residential air conditioning

Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips for the DIYer

air conditioner maintenance

An HVAC system is essential for the comfort of the home. An efficient air conditioner system becomes the unsung hero of your home. If you are like many household owners, you are used to getting things done for yourself. By following your air conditioning system maintenance tips, you can help extend the lifespan of your system and save money on energy bills.

Like any mechanical system, air conditioners need a little care to run smoothly. Luckily, certain AC maintenance tricks are handy; you don’t need to be an HVAC wizard to keep your cooling system in prime condition. However, you may end up in over your head or make a small mistake that leads to costly repairs.

Effective DIY Tips for AC Maintenance   

Air conditioning maintenance is important to ensure that the unit is running efficiently and effectively. Here are some tips for DIYers.

Regular Filter Replacement

One of the easiest and most effective ways to maintain your air conditioner is by regularly changing your air filter. Over time, the filter accumulates dirt, dust, and debris. Also, look for the filter minimum efficiency report value (range from 1 to 12). The higher the number, the better the efficiency of the filter. A clogged filter also makes your system work harder, leading to higher energy consumption.

How to do it

  1. Look for the air filter panel on the air conditioner.
  2. Remove the old filter and dispose of the air filter.
  3. Insert the new filter, ensuring it is positioned correctly.
  4. Replace the panel and secure it in place safely. 

 

Clean the coils

Both the evaporator and condenser coil accumulate dirt over time, reducing their efficiency in cooling and causing units to work harder, which ultimately affects the energy cost. Cleaning the coil is an important part of maintenance.

How to do it

  1. Turn off the power to the unit.
  2. Gently remove dust or debris from the coil using a vacuum cleaner or soft brush.
  3. Use a coil cleaner to remove any stubborn dirt or grime.
  4. Replace the panel and secure it.

 

Clear Debris from the Outer Unit

The outdoor unit of the air conditioner can become clogged due to leaves, grass, and other debris, which affects airflow and reduces efficiency. Make sure there is about 24 inches of clear space for an outdoor unit for good airflow.

How to do it

  1. Turn off the power unit completely.
  2. Carefully remove any debris around the unit.
  3. Use a garden hose to gently remove the dirt and grime from the exterior fins.
  4. Trim any nearby plantations or vegetation to avoid obstructing airflow.

 

Check the Straighten Fins 

Bend or damage the fins and restrict airflow from the condenser. Regularly checking and straightening them is important for efficient cooling.

How to do it

  1. Turn off the unit.
  2. Use a flat tool or fin comb to gently straighten the fins.

 

Inspect the Thermostat

A faulty thermostat leads to uneven cooling and expensive bills. Ensure your thermostat is calibrated properly. Take note if your air conditioner fails to reach the temperature you set it for. If you have a digital thermometer, it could be controlling the HVAC incorrectly.

How to do it

  1. Check the accuracy of the thermostat using a separate thermometer.
  2. If needed, recalibrate or replace the thermostat.

 

Inspect the Ductwork for Leaks 

Leaky ducts lead to wasted energy and more energy consumption; the common problem is poor air quality. Check your ductwork, look for visible signs of leaks, and seal them using duct tape and mastic sealant.

How to do it

  1. Turn on the system and feel along the ducts for noticeable air leaks.
  2. Use duct tape or mastic sealant to seal any identified leaks.

 

Why DIY for AC is Important?

Regular DIY air conditioning maintenance is important for keeping your air conditioner functioning well and extending its life. Following these simple tips, you can keep your home cool and comfortable throughout the summer while saving money on energy bills and expensive AC repairs. Remember that a small amount of effort now can go a long way towards maintaining the longevity and performance of your air conditioning system. Keep your cool!

 

DIY vs. Professional Air Conditioner Cleaning

DIY AC cleaning can be a cost-effective solution to keep your air conditioning system in good working order, but you must proceed with caution and be conscious of your limitations. Cleaning or replacing air filters, cleaning the external unit, and removing debris are all simple activities that most homeowners can do with basic tools and knowledge.

 More advanced tasks, such as checking refrigerant levels, inspecting electrical components, or addressing mechanical problems, should be left to professionals. Attempting these tasks without sufficient skills and equipment might result in additional damage and even dangerous scenarios.

 

Contact us

If you’re unsure about your abilities or the task appears challenging, then it’s strongly advised that you hire a professional HVAC specialist. They have the knowledge and skills to do so safely and successfully. Additionally, regular professional servicing can help identify and address potential issues before they escalate into costly problems. Contact Hamilton Air Conditioners for professional air conditioning services and proper maintenance to ensure longevity and savings on bills.

 

 

 

Matthew Connery
By: Matthew Connery

Matthew Connery is the Director of Hamilton Air Conditioning in London. He is a skilled Business Strategist who delivers energy-efficient and cost-saving solutions to commercial and domestic clients from leading air conditioning brands. 

Oct 02 2023