As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, there are many factors that will affect air conditioner performance. The most common issues, however, are the three “D’s” of dirt, debris, and dust. A dirty air conditioner, dirty condenser coil or clogged air filter can cause more problems than you can imagine. They also can drain your wallet by making it more expensive to operate your unit, perhaps without your knowledge. This is why it is important to be conscious of the three “D’s” that affect air conditioner performance and to proactively take steps to prevent their build up.

Debris Surrounding Outside Unit

Outside units are particularly susceptible to the three “D’s” for obvious reasons. But even here, in the Chicagoland area, steps can be taken to keep units clear and clean. It starts by simply making sure bushes and vegetation are not interfering with airflow to the unit. Your unit needs room to breathe, so it is important it can do so by minimizing debris like grass cuttings and leaves from clogging the unit. Be cautious when using a string weed trimmer near units so as not to damage electrical wiring or connections. While keeping debris away from your AC unit is an easy DIY project, further cleaning should involve a professional. Some homeowners think that simply spraying an outside unit with a hose will clean the AC unit. The fact is, this can make matters worse by driving dirt, dust, and debris further into the unit. A professional will take the cover off of the unit and carefully clean the dirty condenser coil. The condenser coil may be the most important part of your air conditioning system as it removes the warm air from your home. When dirt and debris build on, in, and around it, it inhibits its performance. In severe cases, it can lead to a breakdown of the unit. A thorough cleaning is well worth the minimal expense involved.

Dust Filled Air Filters

Most homeowners are familiar with changing air filters in their home, but many still don’t do it often enough. Filters should be changed monthly to reduce dust and keep airflow moving. This is simple and inexpensive. Again, however, a professional should be contacted to conduct a thorough cleaning of your AC. To keep your indoor and outdoor units running properly and efficiently it is best to have a spring and fall “tune-up” to not only clean your dirty air conditioner and heating system but to ensure moving parts air maintained.

Dirty Air Quality Conditions

The Chicago area has a long history of dirty air and pollution. While improved through the years, it is still a concern especially for those with asthma and those suffering from allergies. As the summer heats up, the air quality becomes increasingly a concern not only here, but elsewhere. Each and every day the EPA produces air quality reports for some 400 cities, including Chicago. This air quality not only affects the air you breathe, it impacts the dirt, debris, and dust that gets into your AC unit. This is why a fall cleaning of your HVAC system can be as important as a spring cleaning.

Routine Air Conditioner Performance Maintenance

Too often we are only reminded of the importance of routine maintenance when there is a failure. Our car breaks down, our lawn mower doesn’t start, or our AC unit stops cooling. Remember, a repair is almost always more expensive than simple maintenance. We can clean that dirty air conditioner, clean the dirty air condenser, and change that clogged air filter and show you how to achieve maximum air conditioner performance. Is it time to schedule your AC maintenance check up?

contact althoff for your air conditioner maintenance