10 Central Air Conditioner Tips For DIYers In Los Angeles, CA

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Michael Foster
July 11, 2024
Heating & Cooling
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You could have had central heating and air when residing in an apartment or rental, or you might have had baseboard heaters and a window air conditioner. Regardless of your layout, if you were renting, your landlord was probably in charge of keeping your HVAC system up to date and in working order. You are in charge now that you are the proud owner of your house.
This could be frightening, especially if you're using a system you're unfamiliar with. Your HVAC system must be well-maintained since it is crucial to your home's comfort. However, many homeowners need more time or finances to maintain their AC regularly. As a result, these HVAC parts will eventually become worn out and require replacement or repair.
However, you may increase the lifespan of your HVAC systems by following some straightforward yet crucial HVAC preventative maintenance advice covered in this blog post. Here are ten simple DIY HVAC maintenance tips for homeowners in Los Angeles to keep their HVAC system in good working order for many years.

Change or Clean Your Air Filters Regularly

One of the most crucial tasks in maintaining your air conditioner is changing the filter (or cleaning it if it's reusable). Do it once throughout the fall and spring and once during the summer and winter high-use seasons. The airflow reduces when the filter fills up with dust, grime, and allergy particles, and your system has to work harder than necessary.
Additionally, as the air passing through your system gets dirtier and dustier, it can affect the quality of the air within your house and aggravate allergy and asthma problems in occupants. Installing a high-quality air filter is the answer. Replace fiberglass air filters every 30 days because they cannot absorb tiny particles like pollen, germs, and viruses.

Keep Your Vents and Registers Clean

One of the simplest methods to maintain the health of your system is to keep your vents and registers clean. The air entering and leaving the system will be unclean and less effective at cooling or heating your house if the vents and registers get clogged with dust, grime, or other debris. This will not only result in higher energy expenses but will also shorten the air conditioner's lifespan.
Finding where the most dirt and dust collects is the first step in keeping your vents and registers clean. This might be anywhere between the top and bottom of the registers and vents. It's time to take action once you have identified the areas where dirt and dust are gathering.
To clean the vents or registers, you'll need a brush to clear the dust and dirt from the openings. Be sure to brush from top to bottom and from left to right to remove all the dirt and dust. If debris is left on the vent or register, you can use a vacuum cleaner to clean it up.

Clean the Outside Unit

The capacity and airflow of the system diminish when leaves, dirt, and grass clippings accumulate outside the air conditioner unit over time. It also highlights how crucial it is to maintain the outer unit.
Turn off the unit's power first. You may do that at the service disconnect on your outside unit or the main breaker panel in your house. Use a power washer sparingly, or you risk damaging the appliance. Also, be careful not to damage or bend the coil's fragile fins. An air conditioner compressor's aluminum cooling fins must be straight to function correctly.

Clean the Area Around the Unit

To maintain optimal airflow around the unit, rake back leaves and trash from around the condenser and trim back branches and plants at least two feet in all directions. It's a good idea to cover the top of the condenser with a piece of plywood or plastic during the winter months when the unit is not in use to prevent debris from falling in. Don't enclose the sides of the appliance, though, as corrosion might result from moisture accumulation inside. Additionally, a covered unit makes it easier for pests to nest there. When the device is in use, remove any covering.

Examine Your Thermostat

You may turn the power back on to the unit at this stage in the maintenance process for your air conditioner without risk. Once the appliance starts chilling the air, adjust the temperature settings. There should be air pouring out of the cold vents, and the system shouldn't make any odd noises. Keep your house at the correct temperature during the coming days as you check to see if your thermostat is functioning correctly.

Eliminate Clutter Around the Indoor HVAC Unit

The air quality and safety are improved by keeping the space around your indoor HVAC unit free. The greater the clutter, the more the surface area available for the dust to accumulate and finally enter the vent system. Additionally, clutter hinders air circulation in the nearby region, which harms the system's effectiveness. Additionally, clutter can cause trips and fires, make it more challenging to undertake maintenance and central air conditioner repair, and create a fire danger.

Check Wiring and Components

The internal connections of your air conditioner are essential to its performance. Checking the wiring of the outdoor unit at least once a year is crucial since what you need to learn about them might cost you money in the form of ineffective cooling.
Remove the condenser unit's access panel and check for overheating while the power is off. For instance, this can involve cables with melted insulation or wires that seem charred or blackened.
Additionally, ensure all electrical connections are tight by checking them. You may examine the capacitors in the device if you have an electrical test meter. Call a local HVAC specialist to handle any issues you find if you don't feel confident fixing them yourself.

Maintain the Carbon Monoxide Detector

A carbon monoxide detector is a crucial safety component in houses with combustion-based heating systems like natural gas or fuel oil. The alert might save your life in the case of an exhaust leak, poor ventilation, excessive gas flow, or other problem.
The typical operating life of these gadgets is seven years. Every month, check the carbon monoxide detector to make sure it is functioning correctly and replace it if required. Replace the batteries every six months.

Clean The Evaporator Coil and Drain Regularly

It is crucial to clean the evaporator coil and drain it frequently to guarantee optimum cooling while your air conditioner is not in use. The component of the air conditioner that assists in cooling the air, the evaporator coil, accumulates mineral deposits over time. The AC unit may not operate as well. As a result, increasing energy costs.
A vacuum with the proper attachments or a professional air cleaner can clean the evaporator coil and drain. Use the appropriate accessories, such as a wand or hose with a crevice tool, if you decide to clean it with a vacuum.

Keep Your Outdoor Unit In The Shade

Ensure your air conditioning system's exterior compressor is kept in the shade as soon as the temperature climbs. This will not only lessen the strain on your air conditioner but also aid in protecting the compressor from harm.
Your outdoor compressor can heat up and degrade more quickly if you leave it in the sunlight. The heat from the sun will also cause the refrigerant to evaporate more rapidly if the compressor is situated in a sunny place, which might hasten the compressor's demise.

Have Your Central Air Conditioning Serviced By A Professional Once A Year

While the aforementioned DIY maintenance suggestions are pretty simple, it's crucial to get your central air conditioning unit serviced by a professional at least once or twice a year. By doing this, you can be confident that everything is in working order and that any issues can be resolved immediately, and this will stop central air conditioner problems from getting worse and save you money over time.
Regular maintenance guarantees that your HVAC system is operating at peak efficiency and that the most recent parts are being used. By hiring a professional to maintain your system, you can be sure that you're receiving the finest servicing possible and that you won't put your house or health in danger by neglecting to get it serviced.

What Is A Good Price For A Central Air Conditioner?

The average cost to install a new air conditioner is $5,600, with costs typically ranging from $3,800 to $7,500. The size of the unit, the SEER rating, the number of repairs required, and the quantity of ducting required all affect the price of central air conditioning units.

Who Should I Call For Central Air Conditioner Services?

If your HVAC system is old and inefficient, consider replacing it. A new system can save you money on your energy bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. When shopping for a new system, consult an HVAC company to find the best central air conditioning brands for your home.
However, if you need an upgrade or some air duct replacements, consider a system that will meet your family's comfort needs and offer greater peace of mind with energy usage and billing expenses. Home Alliance can help answer all your HVAC service needs.
We hope this post has provided helpful tips for maintaining your HVAC system. With regular maintenance, you can extend the life of your HVAC system and see better performance. Please do not hesitate to contact us and book a service if you have any questions or need help with your HVAC cleaning and maintenance. We'd love to help you with your air conditioner maintenance needs.