We love living in Tampa Bay. But let’s be honest, our Endless Summers can certainly feel it – especially if your AC is on the fritz. Here, our pros talk how not to let that happen.
We rely on our air conditioning units to keep us cool and comfortable in our homes year-round, especially around here. For our units to do their jobs correctly, they require regular maintenance on your end and with the help of a professional technician.
Today, our reliable experts give you the HVAC rundown to keep your system running smoothly. We share what steps you can take yourself and the tasks that require a bit more know-how. Enter the ultimate AC maintenance checklist from the team at ACHV Services…
How Does AC Work?
Ahhh, cool air…The air conditioning unit is a major household appliance that many of us can’t think about living without, but do you know how it works? Essentially, central AC systems use a combination of gas and liquid refrigerant to cool the air in a room or building.
- The process starts with warm air being pulled into the AC unit by a blower motor.
- The refrigerant then absorbs heat from this warm air and transports it outside of the home or building through copper tubing lines.
- As the refrigerant absorbs heat, it changes from liquid to gas.
- This change causes a cooling effect inside your home or office as cooler temperatures are returned into your space.
Why Your Unit Requires Regular Maintenance
Central air conditioning units require regular maintenance to remain efficient and effective. You can save money, energy, and frustration by staying proactive.
Scheduling regular maintenance for your AC unit will ensure that it runs at peak performance levels all year long.
Without regular maintenance, an AC unit is prone to developing problems like dirty condenser coils or a clogged filter, which can lead to higher energy bills as well as premature breakdowns. An AC unit that has been regularly maintained is less likely to suffer from a malfunction.
Scheduled tune-ups can extend the life of your air conditioner by years and help you avoid costly repairs in the future. Text/Call our technicians today to keep your AC looking and feeling good – (727) 453-2432 or (813) 917-2982!
Can I Do Some DIY Maintenance for My AC?
While you can always lean on our local pros for a hand, there are some tasks you can do yourself to assist us in taking good care of your HVAC system. Remember, if you try and get stuck, our techs at ACHV Services are always available to help.
1. Shut Off Your AC Unit
A major key to successful maintenance is to shut off the AC power. This ensures that no one accidentally comes into contact with dangerous voltages or experiences electric shock.
This process is both simple and important; it involves:
- Locating the main circuit breaker or fuse box
- Turning off the switch or fuse controlling the particular circuit being worked on
- Verifying that all voltage has been eliminated from any connections involved by using a voltage tester
- Check all other switches associated with that circuit are turned off
Once all AC power has been disconnected, only then should you proceed with whatever maintenance needs to be performed, ensuring no risks of injury or danger are present while doing so.
2. Clean Your Outdoor AC Condenser Unit
Remove weeds and leaves from around the base of your outdoor unit, as they can interfere with airflow and cause your system to work harder than necessary to maintain temperature levels.
While this task is manageable for DIYers who don’t mind getting their hands dirty, professionals usually have access to special tools that make weed and debris removal easier and faster.
3. Level Your Unit
The condenser unit should be leveled annually for a few different reasons.
First of all, proper leveling of the unit helps ensure that any refrigerant inside will remain sealed within the system. If the condenser isn’t level, you might face refrigerant leaks. Over time, this can lead to a variety of issues such as:
- Increased energy costs
- Expensive repairs
- Unit replacement
This job should always be done by either a professional technician or an experienced DIYer who knows what they are doing.
4. Clean Your Evaporator Coil
The evaporator coil is an important component of any air conditioning system, as it absorbs heat and humidity from the surrounding environment. When the evaporator coil becomes dirty, its effectiveness is greatly reduced.
- Clean your coil after shutting the AC off and cleaning the outside of your unit.
- Use a soft brush or vacuum cleaner attachment to gently dislodge dirt and grime from the coils.
Don’t use too much water when cleaning your coils, since electrical components can get damaged
5. Change Your Filter
A clean blower filter helps keep your air circulating and removes allergens and other dangerous particles from the air. A clogged or dirty filter can lead to poor indoor air quality and cause dust and other particulates to build up in your home.
Cleaning or replacing your AC blower filter regularly is simple and relatively inexpensive—you can usually find replacement filters at most hardware stores for a few bucks each.
The process itself is easy; simply locate the return-air vent on the wall near your furnace, unscrew it, and remove any old filters you may have installed. Install new ones according to manufacturer instructions (or consult with our pros at ACHV Services for an easy solution).
6. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Installing a programmable AC thermostat will keep your home comfortable while helping you save time and money.
Programmable AC thermostats allow you to set specific temperature settings for different times of day, so you don’t have to continually adjust the settings yourself. This means that when it’s hot outside, your air conditioning won’t be running non-stop which helps reduce the amount of dust that circulates through your home.
In addition, the thermostat will automatically shut off after a certain period or at a certain temperature – helping further save energy and keep allergens from circulating in your home.
Are You Dealing with a Clogged Drain Line or Damage?
Knowing when to call an AC tech can help keep your system working properly and avoid costly repairs down the road.
Clogged drain lines often cause water leaks or flooding, while frozen coils can lead to poor performance and higher energy bills. A technician can inspect the issue and provide solutions for either problem right away.
Learn More > What to Do if Your AC Freezes Up
There You Have Our Ultimate AC Maintenance Checklist
Regular AC maintenance is a crucial part of keeping your unit running smoothly, efficiently, and safely. It’s important to have a professional check it regularly to help ensure that your AC won’t break down during the hottest days of summer – which will be here before you know it!
Call/text our HVAC pros at ACHV Services to extend the life of your AC unit and save you money in the long run on repairs or replacements. Annual AC maintenance isn’t just a good idea – it’s a smart investment.
In the meantime, make sure to follow our guide. Don’t be afraid to reach out if you need help!