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How to keep Your Air Conditioner from Breaking Down

Like Murphey’s Law, air conditioners seem to break down when you need them most. Proper AC maintenance will save you from sweating through the summer’s heat and costly repair bills.

Though your home insurance plan may cover an air conditioner breakdown in some cases, regular wear and tear and poor maintenance practices do not fall into the coverage category. Extend the life of your AC system by following these tips.

9 Easy AC Maintenance Tricks


   1. Prepare AC Crankcase Heater
       Located on the lower part of the compressor, the strap-on
       crankcase heater belt should be energized for a minimum of eight
       hours prior to AC startup. Following this, test the heater by
       placing  the backside of your hand next to it; if you feel the heat,
       you know it has been energized – a process that will lessen the
       possibility of refrigerant leaking into the unit’s oil.

RELATED: 10 summer cooling tips that work

     2. Wipe Outer Coils Twice Annually
         Prior to starting your air conditioner and later before the height of
         the cooling season, clean the outer coils. This will help minimize
         grime that causes your AC to overwork.

     3. Examine Compressor Motor Starter
         Check for wear and tear and replace any electrical contact that
         shows signs of corrosion or relapse.

     4. Inspect Moisture Filters
          If the AC indicator displays system moisture, call a repairman to
          pinpoint where the moisture is coming from. If there is a leak,
          have it repaired. In addition, have your system vacuumed
          and filters and driers replaced.

      5. Inspect Refrigerant Charge
          In the event your AC has had low refrigerant previously, it will
          require consistent refrigerant maintenance. Repair any leaks.
      6. Look Out for Leaks
           Inspect your unit for any leaks. You can purchase refrigerant
           additives that ease the leak detection process.

       7. Clear Evaporators
            Inspect and clear air flow passages. Replace air filters on a
            regular basis.

RELATED: how to heat your home the safe way

      8. Shield Electric Equipment
          Connect surge protection to your unit. You may also want to
          invest in an automatic thermostat that postpones compressor
          startup following turnoff so that there will be no burnout.

      9. Become Acquainted with Standard Operation Modes
          Recognizing what is normal and what needs your attention are
          the basics of nipping the bud in air condition repair work. Any
          variation in sound, vibration, smell, oil or water spots, 
          temperature, pace or pressure is a sign that you should phone
          the repairman.


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Summary: Keep your air conditioner happy and it will keep you happy! Get the basics on AC maintenance from the home insurance pros.


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