Stay Cool with These DIY AC Maintenance Tips

Summer is just around the corner, and that means cranking up the air conditioner to beat the heat. While professional AC service is always recommended for major repairs or replacements, there are several DIY tasks you can do to keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. Here are some easy tips to help you maintain your air conditioning unit and save money on energy bills.

Clean the Air Filters

One of the most important DIY tasks is to regularly clean or replace your air filters. Clogged filters restrict airflow, causing your system to work harder and use more energy. Depending on the type of filter, you should clean or replace them every one to three months. This simple step can improve indoor air quality and extend the life of your AC unit.

Clear the Condensation Drain

Over time, the condensation drain line can become clogged with dirt, algae, or debris, causing water to back up and potentially leak inside your home. To prevent this, pour a mixture of warm water and vinegar down the drain to clear any blockages. You can also use a small wire or pipe cleaner to dislodge stubborn clogs.

Check the Outdoor Unit

The outdoor unit of your AC system is exposed to the elements and can accumulate leaves, twigs, and other debris. Clean the area around the unit and trim back any vegetation that may be blocking airflow. Additionally, inspect the coils and fins for any damage or buildup, and gently straighten any bent fins with a fin comb tool.

Insulate Exposed Ducts

If you have exposed ductwork in your attic or crawlspace, consider insulating it with duct wrap or mastic sealant. This will prevent cool air from escaping and improve the efficiency of your system. It’s also a good idea to seal any air leaks in the ductwork with foil tape or mastic sealant.

Adjust the Thermostat

Setting your thermostat to a comfortable temperature and using a programmable model can save you significant energy costs. Aim for a temperature around 78°F when at home and warmer when you’re away or sleeping. Additionally, make sure to clean the thermostat regularly and replace the batteries as needed.

By following these simple DIY tips, you can help extend the life of your air conditioning system, improve its efficiency, and potentially save money on energy bills. However, for more complex issues or professional air conditioning installation, it’s always best to consult with a licensed HVAC technician from a reputable company like Bay Area Air Conditioning.