The warm, summer months are on their way and when they arrive, you want to ensure your AC is ready. Your AC compressor is vital to the comfort of your home, yet many homeowners are unaware of steps to take to protect it and prolong its life. As the most expensive component of an air conditioner or heat pump to replace, it’s worth knowing!
Air conditioners and heat pumps both exchange heat from the interior of your home to the exterior. Once it removes heat, cooler air is left. Refrigerant moves through the system as both a gas and a liquid.
The liquid refrigerant enters the AC compressor as a low-pressure gas and leaves as a high-pressure gas, moving into the condenser. When it leaves the condenser, the refrigerant is much cooler and has changed to a liquid. When this change happens, it’s extracted heat from the air.
The exterior unit of your HVAC system houses your condenser coil and AC compressor, and the interior houses the evaporator.
Keep the exterior of your AC compressor clean. It’s one of the easiest and most important ways to protect it. Because it pulls in air, it easily clogs with leaves, grass clippings, and various other yard waste. There are a few steps to clean your exterior AC unit each season.
- Turn off your thermostat
- Locate the electrical disconnect near your unit (metal box often on exterior of your home)
- Open the electrical disconnect and turn your air conditioner off
- Wearing gloves, remove any large items
- Carefully vacuum the unit, but do not bend any of the fins
- Gently hose off any additional, small pieces of debris
Minimal is best for the landscaping around your AC unit. You need two feet around each side of your unit to be clear for both access and airflow.
When your unit requires a repair or tune up, proper access allows the technician to more quickly and accurately evaluate the system.
One of the most important parts of an HVAC system is its airflow. A minimum of two feet around your unit for air to move allows for optimal system performance.
If you want to disguise your exterior unit, it is best to do so without the use of invasive plant species. Well-trimmed shrubs, kept far enough away, are a good solution. Structures or shutters that block the view are appropriate only when proper clearance is left around the unit.
Therefore, it’s best to construct an air conditioner surround out of open materials, like lattice, for airflow. However, if you choose to disguise your system, be sure to allow proper ventilation.
The average useful life of an air conditioner and heat pump is roughly 15 years. With that investment, it requires proper protection.
Annual tune ups are a great way to ensure optimal system performance. Contact your local HVAC specialist and schedule your tune up or ask about a maintenance plan.
In addition to proper maintenance, provide shade or shelter to your AC compressor to protect it from anything Mother Nature throws its way. Shade also keeps the unit cooler, which allows it to cool off between cycles.
For AC Compressor Repairs, Service or Installations, Call Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating
Your home’s HVAC system is an important investment, take proper care and stay comfortable inside for years to come! Sanborn’s Air Conditioning & Heating helps you every step of the way. Call us today to schedule tune ups, repairs, and new installations.
Our team of qualified professionals serves the San Bernardino and Riverside county areas including, Grand Terrace, Rialto, East Highland, Loma Linda, Yucaipa, Moreno Valley, Banning, Calimesa, Beaumont and Fontana, California.