Follow These Steps To Avoid Air Conditioner Breakdowns This Summer

Posted on: 9 January 2015

Murphy's Law might as well be "your air conditioner will break down on the hottest day of the summer." This always seems to be the case! However, by doing a little preventative maintenance each spring, you can decrease the chances of a catastrophic air conditioner malfunction in the 100-degree heat. Freak accidents are always going to happen, but that does not mean you shouldn't at least try to prevent them.

Each spring, follow these three steps to make sure your air conditioner is in good working order:

Step #1: Clean the condenser.

If your condenser is coated with debris, your air conditioner won't be able to cool properly. It may even overheat and stop working entirely. To clean your condenser, start by shutting off the power to the unit and then use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum off the fins, which are the metal grates that line the outside of the air conditioner unit. Then, unscrew the fan to access the interior of the condenser. Use the wand attachment on your vacuum cleaner to reach as far down as you can, removing dust from the coils.

When you're done vacuuming out the condenser, screw the fan back on and restore power to your unit.

Step #2: Run the air conditioner to check for a blocked drainage tube.

As the condenser runs and cools off your home, it generates water. This water collects in a tube and is drained away from the unit. Unfortunately, drainage tubes tend to become blocked if you're not careful about keeping your air conditioner clean. A blocked drainage tube may start off as a small problem, but could cause your whole unit to shut down if left unaddressed.

To ensure your drainage tube is clear, run the air conditioner for a few hours. Make sure you don't see any water accumulating near the base of the unit – if you do, the drainage tube is blocked. Call your HVAC company like Jones Air Conditioning & Electric to have the tube unblocked before running the air conditioner again.

Step #3: Bleach the drain line.

If your drain line is clear, you'll want to keep it that way. Prevent mold buildup by pouring a cup of plain, household bleach into the drain line. The bleach will kill any mold spores before they have the chance to cause a clog. Repeat this process partway through the summer, especially if you live in a humid climate.

When you live in a hot environment, your air conditioner is a life-saver in the summer months. Don't risk having to do without air conditioning on the hottest days of the year. Follow these steps every spring, and you may not prevent all mishaps, but you'll considerably reduce their likelihood.