Air Conditioning Maintenance Tasks You Can Do Yourself

While having your air conditioner professional maintained once a year or so is the most effective way to keep it in good condition as time goes on, there are a few maintenance tasks you can complete yourself that should help you save a little money on maintenance costs throughout the years. Try one or more of the following ideas:

Service or Replace the Filters

One of the easiest maintenance tasks to complete yet also one of the most overlooked by homeowners, is servicing or replacing the HVAC air filters. The filters are responsible for trapping dirt, debris, dust, and even allergens as they enter your HVAC system so they don't end up being blown back into your home again.

But over time, the filters can get clogged or even rip and tear, which leaves your air conditioner vulnerable to unnecessary wear and tear as well as premature breakdowns. After locating the filters and taking them out of your HVAC system, inspect them for rips and tears. If any are present, you'll need to replace the filters altogether.

If your filters are reusable and don't have any apparent damage, you can clean them with a soapy cloth and rinse them before putting them back into your HVAC system. If the filters need to be replaced, consult your HVAC user's manual to determine what kind of filters are needed. You should be able to buy them at a local home improvement store or through your HVAC technician.

Clean the Condenser Fins and Coils

Your air conditioner's condenser fan and coils should also be inspected and cleaned on a regular basis to maximize efficiency and minimize wear and tear. Start by turning your HVAC system off and unplugging it from its power source, then locate the condenser unit outside your home. You should notice what looks like a grille or cage surrounding the exterior of the unit – these are the small condenser fins that get clogged with dirt and debris and can bend over time.

If your condenser fins are clogged or bent, air flow through your HVAC system is restricted which puts extra wear and tear on your air conditioner every time it's turned on. You can hose the fins and gently wipe them clean with a damp cloth to get rid of clogs. If any fins are bent, it's a good idea to call in a professional to have them replaced or put back into place if possible.

Get Rid of Debris Around the Condenser Unit

It is also important to make sure that outdoor debris such as leaves and rocks are removed from the immediate area around your air conditioner's outdoor condenser unit. The area around the unit should also be free of shrubs and plants that will inhibit air flow. If a shrub or pile of leaves sit too close to the condenser unit, the unit can't effectively draw air from the outdoors or release old air.

This, in turn, can result in less than optimal temperatures inside and the inability to maintain comfortable temperatures no matter how long you keep your air conditioner on for. To optimize airflow, simply rake all the leaves and debris from the area and cut down any weeds or shrubs that are growing less than a foot or so away from the condenser unit.

In addition to completing these maintenance tasks, it's essential to have your HVAC system professionally inspected and maintained consistently. Make an appointment today to ensure that you're set for the upcoming season. Check out a website like for more information and assistance.