Maintaining a Central Air Conditioning Unit
A central air conditioning unit has a condenser and evaporator. Typically, the condenser is placed outside the home, while the evaporator coil is close to the main furnace duct. This is because the cooled air is also distributed into the home using the same forced air system as the furnace.
This provides for efficiency since the same duct, blower, and motor is used for both heating and cooling the home. However, the difference is that the return air duct now brings hot air to the evaporator coil instead of cool air to the furnace. This hot air passes over the cooled evaporator coil, helped by the blower and is then returned to the home through the ducts.
As both the condenser and the evaporator coils are sealed systems, any problems in them need to be fixed by a trained mechanic. However, if the air conditioning unit works, the problem is with the distribution system. This can be fixed by checking the motor, fans, and the ducts for leaks.
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In order to ensure that the condenser unit and the evaporator coil work optimally, they need be cleaned regularly. This is best done by a trained mechanic who will be able to clean the coils without damaging them.
The condenser unit should be cleaned of debris using a commercial coil cleaner. Additionally, the condenser unit should be covered in winter to prevent damage by ice and leaf blockage. The fins should be cleaned with care as they can be bent easily. If the fins are bent they can be straightened using a fin comb.
When checking the distribution system, it is best to check that the ducts are not leaking treated air first. The next step is to ensure that the blades of the blower are aligned and screwed on properly. The motor too must be cleaned and lubricated for proper functioning.