You have no control over many things, including the weather. So the least you can do is to arm yourself with your air conditioner. A good air conditioning unit ensures that you can maintain thermal comfort by cooling your indoor air in hot weather and warming it when the cold sets in. For you to enjoy these invaluable services, your air conditioning unit must be in good shape at all times. Here are some easy pointers that will help you maintain your unit's efficiency:
Power Supply, Fan Cage and Dirt
Air conditioning units are powered by electric energy. Start by cutting off the power supply of the unit at the breaker box and the exterior shut-off box near the condenser. This will prevent any accidents as you carry out the maintenance activities. Once the power is off, use a wrench or screwdriver to remove the fan grill fitted on top of the unit. You should have access to the interior of the air conditioning after removing the fan grill (also called fan cage). Use a dry or wet vacuum cleaner to remove dust, leaves and debris from the interior of the air conditioning unit.
After removing dirt and debris, it's time to pay attention to the fins. Their function is to ensure that air flows smoothly into and out of the air conditioning unit. Dirt and any bends on the fins will impair smooth airflow, forcing the unit to use more power than it normally would. This means you will be paying a fortune to the power company if you don't fix such fins.
Get a garden hose and blow a strong jet of water through the fins. The jet should be directed outwards from the inside of the unit so that any dirt on the fins isn't buried any deeper inside the unit. Do not use a pressure to do this because the brute force of the washer can easily damage the fins. Thereafter, look out for any bent fins and straighten them using a fin-straitening tool, available in air conditioning supply shops. You could also use a butter knife.
Pad and Condenser Unit
Due to weathering and soil erosion, the pad holding the condenser may start to sink and no longer be level. This can shorten the life of the condenser quite significantly. Here, you should install rot-resistant shims to level the unit and prolong its life.