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Cool Mountain Air: How to Maintain Your Cabin's AC Unit

Even though most AC units last for well over a decade, those devices require quite a bit of maintenance. With the proper maintenance routine and some assistance from a professional HVAC contractor, you will be able to keep your cabin’s air conditioner running smoothly for many years to come.

Clear Away Nearby Brush

If your cabin is located in an area that has a lot of brush, then you might need to do some heavy landscaping a few times a year. The condenser fan will pull unwanted debris into the heat pump if there is any foliage nearby, and that could permanently damage the system. As a general rule, smaller bushes and flowers should be at least three feet away from the AC pad. Larger trees must be at least 15 feet away, and you will need to trim the branches if they get too close to the outdoor unit.

Clean the Outdoor Unit

Over the course of a few months, the outdoor unit is going to get very dirty, and that grime will impact the efficiency of the unit. While you can always pay a professional to clean the outdoor heat pump, this project is relatively easy to do on your own. The first thing that you will need to do is disconnect the power electrical line that is going to the outdoor unit or shut off its power at the breaker box. You can then use a hose to clean off all of the metal fins.

Service Your Unit Twice a Year

Most HVAC contractors agree that modern systems need to be serviced at least twice a year. If you haven’t been to your cabin for quite some time, then you should have the system professionally serviced before you turn on the air conditioner. During that service call, the contractor can check all of the fluid levels, examine the belts, and test the thermostat to see if it is accurate.

Regularly Inspect the Entire System

Most air conditioning repairs can easily be taken care of in a matter of hours as long as you catch the damage early on. When you are inspecting the system, you must look for issues such as animal nests in the ducts, rotting hoses, rotting belts, and leaks around the outdoor unit. You will also need to call a contractor if the air conditioner is emitting any unusual smells.

Properly maintaining your air conditioner will greatly extend its lifespan, but those units don’t last forever. If your AC unit is more than 12 years old, then you might want to speak with your HVAC contractor about replacing it entirely.

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