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Do It Yourself (DIY) Central Air Conditioner Maintenance
DIY Air Conditioner Maintenance
Regular cleaning is the most important thing you can do to maintain your air conditioner's effieciency and effectiveness.
A central air conditioner will be comprised of an indoor and an outdoor unit. The indoor unit or evaporator is located in a central duct near the furnace, or in the air handler if you have a heat pump. The noisier outdoor unit, otherwise known as the compressor, sits next to your home allowing for a quieter inside environment. A pair of copper tubes joins these two units together.
When the Air Conditioner is turned on the refrigerant, or Freon gas, inside the compressor starts off cool but is made hot under pressure. The hot Freon gas then travels through a set of coils where it loses its heat, and condenses into a liquid. This liquid runs through an expansion valve and into the evaporator. In the evaporator the liquid evaporates becoming a cold low-pressure gas, which is what makes the air in your house cold. This cycle repeats itself over and over; the indoor unit cooling the air inside your home and releasing heat through the outdoor unit. During this process your AC unit collects dust and debris on the condenser coil and the evaporator coil.
Start with the outdoor compressor unit.
Next clean the indoor evaporator unit.
If you're uncomfortable with any of the steps described above you can have a professional come to your home and take care of the maintenance for you. The service call should run $100-$200 depending upon where you live. If you do call a professional be sure to observe what is done and ask questions so that you are more prepared to keep maintaining the air conditioning system in the future.
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