Different parts of your air conditioning system work together to keep your home comfortable. Some of the parts need more maintenance and repairs than others, but it's always good to have your entire system checked at least once each year for potential problems so that repairs can be done before major damage is caused to your air conditioner or your home. Here's a look at the different parts of your AC and the type of repairs you may need to do.
The ducts move cool air around your house, so they are an important part of your air conditioning system even though they are usually out of sight. Ducts don't need a lot of maintenance since they are enclosed, but if a joint works loose or if a duct is damaged by an animal like a rat or raccoon, it should be repaired right away or cool air will leak out in the attic. Also, ducts can collect dust and get dirty or moldy, and if that happens, they should be cleaned out by a professional. Although the ducts won't need much care, they should still be checked at least annually to make sure they don't have openings that need to be sealed shut.
Thermostats can develop problems, such as loose wiring, that keep your AC from working properly. If your AC isn't keeping your home cool, the HVAC technician will probably check your thermostat as well as the air conditioner. You'll need to keep the batteries in your thermostat fresh so that the thermostat works properly, and you should also make sure you understand how it operates. Programmable or smart thermostats have advanced features that control your AC, and you may have the thermostat on a setting that makes you think the air conditioner is malfunctioning when it's not.
The condenser is the big outdoor unit that needs to have annual service from an HVAC technician. There are several parts in the condenser, including refrigerant lines, that can be damaged or need servicing so that your AC works optimally. You can help maintain the condenser by keeping the area around it clear and free of obstructions and weeds.
The Air Handler
The air handler also needs annual maintenance and cleaning, or your AC might shut down due to dust buildup or worn parts. This is where the blower is located that circulates the air through your house, and the blower can overheat and shut down if it gets dirty. While the parts inside need to be serviced by a professional, you have one important job when it comes to ongoing maintenance: changing the filter regularly so that dust doesn't get sucked inside the air handler and blower.