown on a hot Summer day. In addition, a clean unit operates more efficiently cooling your home and keeping you comfortable at a lower energy cost.
Mastermind Mechanical LLC has been serving Las Vegas for over 15 years. We are committed to providing fast, and professional Las Vegas AC repair and Las Vegas AC replacement at affordable pricing. Everything we do is guided by the core values of integrity, quality, respect, and long-term relationships built on trust.
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