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Published on May 27, 2016
When hot outdoor temperatures arrive, a properly functioning central home air conditioner provides a comfortable indoor environment for building occupants. Depending on where people live, air conditioning could be a luxury or an absolute necessity.
Maintaining the air conditioner is an important step to ensure it works properly, efficiently and provides good indoor air quality (IAQ). In addition to providing cool air and ventilation, air conditioners help to remove excessive humidity from the air which can help prevent the growth of mold and presence of dust mites. Most air conditioners also have air filters that depending on the quality of the filtration can help to remove particles, allergens and respiratory irritants from the air people breathe.
Routine maintenance of an air conditioning system is important and some tasks can be handled by homeowners while other tasks may require the services of a professional. Basic maintenance tips include the following with the power shut off to the unit: • Remove debris and plant growth from around and inside of the exterior condenser • Clean the fins and outdoor unit, but do not use a pressure washer to prevent damage • Look for bent or damaged fins and have them straightened • Check to determine if any excessive settling has occurred • Check for damage and wear, and clean the evaporator coil • Inspect and clean the condensation drain • Replace old air filters including those units with an outdoor air intake filter • Inspect duct work for signs of debris, contamination and obvious leaks • Checking airflow, thermostat accuracy and the amount of refrigerant or if there are any refrigerant leaks is often best handled by a qualified professional
These are just a few things to know about home air conditioners, basic preventive maintenance and indoor air quality. To learn more about this or other indoor air quality, environmental, occupational, health, safety or property issues, please visit the websites shown on the screen.