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5 Easy Ways to Maintain Your Air Conditioner

As a busy homeowner with lots of responsibilities, you have a lot on your plate. Between work, chores, and regular house-related upkeep, it can be difficult to accomplish everything on your to-do list. For example, you might find yourself neglecting the needs of your HVAC system.

Are you looking for easy ways to maintain your air conditioner? We have five simple and effective tips that can help keep your home cool and comfortable.

It’s important to perform maintenance tasks for your air conditioning system from time to time. Doing so can potentially help you save money on your energy bills and ensure your unit is running efficiently.

How to Maintain Your AC Unit

When you hear the phrase “HVAC maintenance,” you probably first think of an experienced technician performing a series of inspections, tests, and repairs. Although it’s crucial to have your air conditioner professionally maintained once a year, there are some tasks you can handle by yourself.

Below, we’ll discuss easy ways to maintain your air conditioner. However, before we start, it should go without saying that you shouldn’t perform these tasks if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. Don’t hesitate to contact a Frederick AC technician for assistance if you want help keeping your unit in top condition.

Now, without wasting another second, let’s go over some of the simple maintenance tips you can try at home.

Tip #1: Replace the Air Filter

One of the simplest air conditioner maintenance tips is to replace the air filter once every 90 days. You can purchase air filter replacements at your local home improvement store or order them online. Of course, you’ll want to check your old filter and find a replacement that matches its dimensions and MERV rating.

This filter is usually located near the HVAC system’s air handler. You will need to open the access panel before you can remove the filter. Once you’ve done this, installing the replacement is fairly straightforward. Just remember to point the arrows that are printed on the filter’s frame in the direction of the airflow.

Changing the air filter will ensure that your air conditioner doesn’t pick up dust or debris that could harm its performance. Dirty air filters can limit the airflow inside your home, lower indoor air quality, and increase the cost of your energy bills.

Tip #2: Trim Shrubs & Trees

Whether you have a heat pump that heats and cools your home or you have a traditional central air conditioning unit, it’s important to take care of the outdoor unit. This unit can quickly become damaged by dirt and debris, so you’ll want to make sure that you are keeping the area around it clean.

You can start by trimming back bushes and other landscaping so that it doesn’t get in the way of the unit. You don’t want loose leaves and twigs to get trapped inside the condenser. Does a tree hang over your outdoor AC unit? You might also want to consider cutting it back for this same reason.

There are many easy ways to maintain your air conditioner — including this one. Taking some time to groom your landscaping can make a world of difference in your condenser’s performance and longevity.

Tip #3: Clean the Outdoor Unit

Is your outdoor unit already dirty? If so, there’s no reason to worry. There are a few hassle-free ways to clean this unit. First, start by turning off the power to your air conditioner and switching the thermostat to the “off” position. Once you’ve done this, remove the panels on the outside of the unit and remove any large pieces of debris with your hands. These items can include twigs and leaves.

Next, utilize a vacuum with a brush attachment to clean up any debris that is on the smaller side or too difficult to reach. Afterward, wash off the exterior of the unit with a hose. While these air conditioner maintenance tips are straightforward, they can help ensure that your system is working as smoothly as possible.

How often should you clean your outside AC unit? You should perform this maintenance task at least once or twice a year.

Tip #4: Inspect the Condensate Drain

Although there are many easy ways to maintain your air conditioner’s outdoor unit, you also shouldn’t overlook the indoor component. Next, you’ll want to consider checking this indoor unit (which is also called the air handler).

The indoor unit contains various important parts, and two of them are the condensate drain pan and condensate drain line. This drain line can become clogged with debris over time, which makes it difficult for your air conditioner to expel any moisture it has accumulated. As a result, you might find water leaking onto the floors.

Thankfully, the drain line is fairly easy to find. Simply look for the white PVC pipe that runs from the air handler to the outdoor unit. From here, perform a thorough inspection, searching for any visible damage or signs of a leak.

If you think you have a clog on your hands, don’t wait to contact a professional technician. An expert can help remove the blockage and ensure everything is working properly.

Tip #5: Check the Thermostat Settings

Since we’re discussing air conditioner maintenance tips, you might think that mentioning the thermostat is a little strange. However, many cooling-related problems can be traced back to the thermostat and its settings.

Check the thermostat to ensure that it is functioning correctly and placed on the right setting. In most cases, you’ll want the fan to be set to “auto” so that the air conditioner isn’t blowing continuously — even outside its designated cooling cycle.

How Often Should You Do Maintenance on Your Air Conditioner?

All-in-all, it’s a good idea to schedule a professional air conditioner maintenance service at least once a year. Of course, depending on how often you use your AC unit, you might want to schedule these services twice yearly instead — once in the fall and again in the spring.

As for the maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, just use good judgment. If the outdoor unit looks like it’s getting dirty, clean it. If water is starting to collect around the air handler, perform a condensate drain inspection or call an expert for help. There isn’t really one right and wrong way to care for your air conditioning system — it all depends on your specific needs and situation.

Schedule AC Maintenance Services With Our AC Specialists!

Are you excited to try out these air conditioner maintenance tips? Even the smallest tasks, such as checking the thermostat, can make a significant difference in your household’s comfort and peace of mind.

You can also rest assured knowing that Johnson & Johnson Heating and Air Conditioning is here for all of your AC needs. We are committed to keeping the residents of Martinsburg, WV, and the surrounding areas comfortable. Our specialists offer everything from home air conditioner repair service to maintenance and beyond. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!

A man installing a new HVAC air filter.

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