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As the weather heats up, homeowners will be relying on their air conditioners to keep their homes cool and comfortable. Regular air conditioner maintenance can prevent breakdowns, boost energy efficiency, and extend the life of your AC. Without it, it could cause the need for expensive repairs or the need for a premature replacement.
“We see it all the time in the home services industry. People have something installed in their home, and then just forget about it until it breaks down,” said Keith Riley, Founder of RenovationFind, a free online directory of certified home services companies. “Working with a lot of HVAC companies and helping them with their marketing, we’ve learned that preventative maintenance is vital to keep an air conditioner running smoothly year after year.”
Some maintenance tasks can be DIY, but homeowners should have a professional HVAC technician inspect the air conditioner and give it a tune-up at least once a year. RenovationFind has put together this air-conditioner maintenance checklist that can be tackled by a handy DIYer:
- Clean away leaves and debris from around the unit: Make sure there is no debris, leaves, sticks, or other items within 2 feet of your outdoor AC unit.
- Clean the inside of the unit: Open the fan cage and pull out leaves and larger debris with your hands. Use a shop vac to remove dust and dirt. Never use a garden hose or pressure washer on the inside of the air conditioner.
- Make sure the AC is level: If the pad under your air conditioner has sunk under the pad it sits on, level it with shims or wedges. If you can’t get it level, an HVAC company might need to fix it.
- Change the filter: Changing the air filter should be done every 3-6 months or according to manufacturer’s instructions. This simple task will reduce strain, improve efficiency, and extend your AC’s lifespan.
- Make sure the evaporator coil is clean: Use a soft brush to remove dust from the coil. You can also clean it with a store-bought no-rinse coil cleaner.
- Check the evaporator drain for clogs: Over time, algae and debris can build up in the drain. Tape shop vac to the drain tube and let it run for a few minutes to clear the clog. You can run a bleach solution (1-part water, 1-part bleach) down the drain to prevent algae growth.
- Clean the drain pan: Clean the drain pan with hot water and soap.
- Turn on and test the air conditioner: Put the thermostat on cooling mode and turn on the AC. Let it run for an hour to ensure everything is running smoothly.
If you’ve taken care of everything on that list, it is still recommended to schedule annual air-conditioner maintenance inspections and tune-ups with a professional technician. They will inspect everything on the checklist, and will also check other vital components of the AC. A trained eye will be able to catch a small issue and fix it before it becomes a significant problem.
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“DIY is great for a lot of things, but in our experience, it’s always best to have a professional check-in on your mechanical systems like the AC at least once a year,” said Riley. “There are things that can be missed, and it could be an efficiency or safety issue.”
Investing in a professional tune-up, and making minor repairs as needed, will ensure your air conditioner runs efficiently, safely, and for years to come.
Find a RenovationFind Certified Air Conditioning company in your city!
RenovationFind Certified is a symbol of integrity held by only the most trustworthy companies in home improvement, service, maintenance.
RenovationFind.com is a free online directory of trades, contractors and renovation companies that have passed a stringent screening and accreditation process. All companies listed on RenovationFind’s directory have been vetted and are continually monitored on seven essential criteria, including legal background checks, credit background checks, Better Business Bureau (BBB) membership, business license, business insurance, and Workers Compensation Board (WCB) Coverage.
Contact: Keith Riley
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