Keeping Cool with DIY AC Maintenance

Summer is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to ensure your air conditioning system is in top shape. While it’s always best to leave major repairs to the professionals at Family Heating & Air, there are several DIY maintenance tasks you can perform to keep your AC running smoothly and efficiently.

1. Change the Air Filter

A clogged air filter can significantly reduce your AC’s efficiency and even cause damage to the unit. It’s recommended to change the filter every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter and the level of use. Here’s how:

  1. Locate the air filter (usually in the return air duct or the blower compartment).
  2. Remove the old filter and note the size and type.
  3. Insert the new filter, ensuring it’s facing the correct direction.

2. Clean the Condenser Unit

The outdoor condenser unit is responsible for releasing heat from the refrigerant. Over time, it can accumulate dirt, leaves, and debris, which can obstruct airflow and reduce efficiency. Follow these steps to clean the condenser:

  1. Turn off the power to the unit.
  2. Remove any visible debris from the top and sides of the unit.
  3. Use a soft-bristle brush or a garden hose to gently remove any remaining dirt or debris from the fins.

3. Check and Straighten Condenser Fins

The condenser fins are delicate and can become bent, reducing airflow and efficiency. Gently straighten any bent fins using a fin comb or a small tool like a butter knife.

4. Inspect and Clean the Evaporator Coil

The evaporator coil is located inside the air handler or the indoor unit. A dirty coil can reduce heat transfer and lead to inefficient cooling. Here’s how to clean it:

  1. Turn off the power to the unit.
  2. Remove the access panel to expose the coil.
  3. Use a soft-bristle brush or a coil cleaning solution to gently remove any dirt or debris.

5. Check for Proper Airflow

Obstructed airflow can cause your AC to work harder, leading to higher energy bills and potential damage. Ensure that all vents and registers are open and unobstructed, and check for any blockages in the ductwork.

Remember, while these DIY maintenance tasks can help keep your AC running smoothly, it’s always a good idea to schedule regular professional maintenance with Family Heating & Air. Their experienced technicians can identify and address any potential issues before they become major problems, ensuring your comfort and peace of mind all summer long.