Even if you’re a responsible homeowner who always remembers to change your AC filter and schedule maintenance visits, you may have a hard time remembering some of the other maintenance types your AC system needs. Or, if you’re a new homeowner, you may not even realize it has these other maintenance needs. Learn about three types of maintenance you should keep in mind as you care for your AC unit.
1. Electrical Maintenance
AC units use electrical components, such as thermostats, which are connected to the unit with wiring. If the wiring becomes corroded or if the connections become old and faulty, your AC unit may quit functioning because it does not get messages from the thermostat. No matter how new and efficient your particular AC unit is, it depends on electrical maintenance to keep going. Typically, your HVAC technician will be able to check for common electrical problems during yearly maintenance. Other electrical issues can also develop. These include problems with the capacitors and problems with your electrical panel. In addition, your AC unit should have a dedicated circuit. Common problems with the electrical panel include a unit that’s not on its own circuit yet or a circuit breaker that needs to be replaced.
Some homeowners don’t know this, but the landscaping around an AC unit can affect it both directly and indirectly. For example, if thick or tall vegetation grows too close to the unit, the fan won’t be able to pull enough air through the top of the unit and across the coil to function efficiently. You need to keep the area around the unit tidy and prevent bushes and weeds from encroaching. For best results, keep a clear space for three feet on each side of the unit. Keep all plants trimmed away (or mulched over) and avoid planting anything that might grow into your unit’s personal space. This can also help discourage pests. Another way landscaping can affect the outdoor unit is if you use a weed whacker and it throws specks of chopped-up grass or weeds at the unit. These specks can stick to the fins on the sides of the unit and reduce efficiency by slowing airflow. And finally, keep an eye on any nearby trees. While shade trees can improve efficiency, they can also cause problems if they’re too close by. They could drop branches on the unit, fill it up with dead leaves, or drop twigs that jam the fan.
3. Pest Control
AC units can be attacked by many different pests in many different ways. Rodents and snakes can take up residence in the AC unit when it’s switched off in the winter and then jam it up when you turn it on in the spring. Pests can also get into the ductwork and travel all over your house from there, and they can even gnaw through important electrical wires. Keeping the grass trimmed around the unit to avoid providing shelter, making sure all the screens on your vents are tight and strong, and using glue traps to monitor for pests can help you avoid a pest problem or catch it early before it inflates into a full-blown infestation. These are just three types of AC unit maintenance that can be easy to overlook. To keep your home’s cooling system in good shape, you’ll want to make sure all of these types of maintenance are on your calendar in addition to regular air filter changes and yearly professional maintenance. For more information on caring for your AC unit or to schedule a service visit, get in touch with Magnolia Plumbing today. We offer a full array of plumbing services as well as HVAC repair, maintenance, and installation services. Let us help you with all your plumbing and HVAC needs.