How to maintain your air conditioner

A central air conditioner is made up of two major components; the condenser and the evaporator. When installing air conditioning in Sparks the condenser is installed outside the dwelling and the evaporator is installed inside, mounted in a plenum which sits atop the furnace.

The central air conditioning Sparks is delivered throughout the house using the forced-air distribution network of ducting. In this way, the ducts, the blower and the blower motor are common for either heat or air conditioning. When the air conditioning system is operating, the heated air that is in the house flows through the return ducts back to the furnace. This heated air is blown across the cold coil of the evaporator and then delivered back to the house through the common ducts.

The evaporator and the condenser are sealed units and it is not recommended that they be serviced by anyone other than a professional service technician. Cleaning of the system can be done by the homeowner, however, it is suggested that the technician visit once a year for a tune-up, complete inspection and adjusting if necessary. Between service calls, there are procedures that the homeowner can follow to keep the system running at top efficiency.

Cleaning the evaporator:

The evaporator can be found sitting on top of the furnace, if it is easy to get at, then you can clean it periodically. If the plenum is wrapped in foil-insulation then it will be possible for the homeowner to clean it, if it is sealed, this is a job for professionals. If you can get at the evaporator, here is how to clean it:

1. Remove the insulation at the front of the plenum; this is usually fixed with duct-tape. Behind the insulation you will find a plate held solid with a few sheet metal screws. Remove the screws and the plate.

2. Clean the evaporator underside with a brush. If you cannot get all the way to the back of the evaporator coil, it can be slid forward even though there are pipes attached to it.

3. Clean the tray below the evaporator. This tray is used to collect and carry the condensation from the evaporator coil. Make sure the weep hole is not plugged.

4. Reinstall the plate and replace the insulation.

Maintain the condenser:

The condenser sits outdoors and is subject to the accumulation of leaves, dirt and other debris. The condenser has a fan which is used to blow air across the coil. Here is what you should do:

1. Cut away any grass or weeds that have grown near the unit.

2. Clean the condenser with a commercially available condenser coil cleanser. Flush the coil and let it dry.

3. Remove the protective grill and clean the fins with a stiff brush, be very careful as the fins are quite fragile. Do not use the garden hose as it will drive the dirt deeper into the fins.

4. Check the base that the condenser sits on and make sure it is still level.

During that period of the year when the air conditioner is not running, it is suggested that the condenser be covered.

For a professional cleaning of your air conditioning in Sparks, contact Paschall Plumbing, Heating and Cooling. To learn more what they can offer, visit them online.

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