People like things to be comfortable and a lot of that comfort comes down to the temperature. We can’t really control the temperature outside, but with the help of modern HVAC technology, we are able to create a controlled environment inside of a building or a home. So, when the going gets rough outside (as it often does in the Houston area, especially with the frequent sweltering heat we experience), the simple and effective solution is to go inside. Don’t forget to thank your local HVAC system professionals in The Woodlands for making a comfortable home possible!
If the key to being comfortable inside of your home is with an HVAC system, then it definitely pays to take proper care of it. Here at Superior HVAC, we don’t necessarily expect our readers to be heating and cooling experts, and that’s perfectly okay. That’s why our air conditioning installation and residential HVAC repair services exist, actually, to help your home stay at a comfortable temperature even when things go awry with your heating and cooling systems.
In the spirit of education (and talking about something that we’re passionate about), The Woodlands air conditioning installation experts here at Superior HVAC are going to cover some HVAC system maintenance pointers. Even if you’re not mechanically-inclined, you might be pleasantly surprised at how easy and effective some of these pointers are. For even more information, feel free to reach out to our HVAC specialists today.
After you’ve noticed that your home isn’t so cooled down anymore despite multiple attempts at banging on your thermostat, you’ll want to investigate the situation. Before you meddle with anything on your air conditioning unit, do yourself a favor and shut the power off. Due to the inherent dangers of working around electricity and the air conditioner’s moving parts, it is absolutely essential that you completely turn off power to the unit. On the exterior condenser and compressor area, look for an exterior shut-off box near the unit. Also, don’t forget to turn the power off at the breaker box.
You don’t have to be a mechanic or HVAC repairman to notice and remove any debris lodged in your system - so long as you have access to extremely basic tools, you’ve got this. Begin with the exterior condenser and compressor area by removing the fan cage. Next, using a standard screwdriver or wrench, remove the fasteners and lift the cage or fan grill away from the top of the unit. With a gloved hand or a vacuum of sorts, clean out any leaves or other debris from the interior.
This is another relatively simple Houston HVAC maintenance tip that’s no more difficult than removing any debris from your unit. Start by removing the outer covers and use the brush attachment on a powerful shop vacuum to remove all the outside dirt that you can. Next, by using the gentle stream of water from a standard garden hose, simply spray through the pins from the inside out to remove any built-up dirt or debris that’s stuck in between each fin. Note that you should never use a pressure washer to do this because the sheer power can damage and bend the fins.
If the fins of your residential HVAC unit are particularly dirty, you can easily purchase a commercial cleaning spray at a local home improvement or hardware store. Just follow the directions on the container and your fins should be just about as good as new.
Over time, fins become bent due to debris, adverse weather conditions, and other reasons. Any reduction in airflow through the fins can reduce your system’s efficiency, so you’ll want to make sure that the fins are straightened out as best you can. To do this, you can use a butter knife or a specialized fin-straightening tool. Make sure to be gentle enough to that the tubing embedded within the fins is not damaged.
Once you’ve finished cleaning up inside the unit, replace the fan cage. Rake any leaves and leftover debris outside the condenser and cut back branches and vegetation at least two feet in all directions, as this will help ensure proper airflow around the unit. During any periods of time when your air conditioning condenser is not in use (a rarity down here in Texas, to be sure), it’s a good idea to cover the top of the unit with a simple piece of plywood or plastic in order to keep debris from falling in.
That being said, make sure not to completely cover the unit’s sides as moisture can build up inside and cause corrosion. It’s also worth noting that a completely covered unit encourages vermin to build nests inside, so be sure to remove any cover when the unit is in operation.
Next, you’ll want to level your unit. This is because, over time, the pad upon which the condenser unit sits on can begin to tip as the soil settles beneath it. An out-of-level condenser unit can cause the compressor inside of it to fail prematurely. Check your condenser to see how level it is and use rot-resistant shims to bring it back to a proper level. The only exception here is if you have a heat pump system, as many heating and cooling experts agree that it’s okay for the pad to be slightly sloped away from the home’s foundation in order allow defrost run-off during the winter. Of course, this rarely applies to us here in the south.
There are many other maintenance items that we didn’t even get to, so hopefully today’s blog post gave you more of an idea about some of the things that go into properly upkeeping your HVAC system. Stay tuned as we cover additional pointers to ensure that your heating and cooling unit works properly and efficiently, keeping you comfortable in your home and even saving you money on your energy bills. If you have any questions or you’re in need of AC repair in The Woodlands, please contact Superior HVAC today!