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Air Conditioner Cleaning

Air Conditioner Maintenance: Keeping Your System Efficient and Reliable This Summer

by Number 1 | June 10, 2024

Maintaining your air conditioner is crucial to ensure its efficiency, longevity, and comfort during the hot summer. Regular maintenance helps prevent unexpected breakdowns and keeps your energy bills in check. In this blog, we'll discuss essential tips for air conditioner maintenance, including the importance of dealing with cottonwood fluff, a common issue that can severely impact your AC unit's performance.

The Importance of Air Conditioner Maintenance

At the heart of air conditioner maintenance is a simple truth: a well-maintained unit is more efficient, uses less energy, and lasts longer. Ignoring maintenance can lead to decreased performance and increased energy usage. Regular maintenance is not just about saving energy; it's about enhancing your comfort and the efficiency of your air conditioner.

Air Conditioner Filters: The First Line of Defense

The most crucial maintenance task to ensure your air conditioner's efficiency is regularly cleaning or replacing its filters. Dirty filters obstruct airflow, drastically reducing system efficiency. In extreme cases, dirt can bypass the filter and impair the evaporator coil's heat absorption. A clean filter can lower your air conditioner's energy consumption by 5% to 15%. Depending on your system, filters should be cleaned or replaced every one to two months during the cooling season, especially if you're in a dusty environment or have pets.

Keeping Air Conditioner Coils Clean

Over time, dirt can accumulate on your air conditioner's evaporator and condenser coils, affecting airflow and the system's ability to absorb heat. While a clean filter can slow this process, annual checks and evaporator coil cleaning are necessary. The outdoor condenser coil should also be kept free of debris and foliage to ensure optimal efficiency.

Coil Fins and Condensate Drains: Maintaining Airflow and Moisture Control

Bent coil fins can restrict airflow but can be straightened with a fin comb. Also, keeping condensate drains clear is vital for reducing humidity and preventing moisture damage in your home.

Professional Maintenance and Services

While some maintenance tasks are within the homeowner's reach, professional expertise is essential for more complex issues. Our trained technicians in Albuquerque can perform a variety of critical services to keep your system running smoothly, including:

  • Checking refrigerant levels
  • Testing for refrigerant leaks
  • Ensuring no refrigerant is illegally released into the atmosphere
  • Sealing duct leaks in central systems
  • Measuring airflow through the evaporator coil
  • Verifying the correct electrical control sequence
  • Inspecting and maintaining electrical connections
  • Lubricating motors and checking belts
  • Testing thermostat accuracy

The Danger of Cottonwood Fluff

Cottonwood fluff is the seeds of female cottonwood trees that are released into the air each spring after pollination. The cottony fibers of the fluff help the seeds travel and find a place to land. However, cottonwood seeds can cause major damage to your air conditioning unit.

Cottonwood trees can be beautiful, but their fluffy white fuzz is also a nuisance. When it comes to your air conditioning unit, that fuzz can be damaging. Cottonwood seed tufts are notorious for getting pulled into the air conditioners and clogging them. In addition to the cottonwood issue, recent storms have caused a lot of airborne debris to enter and clog air conditioners. Number One Plumbing, AC, Solar & Electric has received a significant number of "no cool" calls resulting from units clogged with cottonwood and other debris.

Your air conditioner condenser works by sucking outdoor air, along with other debris, into the center of the unit and then expelling it back out through the top. When too many cottonwood seeds get pulled into your condenser, the airflow required to condense the refrigerant is slowed down, preventing your air conditioner from expelling the heated air from the condenser, thus diminishing your cooling capacity, which requires your condenser to work harder, which uses more electricity and wears out your unit faster. In some cases, your air conditioner may not be able to cycle off, which could affect your condenser performance and reliability—requiring a costly condenser replacement.

Even if you don't see cottonwood fluff on the outside of your unit, the inside could still be completely covered and clogged. If you have cottonwood trees in your area and suspect your air conditioner is clogged, call Number One Plumbing, AC, Solar & Electric. One of our technicians will come out and give your unit a professional cleaning. We will thoroughly clean the condenser, removing cottonwood seeds and any other debris that may have been collected.

Why Choose Number One Plumbing, AC, Solar & Electric?

With 19 years of experience, we are leaders in air conditioning service in Albuquerque. We offer installation, repair, and maintenance to keep your system efficient. Our commitment to your comfort and air quality, along with the extended lifespan of your unit, makes us your best choice for air conditioner maintenance.

Regular attention to your air conditioner's filters, coils, and overall unit care significantly affects energy consumption and the lifespan of your air conditioner. It's essential to have a reliable system in New Mexico's summer heat. For those maintenance tasks beyond DIY, rely on the experienced professionals at Number One Plumbing, AC, Solar & Electric to ensure your home remains cool and comfortable all year round. Contact us today to schedule your maintenance appointment and experience the difference professional care makes.


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