5 air conditioner maintenance tasks you can do yourself this summer
Some air conditioner unit maintenance tasks require the skills and know-how of a trained, certified professional. But not all.
Homeowners who feel comfortable taking a look at their home’s AC units can take a few proactive measures – and even perform a few simple fixes – to help their home air conditioning stay cool and comfortable this summer.
While we regularly share tips for how to save money and lower your energy bill, we thought it’d be best to post a few tips for those of you out there who enjoy a do-it-yourself task or two.
Why it’s important to keep up on AC unit maintenance
Keeping up on regularly scheduled AC maintenance is key to ensuring that your home’s cooling system runs as it’s intended to, both efficiently and effectively. Without following at least an annual maintenance checkup, or looking into minor problems before they evolve into more serious issues, you could be looking at a hefty repair bill or expensive replacement installation.
There are a lot of moving parts that must be in proper working order for an air conditioner to operate correctly and as efficiently as possible. Those parts, which include filters, coils and fins, need to be maintained and repaired when necessary for this to happen.
By not taking care of your AC and all of its parts, the entire unit could very quickly suffer from performance issues. You will notice these performance issues when the monthly utility bill arrives in the mail.
Well-maintained AC units last longer
Keeping up on maintenance doesn’t just help the air conditioner cool your home better, it also can extend the life of the unit. Better care can increase the life of a unit by many years.
But it all comes down to taking care of and maintaining your home’s air conditioner. By doing this, and by following the five tips that are shared below, your AC will work better than ever – and hopefully you’ll be able to get more years out of the unit before it reaches the end of its life.
1. Check the thermostat
We’ll start off our tips with a task that’s located inside the house – your home’s thermostat. Make sure you keep an eye on the thermostat so you know when something may not be working quite right.
If the thermostat is battery-operated, then it’s always a good idea to keep up on fresh batteries. You wouldn’t want the thermostat to turn off because the batteries are dead this time of year!
You can also consider updating your thermostat to get a little more out of your home’s cooling system. Some older homes have mechanical thermostats that can be switched out for smart thermostats. These “smart” models let the homeowner set temperatures at specific times. Some more advanced models are even controllable through smartphone apps and can help you closely monitor your cooling (and heating) use.
2. Keep the AC unit clean
Whenever you start working on the AC unit itself, the first step is to turn off the power to the unit. From there, it’s time to open up the unit and take a look at any parts that may need to be cleaned and dusted.
Parts to keep clean include the unit’s condenser fan, the condenser coils and fins. Use a brush to dust the condenser fan. The coils can be washed off with a garden hose, but make sure you remove the coil guard first. Fins should be cleaned with a fin comb and straightened if crooked.
3. Trim plants near the air conditioner
While you’re still outside, make sure to trim away any bushes or other plants that are touching or too close to the air conditioner. You should also do your best not to allow leaves or grass to build up on the outside and inside of the AC unit.
Air conditioners that are overcrowded by plants or have too much leaves, grass and dirt clinging to the exterior can suffer from decreased airflow, which puts a burden on the entire system. Simply use a gentle flow from a garden hose to wash the outside of the unit.
Of course, make sure the power has been disconnected.
4. Change filters regularly
Ensuring that a clean air filter is installed is perhaps the most important regular maintenance step for keeping the cool air flowing inside your home. On top of helping the air conditioner run more efficiently, clean air filters can also help improve the air quality in your home.
In the summer, your unit is very likely running quite hard to keep everyone comfortable. Whenever your AC is being used heavily like this, it’s best to change the filter every 30 days.
You will know it’s time to replace a filter when you pull it out and it is covered in dust, dirt and more. You may even notice your unit working harder and staying on longer when it’s time to switch out filters.
5. Clean and inspect your home’s ductwork
Ductwork is another area homeowners can examine to keep their home cooling systems working as they should. Airflow can be restricted if the ductwork is clogged or too dirty.
To improve airflow, keep floor and ceiling registers clean of dust, dirt or any other grime that could enter your home’s ducts. You should also keep an eye out for air leaks throughout the ductwork.
When it’s time to call in a home cooling pro
If any of this sounds like a little too much, or if you would like to have an expert come out and show you how it’s done, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Comfortec. We’re able to service and help you keep up on any home air conditioning needs. Our experienced professionals are also capable of handling any other heating, cooling or plumbing service needs for your home or business.
At Comfortec, we take pride in treating our customers’ homes as if they were our own. We would be more than happy to help you keep up on air conditioning unit maintenance – or any other project.
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